Wednesday, September 29, 2010

As Halloween Approaches: A Ridiculously Long Post About Horror Movies

When I was seven, I watched Child’s Play with my babysitter. Therefore, as far as scary stuff goes, I hate dolls, and I refused to watch horror movies until I hit college and my buddy Stephan sat me down to watch Dawn of the Dead (shopping mall version). Now I love craptastic horror movies, especially zombie movies. As Halloween approaches, I look over the Boston Globes “50 scariest movies” list and contemplate those I have watched and those I will never watch. The rest are going into a list, and let’s see if I can watch ‘em before my favorite hallmark holiday. I promise not to include ALL the movies on their list, just my highlights, and if anyone has any recommendations I must see before Oct. 31st of this year, y’all better let me know now. 

But before I start my list, I must say, if there’s a scary movie you must watch this year it’s Them, the movie The Strangers was based on, but 100x, no, 1,000x better. I also have no idea why Let The Right One In isn't on the Globe's list, but it's fantastic, and I hear Hollywood is ruining it, so you best see the original before the story goes to shit.


The Innocents (1961)
I have a sneaking suspicion The Others ripped this film off…. But I like insanity and old movies and The Turn of the Screw, so I am moving this to the top of my list.

The Blob (1988)
No, I’ve never seen it. Shut yer pie-hole.

The Brood (1979)
Murderous small children in an asylum? Yes please!!! How the hell did I miss this one???

Session 9 (2001)
People keep telling me to see this movie. “It’s an asylum,” they say. “It’s a horror movie,” they say. “But where’s the zombies?,” I say.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
I know, I know. I actually only ever saw the remake. How lame is that? I solemnly swear to right my wrong and watch this movie promptly.

Alien (1979)
Another “classic” I have yet to see. But I figure if I keep referring to my pregnant friends as Sigourney Weaver when they tell me they can see their kids foot on their belly wall, I should probably at least watch the movie.

Rec (2007)
Apparently, this is what that horrible movie Quarantine was based off of. Except this one has a creepy kid and a zombie dog, which means it’s already leaps ahead of Quarantine.


Arachnophobia (1990)
I was 8 when this movie came out. I saw it that year at a friend's birthday party, and apparently was so scared, I peed in my sleeping-bag. That’s embarrassing.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
I just love that one of my favorite movies of all time made it on the list for no other scene than 3 minutes in a boat. On a chocolate river. But I’ll give the editors of the Globe props, because that shit was scary.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
I know it’s a classic, but this movie isn’t scary. I probably think this because, for as long as I can remember, my parents would watch it every year. Takes a lot more than Satan’s spawn to scare me. Or I was just too busy watching Mia Farrow in that super cute haircut to notice the plot of the movie.

Nightmare on Elm St. (1984)
Classic. I could watch Johnny Deep get eaten and regurgitated by a bed till the cows come home. Plus, it’s one of those rare moments I can say “Blood was dripping from the ceiling!” in a non-hyperbolic manner.

Mothman Prophecies (2002)
I always mesh this movie and White Noise together in my mind. They were just that memorable. But I think this is the one that involved the chick from Will and Grace and creepy sick kids drawing circles obsessively. Either way, I don’t really care if I’m right, because in the end, both movies suck.

The Mist (2007)
Marcia Gay Harden can play bible-belt crazy better than bible-belt crazies, and while main character what’s-his-face dude is a bit of an unremarkable douche-bag, and I generally can’t get behind “creature” movies, I am totally down with prehistoric locust. In the end though, it's the end of this movie that makes it so worthwhile.

Hellraiser (1987)
One year, when I was in college, my friend Annie dressed up as Pinhead. Like, for reals. And all homemade. You couldn’t go near her face or you would get stuck with straight pins. A+ for authenticity.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
I really, really love Guillermo del Toro. Especially when he combines political rebellion, imaginative creatures, creepy monsters, and everlasting wonder only children can possess.

The Exorcist (1973)
I have pictures of me on the exorcist steps. I bet you don’t, Sucka!

Halloween (1978) 

My wife stood behind Jaime Lee Curtis in line at a “get yer Obama memorabilia here!” store in DC. I know this, because she shot me a pic from her phone and said OMG OMG OMG. Just like that. But seriously, we do watch this every year, it’s my wife’s fave, partly because Jaime Lee Curtis is hot, hot, hot, and partly because it's the first horror movie where a woman kicked ass and didn't die. Girl Power!


Blair Witch 2 (Book of Shadows) (2000)
Seriously? You want me to watch a sequel that isn’t B-grade horror? Only if 5 people convince me, I will entertain the idea of watching what I preemptively deem garbage.

Open Water (2003)
This may well belong on the Globe’s list, but not mine. I refuse to watch horror movies that contain situations I might find myself in one day. Like being completely forgotten about in the middle of the ocean and being surrounded by sharks.

Saw (2004)
Actually, I understand why this is on the list. But I’m not watching this movie. I tried. I really did. 20 minutes in I started crying and made Lindsey drive me home. Why? See above. People are supremely fucked up, and this could TOTALLY happen!

Altered States (1980)
Drug induced experiment goes awry resulting in a man turning into howling blob. Wow, Globe, way to write an enticing summary… WTF. 


  1. I loved Open Water and I only find scariness in movies that could really, even in remote circumstances, happen. I don't find any zombie or creature feature scary (except maybe 28 Days Later, but a lot of that scariness for me again has to do with being alone, not the RageMonsters so...). Ones that would make my list -

    Open Water
    Kiss the Girls
    The Vanishing
    Saw (only the first one)
    Amityville Horror
    Senseless (I was dripping sweat the whole time)
    Black Out (the rape scene stuck with me for weeks)

  2. nice! yes, the ones that scare the living shit out of me, like Saw, i will not watch. i freak out. but i like creepy ghost movies and cheesy horror movies. like Trailer Park of Terror. which, BTW, is totally awesome and you should check out.

  3. Oh, don't get me wrong, I LOVE any horror or scary movie even the unbelievable supernatural, Killer-Never-Dies ones. i don't find them scary, but they are a lot of fun and my favorite genre of film. I will mos def check out that flick.

  4. I'd love to know your opinion of "The Hunger"...David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve. Not the most screamingly scary movie, but definitely a period piece and kind of haunting in a surreal way.
    Great list, supercool blog. Just found you and am lovin' your posts and recipes! Cheers!