There’s a crispness in the air, pumpkins are piled at grocery store entrances, and “Thriller” is infecting the airwaves. Yup, it’s October and that means a spooktacular lead up to Halloween! It’s the time of year when it’s ok to play dress up at any age, you can get away with devouring copious amounts of candy, and horror flicks flood theatres and TV. We’ve heard from Film Addicts Mark, Kirk, and James about their top chill-inducing films, now let’s hear from some of our other Addicts in our final installment of #Addicted2Horror.
The original When a Stranger Calls is everything a horror movie should be. If watched in the right setting it will make you jump, it’s creepy, and it has a catch phrase that you can use to torment your wussier friends: “Have you checked the children?” The o.g. black and white Night of the Living Dead is possibly the perfect horror film. It creates an ominous sense of dread, it’ll make your skin crawl, it’ll make you jump, and it’s a social commentary from the godfather of the undead, George A Romero. Behind the Mask is an unfortunately all too unknown film about a documentary crew following a serial killer as he trains and preps for his next kill. This is a horror-comedy that takes dark turns and makes you jump between laughs. A must add to any Halloween movie marathon.
Dr. (Alex) Payne’s pick: The House Of The Devil (2009)
Scary movies are my life (well, more or less, anyway). Despite the fact that 99 out of 100 horror movies end up being completely awful, there is one man who I feel keeps nailing the genre over and over again, and that man is Ti West. If I’m forced to choose which one of his films I favour, I guess I would have to pick The House Of The Devil, but as I said, that is only if I’m forced to choose. There are a handful of directors who actually manage to properly execute a horror film from start to finish, and Mr. West is damn close to the top of that list. The House Of The Devil appeals to horror junkies and film snobs alike: shot in 16mm to properly pay homage to horror films of the 70s and 80s, THOTD is the definition of a well executed scary movie. It doesn’t pander to its audience with cheap scares or over the top gore (neither of which I have a problem with, by the way), but rather keeps things so tense, yet benign, until all hell breaks loose (literally). If you’re a true horror fan, you’ve seen this one 10 times. If you haven’t, I’m left to wonder what’s wrong with you. Well done, Mr. West. Well done.
Hilary’s hilarious horror: Hocus Pocus (1993)
This ‘90s classic is all about three witch sisters who are resurrected on Halloween night, and Thora Birch‘s quest to end their reign of terror. It has some spooky moments, but is mostly full of amazingly kitsch comedy and a whole lot of Bette Midler. Sure, it might not count as a horror movie, but it terrified childhood me and I can think of few things more horrifying than Sarah Jessica Parker singing “Come Little Children”.
Nadia’s nasty favorite: Zombieland (2009)
Elizabeth’s creepy chiller: The Amityville Horror (1979)
My favourite is an old one, The Amityville Horror from 1979. I always liked it and found it terrifyingly scary. Far from predictable, you just never knew what was coming next. I love all the scary elements: the strange voices, the look of the house itself in which the story takes place, the actors – they looked like everyday people – and of course, the gritty cinematography. Definitely a classic!!
Halloween is my high holy day; I love everything about it. The colours, the costumes, the camp, the gore and the festivity – it’s the best. That said, it’s impossible to not give Hocus Pocus (1993) a second shout out in this post! In terms of films that actually gave me the heeby jeebies, the first half of Stephen King’s It (1990) had my butt tingling in fear of drains and sewers for years, and rightfully so. Clowns and I do not jive. If we’re talking gruesome effects, the opening sequence of the film Ghost Ship (2002) is resplendent in its horrifying display of ways you’d rather not die. Finally, if you want to be disturbed without having to stretch your imagination past reality and history, the low budget but sufficient disturbing film Gacy (2003), about one of America’s most notorious psychopaths, John Wayne Gacy, is a preferred party conversation piece of mine that I’m not sure many friends appreciate.
Did we miss a must-watch? Take to Twitter and tell us with #Addicted2Horror.