Thantoay

Artist, designer, and fan of all things spooky

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 12- Evil Dead 2

12. 

Evil Dead 2

I don’t really need to say anything about this movie. 

Sam Rami  and Scott Spiegel said, Hey, Bruce Campbell, remember that freakin fantastic movie we did a few years ago? Yeah, lets do that again but make it way better. 

Then they did. 

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 13- Scream

13.

Scream

Scream did a lot for me. It brought horror to the 90s, a decade that had provided me with very few options thus far. Considering how young I was when it came out, it taught me a lot about the genre. I wasn’t able to pick it out at the time that Scream was satire. As I worked my way through the library of classic horror, I started to realize all the references and cliches. 

Another reason this ranks so high up is the well known rule that if you tell someone they can’t have something, they want it more. My parents rented Scream. I glared at the video box in the living room, knowing that after I went to bed they were going to get to watch that and I would never know who screams or why they scream and it drove me nuts. A few weeks later I watched it at a friend’s house.

After seeing Drew Barrymore’s intestines all over her front yard, I realized why it was kept from me. I was actually shocked. That scene still kinda bothers me, it’s pretty intense. Guts were always the big forbidden land of parental guidance. They would let me watch movies with blood and other violence, but when internal organs started flying, it was a no go. (Except Night of the Living Dead, but that was a rite of passage in my household. No child of Blake’s was not going to know the glory of Romero)

I don’t think I ever admitted to my parents I saw it that night. A few years later they would end up renting it for me. I wonder if I acted surprised?

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 14- The Birds

14.

The Birds

This is one of the first horror movies I remember seeing. I asked my mom before we started it if there was any blood in it, because I thought it would scare me. She told me there wasn’t much blood, but a man did get his eyes pecked out by birds. I was sold. I sat in anticipation of that moment. I knew that very soon I was going to see something I had never seen before. Something so appalling sounding that no one should ever want to see it. But I was going to. It was wrong and it made my heart race.

Then there he was. Slumped next to a bed in bloody ripped pajamas. I remember being a little disappointed. My stomach didn’t turn nor did I scream, but I was excited. 

And with that a morbid fascination was born. Always searching for the next shocking thing. 

Thanks Hitchcock. 

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 31- The Ring

15.

The Ring

I don’t know if any other movie besides this one has terrified me to the point where I felt unsafe in the theatre. There was a point where ration and logic left me and I was sure at any moment Samara was going to come out of the screen and do whatever it is she does that kills people. When she came out of the TV my flight or fight reflexes actually started to gnaw at me. I wanted to actually get up and run away. 

Thanks to everyone running everything good into the ground and then beating its dusty pile like a dead horse, I am no longer even a little scared of this movie.

But I will never forget how it was the first time. 

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 16- America Psycho

16.

American Psycho

I have hesitations about including this in my list of favorite horror movies. There isn’t anything supernatural going on. I am going to have to consider any movie that includes a scene where a naked woman is killed by a psycho by having a chainsaw dropped on her while she runs terrified down stairs as at least in the horror category.

There have been a lot of stories recently where the protagonist is morally corrupt. Although normally they started out as being persuaded by a moral reason or are at least likable. Patrick Bateman has none of these redeemable qualities. Anyone that isn’t a psycho themselves hates him from the very beginning. He is scum in a nice suit.

Killing is a huge character flaw, even though his opinion on the band Genesis may be his biggest one as far as I am concerned. The only thing Bateman and I agree on is how breath-taking Paul Allen’s business card is. Christian Bale does an amazing job, as is typical for him. The music, clothes and extravagance does a spot on overall feel of the decade… Or so I am told, I don’t have any memories of the 80s.

Brett Easton Ellis hates this movie. He actually had the audacity to say a woman should have never directed it because she could never get the male view of the character right.

But screw you Eliis, she made a movie better than your book.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 17- Close Encounters of the Third Kind

17.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

I spent a large portion of my childhood obsessed with aliens. It’s one of the reasons I was super popular and everyone wanted me to join in on all their sports games and go to their birthday parties. That’s totally how my childhood went. Definitely.

Whatever, I had more fun alone, scaring the crap out of myself with great movies such as this one. This might be the only movie on my list that was nominated for an Academy Award. It’s also in the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry so if you haven’t seen it yet, you obviously have bad taste and should go rectify your movie watching decisions right now.

The best scene is when Richard Dreyfuss and companion are driving into the “quarantined” area and the government has gone so far as to put out bodies of cows along the road. I wish more of the movie would have been about them trying to sneak past the army to see the aliens.

The first time I ever saw Devil’s Tower was from this movie so now my hair raises up on top of my arm every time I see a picture of it. Maybe most of my knowledge came from horror movies, because I know wasn’t paying attention in school. Which is still true. I scored bad on my midterm last night because I spent most of my week drawing skulls instead of studying.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 18- Signs

18.

Signs

I liked M Night Shymalan earlier movies a whole bunch. I didn’t totally hate Lady in the Water honestly. Sixth Sense was a great first movie, Signs was an even better follow up. The Village was terrifying too. But you know how the rest goes.

Signs is my favorite of the three Shyamalan’s worth mentioning. Its actually one of my favorite movies, obviously. This was pre-nutso Mel Gibson, and he did a fantastic job playing a grieving father trying to keep it together for his children. I hate kids, but the little girl is weird and delightful. Not to mention she totally saves the world with her odd quirk.

The best part by far and an instant classic horror moment is the video of the Mexican birthday party. Hoooollly crap that is terrifying.

I’ll admit the twist is kinda lame, and doesn’t really make sense considering the aliens choose the wrong damn planet. But I will suspend my disbelief and pretend they are just really dumb aliens.

I would love to see Shamalan start making movies like this again. However, I doubt anyone will let him get the credit he would deserve since he has become such an easy target for ridicule in pop culture. But I will always hold out hope and keep seeing whatever he makes.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 19- The Exorcist 3

19.

The Exorcist 3

I am making a bold statement here. I like this more than the original.

I didn’t see the original until I was in high school and at that point it was so overplayed and referenced so the shock value was lost on me. I know it’s good, and I like it. This one caters more to my tastes.

There are some very shocking scenes. They could probably be considered jump scares, but I think they are more intelligent than some random scary face popping up. (No offense original Exorcist) If you have seen it, then you know what scene I am talking about when I say that the nurse in the hallway is one of the most unnerving surprises I have been subjected to. There is a rather unsettling scene around a dinner table that I particularly like.

When the story was written, the writer didn’t seem to want it to be as associated with The Exorcist as it ended up being. It was originally titled Legion, but movie studios like money so it ended up part of the Exorcist series. George C. Scott is in it, so that also gives it quite a few bonus points.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 20- Saw

20.

Saw

This movie is an institution. Forget all the shitty sequels and remember the first time you saw it. The whole time you couldn’t help but ask yourself, would you do that? How far are you willing to go to stay alive or save someone you love? The reverse bear trap is one of my favorite scenes in horror. It’s absolutely terrifying. I don’t think I had seen anything quite that intense in film before that. Of course now movies like Saw are a dime a dozen, but at that time it was truly original.

The end is without a doubt in my top 5 movie twists ever.

I’m finding an issue with the list as I get closer to #1. There is almost less to say about the classics. Saw is great, and I don’t really need to defend it or explain why I think that. It just is. An instant classic.

I am torn about if I should have given this spot for Seven, considering their likenesses and Saw probably would’t exist without Seven paving the way for violent thrillers. Seven is a little more thriller and Saw is more horror.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 21- House of 1000 Corpses

21.

House of 1000 Corpses

I’ve been in love with Rob Zombie since I was 14. So I am biased, being that this movie was created by my soul mate. I waited YEARS to see this movie. I think I saw the first preview for it 2 years before it actually came out. It took that long because Universal Studios thought its potential NC-17 rating would keep them from making money off it. Zombie bought it back from them and sold it to Lions Gate who FINALLY released it, and I rejoiced.

It is very obvious this is a product of love for the genre. It falls short on points, but the references, the make up, and the music is all on point. He mixes stock video in with his story effectively, without causing too much confusion or making it them feel out of place (Some of it is from the Faces of Death videos, which really makes it unsettling.) His characters are iconic and Captain Spalding has become one of my favorite horror icons. (I’m still pretty stoked about the picture attached to this post.)

His sequel, The Devil’s Rejects is actually an all over better movie. This one’s got more passion, though, and I respect that tremendously.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 22- Lake Mungo

image

image

22.

Lake Mungo

Anyone who wants to talk to me about movies has to listen to me freak out about this movie. LAKE MUNGO IS AMAZING! Stop reading this and go watch it RIGHT NOW. I love this movie 100% forever and ever. 

This is the most unsettling, terrifying, creepy and horrifying movie I have seen in the last 10 years. Here is an unordered stream of consciousness list of reasons;

It conveys what grief does to a family rather accurately. 

It’s a mockumentry with found footage. 

There is a part of this movie I still haven’t seen due to the fact I just can’t, that’s how much it scares me. The first time I watched it, I hid behind my eyes. Every subsequent time I have to skip through the part because I know it’s coming. I am not even going to tell you what part. You have to watch it and figure it out yourself. 

The first time I saw this I was watching it on my laptop while my boyfriend at the time was playing Call of Duty. I made him stop the game and sit on the couch with me to finish the movie, because even though I wasn’t alone in the room, I was so scared I couldn’t even be without someone right next to me seeing what I was seeing. 

As a disclaimer I am sorry if you watch this and don’t react the way I do. I have very peculiar and specific tastes. 

I am starting to consider I should have put it closer to one on this list now that I am thinking about it this much. But here it is, number 22. Lake Mungo. Awesome. 

I have never wanted anything more than I want this bag.

I have never wanted anything more than I want this bag.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 23- The Cell

23.

The Cell

The only thing I would have changed about this movie is Jennifer Lopez, but she didn’t necessarily do a bad job. It’s just the fact it’s her and I don’t like her. But does anyone? Why is she even famous?

In general the reviews for this movie were mediocre. I think most people overlook it. For me this came out at my impressionable age of 14, which is around the same years a lot of movies on my list were made. The Cell became a personal standard of mine. I will rate other movies on how much like The Cell they are. (The parts of Insidious, I liked mostly was because it reminded me of The Cell.) My best friend and I have a long time running joke about how much I always want to watch The Cell.

My favorite parts are due to the art referenced. A lot of this art that has shaped my personal style. I wouldn’t be the art nerd I am today if it wasn’t for The Cell.

http://www.damienhirst.com/some-comfort-gained-from-the-a
http://webartacademy.com/%E2%80%9Cthe-cell%E2%80%9D-and-odd-nerdrum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgqmXK1pf7Y (my favorite short film in the history of ever)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgCxCZNkQ9E

The Director, Tarsem Singh, directed REM’s Losing my Religon. Which is my second favorite music video ever. (Next to Garbage’s Push It)

I am probably going to go watch this for the millionth time now.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 24- Cannibal Holocaust

24.

Cannibal Holocaust

If my research is correct, this is the grandfather of all found footage films. Found footage is my favorite sub-genre because it’s rarely done well or effectively. When it is handled correctly it can do exactly what horror was created to do- scare the hell out of you in a way that sticks with you for hours after the movie has ended.

Cannibal Holocaust sticks with you. Probably forever. Edgy is almost too weak of a word for it. When people ask me for movie recommendations I won’t even mention it because I worry they will never speak to me again after seeing it. In fact, if you haven’t seen it, just don’t. You are better off without it.

But regardless, it’s a cult film that plenty of people have seen, especially since the internet has become a part of our everyday life. So I am not so hesitant to admit it’s one of my favorite horror movies because you have probably seen more disturbing things on youtube at this point. I will throw in a disclaimer that animals were killed on screen, and that is not something I am ok with. But this movie was filmed years before I was even born, so nothing I can do about it now.

I first heard about this move back in the early 2000s on horror movie message boards. Even the most seasoned gruff old man horror fans would say it was the worst thing they had ever seen. So naturally I HAD to have it. Also naturally, I couldn’t find anywhere in the Des Moines metro area that would have a copy of it for sale. I think I ended up having to bid for it on ebay.

A few awesome tidbits-
The director was actually charged with murder in Italy because they thought it was a real snuff film. (It isn’t and the charges were dropped)
I once walked in on an old roommate watching my copy of the movie while eating spaghetti and I still count that as one of the most impressive things I have ever seen, I couldn’t even do that.
The score was composed originally for the film, including full orchestras at points. The upbeat nature of some of the songs juxtaposed with the brutality on screen is weird and genius. I am not sure if it was intentional or not, but it adds to the whole bizarre disturbing experience.

31 Favorite Horror Movies: 25- The Others

image

image

25.

The Others

I always prefer the atmosphere over any other aspect of horror. I want to leave the movie feeling haunted by it for days. I get excited when I see a horror movie rated PG-13 because that tends to mean it doesn’t rely on gore and jump scenes. The Others accomplished this. It has a slow burn and it doesn’t disappoint.

I bet you didn’t know the Victorians took pictures of their dead for keep sakes before this movie. I didn’t, and learning this made me incredibly interested in the Victorian death culture. Which is way more healthy than current western culture’s attitude towards it. It’s amazing how while we progressed with other things we hid death away in clean little boxes, out of our homes, out of our minds.

This has nothing to do with this movie, but anyone who is going to die one day should really spend some time on this site http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/

But anyway, The Others made me think about stuff and its creepy so it got a pretty good spot on this list.