Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spooky Movies, the Reason for the Season.

Scary movies are the reason for the season, well not really, but they are a good way to help get into the spooky mood needed to scare the neighbor kids when they come begging for candy.

In the spirit of the season, I've compiled a list of the 10 best movies to scare you and your friends silly. Beware the creepy crawlies that might go bump in the night after watching these horrific horror flicks.

10. “Hellraiser” (1987). Written and directed by Clive Barker, in this film an unfaithful bride encounters a zombie version of her dead lover, and decides to help him harvest blood so that he can rise from the dead. The flick spawned eight sequels, which all suffer from the law of diminishing returns, but the first one remains one of the best horror films ever made.

9. “In The Mouth of Madness” (1994). A Cthulhu inspired chiller, directed by John Carpenter. Searching for an elusive horror author, John Trent (Sam Neill) discovers he may have bitten off more than he could chew when arriving at Hobb's End. The last of thematic apocalypse trilogy, a film that requires a sharp focus as it takes you on a ride to the darker recesses of the mind.

8. “Drag Me To Hell” (2009). Directed by Sam Raimi, written by Sam and his brother, Ivan Raimi. The Raimis wrote this film before Sam began work on the Spider-Man franchise, but didn't get around to making it until a few years after. Fans of the Raimis’ horror work won't be disappointed. This one is about a family that hires a medium to help their son who claims to keep seeing and hearing monsters. During the seance, an unknown force bursts out and drags the boy into the ground, flash forward 30 years and a woman is seen being cursed after she slighted an old lady, by the end of the film more than just the boy has been dragged through the Earth straight to the fiery depths below.

7. “Suspiria” (1977). Italian horror master Daria Argento makes his first appearance on the list with a classic scary movie. The film follows an American ballet dancer as she moves to Germany and discovers that her dance school is led by a coven of witches.

6. “The Evil Dead Trilogy” (1981, '87, '92). All three written and directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell. The first movie in this trilogy launched the careers of a lot of “B” actors, as well as Raimi.

Filmed right here in Michigan while Raimi was attending Michigan State University, this may be the only film in history that includes interspecies rape, where the rapist is a tree.

“Evil Dead 2” is in essence a bigger budget remake with some slight recasting to give some roles to real actors and not just friends willing to work cheap. The third film in the series, is where the franchise finally comes into its own, when the main character, Ash, decides to take down the entire forces of evil with nothing but his boomstick.

5. “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974). This film is where the modern slasher flick evolved from, not to mention several sequels and a remake. Written and directed by Tobe Hooper, the flick was marketed as based on a true story. While the killer, Leatherface, was in fact based on Ed Gein, the story itself is completely fictional.

4. “The Thing” (1982). The first film in the unofficial apocalypse trilogy from John Carpenter is in many ways his masterpiece. The Thing is an extra terrestrial parasite that can change its shape and mimic other life forms. Nearly 30 years later, a prequel, also titled “The Thing,” is in theaters now.

3. B. “A Nightmare On Elm Street” (1984). This film marked the first big screen appearance of Johnny Depp, though he dies in the opening scenes. Written and directed by Wes Craven, who is a true master of horror and is at his best working on this series. The film’s antagonist is the horrifying Freddy Krueger who went on to give children nightmares through eight sequels, a TV series and a remake of the original in 2010.

3. A. “Friday the 13th” (1980). You can't deny that these two film series are linked forever, and not just because one of the sequels in each series is called Freddy vs. Jason and is a crossover of the two series’ antagonists as they battle each other. Jason Voorhies is the main villain of this series as he seeks revenge on children and camp counselors from Camp Crystal Lake, where he drowned as a child. This series spans 11 films, plus a remake released in 2009.

2. “Halloween” (1978). How could I make a top 10 Halloween films list and leave off a film titled “Halloween?” Well, I couldn't. John Carpenter checks in for the third time on the list here, though this one isn't a part of the same trilogy that the other two entries were. Michael Meyers is the series’ antagonist here as a mental patient who murdered his teen-age sister when he was 6 years old. Fifteen years later he escapes the sanitarium and starts off on another killing spree. This series spans eight films in the original run, plus a remake that also had a sequel.

1. “The Shining” (1980). Based on a Stephen King novel and directed by Stanley Kubrick, this film is either loved or hated, not much middle ground from the fan base of either man, or of movies in general. There may not be a horror film that has had a bigger impact on pop culture throughout the years.


  1. So, what would you say is your fave type of supernatural being and, on a slightly different topic, your fave human antagonist in a thriller/horror?

  2. hmmm, that's a good one.... Maybe even a good topic for another blog... I'd have to say the shapeshifter though, I mean because they can at least mimic other beings if need be.

    Antagonists would have to be the scientist that keeps trying to 'fix' things after they go terribly wrong.


  3. Hmmm, it used to be vampires, until they started being portrayed as "misunderstood immortals" (Whedon's vampires are still my favourite types), but I do want to see more of black shucks and succubi in fiction.

    Human horror, probably our good doctor Lecter. Though I do want the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack to come back, I wonder if Supernatural has covered that already.