Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Horror-tober!

October is all about Halloween and that means it's horror movie month. Everyone is doing horror festivals all month and I'm enjoying it all. I've already mentioned a couple of obscure favorites (LINK) which you should catch if they happen to come on -- led by Pontypool and Prince of Darkness in particular -- but why don't you tell us what to watch out for? What are some of your favorite horror films. . . bonus points for obscure horror films.

85 comments:

ScottDS said...

I was just talking to someone at school about this. Horror has never been my thing. Sure, I like The Omen, Poltergeist, The Shining, and 3/4 of the Alien films...

...but I have almost no interest in seeing any of the Jason/Freddy/Michael Myers movies, let alone any of today's torture porn flicks. I don't get off on that sort of thing and, while it varies from movie to movie, I don't have a high tolerance for gore. Oddly, I don't have a problem with CGI bugs lopping off heads in Starship Troopers, but a hapless teenage girl getting sliced and diced? No thanks. :-)

Tennessee Jed said...

It is a stretch as a Halloween movie, but "Little Shop of Horrors." My favorite all time Halloween movie was Walt Disney's animated version of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I was probably about 6 or so when I first saw that and the headless horseman scared the crap out of me. Plus, you have the peerless Bing Crosby sining "who's that walking down the lane? . . . It's Ichabod . . . Ichabod Crane!"

Individualist said...

My favortie Horror Movie of all time is Demaon Knight the original tales from the crypt movie.

rlaWTX said...

OH! That's why the debates are on this month!!! So much TOTUS def qualifies as horror!!

Otherwise, I don't like horror movies much. I can't take the stress or the gore. Besides, I try awfully hard to ignore 10/31 - at least for the past 20 years; birthdays are overrated.

tryanmax said...

Jed, nice call on Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!

I don't know if it's horror or just a mindf**k, but I am endlessly fascinated by Roman Polanski's The Tenant. It's nearly indecipherable, I'm not even sure if it constitutes a proper narrative, but basically it's about a guy (Polanski) who moves into an apartment where the previous tenant had committed suicide by jumping out the window. The whole film is about him becoming obsessed with the former tenant and going insane. Near the end, he himself jumps out the window and, having survived the fall, drags himself up to his apartment for a second attempt. That's probably the scene that keeps me coming back. It's very "1970s," so maybe there is no logical explanation for this thing.

A lot comes to mind, so I'll pop in later with some more offerings.

BIG MO said...

My favorite scary movie? Showgirls (Bonus points if you get the reference).

BIG MO said...

I’m actually not much of a horror fan – at least, none of the splatter/torture porn from today, except for some zombie flicks. Horror is often better by what is NOT seen. That’s partly what makes the original Alien so brilliant. We never get a full-on look at the creature until the end. Same with Jaws.

K said...

Any thing with Vincent Price in it. "Theater of Blood" being a particular fav. Also, does "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" qualify as a horror movie? As you can see, I like a dollop of humor in my horror.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I think you're looking at horror the wrong way. You're defining horror as slasher films, but that's only a part of horror. There is so much more to horror than that, and you mention some of the better ones.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I really enjoy Little Shop of Horrors. I love the Steven Martin song -- "because I'm a dentist...." :)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I don't remember that one off the top of my head.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, LOL! Happy pre-birthday! :)

I love this time of year. I love all the horror films. But you are right, this is absolutely the right time to hold an election!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I have to admit that I've never seen that one. I'll have to look for it.

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, Showgirls! LOL!

I agree completely that what is not shown is always more important than what is shown and I'm actually making that point in a review of Alien on Friday. So stay tuned! :)

AndrewPrice said...

K, I would think Killer Klowns counts... sort of. I definitely enjoy a sense of humor in some horror - not in the more serious stuff, but definitely in a lot of it.

Vincent Price was once the absolute master of horror. It's too bad they don't really show his movies much anymore.

PikeBishop said...

Believe it or not I thought the original "Urban Legend" was a pretty decent little flick, touching on stuff that we have all "heard from someone, who knew someone, who actually experienced......" A decently scripted story, believable cast and some "didn't see that coming" twists and surprsies.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I thought that was pretty good as well. I think a lot of the horror films of that era (eg. Scream, Final Destination, Urban Legend, I Know What You Did, etc.) really are solid horror films that have been unfairly dismissed because they starred teens.

PikeBishop said...

Andrew: I agree with you on Scream, the original as well, a brilliantly executed twist on the horror genre and its myriad cliches without being an "Airplane-like" spoof.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, Agreed, it was fascinating that they stood so close to the parody line but never quite crossed it, and the result was an excellent film. I'm not thrilled with the sequels or remakes, but the original was quite good.

There are several really inventive and intelligent films from that period. Sadly, horror has since taken a step backwards into slasher flicks and torture porn. But I think that's changing again in the past couple years with more "gloomy" horror suddenly being the rage.

BIG MO said...

There are actually two relatively modern horror films I really like other than Alien and the original Scream: The Thing and the 1970s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The ending of the latter film is one of the creepiest ever, with Donald Sutherland pointing to the lone survivor of the core cast (I forget her name) and letting out the unholy unearthly scream.

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, Which "The Thing"? There are technically three versions now. Do you mean the 1980s version?

tryanmax said...

PikeBishop, Andrew, I second Urban Legend and all the rest. Especially Scream for turning the slasher genre on its ear (however briefly). I was lucky enough to be in high school when all of those came out, which is probably why I have very high expectations for horror films.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I'll lend you my copy the next time you come by. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

tryamax, That was a good period actually for smartly written horror. Like I said, the only reason it gets no respect is that it was aimed at teens.

LOL! Sure, the next time I drop by.

Anthony said...

I prefer reading horror stories to watching horror movies, but in the realm of film, I'm a huge fan of The Sixth Sense, Hellraiser (just the original), The Thing and The Others.

I agree with Individualist that Demon Knight was fun to watch.

EricP said...

Dead & Breakfast, a silly zombie flick in the vein of Dead/Alive. Decent cast, including Diedrich Bader, Portia DeRossi, Jeremy Sisto, Ever Carradine, Erik Palladino, and the best rappin’ Jewish cowboy in the land (and, admittedly, a friend of mine), Zach Selwyn, who also serves as the movie’s troubadour.

Love the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, too, Jed. Spooked by it at roughly the same age you were.

Original Fright Night and Child's Play also two personal faves. Thank you, Tom Holland!

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, I'd never paid attention enough to catch Tom Holland's name until recently, but he really did a lot in the world of horror! I like the original Fright Night and Child's Play a lot.

On Sleepy Hollow, I actually like the Johnny Depp version a good deal.

I have not seen Dead & Breakfast. A rapping Jewish Cowboy, huh? LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I used to read a lot of horror, but I haven't found much that I've liked in a long time now. I think the field is too saturated.

Those are some excellent films! I love The Others and The Sixth Sense is easily on my top ten list.

BevfromNYC said...

I love all the old classic horror films with Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, the Mummy and anything Vincent Price did. And those '60's horror films - What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Psycho, Rosemary's Baby etc.

I'm not so much into blood and gore kind of horror films and The Exorcist STILL keeps me up at night.

Critch said...

The Exorcist is the still the best and creepiest....

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and Critch, The Exorcist fascinates me to no end. That is truly an inspired film. Everything about it is perfect and it really is a horrifying thought.

Interestingly, it hasn't lost any of its power either, even though it's been copied a thousand times by now.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, aren't you disappointed that I couldn't work in GWTW?

tryanmax said...

Just the runtime on GWTW scares me. *bada-bing*

Individualist said...

DemonKnight was the first Tales from the Crypt movie. It was much better than Bordello of Blood.

IT is about a guy being chased by the Demon Knight who has intrusted a key the demon's need. the key is filled with blood originally from Christ and then refilled from the theives entrusted with the key. Whoever is the guardian of it must be a theif as in the theif on the cross with the Lord.

Each guardian will eventually be caught by the Demon Knight chasing him along with seven others who will be tempted and killed. One a theif will prove themself to be good and will be chosen as a guardian to replace the original who will die.

If the demons get the key or the theif does not deny the temptation then the demons get all the keys and the world goes back to what it was before God looked out into the Void in genises.

Although it uses religious inspiration it is not prosylitizing. Great movie imho.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, LOL! A little if I'm telling the truth. :)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I thought you were going to complain about the horrific violence? ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I'm wondering if I ever saw that because it doesn't ring any bells? I did see Bordello of Blood, but this doesn't sound familiar?

T-Rav said...

My number one, The Shining, The Thing, Sleepy Hollow (Johnny Depp version), Scream....I'll think of some more later.

On the more obscure front, I think Slither is pretty good, and also Dead Silence, which is about an evil ventriloquist dummy....I think. I only watched about 10-15 minutes of it last night, and then I turned it off, because if you think I'm going to watch a movie about a possessed doll at 1:30 a.m. right before I'm going to sleep, you've got another thing coming.

T-Rav said...

Bev, you could count the burning of Atlanta as scary, maybe. I'm sure it was for the inhabitants.

See? GWTW obviously fits all genres!

AndrewPrice said...

I'm still struggling with the idea of GWTW being sci-fi.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Good choices! I love The Shining! And I like all of Carpenter's stuff, even the crappy ones.

tryanmax said...

Ashley Wilkes is an alien. (It's in the subtext. Watch closely.)

-----

Some obscure favorites of mine:

Tamara (2005), a quasi-prototype of Jennifer's Body, it's predictable popcorn fare--unpopular HS girl dabbles in the occult, gets murdered by her classmates, and comes back as a smokin' hot undead agent of revenge--but it pretty much gets everything right.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010), a horror parody that puts a twist on the "redneck-psychopath-in-the-woods" genre. Here, the rednecks are affable guys who just want to spend the weekend fixing up the old cabin they just bought. The teenagers (from the city) summarily decide that the two are psycho hillbilly killers and haplessly begin offing themselves in the panic. Tucker and Dale are understandably mortified. The moral of the story is pretty obvious, but it isn't ham-fisted. (Appologies to Andrew, this one is set in West Bygod Virginia.)

Triangle (2009), Thanks, Andrew!

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008), a futuristic dystopian disease epidemic horror musical? you say. Yes, I reply. *pop* Your head explodes. *blurp* (That was a piece of your brain falling off the ceiling.) In the future, when all of your organs fail (because they will) GeneCo will sell you new ones. Organs are expensive, so you take out a loan. You miss a payment. Along comes the repo man. There's a new twist on predatory lending! (Sorry, your head can't explode twice.)

Nosferatu (1979), a remake of the famous 1922 silent film of the same name which illicitly adapted Bram Stoker's novel. This version slows the pace quite a bit, making it a more brooding film. Cinamatically, this film is gorgeous, a must see.

Dracula 2000 (2000) may not be so obscure, but it breaks the rule that any movie released in or prior to the year 2000 containing the number 2000 in the title sucks. I'm not raising it to classic status, but this one is surprisingly good.

T-Rav said...

I think I've mentioned it before, but Dead Set is pretty good. It's a British mini-series from '08 about the set of their version of Big Brother that gets overrun in the zombie apocalypse. I just watched it last weekend on YouTube.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, You're welcome on Triangle! That's one everyone should see. It really is an amazing movie. I wish more people had seen it.

I liked Tucker and Dale vs. Evil a lot, even though it was set in West Virginia. Blech.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I've never heard of that! LOL!

BevfromNYC said...

Okay...breaking news...the FBI just thwarted an truck bomb attack at the Federal Reserve Building...one block from where I work. This is getting tiresome.

BIG MO said...

Andrew (back at 2:14 p.m.) - yep, the 1980s "The Thing" w/Kurt Russell.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Wow! I'm glad nothing happened. And I'm even more glad that you can see this as "tiresome" rather than being panicked by it! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Big MO, That's the one I like too. That's a fantastic film!

Backthrow said...

Time for another patented Backthrow list, lol!

FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932)
THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1933)
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER (1941)
CAT PEOPLE (1942)
THE LEOPARD MAN (1943)
THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1946)
HOUSE OF WAX (1953)
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956)
CURSE OF THE DEMON (1957)
FIEND WITHOUT A FACE (1958)
THE H-MAN (1968)
HORROR OF DRACULA (1958)
BLACK SUNDAY (1960)
BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960)
HORROR HOTEL (1960)
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960)
HOUSE OF MYSTERY (1961)
THE INNOCENTS (1961)
THE PIT & THE PENDULUM (1961)
BURN, WITCH, BURN (1962, aka NIGHT OF THE EAGLE)
THE HAUNTING (1963)
BLACK SABBATH (1963)
THE HAUNTED PALACE (1963)
CASTLE OF BLOOD (1964)
THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967)
THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968, aka THE DEVIL'S BRIDE)
GOKE, BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL (1968)
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)
AND SOON THE DARKNESS (1970)
THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971)
DUEL (1971)
THE NIGHT STALKER (1971)
TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1971)
ASYLUM (1972)
BARON BLOOD (1972)
HORROR EXPRESS (1972)
TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1972)
THE EXORCIST (1973)
THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973)
THEATRE OF BLOOD (1973)
TRILOGY OF TERROR (1975)
CARRIE (1978)
DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)
THE FURY (1978)
HALLOWEEN (1978)
ALIEN (979)
THE CHANGELING (1979)
THE SHINING (1980)
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
POLTERGEIST (1982)
THE SENDER (1982)
THE THING (1982)
MR. VAMPIRE (1985)
A CHINESE GHOST STORY (1987)
EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN (1987)
THE GATE (1987)
NEAR DARK (1987)
EXORCIST III (1990)
DEAD ALIVE (1992)
ARMY OF DARKNESS (1993)
STIR OF ECHOES (1999)
FRAILTY (2001)
JOY RIDE (2001)
THE OTHERS (2001)

AndrewPrice said...

Excellent list Backthrow! :) I enjoy a great many of those very much.

Individualist said...

Andrew

Don't judge this movie based on Bordello of Blood.

This one was much better

tryanmax said...

Indie, I missed your comment on Demon Knight earlier. I'm sold.

A few others that I like are the recent remakes of the big classics: Dracula (1992),Frankenstein (1994), and The Wolfman (2010).

Another favorite from when I was a kid is Arachnophobia. I can't make it though a single Halloween without watching Young Frankenstein. Also, I saw Frankenweenie last week. Maybe not Burton's best work, but it would be well received by anyone else.

AndrewPrice said...

Do you know film disappointed me, speaking of The Wolfman? Wolf with Jack Nicholson. I had a lot of hopes for that film and it turned to be just dull.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I'll check it out. I thought I had seen it, but it really doesn't ring any bells, so I will look for it!

tryanmax said...

I've never seen Wolf, but your mention of Nicholson reminded me of The Witches of Eastwick. That's been a favorite of mine since I surreptitiously watched it from the hallway when my parents thought I was asleep in bed.

ScottDS said...

^Maybe I need to see it again but I watched The Witches of Eastwick for the first time a couple years ago and I didn't like it at all. Maybe next time... :-)

Andrew -

Yeah, there is more to horror than slashers and that just shows my ignorance on the subject.

The Shining came up again in this thread, as it often does in these parts. I just watched it again recently with a friend and, man, it hasn't lost its power. The camerawork, the music... it says so much with so little. And I know we've discussed the various BS theories about the film and now there's even a documentary on the subject, titled Room 237.

Speaking of music, if you want a good fright, pull up some of the classical pieces on YouTube - spooky stuff, and a testament to the power a music editor holds over a film, even though they were following Kubrick's instructions.

I recently picked up (for a bargain!) two CDs of Wendy Carlos' unused music for the film - some of it works, some of it is completely wrong. The spooky tick-tock music used in the trailer? That's on one of the CDs, too. Composers have their work trashed all the time but I think Kubrick made the right call.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I read the book actually, though I don't know why. I've never made it through the whole movie.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, So much has been written about The Shining and most of it is worthless. I think ultimately that Kubrick just teased people, just like he did with 2001. He threw out a lot of symbols that people could latch onto, but none of them actually meant anything.

T-Rav said...

I gave up on those theories when someone said the movie was Kubrick's way of letting people know that he was responsible for faking the moon landings. What-ev-er.

T-Rav said...

Apropos of nothing, but I just watched a bit of the new season of "American Horror Story" on FX (I didn't watch any of the first one). This is not something I usually notice, but the cinematography was all over the place. It was Andrew's complaint about Armageddon--that the camera never stays on one thing longer than two seconds--dialed up to 11.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, The problem I have is that none of the theories add up, so I think they're all just meant to give people something to think they are on to something when there really isn't anything going on.

I haven't seen the new "American Horror Story," but the first season was really good if I remember correctly.

wahsatchmo said...

Backthrow: beautiful list! Great stuff!

I'll throw out one additional Japanese horror, but not Ringu because it wasn't that good.

Audition. It's incredibly slow, but if you watch about the first 25 minutes and the last 35, you'll go "uuugggh".

wahsatchmo said...

And because it's that time of year, the best scene of The Descent.

Retro Hound said...

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.

Critch said...

The Unholy and Near Dark are both excellent films also.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, I love Ringu. I also like the Japanese (original) version of The Grudge.

AndrewPrice said...

Retrohound, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken... LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I have yet to see Near Dark, but The Unholy was quite good. :)

KMKhaine said...

Good list,
A couple of my all time favs
Exorcist 3 (Amazing! and completely overlooked due to E2 stinking)

The Church wasn't all bad and kinda creepy

How can you not mention Serpent and the Rainbow
I loved Event Horizon - actually made me jump a time or two

Devils Advocate may be the best K Reeves movie ever.

AndrewPrice said...

KMKhaine, Welcome! :)

Excellent additions! Devil's Advocate is one of those that I watch whenever it's on. And I've really come to appreciate Exorcist 3.

I saw The Serpent and the Rainbow for the first time a couple years ago and I was really impressed. That is a solid, creepy film that keeps you guessing for a long time. I absolutely recommend that one!

KMKhaine said...

I've been reading randomly since the Trek conservatism article and just figured I'd chime in finally.
As I look at my horror section I am reminded of
Fallen (Denzel, good show)
and
Angel Heart, if you havent seen Angel Heart I reccommend it. Kinda Jacobs Ladder - ish...

AndrewPrice said...

Then thanks for commenting. :)

Angel Heart was a strange movie. It was interesting and I still think about it, but I'm not 100% sure I enjoyed it. I guess that's a sign of a good movie though, that you think about it years later?

KMKhaine said...

It kinda made me feel dirty - much like 8mm
I felt like I needed to wash my soul after 8mm

AndrewPrice said...

That's a good way to put it, you kind of feel dirty after watching it. LOL!

Mycroft said...

Don't forget Die Hard!
It's a horror movie: Karl comes back from the dead.
It's a Christmas movie: Christmas party, duh.
It's a cop movie, a buddy movie, an action movie, a thriller, a romance about an estranged marriage, a heist picture, a war movie (just like Vietnam!)... it hits just about every genre except kid's movie.
It even covers SF: computer hacking and laser drill.

AndrewPrice said...

Mycroft, So it's the "everything" film. LOL! Who knew?

Critch said...

Is Alien considered horror or sci-fi? Hitchcock would have been proud of the suspense in that movie.

Mycroft said...

A number of great movies have been suggested, especially Descent, Tucker & Dale vs Evil, Pontypool and Dead Set.

I would also suggest:
The Woman in Black
Manhunter
Silence of the Lambs
Dark City
Season of the Witch (Nicolas Cage)
Return of the Living Dead (only the first one)
Wasting Away (aka Aaah! Zombies!!)
Shock Waves
Bubba Ho-tep
Fido
The Horsemen
Troll Hunter
Behind the Mask

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, As you will see in tomorrow's review, it is considered both.

AndrewPrice said...

Mycroft, Dark City is one of my favorite films.

Aaah Zombies!! was really funny too.

PikeBishop said...

As far as the original "The Shining" goes, I hate that movie because of Jack Nicholson. As a big fan of the book, I was so disappointed. In the book you really get to know Jack Torrance and his fight against alcohol and his slow decent into madness. You feel for the guy, you cheer for him.

LANGUAGE WARNING

Nicholson just made me hate him. Nicholson was just an asshole the entire film.........no scratch that he was a fucking asshole, no wait, he was the biggest mother fucking asshole in movie history.

I could not wait for him to die!

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, That would be a problem in terms of liking the movie! LOL!

I agree though, the book is much, much better -- especially because you never know if it's real or in his mind.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Silent Rage with Chuck Norris and the always great Ron Silver (sadly, he passed away a few years ago).
Oh, and the always funny Stephen Furst.

Not strictly horror though, since, obviously there's martial arts and even some scifi.

Brian Libby kills it as the psychotic bad guy.
Really, he does an amazing job without appearing cartoonish (which is how most insane homicidal maniacs are often portrayed, unfortunately).

I saw this film again, recently, and it ages well, IMO.
Excellent halloween viewing! Or any other time of the year.

KMKhaine said...

I really enjoyed the Directors Cut of Dark City. Made for a much better movie. Less "Spoon feeding" and let you figure it out.
To me it would be like a narrative at the beginning of Highlander or Matrix...

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