Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top 5: Halloween Movies


Wait, it's Thursday already? Shit.

So Halloween is just right around the corner, and of course, a lot of cable channels have been pimping horror movies fests like crazy.
So with that in mind, here's a quick Top 5 list of my favorite horror movies of all time....or at least this week. Whichever works for ya.

5). Alien

This 1979 classic made us all scared to go into outer space if we had to face the same two mouth-having, acid-spitting, face-hugging, chest-bursting, creepy-ass aliens that Ripley and friends had to. Especially since it was the genius designs of artist HR Giger that created such an iconic movie monster look that still endures today.

In addition to all the numerous sequels and prequels(Prometheus anyone?) it spawned, it all gave us a lot of crossover movies with the Predator franchise, and the many sequels from that s well.
I'm sure the franchise will be around long after the original movie-goers and their kids are long gone.

4). Halloween

Well you can't mention scary movies on Halloween without talking about this 1978 indie(yes indie)classic by John Carpenter.
It set the standard that helped spawn the modern slasher-flicks from Jason and Freddie on down the line in the 80's and 90's, as well as a slew of copycats and franchise sequels. Hell it made a star of out then unknown actress Jamie Lee Curtis and the renewal of actor Donald Pleasence.

And who can forget the iconic theme music also created by Carpenter.
The only sour note in the franchise, other than the later sequels in the franchise, would have to be the absolute shit-fest that was Rob Zombie's remake. Good God was it awful! And I went to stoned to go see it!
Otherwise, it remains a horror classic and an essential part of Halloween tradition to this very day.

3). The Shining

This didn't scare me as much as it definitely entertained the hell out of me. If you only watch one Jack Nicholson movie(besides Tim Burton's Batman and One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest) I'd highly advise you to watch this one.
Just his level of acting and how he sells/steals every scene he's in...ooof. Plus he's the master of facial expressions, which also help sell the scene and dialogue.
This movie is of course famous for many reasons, the foremost one being the immortal "Here's Johnny!" quote.

Director Stanley Kubrick really did an awesome job adapting the Stephen King novel, even if King didn't like how the focus was taken off the very real horror of alcoholism, and instead more about a haunted hotel in the mountains.
I say fuck King, because I much prefer this classic version over the one that came out soe years back that fit King's intentions better. Kubrick is King!!!!

2). The Exorcist

Yes, the original, and the one that started the trend that movies like Paranormal Activity and other exorcist movies in general.
It seems relatively tame by comparison nowadays, but when it was first released back in 1973, it wasn't uncommon for some movie-goers to be so scared by what they saw, that they were literally escorted out of the theater courtesy of some EMT's. That's how bad it scared some people. Not to mention the great acting and state of the art special effects for the time.

Few movies can match the iconic scenes of poor little possessed Regan spinning her head around 360 degrees, or fucking herself with a crucifix, or the part where she crawls up the stairs backwards like a demented spider from hell.

It definitely set the bar high for other movies to follow, which they inevitably have. Still, there's only one original Exorcist...and it's still fucking creepy as hell after all these years.

1). House of A 1000 Corpses

Yeah it's not really scary, but the concept is both creepy and funny at the same time. I can't even tell you all the times I've quoted various lines and sayings from the movie. Definitely one of my favorites from Rob Zombie.

This is one movie where I actively rooted for the bad guys to win, and win they spades. Just check out the killer twist ending. If only Rob's Halloween remake was as good as this, I'd still be wanting him to make more movies.

Shit, I'm still waiting for that Nazi Werewolf Women of the SS faux movie that was a trailer that ran during in the middle of the Grindhouse movie double feature some years back.

Plus, and true story, I even dressed up as Captain Spaulding one time while going to Wal-Mart. Should've been drunk or high, but that just shows how much I loved the characters in this movie.

As always, feel free to write in and tell me about which ones did it for you, and what you consider the top horror movies of your all-time.

Have a great weekend guys and gals:)


karl said...

Cool choices, and all favourites of mine too, the kind of films one can watch time and time again even if you know everythings that's gonna happen.
My personal choices [obscure movies btw]
Frontiers - French horror about five criminals who stumble on a family of cannibals whilst escaping.
Welcome To The Jungle - remake of Cannibal Holocaust...four friends go into the jungle in search of Rockefeller's long-lost son.
The Hunt - a businessman goes on a 'games weekend' with his colleagues - who all are hunting real-life victims.
theres another movie [with Sean Astin] but for the life of me I cant recall the title, brilliantly sick though. If I remember it, I'll repost it.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Karl: Huh. Yeah I'd say those are obscure, but then I don't profess to be a horror movie buff. But the plots sounds interesting enough, especially the French film. Hey sometimes different countries handle horror(and other genres) differently than on this side of the pond.

If you are somewhat of a movie buff/historian, there's an ongoing series here on the American Movie Channel(yeah I know you probably don't get it in jolly ol england) that gives a very interesting look at the beginning and history of cinema. Not just from the US, but other countries as well. Very fascinating.

Thanks for stopping by Karl;)

Tiger OA1 said...

Solid list dude. And is it a movie out there that is better than the Exocist? That bitch must be scary.

It would be interesting to see if someone could top your list cause it's sort of superior. The only one I could only maybe add to it is the exocism of Emily Rose. But that's sorta a remake of the original.

You got a tough ass list.

Randomnerd said...

To this day The Exorcism is the only horror movie I can't sit through. At some point I always stand up and leave the room because I get too freaked out to look at it.
I agree with Tiger that the Exorcism of Emily Rose is a great contender. Same as with the Exorcism it's just too...unsettling to watch comfortably.
Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favorites, although it's really not so much scary as just sad. But with wonderful eery special effects and a truly great story. It is subtitled though, which puts off a lot of people.
I also love the old black and white version of The Haunting. What they did with just the architecture of the house, the angle of the lens, and a loud thump on a door is perfect. Definitely more of a psychological horror film.
And then there's Psycho. The mother, *ahem*, of all Hitchcock movies. (Actually my favorite is Rear Window, but that's not horror.) Norman Bates still ranks up there with all of the monsters that live under my bed. I'm sure part of that is that I saw it very young, and it always stuck with me.
A good one that came out recently is The Woman in Black. Which had Harry Potter in it. But it was a decent ghost story, very good acting, and totally appropriate for the 11 year old I have that is obsessed with horror movies. Although she said it wasn't that scary, I blame that on the fact that they watched Sinister afterwards. And that monster was icky sick.
A really decent fake documentary horror type one I've seen is called The Bay. It's not ghosts or anything, but actual horror/sci fi. It's pretty low budget, but better acted than most of those. And very very gross. I know I'll never eat seafood off the east coast again.

Randomnerd said...

Oh, and I recently read the Shining. I can see why Steven King was pissed. While I love the movie and appreciate it for what it is, it definitely butchered the story. They're both better loved if taken individually. I actually liked the book, which is not something I normally say about Steven King. He can't end a book worth crap. But I felt more connected to each of the characters in the book than I ever did in the movie. And it made Jack that much scarier to me.
So yeah, leave about ten years in between watching The Shining and reading the book. Both great. But different entirely. Especially the Jack character.

Randomnerd said...

Oh, and Dale? No Centipede or Centipede 2? I'm shocked. :)

Dan W said...

I grew up on horror vids, mum had a you hire it you sleep with the consequences policy, and horror section as a result is where I ran. I love rob zombies horror. So sadd his comics didn't last the mile.

I like all of them on this list, I'd add Hannibal, the Johnny Depp Nightmare on Elm Street, Omen and The Original Texas Chainsaw as well. Reading this though I now want to hire a whole bunch of cheesy horrors like Puppet Master, Pet Cemetery, and Childs Play and veg. Out on the couch. Whose in?.

Randomnerd said...

Definitely! Can we top it off with Killer Klowns from Outer Space?

Dale Bagwell said...

@Random: Now see I enjoy Rear Window too, as well as The Man Who Knew Everything, North by Northwest, The Birds, and my absolute favorite Hitchcock movie, Vertigo.
I guess that and I'm a big Jimmy Stewart fan as well.

Not a fan of Stephen King, except for The Shining, and It. Oh and his collaboration on Creepshow George Romero. I will hand it to his acting chops playing poor Jordy Verile though. Poor, poor bastard:(

Yeah I'm shocked I didn't think of the Centipede movies either. They didn't scare so much as shock me(and that's saying something)

@Tiger: Glad you liked the list, what about you? What's your go to horror movies?

@Dan: Deal and done sir! I love the cult classic that is Killer Klowns from Outer Space, so first round of drinks is on me;)

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