In honor of Halloween, I thought it apropos to talk about a genre of film I normally don’t give two hoots for – the horror film or “scary movie.” Not that there’s anything wrong with a good spooky flick, it’s just not what floats my particular celluloid boat. See, I have a pretty active imagination, so I’ll see even the tamest scary movie (Blair Witch Project, for example) and get unnerved by every creak and noise I hear in the apartment late at night for weeks on end. It’s just not worth it.
So, anyway, here’s a trip fown the macabre memory lane that is MY TOP 5 SCARIEST MOVIES.
5. Psycho. While some might argue (I would) that it isn’t a horror film but a prime example of Hitchcockian suspense, it is still a perfectly well-executed slasher flick. If you watch it and don’t make double damn sure that bathroom door is locked the next time you take a shower then you aren’t human.
4. The Sixth Sense. Sadly, the big reveal was blown for me mere hours before I went to see this one. I enjoyed it nonetheless but for weeks – no, let’s be honest – years afterward I couldn’t look in the bathroom mirror without fearing I’d see someone who wasn’t really there walk behind me. Oh crap, I just scared myself a little.
3. The Grudge. I didn’t even SEE this film and it made the list. I know the original Japanese movie was supposed to be better, but just the bloody commercial for this one frightened me to my core. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING COMING DOWN THE STAIRS? I DON’T WANT TO KNOW!
2. The Exorcist. Need I say more? Convinced myself that I could handle it at age 12. Wrong! My pal Chris and I stayed up late to watch it on HBO and I’ve regretted that move ever since.
1. Don’t Look Now. The scariest effin’ movie you’ve probably never heard of. But if you profess to be a connoisseur of scary movies, go get it. Rent it, buy it, download it now. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say I (and an entire film class) was so freaked out by this thing that I vowed never to watch it again despite the fact that it was and is an excellent film.
Honorable Mention: Shriek Of The Mutilated. The WORST scary movie. Saw it on TV one Saturday afternoon when I was a kid and, even then, I could tell it was atrociously bad. IMDB describes it as: “A group of college students are led by their professor into the mountains in search of the Yeti. The students start to be killed off one by one.” I’ll save you the time by [spoiler!] revealing that it’s a cannibal cult that’s behind it all and the final scene is one of the kids being caught by the cannibals as her boyfriend is wheeled in on a tray, all trussed up. The head cannibal sharpens his carving knives and drolly asks, “White meat or dark?” No, not even Joel and the ‘Bots could have saved this one.