Thursday, October 31, 2013

13 Days of Halloween: Movies

The Humor of it All: 

I am not a fan of scary movies. Well to be honest I really, really don’t like watching them. I know I can’t be the only one out there, so I compiled a list of some of the more funny Halloween movies out there. Some are classics, some are cult classics and some are just classically bad….
Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein - Two hapless freight handlers find themselves encountering Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man.
Personally I have never seen this one, but everyone instantly named this one as a classic must see Halloween movie.
Shaun of the Dead - A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back
his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.
With the love of all things zombie out there how can you go wrong with this one. Definitely classified as cult classic.

Ernest Scared Stupid - After a misunderstanding, Ernest P. Worrell unleashes an evil troll on Halloween.
I grew up watching the Ernest movies. Definitely another cult classic, but it really is worth watching.

The Monster Squad - Dracula is alive. In fact, he plans to rule the world and that is why he seeks the help of other legendary monsters. However, a bunch of kids regarded by their peers as losers uncover the devious plan and prepare for a counter strike.

This is another favorite of mine from when I was a kid. To me it was always a head of it’s time. A classic cult movie!

Ghostbusters - Three unemployed parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

How can you have a funny Halloween movie list without this one. Everyone knows their catchphrase, everyone knows this is one that you just can’t help but watch when it comes on tv. Definitely a classic

Beetlejuice – A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a "bio-exorcist" in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house. It’s a Tim Burton movie so right there in my book it’s a classic. You don’t believe me just think of the séance scene. Enough said!

High Spirits - When Peter Plunkett's Irish castle turned hotel is about to be repossesed, he decides to spice up the attraction a bit for the 'Yanks' by having his staff pretend to haunt the castle. The trouble begins when a busload of American tourists arrive - along with some real ghosts. Among the tourists are married couple Jack and Sharon. Sharon's father holds the mortgage on Castle Plunkett, so she's hoping to debunk the ghosts. Jack, on the other hand, after meeting pretty ghost Mary, is very eager to believe. Can there be love between a human and ghost? Jack and Mary are going to try and find out.

There is just something about this movie that I love. It’s not a classic Halloween movie, but I promise you will enjoy it and the ghosts and pranks

The Horror of it All: 
What makes a scary movie, well… scary? Is it the blood? The gore? No, of course not. That stuff is all relative. As far as I’m concerned a good scary movie has to have at least 2 out of these four characteristics.

Does it change your behavior afterwards? Are you suddenly afraid of the dark? Worried you’ll be kidnapped by cannibals and become dinner next time you go on a road trip with your friends?
Is it nightmare inducing? Feel the sudden need to sleep with the lights on?
The movie’s been over for over 20 minutes. Is your heart still racing?
The movie’s over and your friends are about to call it a night. Are you fabricating reasons to get them to linger longer so you won’t be alone?

Here’s my list of the scariest Halloween movies in no particular order. What do you think? Did we miss one of your favorites?

The Amityville Horror (1979)
Memorable quote: “Get out - get out!”
Scare factor: This movie uses a staple of effective scares: based on “true events.” Whether or not you believe the Lutz family’s account of what happened in the Long Island manse, it's hard not to jump at the bumps in the night. The lesson here: Never move into a house where a murder occurred. We know, seems like common sense.

The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Memorable quote: “She’s been feeding that thing between the walls again.”
Scare factor: If, for some reason, you have ever been inclined to burglarize someone’s house, this movie should serve as a proper deterrent. While there are a few light moments in this Wes Craven classic, the scares still satisfy. An insane couple and a seemingly inescapable house drive the thrills. The movie also features the effective use of a “gimp suit” a la "Pulp Fiction."
Friday the 13th (1980)
Memorable quote: “Look what you did to him -- look what you did to him!”
Scare factor: It may be a cliched setup now, but this movie can still provide a hefty dose of terror. And don’t blame the original for the pile of mediocre-to-awful sequels that followed. There are real scares here, even if they take a bit to materialize. And try not thinking of this movie if you’re ever alone, floating in a canoe, in the middle of a lake.

Saw (2004)
Memorable quote: “Live or die, make your choice. “
Scare factor: Before this movie franchise became a sad parody of itself, it brought legitimate shock and terror to a new era, giving birth to a sub-genre in the process. As unsettling as the predicaments of the characters are, it forces each viewer to answer the question: What horrible things could I withstand doing in order to save my life?

The Fog (2002)
Memorable quote: “Mr. Machen: 11:55, almost midnight. Enough time for one more story. One more story before 12:00, just to keep us warm. In five minutes, it will be the 21st of April. One hundred years ago on the 21st of April, out in the waters around Spivey Point, a small clipper ship drew toward land. Suddenly, out of the night, the fog rolled in...”
Scare factor: A supernaturally glowing fog appears every night at the same time, sweeping across the sea towards the small seaside town of Antonio Bay. There is something within that fog, beings seeking revenge for the treachery that caused their untimely deaths 100 years ago, and no one is safe from them.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Memorable quote: “Hit ’er, grandpa, hit ’er.”
Scare factor: Frankly, there’s not much to not be scared about in this movie. Even before the bodies hit the meat hooks, the movie is simply unnerving. Once Leatherface makes his entrance, get ready for a full hour of psychological terror. If you ever complained about your in-laws, watch this movie and thank your lucky stars.
Halloween (1978)
Memorable quote: “I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil.”
Scare factor: It isn’t just that Michael Myers is a homicidal maniac. He’s a homicidal maniac who wears a mask that carries an expression of pure blankness, as if killing is boring. This film set the standard for all supernatural serial killer films to follow. And it stars a very young Jamie Lee Curtis.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Memorable quote: “Mister, will you play with us?“
Scare factor: This remake of the horror classic actually packs in a few more scares — and a lot more gore. It doesn’t hurt that the makeup department spared no expense to make the bad guys as revolting as possible (no offense to Michael Berryman). And there are just enough disturbing scenes to make you never, ever look for off-the-highway shortcuts when traveling through the deserts of the western United States.

Stephen Kings’ IT (1990)
Memorable quote: Pennywise: “ They float, they all float... and when you're down here with me, you'll float too...”
Scare Factor: Master of things that go bump in the night, Stephen King created a character designed to inspire nightmares. I’m sure that King’s Pennywise has instilled a deep, life long fear of clowns in more than one person.

The Shining (1980)
Memorable quote (three-way tie): 
“Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!”
“Redrum! Redrum!”
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Scare factor: From your little boy seeing horrifying visions to your well-adjusted husband slowly descending into madness and becoming a homicidal maniac, there’s plenty to frighten you in this classic, another Stephen King-inspired thriller.

The Actors: 

One of the things I love about Halloween are the classic scary movies. These movies prove you don't need a lot of gore to scare people.

I was going to list my favorite classic movies but as I was writing this I started thinking it was more of the actors who starred in these movies that made you stand out.

Actors like Bela Lugosi who starred in the original Dracula and a lot of the sequels was never really able to get past this character. 

Same thing could be said for Boris Karloff and his portrayal as the Monster in the classic movie Frankenstein. He went on to reprise this character over the years.  Like Mr Lugosi, Boris Karloff will be forever remembered as the Monster.

Whenever I think of classic scary movie actors no list is complete without mentioning Vincent Price. There was just something about the mans voice that could send shivers down your spine. He starred in many of the classic horror movies from his first movie The House of Wax to The Fly you could always count on Vincent Price for a scary good time. 

Another favorite when I was growing up was and I admit still watch them whenever I get in the mood are the old Godzilla movies. The ones made in the 1950s/1960s. All of them with the original starring Raymond Burr but all the sequels. I just love the familiar roar of the firebreathing monster.

1 comment:

  1. I saw Hills Have Eyes and 2 and those were great. I'm a huge scary movie fan and admit I love em all!