Tuesday, 20 October 2009

My Top 5 Scariest Films for Halloween

So Halloween's coming up and I'm actually going to be at someone's birthday party rather than at home watching scary films and stuffing my face with sweets meant for the trick-or-treaters.

The theme of the party is 'dead celebrities' and, while I haven't decided who I'll go as yet (any ideas?), I thought I'd get myself more in the Halloween-y mood and list the top five films that scared me the most. :)

5) The Exoricst (1973)

I can't imagine anyone would discredit me for having this on the list. Regardless of what my generation and younger think of the "old-fashioned" special effects in this film (GTFO!), this is a scary film. Unlike other ignorant souls, I can appreciate a film for what it is and how it was regarded when it was released.

People were having fits and throwing up at screenings of this thing. How can you not find it scary?

I mean, a girl is possessed. Need I say more?

But this is on my personal scare list because this is one of the films that stayed with me after I watched it and that's what makes it frightening. Whenever I went to bed I couldn't shake the image of Regan MacNeil on her bed. That possessed voice haunted me and still does. She's a scary MoFo.

4) Candyman (1992)

So ... how many people avoided looking in the mirror after this one? I sure did. This film makes number 4 because I still can't stand in the bathroom, brushing my teeth in the mirror, without trembling slightly. When a film affects you like that, you know it's done its job.

Not only is Tony Todd the most frightening man in cinema but that rusty hook and the choir-sung theme music makes every moment of this film that much scarier than most. Todd's baritone voice is made even deeper in this and I will never be able to get that haunting "Heee-leeeennn" call in the carpark out of my head.

I do have to say, though, that the last time I watched this I saw it from a completely different angle. The love story that's underneath it is terribly romantic and, kind of like the way I was with vampires (before the unspoken rule was broken), I can't help but swoon now.

3) Salem's Lot (1979)

What do you know? I managed to find a picture of the scene that made me switch this film off. That's right. Regardless of the fact that I've read the book by Stephen King, a 14-year-old me sat down with her father to watch this and I had to ask that it be turned off.

I haven't returned to it since and have no intentions to. I couldn't watch it through the first time, I can't imagine managing it a second time.

Look at that image. Just look at it.

That is a little boy who was buried that day (because he's dead). Now it's the middle of the night and he's floating around outside (yeah, he's floating in the air!) the window while scratching on the glass!

Like Candyman with the mirrors, this film affected me to the extent that I still find it really difficult to look out a bedroom window in the middle of the night. Would you want to see that?

2) An American Werewolf in London (1981)

As much as I love vampires, werewolves have always scared me. I mean, really scared me. Vampires are too prim and proper and have much too much vanity to be that scary. Werewolves on the other hand? If one catches sight of you, there ain't no way you're escaping.

There's something so frightening about a creature that wipes away every trace of human thinking and just becomes a beast.

I think films have affected me a lot more than I should have let them. I've already mentioned about Candyman and Salem's Lot. The mythical creature that is the werewolf affects me to the extent that I really don't like going outside when there's a full moon. And I mean, really don't like it. I don't want to take the chance that ... you know. (Yes, I know, I'm an idiot.)

If this film taught me anything it was that both villagers and city folk can be hunted by a werewolf. No-one is safe. The scariest scene is that poor guy on the tube. He's underground, on his own in the middle of the night, and hears a growl. Next thing you know he's running through those endless tunnels trying to find a way up. Really scary stuff.

If I could have one wish it's that Hollywood drops its plans to remake this. There's no need. The groundbreaking transformation scene is still amazing to this day - you can't do anything to make the special effects seem all the more awesome.

But, yeah. Number 2. Werewolves frighten me and this really is a horror masterpiece.

1) The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Yeah, yeah, judge all you want to but this is the one film that has consistently scared the s*** out of me the most.

The feeling of actually 'being there' is probably what did the trick. I do feel like I'm in a tent with those kids. I can hear something outside the tent and don't want to know what it is. Weird stuff is happening when I wake up. And the end scene? *shudders*

I have this film on DVD and here's my confession: the only way I'm able to watch it is with the director/producer's commentary on. They take you through the film, telling you, "Oh, that was my pile of stones ... That was my stick man ... That was me shaking the tent ... Haha! He has tights over his head when she says, 'What the hell is that?' " I'm safe in the knowledge that the filmmakers are playing pranks on the actors rather than some scary witch person in the middle of the woods following kids my age.

But when I watch it without the commentary, I get sucked into the woods with the characters and end up screaming at the slightest creak my house will make.

The scariest thing about this film is that it's all in your mind. You don't see a guy in a hockey/scream mask wielding a knife around. You see practically nothing. And that's what's terrifying - the power of your imagination.

That's my Top 5 Scariest Films. Tell me if you agree or disagree. And give me your own Top 5. :)  


Alyssa Kirk said...

This is a fun post. Im happy to read about these movies but I haven't seen any of them. I'm a big wimp. I can do scary to a point but super creepy and horror stuff...not for me. So kudos to you for even trying some.

I'm with you on the Salem's Lot photo. I scrolled down quickly because I didn't want to look at it for long!

Amanda said...

I thought Blair Witch was pretty scary, even if in it's own way it was kind of stupid. Like stupid if you think about it, but scary when you watch, youknow?

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I forgot about Candyman. Tony Todd, scary.

Blair Witch freaked me out!

William Malmborg said...

Nice list. I always forget about Candyman when talking about scary movies. I don't know why that is but it seems like I'm not alone.

The Exoricst is great. I don't like watching that alone. There is just too much in the world we don't know about and this one makes me think about it.

I've only seen Blair Witch once all the way through. I loved it the first time around, especially since I fell for the 'this is the real footage' gag, but then when seeing parts of it again just couldn't stand it and turned it off. I think the biggest problem is that it kind of makes me motion sick.

I hate to say it but I haven't seen the other two films, but will fix that this week. I loved the book Salem's Lot by Stephen King, and think that may be one of the reasons I never watched the movie.

Kerri said...

The Exorcist for sure!

Philippa said...

Firstly - For some silly reason I keep forgetting you have a blog so...*bookmarks*.

Secondly - I like your list but I've yet to see Salem's Lot and An American Werewolf in London so I will have to rent them!

Holy crap I forgot all about Candyman, that film scares me so much for all the reasons you pointed out but I think it's also mainly because of the bees. I've been told one sting and they could kill me so the sight of them or the noise of their buzzing just freaks me out.
Blair Witch personally doesn't do anything for me but each to their own as the saying goes.
I guess if I was complaining my own list I would put on Stephen King's IT, as I saw that when I was about nine and have since had a phobia/completed hatred for clowns. Even McDonalds adverts with Ronald McDonald in make me cry. Plus Stephen King's The Shinning. I don't really find it a really scary film but the two scenes that stand out are the one that shows Jack go into a room and he looks behind the shower curtain & finds an scary old lady. Also when Danny is riding his bike around the hotel corridors and then eventually comes across the twins. I totally don't expect them to be there!

Philippa said...

Please excuse my spelling error of complaining which should be compiling.

Nina said...

Great list! I have to say that I closed my eyes when I saw some pictures. :)

The Bookworm said...

Great list! lol I was actually getting my top 10 fav horror films post ready too :) great minds think alike.
oh my gosh, The Exorcist scared the heck out of me. I can never re-watch that.

I remember me and my best friend went to see Candyman in the theater, and when the movie let out and we got home, we ran as fast as we could up the front steps to her house...it was dark out and we were so scared after that movie. lol.

I still havent watched the original Salems Lot, but I did read the book.

The scariest part of Blair Witch for me was the ending, when the guy is facing the wall :( yikes!
And all the bloody fingerprints.


JaimeLovesStuff said...

Oooh ooohhh me me!!! LOL.

I loved 28 Days Later, Original Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, The Exorcist, and Witchboard. Oh wait Pumpkinhead, Dark Night of the Scarecrow and Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, ... the list can go on and on! Can you tell how old I am?? LOL.

Great list!

Melody said...

Great list! I've not watched any of those (gasp!) except The Exorcist. I watched a few foreign films and I've to say The Ring (Japanese) and Shutter (Thai) are the scariest, creepiest IMO.

JaimeLovesStuff said...

I just thought of another one.. The Entity!

Ryan said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Blair Witch Project. That movie freaked me out and the ending was the icing on the cake.

Violet said...

The exorcist was scary in parts but it was a good movei anyway :)
I love The Blair Witch project. Again I found ti scary in the second half, it because you are so with the characters and you are equally in the dark. I need to see Salem's lot.

I found The Ring, Grudge 2 very scary. I'll probably never watch them again.
I remember I went to watch Grudge 2 with my sister in a theatre. There were these over smart guys sitting in front of us who had come with the very intention of laughing at the scary scenes. But 10 mins in and they were so silent I didn't hear anything from them till the end, lol.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

Hee hee - hy flashbacks! Salems Lot - Gah! Super creepy - I mean look at the girl in the pic!

Blair Witch Project I seen in the theater with a friend and we both got sick from the camera motion... :)

Sarbear said...

Oh my gosh, so scary! Can I do a sister post to this, hun? I will credit you for it -- I want to change it a little though. My favorite scary movies for Halloween.

Sarbear said...

I agree with you on the Exorcist-- freaky!

George said...

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