Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chris Scared Stupid

I was hoping to post this before Halloween, but the weekend was busier than I thought it would be.

It would be too difficult for me to do any sort of rankings. I can say that the horror films I enjoyed the most are: The ShiningEyes Without a FaceThe OmenThe Exorcist, and Rosemary's Baby. To a lesser extent, I enjoyed The Amityville Horror. I enjoyed these movies because they offered more than just screams and the launching of popcorn into the air. They're interesting stories with memorable scenes. Sorry for being fairly vague, but I'm feeling a little on the lazy side tonight.

I also saw these movies in my later teens and early twenties (because I scare too easily). But I was just thinking that maybe it's best to catch the most respected horror films now; I probably wouldn't have been able to appreciate any of those movies had I watched them when I was a kid.

I still plan on catching many of Brandon's recommendations even though Halloween has come and gone. I'm excited to see the Lewton pictures; I've taped Cat People off of the TV and will watch that soon. I wasn't able to get a hold of any others, but there's always netflix. Or maybe I'll just save a bunch of films for next Halloween.

Jeff and I were able to carry out a few of our Halloween traditions this year. We usually watch the Treehouse of Horror Simpsons episodes (seasons 2-12), the Boy Meets World episodes "The Witches of Pennbrooke," and "And Then There Was Shawn," and then there's the unofficial tradition of checking out a bit of Hocus Pocus (Lisa knows what we're talking about). And then Jeff usually tries to get me to watch something that is actually scary (though he admits that he took it easy on me this year).

I don't know, I figured I would talk briefly about a few crappy horror movies that influenced my negative outlook on the genre.

Scream came out in 1996. I must have seen it that year or in '97, but so this is really just to say that my parents had no real control over the movies we watched as kid (I can only recall being banned from watching Bevis & Butthead, South Park, and there was a weird unspoken thing about not watching too much MTV). My brothers and I watched Scream quite a bit. I was ten/eleven at the time, and yeah, it led to quite a few restless nights.

Other movies that scared me that no one has talked about (again, these aren't movies that I like or anything): Pet Sematary: because the mother's sister was hideously frightening...a friend of mine used to do impressions of her all of the time, "Rachel!" Children of the Corn wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, but goddamn is that Malakai kid creepy looking. "We have your woman, Outlander!"

I also wanted to comment on The Blair Witch Project because it gave birth to a lot of the crap that's popular today. Mostly, I don't hate it, but it's pretty..."meh." Sure when you first saw it you felt freaked out and on-edge, but I never really found it too scary or anything (listen to how tough and cool I sound). I also remember having a sleepover at a friend's house in middle school, and we stayed up late to watch it. Those were the days. We also watched a very shitty movie called Dr. Giggles. Damn this selective memory of mine.

Some movies I watched this past week...

Attack the Block

I really enjoyed this movie; at the very least, it's an honorable mention. I'll be interested to what everyone else thinks, but I liked more than many of the other alien films that I've seen recently. District 9 was another highly acclaimed, low-budget alien flick that was supposed to be a refreshing take on the genre...but I absolutely loathe that movie. Where District 9 failed miserably, Attack the Block succeeds. ATB moves very quickly and doesn't waste a lot of time. There isn't as much comedy in it as Shaun of the Dead, but the jokes in it work well enough (some of them are stupid, sure). I read on-line that Joe Cornish wrote this screenplay sometime after being mugged. Considering that, I like the fact that he paints a bunch of teenage street punks as heroes. At least, I find it interesting because you have characters who are already very cocky who are ready to take on alien invaders. And because they're a bunch of kids they initially have no real fear of death. Semi-spoilers: I also like the dynamic of Sam having to look to the kids who mugged her earlier in the night for protection. It was an enjoyable pairing, I admit.

Peeping Tom

Jeff and I watched this the night before Halloween. I saw it on Glenn Kenny's list that Brandon linked us. It goes without saying that it's absolute bullshit that Michael Powell's career was ruined as a result of this film. Good god, that topic is worthy of its own two-hour rant. Anyway, long rant short, I'd say that it's actually tamer than Psycho. I really enjoyed Peeping Tom and would add it to the list in my first paragraph; Carl Boehm reminded me a little of Peter Lorre, actually. Very quiet and creepy. Also, he was able to turn affable on a dime - a really nice performance. I love the use of the camera in this film.

Trick 'r Treat

This was one Jeff suggested. In the end, it was right up my alley - it wasn't scary at all, but it wasn't boring or tame. What you have here is a fun film and a nice nod to Halloween traditions and stories. I was driving around the town of Oxford last night and I saw everyone walking around in their costumes. I immediately thought of this film and wondered how many people across the country were going to great lengths to scare their friends or themselves. I also recommend this one to all you.

Night of the Living Dead

Watched this last night and I have to say, up until the last ten minutes or so, I must've developed Dan Kois syndrome or something because I felt bored by it. I respect George Romero and the fact that he revolutionized the genre, but I guess I just caught this one too late in my life. When the little girl turns into a zombie and eats her Dad's brains - a big thumbs up. Little zombie girl stabbing her mom with a trough to death - thumbs up. The suckiness in which our hero dies - more thumbs up. Other than that, there wasn't too much else that I enjoyed. Another thing I took away from this film is that tucking a t-shirt into your pants is one of the most underrated get-ups. The film is a cult classic, but I'm not ready to join this cult just yet.

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