Ain't It Cool Readers Sound Off! What's Your Favorite Horror Movie? And THE CABIN IN THE WOODS Swag Winners!
I guess some of you really wanted that bong, huh?
I was expecting to get some responses to THE CABIN IN THE WOODS Swag Contest, but not nearly as much as I got. I received over 300+ emails from horror fans picking their favorite horror movie. Some of them were just a couple of lines, and some of them were practically novellas, but everyone espoused a love for the genre and the hope that THE CABIN IN THE WOODS breathes new life into it.
I got so many great responses that I decided to turn it into an article - Ain't It Cool Readers Sound Off! This seems like a lot of fun, and something worth repeating in the future if another contest like this comes down the pipe. Or, just something fun to do for the site, because believe it or not, we do care about our readership. It's hard to judge by Talkback, but just from judging the many emails I received, people seemed to be really happy sharing their love of movies. Sometimes cynicism can be overwhelming, and I really appreciated the breath of fresh air from these many emails.
Hands down, the winner movie from the majority of the emails I received was John Carpenter's THE THING, with HALLOWEEN coming in a very close second. Judging from the emails alone, it seems Carpenter is still very much everyone's favorite horror filmmaker, and many of you waxed rhapsodic about his films. The winner of the contest was very much a John Carpenter fan, but you'll see that soon enough.
First, let's hear from Natalie from Brooklyn, New York, writing about Quint's favorite movie:
To me, the greatest-best-most-everything horror film is (don't roll your eyes) Jaws. It was the first "scary" movie I ever saw, and it's one of those movies that, if it's on TV, no matter where in the story, I sit down and watch to the bloody end. For me personally, it was my introduction to monster movies, which are still my favorite in the horror genre, from Black Lagoon to The Host. I think of Jaws as the pinnacle. It was the first movie to give me nightmares, and the first movie to actually make me think, "This could really happen." There's nothing scarier than that, I think. It killed a dog and a little kid. In the same scene!
As far as the film industry goes, Jaws was more than a little influential. It was one of the first summer blockbusters. It perfected the whole 'don't show your hand right away'- that awesome opening scene where we never see the shark. It had that iconic score, and hey- we probably wouldn't have Shark Week or "Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus" if it wasn't for this movie. It played up people's fear of darkness and the unknown, the open water where you can't see anything below you, isolation on a tiny tiny boat in a big big ocean, and being stuck on said tiny boat with Richard Dreyfuss (his voice? also scary). Also, it's a giant monster that wants to eat people. When isn't that horrifying?
And now, Alex from New York City, going old school with some Ealing horror:
Okay, here goes: my favorite horror film is the 1945 Ealing Studios horror film Dead of Night. This film, in my opinion, laid the blueprints for much of the following half-century of horror. First, the anthology nature of the film allowed it to traverse a half-dozen different tropes of horror, each in its own creepily unsettling way. Second, the heart of the film, linking each story through the narrative of a psychoanalyst interpreting each one as a way of explaining our fears, and yet HE turns out the be the insane one at the end, is SO ahead of its time in terms of anticipating the postmodern twist of horror that the Scream franchise popularized in the nineties - by almost 50 years! Third, director Charles Crichton (A Fish Called Wanda) - 'nuff said. Fourth, it's incredibly smart, sharp writing - it stands out in a genre not exactly famous for its screenplays. And lastly, the most important aspect of all - it's still SCARY, the most important quality of any horror film. Any film whose scares hold up sixty-five years later deserves our acclaim, no?
Shawn from Pensacola, Florida, loves SHAUN OF THE DEAD (no wonder!):
I love good zombie movies, which are pretty few and far between. I try to avoid the campy gore-fests that are devoid of any story or interesting characters. Those movies are good for a laugh, but zombies are a lot better when they're used in a metaphorical way, you know? Anyway, long story short, my favorite zombie movie is Shaun of the Dead because it's the zombie movie that made me realize how much I loved zombies. I know that it's about half comedy and half horror, but the horror is pretty damn good; and I'm pretty sure that Cabin in the Woods is going to be a mix of comedy and horror too, seeing as how Joss Whedon's behind the wheel.
I saw Shaun of the Dead six times when it was still in theaters. At first it was because I kept seeing things that I missed before, like how Ed basically breaks the movie down point for point at the Winchester when he's trying to cheer up Shaun. Around the fifth or sixth time, I was going to see it for the zombies. It took me a while to realize why I was so fascinated by them: it's because the zombies represent everyday problems. They're easy to deal with one at a time, but people don't handle their problems that way. They ignore them until they begin to pile up, and before too long they're completely overwhelmed. George Romero frequently used his zombies as a metaphor, and I like his movies too (the ones before Diary and Survival, anyway), but Shaun of the Dead really drives the point home by juxtaposing them with everything that's going wrong in Shaun's life. He manages to save his relationship with Liz, but at a cost.
Anyway, that's the short version of why I love Shaun of the Dead so much.
Here's Heath from Ocala, Florida, with a film that knocked me on my ass when I first saw it:
My favorite horror movie is Lucky McKee's MAY. I don't think there's another horror I love to show to groups of people more than MAY. The way that it slowly builds with every minute getting more and more out of control with May about to shatter and completely lose it is masterful. You feel so sorry for this socially awkward, but yet cute girl. The whole time you feel something creeping up under the surface. You know that it's going to eventually get bad, but when? And when it does? It's nothing like what you would have imagined.I've shown it over half a dozen times to groups of friends over the years. Most recently just two weeks ago to two unsuspecting girls. MAY has never failed to surprise people and have them freak out in the best of ways. I love to watch their faces. The bewilderment, the confusion, and finally the shock of that final scene always pays off. Often times they'll tell me they didn't like the movie, but sometimes even years later those same people will say, "Remember when you showed us that movie MAY? I STILL think about that." I think that speaks volumes for the movie and also what those friends of mine really think. Because just like May, they have much more going on below the surface that they don't let out.
John Carpenter's The Thing, is how I define a horror film. It's a film that succeeds on so many levels that it's few failings are immediately forgiven. The special effects are just that, special. Much like the work ILM did on Jurassic Park, the effects from The Thing still hold up and are just as terrifying today as they were thirty years ago. The effects remain special because they truly involve the viewer in the film, it all unfolds in real time and is seamless. Almost like refusing to cut a scene to make sure the audience is engaged, this form of special effects achieves a very similar goal, a goal that was also achieved in an equally loved horror comedy film An American Werewolf in London.Beyond just the special effects though, this film is truly horrifying for what you don't see. As often as Carpenter is keen on showing the viewer just what horrifying nasty he and his production team can conjure up next, his tight atmospheric cinematography also leaves much to the imagination. Which person is the dog visiting after their initial confrontation, when did each man come into contact with the thing, what happened to the doctor and where is he now, where did Childs go to before showing up again at the end, and what happens to Childs and McReady after the films fades to black? Most of this is handled with deft camera work that leaves the audience caught in the suspense and doesn't question until after the film is concluded.Speaking of camera work, another reason why this film succeeds is due to that claustrophobic camera style that Carpenter perfected in this film. In a story about questioning ones sanity and reality what better way to infuse even more dramatic tension than by filming everything in such tight confined spaces, in contrast to the vast white wilderness surrounding the team. This camera styling works as such a brilliant metaphor for being free yet being isolated and trapped as well as feeling ones surroundings closing in and beginning to question what is real.Horror movies rarely ever succeed for me as successful films because it's hard to go on the journey with characters that I don't care about or can't feel invseted in. Sometimes that's the acting, sometimes it's because the characters are paper thing archetypes that have little appeal to me. However, in spite of very little overall character development, especially on the fringes of the group, I truly felt for these men and their plight. It had an almost Luis and Clark feel to their struggle which was pulled off exceedingly well by a talented group of actors.There are many other reasons I can go into, but for me The Thing is my favorite horror film for not only giving me wonderful creature design and gore, but also being artful in it's film language and convincing with it's characters.
Perfect atmosphere and no flaws make THE SHINING my favorite horror movie. Perfct atmphere and no flaws make THE SHINIG my favorite horror movie. Perfect atmosphre and no flaws make HE SHINI the my favoritehorror moviPerfect atmosphere and no flaws make THE SHININ.G my forite movie.PPerfect atmosphere and no flaws ake THE SHINING my favorite horror movie. PerFect atmosssphere and no flaws make THE SHININGmy favorite horror movie.
And here's a bit about my favorite horror movie:Normally, I'm a bit of a hipster when it comes to my favorite things. For example, if you were to ask me who my favorite musician is, I would tell you that it is Sage Francis, a relatively obscure rapper. I love listening to more popular bands and artists, but Sage Francis is my favorite. If you were to ask me what my favorite book is, I would tell you that it is Airborn, even though I'm also a huge Harry Potter fan. But the world of horror flicks is a different story for me. Sure, my friends and I have enjoyed some lesser-known scary movies like Kill Theory (a thoroughly enjoyable movie even if the acting was somewhat lackluster) and Audition (I think this Japanese film is pretty well known among horror buffs, but I don't know many others who have seen it). However, if I had to choose my very favorite horror movie, I would have to go with one that is considered a classic, one that I assume the majority of Americans have either seen or heard of. I would pick what I consider a masterpiece of the genre, Stanley Kubrick's take on Stephen King's novel The Shining.My main reason for choosing The Shining is Jack Nicholson's acting for the character of Jack Torrance. For me, the character of Jack Torrance is the best in the entire genre, except for maybe the character of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, played by Anthony Hopkins. Jack Torrance is a role that I believe Nicholson--with his eccentric and somewhat insane tendencies--was born to play. Throughout the beginning of the film, he masterfully characterizes the buildup to Jack's (the character) breaking point. His obvious stress, combined with the audience's knowledge of Jack's past history of violence with his son Danny, creates an extremely eerie feel for the viewer. And when he threatens his wife, Wendy, after she discovers that the only thing he has written for months is "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," Nicholson's acting is absolutely terrifying. But the most horrifying--and most famous--part of The Shining occurs after Jack is allowed out of the kitchen, when he goes after his son and wife. The moment when he takes an axe to the door of his family's room is one of the most memorable from the early years of my affinity for the horror genre, but only two words are necessary to describe the terror that the audience feels during the scene: "Here's Johnny!"Jack Torrance, however, is not the only thing about The Shining that makes it my favorite. The very setting of the film makes it terrifying. The movie takes place at a very large hotel in Colorado in the dead of winter, where massive amounts of snow is typical. The setting of a would-be winter wonderland is a staple of horror movies; another of my favorites is Misery (another movie based on a Stephen King book), whose plot depends on the blizzard-happy setting of the mountains of Colorado. But it is not just the snow and the cold that makes the setting so important to The Shining. In the hotel, Kubrick has created a place that the audience cannot help but be afraid of. One of the feelings in horror movies that forces the viewer to be frightened is claustrophobia. Several movies use the feeling of being trapped in order to scare the audience--The Descent, Saw, and The Night of the Living Dead, to name a few. In The Shining, the claustrophobic feeling comes from Wendy and Danny being trapped in the hotel after Jack has disabled both the hotel's radio and its snowcat. But even though it is impossible for them to leave, the massiveness of the hotel also proves to be frightening. The hotel offers countless huge rooms in which the characters encounter various ghosts or spirits of dead hotel workers or guests. The audience is afraid of the inability to leave the hotel, but we are also scared of the seemingly infinite crooks and crannies inside the hotel. I think that Kubrick has created one of the most terrifying buildings possible in the Overlook Hotel.Next I come to the hedge maze scene near the end of the movie. The scene itself is not particularly long, but it is filled with terror. Jack has already killed Scatman Crothers's character and now he is after his family. For most of the movie, the audience has been kept scared psychologically, trapped in the hotel and seeing disturbing scenes like the one with the twin girls who want to play with Danny. But now, we have reached a point in the movie that is much more cathartic, much more exciting, and absolutely terrifying. The protagonists are on the run now, making this part of The Shining more of a flee thriller rather than a psychological horror. By combining the slow-moving first part of the movie with the heart-pounding ending, Kubrick has created a film that uses techniques from the whole spectrum of the genre. And he has created something scary, which is mostly what we want out of a horror movie. But we also want a good movie. I can count the number of good horror movies on one or two hands, but I would need one or two more to count the number of horror movies that scared me. In The Shining, the audience gets to see a movie that is both scary and great. And that is what makes it my favorite.I hope you enjoyed reading what I have to say, even if you don't agree with my pick. And I can't wait to go see The Cabin in the Woods!
I am super stoked to see Cabin in the Woods this Friday night, gonna be a fun ride.Those goodies are amazing - thanks for reading - I'm crossing my fingers (and not letting go) until the winners are announced! :)Seeing "The Fly" as a kid was both amazing and horrifying. My interest in make-up and horror film went thru the roof and has never subsided since. I love this film and will always cherish it.The Fly like many of Cronenbergs other films deals with the changing of the body, technophobia and of course, insects. We see the like of his body horror genre in films like “Shivers,” “Rabid” and “The Brood.” Fear of Technology in “Videodrome,” “Existenz” and “Scanners.” And finally Insect horror in this film and mainly in his twisted version of William S. Burroughs “Naked Lunch.” Cronenberg uses these elements in his work often but never tells the same story twice. You can really start to see the director evolve from his 70’s low-budget tax shelter days to his more defined films from this decade. “Dead Ringers” and “Spider” are in some ways similar because they take more of a dramatic approach to psychological horrors. Another reason Cronenbergs films work so well is because he works with the same general crew with all his features. This is especially true with his score partner, Howard Shore. Shore’s score here in “The Fly” is some of his best work—majestic and profound when the scene calls for it, yet quiet and subversive at other times. Each piece fits the mood of the scene it’s used in perfectly—never overwhelming the visuals or the actors, but always helping to establish the mood.Then there’s his style of directing. Cronenberg likes to really get close with his actors and make them feel as comfortable as possible, especially when there’s lots of effects and make-up to be applied. Sometimes it took Goldblum five hours to get on the Brundlefly make-up, so you want to keep your actors as calm and collective as possible. This film is definitely one of his most personal to date (The Brood is the film that captured his darkest true life experiences) because it mainly focuses on the relationship at hand and not fully on the issue of disease and decay. The performance from the actors is also some of the best you’ll see in any of the director’s work. The strength of “The Fly”, however, lies in its essential honesty. Disease, particularly a fatal disease, is horrible, messy, and unpleasant.So, in the end, Cronenberg stays positive about one of his most tragic films. We see Brundle try to escape the fact that one small mess-up caused him love and death. He sees that the true monster is not what he slowly became, but what he was before. Technology is a sketchy game to play with, and sometimes great new products have deadly consequences. (i.e. Atom Bomb) At least Veronica accepts Brundle for who he is on the inside, and not the repugnant, vomit spewing insect he is turning into. I still watch this film at least once a year and I can remember the first time I watched it as an 7 year old when it first came to vhs in 1987. I remember being a bit scared and grossed out but too captivated to turn away. Maybe that was the moment in my life when I knew one day I too would make the same sort of dark sci-fi horror films like those of Cronenberg. My love of horror and twisted gory films has stayed strong ever since thanks to the inspiration of David Cronenberg and many other directors like David Lynch, Frank Henenlotter and John Carpenter. Truly one of the best films in its genre. I am now directing horror themed comedies because of the inspiration and it all started with THE FLY!
I've been sitting here thinking about what my favorite horror movie is for close to an hour now. My first thought was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but then I realized that if given the choice right now I'd probably watch TCM 2 instead. Then I thought "Duh! Jaws dummy!". But of course Jaws is more of an action/adventure no matter how badly it scarred me (bad). Evil Dead 2 maybe? Or Friday the 13th IV? Poltergeist? Return to Oz (because of the Wheelers and The Nome King)?I've come to the decision that I'm going to set the obvious classics aside and choose from what's left. And I choose...Hide and Creep.Hide and Creep. What a great movie. In case you've never heard of it, Hide and Creep is an ultra low budget zombie comedy that came out around the mid 00's. I remember my wife renting it from Blockbuster one night, ignoring my protests over how terrible it looked. I remember groaning and complaining as she put it in the DVD player. I remember making fun of how bad the make-up was when the first zombie came on screen. I remember realizing about 20 minutes in that despite the low budget (I'm guessing about $15), I was really enjoying this movie and by the time we finished it I knew that I had to add this to my collection. After a week of not being able to find it for sale anywhere I went back, rented it again and never returned it. The $17 dollars I had to pay next time I rented there was more than worth it. It really opened my eyes to what was possible even without a budget. It's extremely funny and clever, although it isn't above low brow humor either. I'm not going to go on about it because it's a pretty standard zombie story, but the humor and execution really make it greater than it would be with less talented people aboard. I'm picking it as my favorite because it rises above it's monetary constraints in a way that I wish more indie flicks could.Or maybe Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon?Thanks for reading and sorry for the long-windedness
So, Stuart Gordon's got a list of Lovecraft adaptations about the size of my leg, and they all have a lot going for them. Even his shorts for the "Masters of Horror" series are about as close a retelling of the stories as you can get without period attire, and thank God he doesn't try that. In Dagon particularly, the current setting means that all of the intellect and technology we have at our disposal is only one more set of infantile crap to throw at the film's truly villainous title monster before it makes you accept your impotence by simply being what it is: a creature of effectively infinite age, strength, brains and callousness. Normally my favorite horror films tend more along the line of things like "Aliens" or "The Zombie Diaries," wherein it's made clear that the things we fear--all the monsters out there of any shape, size or hunger--are scary in an inevitable sense, but their victims are getting off light when they're stabbed/eaten/worn as a dress/et cetera. Why are they getting off light? Because the alternative to dieing horribly at the hands of a monster(s) is remaining a person among people, who are far more frightening. The monsters out there are just acting how nature (or nurture in the case of Jason and the more humanoid slashers in the mix) made them, "but you don't see them fucking each other over for a God damn percentage."In Dagon...you get both the natural inclination of a terror to terrorize, even though it has reason and the ability to determine its own actions. The true grandeur of just how bad the situation is becomes clear in the end when you learn that the elder thing whose children have been assaulting a family lost on an island so close but so far from the civilized coast of Spain is just as intelligent and responsible for its actions as any human, if not more so...and it could really give a shit. It's not even out to survive on the misery it inflicts upon us, but to thrive, using its victims to make more abominations like itself. The subtlety (or lack thereof, if you want to quibble over it) of even having the characters invoke the name of God during what is easily the most memorable recitation of the Lord's prayer I've ever seen just drives the point home one more time before the end. There is nothing bigger or meaner than what comes next. There is no hope. THIS IS HAPPENING.Thanks for lending an ear man. Shame we can't have all of you down here at Actionfest this weekend, but I know you'll be dodging bullets in spirit.
By far, the scariest movie - and fondest memory I have of seeing one! - was watching "Alien" at the Cinedome Theater in Orange, California in May of 1979. Not to sound like an old coot (although I DID turn 50 last month - yeesh), but with no internet/etc. to build up the movie, I'd heard the advertisement for "Alien" on "The Mighty Met - KMET," a local rock station in Southern California - at 11:30 at night, and it creeped the living hell out of me (long pause, scream sound build up, then: "In space, no one can hear you scream"). So, as a 17 year-old sci fi/horror nerd I HAD to be there the weekend it opened.So my best friend and I stood in line, got our ticket - and the place was PACKED (at that time the Cinedome was THE place to see a movie in Orange - it's where I saw "Star Wars," too!). The energy in the theater was unbelievable, and when the lights when down and the movie started the tension was almost unbearable. The claustrophobic ship, the space jockey, the eggs with something squiggling in them - the movie was relentless! I swear, the crowd was almost a hive mind, with every single person gasping, laughing, screeching and groaning together. All of that pressure building and building to one terrifying, and hilarious moment.As the movie unfolded I knew I was watching something really special - but the thing that's stuck with me all these years is this: remember when Dallas goes into the air ducts and they're tracking him on radar - and they see the alien moving towards him? When Dallas turned and the camera quick cuts to the alien, I literally jumped so far back in my seat I SAW MY CONVERSE TENNIS SHOES IN THE AIR IN FRONT OF ME. I kid you not! I almost kicked the guy sitting in front of me right in the head! The guy next to me (and his wife, I think) looked at me and started laughing like crazy, and I did too - and throughout the theater everyone laughed (not at me, but at themselves I'm sure) to release/relieve the tension of that moment.So here I am, 33 years, later, reliving that wonderful night. "Alien" scared the living crap out of me, but I loved every minute of it. It was also the best cinema experience I'd ever had - even better than "Star Wars," simply because of the amazing amount of tension created and released.
Naming my favorite horror movie and why is like asking "What's your favorite food and why?". There are just so many variables and sub-categories. I like this one because it was my first or this one because it really stuck with me for days or this one because the effects were just so gross. But if I have to choose between my favorites, "Near Dark" and "John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness", I'm going to have to pick the latter and let me tell you why. Most people will pick other John Carpenter films as their favorite such as "The Thing" or "Halloween". Some will even go for modern classics such as "Scream", "Jeepers Creepers" or "Candyman". A few will even go for the genre classics that, for me, don't hold up to the test of time such as "Phantasm" or "He Knows You're Alone". But "Prince of Darkness" transcends all these trappings by succeeding as a film full of good scares and as a thinking man's horror film."Prince of Darkness", much like "The Omen", "The Exorcist" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (if you want to take this to a VERY broad interpretation), looks at the relationship between man and his Deity and ponders the "factual" basis for all the stories and legends that have been built around this belief system. "Who is God? Who was Jesus? Who or what is the devil?" "Prince of Darkness" then puts a scientific spin on these legends and not only provides you with a haunting religious "coming of the apocalypse" scenario but also "this could be freaking real" vibes. Carpenter's use of the dream images of the figure coming out of the church in silhouette keeps the audience engaged and invested in the outcome but he uses it so sparingly that the glimpses, while initially frustrating, keep you wanting to see more. Then Carpenter also employs the great "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" technique of having members of the party being possessed so that you can never quite be sure who is on your side or not. This also works as an homage to Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians" as the party dwindles down until we finally know who is going to be the "mother" of the anti-Christ. I have viewed "Prince of Darkness" many times since I saw it for the first time in college in the late 80's and every time it haunts me for days after. I think about the basis of religion. I think about the Mayans and crop circles and strange "landing strips" that you can only see from a certain altitude. Were the legends of the old world (Norse, Greek and Roman mythology) as well as those of Judeo-Christian faith based on some being so advanced that we saw their science as god-like? When a movie can bring about conversations that stimulate the mind as well as scare the bejeezus out of you then I put that at the top of my list. "John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness" will be that movie for me.
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April 12, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST
April 12, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST
by Stifler's Mom
THE SHINING reigns supreme. Duh.
April 12, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST
That's my all-time favourite. Damn near scarred me as a child, and provided more nightmare fuel than any film in my youth (barring maybe The Evil Dead, or Nightmare on Elm Street). I didn't see The Thing until I was a little older, but its a close runner up for me.
April 12, 2012, 11:08 p.m. CST
We all love horror films...that's all fine and dandy...but what makes a horror film TRULY special is the atmosphere in which you see it; the people around you, the place you're in, the energy in the room. Sure, there are VERY effective horror films out there that I'm proud to evangelize...such as BLACK CHRISTMAS or JU ON:The Grudge...but I saw those on a TV in my house on my own. But 6 or 7 years ago I had the chance to watch a polarized print of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III: 3D at the Drafthouse and I have to say THAT was the most fun I've ever had at a theater EVER. Midnight show, packed wall to wall, lots of beer, lots of jumps and lots of laughs. Ushers were sitting on the steps just to get in on it...I'm jealous as hell because I would've LOVED to see ALIEN in a theater way back before the Net; back when all we knew about movies was what we got from radio and newspaper teasers. That must've been amazing.
April 12, 2012, 11:11 p.m. CST
Prince of Darkness did scare me for years. The last ten minutes or so of that movie are totally off the wall, especially the last scene with the hand and the mirror...
April 12, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST
Good picks above. I love horror. Along with sci-fi, they are the two most interesting genres. When done correctly they trump any drama or other genre because horror and sci-fi typically include those elements (drama, comedy, etc.).
April 12, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST
April 12, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST
That movie is amazing.
April 12, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST
In no particular order... POPCORN HORROR 5. Evil Dead 2 4. American Werewolf In London 3. Terminator 2. Predator 1. A Nightmare On Elm Street HORROR HORROR 5. The Exorcist 4. Alien 3. The Shining 2. Night Of The Living Dead 1. The Thing
April 12, 2012, 11:34 p.m. CST
April 12, 2012, 11:37 p.m. CST
...when it called Jeepers Creepers a modern classic. Are you shitting me? It started out well enough, but completely fucking fell apart once you get a look at the thing. It ceased being scary at all and was just stupid. Yay, psychic local fat lady contrivance to be used for exposition! Not that Prince of Darkness isn't a good flick, but really, don't even mention Jeepers Creepers as anything but the bucket of overwarmed shit it was. It didn't start out that way, but neither does a good steak.
April 12, 2012, 11:38 p.m. CST
April 12, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST
April 12, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST
by Rick Webb
I haven't watched PRINCE OF DARKNESS in years, yet it was the film that popped in my head after reading the article's title.
April 12, 2012, 11:54 p.m. CST
AICN people have good taste, period. My top 5 would be... 1. The Shining 2. The Thing (Carpenter) 3. Alien 4. Dead Ringers (blu ray please!!!) 5. Prince Of Darkness (for the opening alone... but there is oh so much more) Other films I consider horrific but are not considered (generally) horror films.... 1. Jaws 2. Blow Out (DePalma) 3. Requiem For A Dream ( I know, but it FEELS so much like a horror film to me) 4. Pitch Black (is it considered sci-fi? Or Horror? Hard to say simply sci-fi if Alien is considered horror.... hmmmm...) 5. Panic Room (underrated masterpiece, that plays like a horror film on many levels) But I know that even in 5 minutes, I will kick myself for forgetting to include some masterpiece, something maybe even on the list above, in the article, that I've forgotten some moment from that made me love it. I don't consider myself an expert, or even think I have great taste. But I know what I like. Even the first few M Night films I would consider great to good. (don't want to start that one up again...) I just hope he finds his mojo again soon. MAY really was fantastic. I think many DePalma films play like horror but are considered more thrillers. Then you have the golden years of Hammer Horror... so many, too many to list that absolutely made my hair stand on end when I was a kid. Then there are the modern attempts to re-invent or skew the genre, like Saw (the first one only).... The Alien sequels, yes... ALL of them, even the flawed ones are all ones I enjoy watching again and again. Then you have the lower budget UK films of late, such as Dog Soldiers... amazing efforts. Which reminds me I left of an amazing film... An American Werewolf In London (original). How about the controversial but brave Coppola Dracula film? I thought he took some interesting risks and stylistic choices for that one. Actually, I kind of find it hard to believe that in my opinion, no-one has really made the perfect Vampire movie yet. They are all either too silly, too stylized, too much like a romance novel or campy. Then you have the zombie sub-genre. WOW. So much to praise there, from Night of the Living Dead to Dawn of The Dead... Sean of The Dead!! What about Peter Jackson's genius horror-comedy films?? In the end, I think this question is just TOO HARD!! Keep America Strong, Watch More Horror Movies!!
April 12, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST
April 13, 2012, 12:10 a.m. CST
So underrated. Buried alive with a tarantula? True horror.
April 13, 2012, 12:46 a.m. CST
John Carpenter's THE THING ALIEN THE EXORCIST -- I don't know any other category this goes in except horror.....it may not be classical horror, but it's horrific.
April 13, 2012, 12:51 a.m. CST
April 13, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST
by vic twenty
April 13, 2012, 1:03 a.m. CST
I'm going to split you in two.
April 13, 2012, 1:10 a.m. CST
Two years ago, this week, I was heading home from the hospital, where I had spent three weeks sedated. While I was coming out from under the medication, I hallucinated Eraserhead from a first person perspective. I had only seen it once, but the images dug down deeply enough after that first viewing, that they were the ones my mind reached for to reflect a few very frightening days. Between the larva, the screeching, and the radiator lady, I can't imagine a more disturbing experience. It was a great movie, that did exactly what it was supposed to, but that I don't think I'll ever watch again.
April 13, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST
Stuart, here. Thanks for the kind (and not so kind words) about my entry. I do agree with durndal in that some of the films I mentioned aren't "modern classics" (especially "Jeepers Creepers") but I wanted to use examples of films that a younger generation told me were their favorite "horror" movies. MY personal modern classic horror movies are more in the vein of "American Psycho" (which I actually view as a black comedy) and "House of 1000 Corpses". I also really enjoyed "The Deaths of Ian Stone" but that's a whole different discussion on the blending of sci-fi, horror and the massive influence Joss Whedon has made on the way dialogue is written. In fact, I've never even seen "Jeepers Creepers"! This talk back could go on for days discussing who likes what and for what reason and they all have merit. Everyone's taste is different and that's why I love visiting AICN. Everyone shares at least one thing in common....Passion. You guys make me want to watch more films and develop a wider palate. Once again, thanks to Nordling for the immense honor. I am truly humbled.
April 13, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST
I actually had one last night. So I guess I would say those are my favorite.
April 13, 2012, 2:47 a.m. CST
by Rick Webb
I agree with you about REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. I have only been able to watch it once; that film took me somewhere I don't ever want to go to again.
April 13, 2012, 2:49 a.m. CST
April 13, 2012, 3:55 a.m. CST
Jaws is right up there, too. Let's Scare Jessica to Death, The Thing, Halloween, The Shining, The Exorcist. Shit Exorcist, that one is not my favorite, but it's still the scariest film I've ever seen, having seen it again and again at an age when I probably shouldn't have. And Suspiria, it's like a vivid, technicolor nightmare. Italian horror will always have a special place in my heart. Still remember the first time I saw City of the Living Dead and that fucking puke scene. And Nightmare City. Awesome. Also The Blind Dead. Blind skeletons on horseback in slo-mo. So cool. Ya, I fucking love Horror.
April 13, 2012, 3:57 a.m. CST
Rather than a basic in your face monster. It's some kind of alien organism. Which could be possible given all the strange organisms we have on earth. So right away you buy into it. It's also played out in such a serious manner with some real good acting and shockingly gross moments. Overall though it's the tension that slowly builds as they try to find out who's infected. When you first watch it you have no idea what's gonna happen.
April 13, 2012, 4:03 a.m. CST
I had the worst nightmares. I'd tell my Mom to keep the lights on, but sometime during the night after I'd fall asleep. She'd turn them off. I'd wake up from a BLOB nightmare and in the dark I'd see the formation of the BLOB. I'd scream and cry and wake up my parents. I used to make sure to close the ketchup bottle so the BLOB wouldn't escape. That quick snippet of the BLOB in the movie Grease. I'd always close my eyes or look away. The idea of the BLOB to be was the scariest thing ever. That this red looking ooze would eat you alive. I'd check under my bed every night to make sure the BLOB wasn't there. Today it looks so ridiculous to me. I guess every child has that one thing that scares the living crap out of them.
April 13, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST
One of the funniest movies filmed in the last twenty years.
April 13, 2012, 8:01 a.m. CST
April 13, 2012, 8:30 a.m. CST
by John Hammel
However, when I think about the frisson of horror, the one thing that can continue to haunt you into the night, I come up with the original Nightmare on Elm Street, there is such a *nightmarish* quality to many of the scenes in that movie. It is very unsettling and pretty much non-stop action right out of the gate. I will admit that Jaws does keep me out of the ocean. Other good ones: Exorcist Carnival of Souls - original, very creepy Night of the Living Dead Alien - better at bio-horror than The Thing The Haunting - Robert Wise's The Shining
April 13, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST
Also..I wish I could go back in time and be 10 years old when Romero's Dawn of the Dead came out in theaters. But seeing it on VHS years later still kinda blew me away. Oh..and Carpenter's The Thing rules above all.
April 13, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST
Enough to blast the previous day's stories off the main page, huh?
April 13, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST
JAWS ALIEN The Exorcist SCREAM 28 Days Later The Thing A Nightmare on Elm Street
April 13, 2012, 9:32 a.m. CST
even though I saw it in a re-release when I was 3 and it scared the fuck out of me, it's really more a story about the characters. But if it is a horror movie then obviously it's #1. The Shining, Alien, Night of the Living Dead, A nightmare on Elm Street....and then all the old Universal monster movies but those belong in a different category just like Jaws does.
April 13, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST
Long story short, to me it's a move about nightmares that itself feels like a nightmare. So many of the plot points feel like something that would show up in a dream....it's the moments that don't entirely make sense individually but as a collective whole do, if that makes sense. I dunno. Can't get enough of that movie. The score and editing help hugely, too.
April 13, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST
Patrick. 70's Australian flick about a guy in a coma that develops psychic powers. Extremely creepy, very well done. Love that movie.
April 13, 2012, 11:19 a.m. CST
That is why Ridley Scott is a demigod, man.
April 13, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST
by Obi Wanna Cannoli
April 13, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST
I recently watched The Thing (2011) again, just to see if my initial reaction was justified. In other words, I gave it a second chance.
And everything Daniel wrote above illustrates why Carpenter's The Thing is a classic, while the pre-boot is a well-made, well-intentioned failure. Maybe its an age thing, but I'm surprised Romero's original Night Of The Living Dead was not mentioned. It was an important bridge between what was considered horror prior to its release, and what came afterwards.
April 13, 2012, 8:31 p.m. CST
Runner up, The Excorcist
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HERCULES ON THE RADIO!!
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