Friday, October 16, 2009

Creepiest Movies

Sigh, Story a Day got up to ten whole stories before I got derailed. Oh well, I'll try to get back on track tomorrow (Sunday). For now, here's a movie article.

We horror fans are a very determined bunch. I'd liken us hardcore fans as treasure hunters looking for diamonds in piles of horse shit. We sit through so much junk just to find that one movie that actually works, that actually gets under our skins like botfly larva. Sometimes though, a bad movie will have a moment or two that makes the whole thing worth while, a small diamond in mound of shit. But at some point we all have to face up to the facts: We may love the genre but most horror movies are total shit. Sometimes this makes the movie enjoyable for a different reason than the people making it intended but a lot of the time they can be torture to sit through. I suppose we're just masochistic, but when we do find that rare diamond it makes the whole hunt worth while. Here's the few movies that I've found that have really creeped me out, the ones that I think really deserve to be called horror movies.
(Your mileage may vary. Please consult your doctor before ingesting any Andy Milligan or Hal Warren as they may be hazardous to your health.)

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
It might have just been a fluke since most of the movies he made after were total junk but Tobe Hooper's debut is masterpiece of lingering dread and nasty violence (most of which is implied but you wouldn't know it watching it the first time.) Along with Halloween, it set the standard for the millions of slasher films that followed, most of which can't hold a candle to it. Speaking of not being able to hold a candle to TCM, stay far away from Hooper's next movie, Death Trap. It's not only a huge disappointment, it's teeth grindingly awful.

2. Eraserhead

The best representation of a nightmare ever put on film. It's not for everyone but it's a must for people into strange cult films. I really can't say anything else because it's the kind of movie that's hard to describe anyways and spoilers would only ruin the experience of watching it for the first time.

3. Picnic at Hanging Rock
Set at an English Victorian era girl's school in Australia the plot is very simple: A class goes on a picnic at Hanging and three of them and their teacher vanish. The rest of the movie is of course, trying to figure out what happened but also how the other girls deal with the disappearances. The thing that makes the whole movie so great though, is the way that it's filmed. Hanging Rock is almost feels like a living creature and there's an aura of dread that hangs over the whole thing, like evil forces are working just beneath the surface, but it's all implied. Nothing is shown outright and the ending is...well, I don't want to ruin it, but definitely give this one a rent.

4. The Devil's Rejects
I saw this in the theater with a couple of friends and when it was over we all sat stunned. We thought we were going to get a weird/funny flick like Rob's first film but what we got was disturbing and fucked up beyond anything we'd seen before. I still can't watch the hotel room scene without feeling a little sick.

5. Pan's Labyrinth
The ads for this made it seem like it's a whimsical fantasy film you can sit Grandma down in front of but in reality it's a dark and disturbing horror film. Both the real world it portrays and the fantasy world it's hero stumbles into are horrifying in equal measure and there's enough squicky body horror to make David Cronenburg cringe.

6. Freaks
It only really becomes a horror film at the end but those last moments of the "freaks" crawling through the mud and rain hell bent on revenge is burned in my brain and will probably never leave. Pretty good for movie made in the 1930s. It was way ahead of it's time though, people were horrified and the film was banned and not seen again till the 1960s.

Alright, this post didn't turn out as interesting as I thought it was going to. I've got an idea for tomorrow's story, I'll shut up and get working on it...

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