HTFG’s Favorite Scary Movies
Today is dark and dreary; it’s raining and storming here. I felt it was only appropriate to blog about something of equal variety: scary movies! Most people love a good, safe scare. I watch scary movies for the fun parts, but, also to learn. I absolutely know that if a creepy guy in a Captain Kirk mask is trying to kill me, I will run away. He will follow at a significantly slower pace. I may not be the fastest runner, but I can certainly run faster than he can walk. Then, I’m going to find a really big sword, machete, katana, etc. THEN I am going to behead said creepster. THE END. None of this 20 years later crap. I don’t have time for that.
So, let’s list some of our favorite scary movies and why we love them. These are in no specific order:
- Halloween – Obviously I was referencing this movie above. Michael Myers is a deranged psycho who has escaped from a mental institution that has housed him since he was 6. He’s a murderer. He’s crazy. It’s Halloween night, and he is stalking Laurie. It’s a great, scary movie. I learned that sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Beheading would have been appropriate. NEVER presume that a human is dead. NEVER. Also, teenagers making poor life choices are more likely to die.
- 28 Days Later – Who doesn’t love a good zombie movie? Especially when a zombie outbreak is the result of scientists infecting chimpanzees with drugs. This movie taught me that in certain situations, like a rage virus, zombies can be super-fast. It also taught me that Animal Rights Activists get into the middle of EVERYTHING. Look, don’t mess with animals. Don’t free animals that have been messed with. Also, Cillian Murphy has really pretty eyes.
- The Conjuring – This is based on a true story. Ed and Lorraine Warren were known and renowned experts in the paranormal field. This movie is about a family who moves into an old farmhouse and experience some extremely scary situations. Ed and Lorraine are called in to help find and rid the home of its unwelcome inhabitants. Here’s what I learned: If a home is for sale at a price too good to be true, it absolutely is.
- The Exorcist – This movie is on every scary movie list ever. Regan is a child who is possessed by a demon after playing regularly with an Ouija board. DO NOT PLAY WITH OUIJA BOARDS. Do not play with paranormal situations. If you want to never sleep again, please see this movie. Pea soup will never be the same. Also – the book is awesome too.
- The Ring – A journalist learns of the death of her niece, who died under suspicious circumstances. The niece died after watching a VHS tape which is cursed. Anyone who watches it dies in 7 days. Of course, the journalist watches said tape. Curiosity is our downfall, people! Just don’t do it!
- Jaws – Shark. Giant, deadly shark. Ocean. Beach. Swimmers. Dead. Blood. NEVER GO IN THE WATER. Just NO. (Shudder)
- The Babadook – This is a recent, psychological horror film. A mother is struggling to cope after the death of her husband and the boy’s father. The son, Samuel, has recently started to show some very erratic behavior. He’s begun to make weapons to fight a mysterious monster. Amelia, Samuel’s mother, is an extremely depressed and overwhelmed orderly who is just trying to survive each day. One night Samuel finds a book on the bookshelf that had never been seen before titled The Babadook. Together Amelia and Samuel read the book causing a slew of events to occur. This movie is fantastic. I learned that the depth of grief can be consuming. Depression is exhausting, and love, once lost, is hard to overcome.
- Aliens – This is my favorite of the Ridley Scott franchise. Ellen Ripley has been rescued after 57 years of space sleep, stasis. She has had to blow up her ship and crew because of the aliens she encountered in the first movie. She’s not happy. To top it all off, the happenings of the first movie were not believed to be true and there is a now a human colony living on the planet Ripley warned had aliens and alien eggs on it called Hadley’s Hope. Of course this was a terrible idea and now all contact has been lost with Hadley’s Hope. Ripley has to go in and save the day, again. Look, we have zero business in space. Period. I did learn, however, that if I have to go into space I better have a Power Loader.
- Scream – Scary movies can be fun. Wes Craven reminded us of this and then terrorized us at the same time. This movie took the cliché slasher horror movie and turned it on its head. Sidney Prescott is a high school student who lives in a small town. Sidney is being stalked by someone called Ghostface. Hilarity and terror ensue. This movie is the quintessential What Not to Do if You Want to Survive a Scary Movie guide. Never run upstairs if the killer is downstairs. Never say I’ll be right back. Do not trust anyone you go to school with. Always steer clear of someone in a mask.
- The Blair Witch Project – In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found. So begins the movie. We are then taken on a ride trying to find out the truth behind the Blair Witch. This movie scares me still and is reason 893 of why I will not be camping or playing in the woods. Don’t chase lore. Don’t do it in the woods. When you start to see creepy stick figures, walk the opposite direction. If your compass breaks, find the sun. It will help you find your general direction. Stay out of the woods.
- You’re Next – This movie is about family dysfunction. Money + 2nd or 3rd Home in the middle of nowhere being invaded + Family reunion = Messy. I actually really loved the film because it was written by horror writers who also starred in some of the roles. It was funny, scary, and smart. If you just want to enjoy yourself for a bit, this is your jam. Also, don’t trust anyone. Ever. Go ahead and learn all that survivalist stuff, too. Just in case.
- The House of the Devil – So, this movie pays homage to the 1980’s, right down to the “satanic panic.” It’s a really fun movie and uses the same filming style as the 70’s and 80’s. The opening says it is based on true events. Samantha is a broke college student who finds a too good to be true apartment. The landlady is willing to give her an extension on the deposit, so it would appear to be Samantha’s lucky day. Obviously she needs a job. She agrees to begin babysitting for a Mr. Ullman. It all goes downhill from there. Once again, if it’s too good to be true, it ALWAYS is.
- Cabin in the Woods – Joss Whedon + horror film = Awesome. College students are spending a weekend in a cabin in the woods. Unbeknownst to them, there is something else is happening. Reason 9216 that I will not be in the woods any time soon. This movie is funny, gory, and quite a bit like a puzzle. That’s really all I can say without ruining the movie if you haven’t seen it. You should, though.
- The Descent – Well, this movie is scary on so many different levels. Spelunking. Really? 6 women decide to spelunk into an unmapped cave. Then they get stuck. Then the fun REALLY begins. Scared of the dark? You will be. Scared of small, tight places? You will be. Scared of weird humanoid monsters? You will be. Adventures are for the birds. We are safe, here, on TOP of the earth. Do NOT spelunk. This movie really scares me while making me irate. Come on. Use your brains!
- The Strangers – Another remote home invasion film. This one is terrifying. Kristen and James are staying at James’ parent’s vacation home in the middle of nowhere after attending a wedding. It’s a dismal start to a long night. James asked Kristen to marry him earlier in the evening and she declined. James was not expecting this news, so the home is romantically set up. After being devastated neither can sleep. At about 4 in the morning Kristen needs a cigarette, but is out, so James offers to go and pick some up for her. While he is gone there is a knock at the door. In the middle of nowhere. At 4 am. It just gets worse. Look, stay OUT of the middle of nowhere. Why do you want to live in the middle of nowhere? NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM. Also, if you insist upon living in the middle of nowhere, how about a security system, guns, and special ops training?
- The Silence of the Lambs – Clarice Starling. Chianti and fava beans. Hannibal Lecter. Buffalo Bill. This movie is a great psychological thriller. Buffalo Bill is a serial killer who skins his victims, always women. Clarice Starling is a young cadet for the FBI trying to make her way in a world dominated by men. Clarice needs the help of a genius serial killer and cannibal, Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal takes a liking to Clarice. Look, it may be a man’s world, but a woman had to bring you into it. And, as a woman, I can definitely take you out of it, if need be. Also, stay away from creepy guys. Listen to your gut. Listening to Tom Petty in a car while smoking a joint could also be something to avoid, but no judgement.