It is time for my annual horror movie recs post! I usually like to get these out sooner so you have time to adequately prepare yourself for the holiday, but given everything that has been going on, it was just not possible. I would once again like to extend my thanks to all those who have sent such lovely and supportive notes to me and my family during this time. It means a lot to us.
So, in case you are not aware, every year since 2009, I like to make a post about horror movies you should watch. FOR HALLOWEEN! Lots of people don’t like Halloween but I LOVE it. 2009’s post is here and 2010’s post is here. I still stand by those recommendations so if you’re looking for some good movies, you should check those out.
Here are more suggestions for 2011!
This horror comedy is a delightful treat! It’s about a journalist, Taylor, who is making a documentary about Leslie Vernon, who is poising himself to be the next big psycho killer on the block. As Leslie plans to brutally slay a group of teens on the anniversary of his “death” he takes Taylor through the preperatory process, leading up to the night of murder mayhem itself–where everything is not as it initially seemed. This movie is a blast; tame enough for those who have a low(er) threshold for slasher flicks but enertaining enough for people who know the genre inside and out (lots of winking and nodding). It was a TINY bit over-long and the ending wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be, but I had such a good time getting there, I’m okay with that.
Eskalofrío (aka Shiver)
Eskalofrío’s mood captured me first. Storyline second. It’s all overcast and rainy and ugh, I love that. I like this one a whole lot! It’s a Spanish horror film about a boy who is allergic to the sun. He and his mother move to this quiet village in the mountains and something lives in the woods and is killing people! And the boy who is allergic to sun gets a lot of flack for that because having gruesome murders suddenly start happening directly after you move to a place just never seems to work out in the newcomer’s favour, especially since the attacks are vaguely vampiric in nature. I was not wholly satisfied with the ending but this is the kind of horror movie you watch with a blanket around your shoulders and a bowl of caramel popcorn in your lap and a mug of apple cider at your side and that is good enough for me. Also I find myself really drawn to stories about struggling outsiders and this movie is all about that! WEIRD. Maybe I should write some YAs about such a topic.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
I went through a really brief phase where I was interested in possession earlier this year. It was an odd time. So I got The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I was not expecting anything from this movie at all honestly. When I started watching it, I saw Colm Feore was in it and I thought his sexy face was as good as it was going to get. But I was wrong! It got even better than that! This movie surprised me. It might be one of the movies I liked most this year. I would go so far as to call it almost a gem. It’s about a girl who is killed during an exorcism and the priest involved is on trial for murder. The story largely follows the lawyer representing him and Emily herself (through flashbacks) as they go over what happened and whether or not Emily was, in fact, possessed by evil. There are a couple of missteps but I found the movie nicely emotional overall. Also, the way Jennifer Carpenter contorts her body is incredibly disturbing and maybe the scariest thing of all. There’s something really realistic and understated about her possession and the flashbacks were my favourite parts. It’s not knock-your-socks off horror, I guess, but it is good quality and satisfying! Also: Colm Feore.
The Eye (2002)
I mentioned The Eye (and another pick on this list!) briefly in one of my older horror movie posts. It’s about a blind violinist who gets an eye cornea transplant and then can see again! But it seems the original corneas have enabled her to see people’s deaths and also ghosts. Perhaps you can tell where this is going. Ghostly ominous hijinx ensue! This is such a fantastic horror movie. I really love it. The scares aren’t overwhelmingly in your face but there is a scene in an elevator that gives me many chills. More than the scares, it’s the sad premise that appeals me. Getting something you’ve wanted so long and then having it turn out NOT being what you want it to be–but how can you back from that? Especially when that thing is your SIGHT? Tragically sad. This also has one of the most sympathetic lead characters ever.
Resident Evil (film series)
Yeah, I know. I hated Resident Evil when it came out. I HATED IT SO MUCH. The opening scene with the elevator really upset me and now I always have that moment of wondering whether or not an elevator operated by an evil computer is going to decapitate me whenever I step into one. But earlier this year the first installment wiggled its way into my heart and then suddenly I had to buy them all and then suddenly they were constantly playing in the background over and over again while I wrote This is Not a Test. You know how there are always those really bad movies that come on TV and you have to watch them because they are such brain candy, like Deep Blue Sea and The Devil’s Advocate? The Resident Evil series is that for me. The world, the zombies, the mutations (I used to hate mutated zombies but Left 4 Dead changed all that for me!), the bad accents, the action–Milla Jovovich kicking ass in the most amazing outfits? I am SO there! My favourite is the second installment (Apocalypse), which feels more like a horror movie to me. The fourth (Afterlife) seems to veer completely into action/adventure land but I think it is my second favourite because the fighting sequences are so GREAT.
It seems remiss not to mention the first “scary” movie I ever saw in this post. It was this one when I was five. It is about giant worms under the ground that eat people. When I was five, I was not fully able to appreciate the snappy dialogue/chemistry between Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward. All I could think about was GIANT WORMS UNDER THE GROUND THAT EAT PEOPLE. The first time I watched it, I think I spent every night for the next five months screaming and crying and not sleeping because I was afraid “the tremors would get me.” My mom tried to explain to me that they did not exist and when that didn’t work that they certainly could not make their way up the stairs. Then my sister pointed out those weird spikes on their sides and told me they totally could, extending my sleep terrors for another five months. Everyone learned something about themselves during that time. Anyways, this movie is so great! It plays on classic monster movie tropes. An isolated town, slack-jawed locals, the scientist who can explain nearly everything and GIANT WORMS UNDER THE GROUND THAT EAT PEOPLE. This is a great scary movie for people who can’t handle scary movies, unless they are five.
Here are some movies that I am going to be watching in the upcoming week, in celebration of Halloween. I was hoping to see them all before now and if they were good, include them on the list! But I am having a hard time focusing on stuff for more than thirty minutes at a time right now. Have you seen these? I hope they’re good!
If you want more horror movie recommendations you should check out Joey Comeau’s blog, Into Survival which includes reviews, commentary and horror movie deconstruction (I liked his vs. post on Shutter and its American remake here). Also when I was just starting to get into J-horror, I stumbled upon Rodger Swan’s J-horror movie reviews vlog on YouTube. If you are interested in J-horror (which was a total horror movie gateway for me!) maybe you would find it helpful.
And if you have never heard of Marble Hornets, you should totally check it out! MarbleHornets is an ARG and it is amazingly scary and fun. It’s, well–I am going to borrow the summary from its TV Tropes page because it gives the gist better than I can:
“Marble Hornets is an Alternate Reality Game (more like an Alternate Reality Movie), following discoveries made while looking through raw footage of a trite student film. In 2006, film student Alex Kralie suddenly abandons his movie in the midst of production […] Alex’s friend Jay rescues the taped material and […] by digging it up again he may have reawakened sinister forces. Jay’s YouTube account chronicles material from the tapes and, increasingly, the bizarre and frightening events of his own life . A Twitter page was added some time later. Since Entry #9, he’s noted a guy named ‘totheark‘ responding to each entry, adding a whole new level to the scary.”
I used to watch these at night time and they would creep me out SO BAD! I used to not want to leave my room after I watched them. So now I only watch them in the day. If you don’t know who Slender Man is, you should find out. Start with the intro:
And thus concludes my scary movies for Halloween 2011 post!
If you’re interested, I also blogged about the first scary book I ever read over at author Nova Ren Suma’s blog as part of a “What Scares You?” guest blog extravaganza! You can read my post here. If you comment on it and all of the guest posts, you will have the opportunity to win an amazing prize pack of books, so you should check it out.
What scary movies OR books will you be watching or reading this Halloween?