Monday, October 5, 2009
HBT - Horror Movies List: Part 1
Today's Haunted Blog Tour post will be about horror movies! Since this could become a pretty long post, I divided it up into 3 parts. October 15th and October 23rd will be the other posting days about horror movies.
I tried looking up the best Horror movies throughout the years, but got many different lists. So...I took some from each list, trying to get a variety of different types of movies and plots, rating, and levels of horror. Here is what I came up with (the first 10 out of 30) of some great Horror movies:
Friday the 13th
"Although many immediately associate the Friday the 13th movies with the character of Jason Vorhees, the original does not even introduce him until the very end (the hockey mask comes much later). Friday the 13th took the momentum created by John Carpenter's Halloween and accelerated it, leading to a slew of sequels and copycats throughout the '80s. Now on its tenth installment (and 11th if you count Freddy vs. Jason, Friday the 13th has risen above cult status and become a full-blown cultural phenomenon. The original is a great example of what makes slashers so scary and fun."
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
"Filmed on a nightmarish set with a near-tortured cast, Texas Chainsaw Massacre stands as one of the most visceral, primal films set to celluloid. Loosely based on Ed Gein (who is from Wisconsin, not Texas), whose bizarre and macabre repurposing of human bodies made international headlines, it is a chilling account of a group of travelers taking a wrong turn that makes all the difference. Set predominantly in and around the creepiest house ever recorded by film, the film introduces us to Leatherface, an oaf of a man whose only pleasure is killing and skinning victims, only to use their body parts to form furniture and even his own mask. It stands with Poltergeist as Tobe Hooper's most chilling cinematic achievement, and apart from a couple sequels and a remake, has virtually no serious copycats in the realm of horror."
"Okay, so Gremlins isn't straight-up horror, but what child of the '80s can say they weren't at least a little freaked out by that "hatching" scene? The 1984 flick from director Joe Dante and writer Chris Columbus tells what happens when a young man buys an exotic pet called Mogwai from a store in Chinatown, and disobeys a few simple rules in caring for the creature: Keep it away from bright light, don't get it wet, and never feed it after midnight. Unfortunately, the rules are broken and the disobedience spawns a slew of evil little creatures that wreak havoc on the town. Hoyt Axton and Phoebe Cates star in the fiendishly fun flick that became a hit with all ages."
"Wes Craven's Scream is credited with reinventing and reinvigorating the slasher film. From Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson, the film follows a teenage girl who becomes the target of a deranged mask-wearing killer. The film stars Drew Barrymore, Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, and David Arquette. Scream took the stock slasher concept, popularized by Craven's earlier work, and blended it with a tongue-in-cheek, slightly satirical approach. It spawned two sequels and a slew of imitators."
Perhaps the truest adaptation of a Steven King book, Carrie tells the story of an unpopular girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers. Constantly abused by her mother, who sees her daughter's "gift" as more of a curse, Carrie becomes introverted and ultimately dangerous. When a popular boy at school invites her to the prom, it sets the stage for one of the most memorable climaxes in horror history. Starring a young Sissy Spacek as the titular character, this adaptation stands the test of time, moreso even than the now-rudimentary novel.
"The production of Jaws hit several snags, and the animatronic shark that was created for the movie failed, resulting in the haunting snippets of the shark and the implied terror it was causing. This resulted in a tight, suspenseful film that more than stands the test of time. Filled with classic moments (the opening death, the exchange of scar stories) and lines ("We're going to need a bigger boat"), Jaws is both dramatic and chilling, and is responsible for a couple generations' worth of irrational fear of the water. Among Steven Spielberg's early works, this is the crowning achievement, and one of the most terrifying and well-cast pieces of horror cinema around."
A Nightmare on Elm Street
"Based on a strange character director Wes Craven saw out his window as a boy, Elm Street may be one of the greatest premises for a horror franchise. After all, what is scarier than being attacked in your sleep when you are at your most vulnerable? The film also gave birth to one of the most popular '80s icons, Freddy Krueger. He would evolve into more of a jokester murderer in future films, but the mysterious psychopath with the trademark red and green sweater, burned face and razor glove is scariest in the first. Sure, the film has worn a bit with age and it's got some cheesy moments, but I'd be surprised if it doesn't still make you jump at least a bit. Tina's death is one of the best slasher death sequences ever. Heck, it's even got Johnny Depp, so what more could you ask for?"
"An absolute masterpiece of atmosphere and tension, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining isn't merely the top choice on IGN's list of horror movies, but my personal genre favorite: Jack Nicholson comes unhinged – perhaps permanently – as the failed novelist and hotel manager who succumbs to madness after spending a long winter cooped up in the creepy confines of the Overlook Hotel, and offers one of cinema's most indelible portraits of suspense ever created. Unlike so many others on this list, Kubrick's film is surprisingly light on gory action; the first time I watched it I had to stop it halfway through, and nothing of note had yet happened. But once it shifts into high gear, racheting anticipation with multiple storylines including Jack's wife, child, and a helpful hotel employee played by Scatman Crothers, there's no suppressing its irresistible, nail-biting allure: from the dismembered twins to the disguised, canoodling partygoers in Room 237, The Shining offers frights that last long after the film is finished."
"Faithfully based on William Peter Blatty's 1971 best-selling novel of the same name, The Exorcist tells a story of a young girl (Linda Blair) who's possessed by demons. Masterfully directed by William Friedkin (previously known for The French Connection), the film features horrifying and sensational scenes, some nauseating special effects (pea soup, anyone?), and great acting (12-year-old Blair steals the show, while Jason Miller and Max von Sydow also turn in wonderful performances, as the preists attempting to exorcise the demons). The film's creepy title tune, "Tubular Bells," became a #1 single on the Billboard charts, and The Exorcist went on to win two Academy Awards (for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound) and another eight nominations, including Best Picture."
30 Days of Night
"Based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, 30 Days of Night works overtime to pump fresh life into the vampire genre. Director David Slade has created a series of pulse-pounding sequences, ripe with carnage, employing few tricks to keep his vision from getting lost in the seemingly tireless undertow of "undead" films. Located in the northernmost part of Alaska, the town of Barrow experiences a complete lack of sunshine for an entire month once a year. As darkness descends for its annual 30-day day, though, a series of bizarre discoveries rocks the town--and very soon vampiric Marlow (Danny Huston) and his minions arrive, slaughtering and sucking on everyone they can catch, safe in the knowledge that they have much longer than usual until sunup. Eben, his little brother Jake, Stella, and a handful of others are forced to hide and fight for their lives until the sun returns. "
I've seen a few on this list such as: 30 Days of Night, Gremlins, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, and The Shining!