It’s almost Halloween and this year I’m trying my best to enjoy it as much as possible. Halloween seems to be slowly fading away as everything seems to be pushing towards Christmas insanely early. Sure Halloween is more a kids thing, and maybe I shouldn’t care as much now that I’m an old guy, but I really feel like getting into the mood this year. I visited a haunted house earlier in the week. Our house is decorated (my wife found some awesome and unique decorations this year) and I can’t wait to go out trick or treating with my young ones.
Forgive the rambling. I brought all this up because I wanted to talk about movies. Scary movies. Growing up I was a big horror fan, but in the last ten years or so I’ve found myself really turned off by gore. I don’t know why exactly. When I watched Hostel, I found myself disgusted and had to turn away multiple times. Maybe it has something to do with my kids. Most horror films involve young kids and I can’t seem to watch a modern horror film without thinking that those could be my kids up there. Or maybe I’m just a wuss!
While I don’t care for horror films, I’m really getting into the more subtle, suspenseful films. I can remember watching The Adominable Snowman when I was a young kid. (Staring Peter Cushing, the future Grand Moff Tarkin.) What fascinated me about this film was that while it was obviously a monster film, they never showed you the monster! You got glimpses here and there, but in general there wasn’t ever a “money shot”.
A few years later I saw Alien. Easily one of the best sci fi films ever made, the monster spends more time in the shadows and comes off far scarier for it. I remember the first time I saw a complete shot of the alien in some magazine and I wished I had not seen it. My imagination had made it far larger and scarier in my mind.
Some other examples:
- Blair Witch Project: Ok, so this is a love it or hate it type movie, and it got way too much marketing, but this film scared the living crap of me.
- The Village: Really the beginning of Night's descent into crap-hood, and featuring what my wife calls the Giant Killer Badger - the early scenes by the woods were very well done. When one of the kids goes to the edge of the woods, and turns his back, I can literally feel my legs tensing in some subconscious attempt to get him to get the heck away.
- El Orfanto (The Orphanage) - A well done ghost story with a grand total of one shot of gore, this one was simply incredible. My wife really enjoyed it as well.
- Communion - Supposedly a true story of alien contact, any film with Christopher Walken is worth watching in my opinion. It's been years since I've seen this, but I remember being royally creeped out multiple times. One scene in particular has the main character simply sitting down in a room - and across the way an alien sticks his head out - slowly.
So that’s all I can think of right now. Any other recommendations? Think high creep/low blood.