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Sometimes I watch scary movies

January 23, 2012

My tolerance for scary movies is dwindling as I age. I used to have an iron constitution when it came to horror. There was once a time when I watched the Exorcist and actually enjoyed it. Now I can’t even think about the Exorcist or the Exorcist III without getting this crawling, twisting feeling in my stomach. That white Pazuzu face *still* shows up in my dreams occasionally, and I haven’t even seen the Exorcist in probably a decade.

Somehow, though, I still feel a deep craving for horror movies and I still continue to watch them, or at least try. The only movie I actually had to turn off in 2011 because it was too scary was Insidious. I managed to sit through quite a few others. I don’t know why I do this to myself.

I’ve managed to come up with a list of all, or most, of the horror films I’ve seen in the past few years. I won’t dump them all into one post. I’m enjoying this process — as I add to the list, more that had totally slipped my mind appear.

(2010): Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed group of 30something “creative visionaries”, after researching the disappearance of a town’s entire population 50 years before, decide to trek into the cursed mountains that mysteriously drew everyone away. The story is really cool, really sinister and had lots of potential, but somewhere about halfway through the movie, everything fell apart. Still – there’s an authentic creeping malaise throughout the film, a bleak, WTF ending and one scene of violence so horrific that it completely stuck with me.

Wake Wood (2011): Gothic; a new take on the Wicker Man. We saw it while I was in the throes of my Love/Hate addiction; Aiden Gillen plays a grieving father who, with his wife, relocates to the title English village. Creepiness and revolting veterinary violence ensue. It was unfortunately utterly ruined by its final five minutes.

The Children (2008): Brilliant, fundamentally frightening story of four kids who, due to an unspecified disease, develop psychotic tendencies and murder their unlikeable rich hippie parents one by one. I’d recommend this one to hardcore horror fans, but no one else; both my husband and I found it hard to sit through due to the violence. Seeing these innocent little kids committing such ghastly acts is the real horror here, though. The malicious little beasts! Shot with some sort of filter/lens that makes all the colours look sickening and wrong.

The Crazies (2010): I can’t remember it very well, so it obviously didn’t have much of an effect on me. What even happened? Zombies? And an explosion?

Flight of the Living Dead (2007): Only saw this because Kevin J. O’Connor is in it. Zombies on a plane – it’s a promising concept. Anyhow, the movie is exactly as good as you’d expect it to be. The gore, acting, everything…It’s charming in its earnestness, but hard to enjoy, even ironically. Kevin, though, is fantastic, as always. I wonder about Kevin J. O’Connor a lot. I have been sort of obsessed with him for many years and have never been able to drudge up much information on him online. In FOTLD he is emaciated…I hope he’s not sick or anything. I am really fond of him.

Dead Snow (2009): Norwegian film about…Wait for it…Nazi zombies (zombie Nazis?)! A group of unlikeable 20something wangs take a weekend trip to a cabin in the forest and awaken the…Well, you know. Apparently they decided on this title because Red Snow has been used for too many other movies. Anyhow, this was fantastic – funny, extremely gruesome, and beautifully filmed on an obviously tiny budget.

Let the Right One In (2008): Could be one of the most artistic, skilfully-made horror films I’ve ever seen. Beautiful, perfectly-paced, quietly romantic. I don’t know what else to say – I mean, everyone knows this movie is near perfect, right?

Piranha 3D
(2010): Like LTROI, it’s near perfect, but for vastly different reasons. I watched this movie twice, once alone, and once the following evening with my husband. It was just as entertaining the second time around. The film doesn’t mess around; there’s hammy violence and action as soon as it starts. Nothing is taken seriously and it’s obvious that all the actors are having a blast. I would have loved to see this one in the theatre. Jerry O’Connell’s wacky pornographer Derrick Jones is the highlight of this one. Oh, and if you like boobies, there are lots; in one scene, a piranha vomits up a silicon implant.

The Loved Ones (2009): I didn’t finish watching it, so I don’t feel like I have a right to say much about this one. It has one of the best-looking guys I’ve ever seen in it as a high-school bad-guy who’s kidnapped by a girl and her dad. The subject matter didn’t interest me, and I didn’t care much about what was going on (I think I was crocheting something to deadline while I watched it) so about ½ way through, I switched it off.

Lake Mungo (2008): This remains one of the most frightening films I’ve ever been subjected to. It’s an Australian mockumentary about a family investigating the potential supernatural elements surrounding their daughter/sister’s death by drowning. I can’t recommend this one enough, but be warned…It will haunt you. There is one particular scene…If you want to see the clip, just search Lake Mungo on YouTube; I just did, and a preview of the scene popped up and scared me, and so I can’t link it. Sorry. But really, just watch the movie instead. The horror elements are mostly subtle, with the exception of a graphic photo of a corpse. A quiet yet claustrophobic tension builds as the story progresses. There were points where I actually felt real prickling dread. And then I went to bed and that…Scene I mentioned above kept flashing in my mind.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Simon permalink
    January 23, 2012 2:51 am

    Not being a horror fan, I will count “Sunshine” as the first movie in a long time that made me wish I was not alone in the house.

  2. January 23, 2012 10:38 am

    I am so sorry I ever recommended that movie to you!!

  3. January 23, 2012 1:53 pm

    For inspiration between movies, check out ‘The Walking Dead’ – tv series extraordinaire.

  4. Simon permalink
    January 23, 2012 3:25 pm

    Oh don’t be sorry – it was a really interesting concept, just not one I should have watched in an empty house.

  5. February 27, 2012 7:39 pm

    Hey girl! Just wanted to say hello and thanks for following my blog 🙂

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