Scary? Meh. Creepy? You Betcha

Last night I finally pulled my head out of the books and reintroduced myself with the outside world. Not as scary as I built it up to be. Actually, seeing people going about doing their Friday night thing was a welcomed change to what sick people do any given night of the week. Man, hospitals are growing old . Anywho, I decided to go grab dinner and see a movie. But not just some random movie like the bullshit that was thrust on us this summer but a very much anticipated independently made film that has been on my “must see” list ever since it was introduced to a film fest in 2007. I know you have heard the hype about this too. Paranormal Activity.

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I don’t think I will go too far into the movie about how it came to be a nation wide blockbuster but I will say what I walked away with. This film finally accomplished what most horror movies fail to do; genuinely creep me out. I don’t believe I have had that happen to me in the theater in some time. I mean, horror directors like Zombie and Eli Roth do a great job of disturbing me through gore and violence, but they couldn’t even dream of creeping me out. They make movies for brain-dead teenagers. Paranormal Activity is a totally different bag of Swedish fish. There is thought, creativity, no CGI, brilliant acting, and a building tension that will literally have your muscles twitching  from squeezing the armrest.

As much as I loved this film it is not the scariest that I have seen. But probably the most creepy. Yes, it is a Blair Witch type genre movie and there are times when you actually believe this is not a mockumetory but the real home video. And that is the acting. If it was not for the two amazing actors, this film would fail. And in a world full of empty-headed movie viewers that have to see the monster rather that using imagination, it is a real risk to put the film in the hands of two people.

Speaking of creepy, I want to share scenes from movies that give me the creeps so you can judge where I am coming from.

The Ring:

I know that I am probably dumbing this blog down by claiming the movie The Ring to be one of the creepiest that I have seen but…I guess I am dumb. The movie as a whole was not very scary but this scene took me from expecting a “teen horror pop film” to a chill so deep I almost threw my VCR out that very night. I suppose it was because I knew nothing of it before I saw it in the theaters.

Jaws:

This is a scary movie. Quite possibly the scariest that I have ever seen and it hits all points of fear: scared of the unknown, being eaten alive, alien enviroment, dark places, and of course the helplessness. The particular scene that got me the worst was when Alex Kittner was attacked and everyone just stood there in a panic on the beach. The only view we had of the shark was the massive rollover of the dorsal and pectoral fin giving us a pretty good idea how large this fish was. Fucking enormous. I can still hear that poor kid coughing underwater as he was pulled down and devoured.

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The Haunted(1991):

This made for TV movie has a definite WE or Lifetime feel to it but when I saw it at 12 years old back in the nineties, I think my bedroom lights were on for the rest of the year. Now almost 20 years later I can still see why. It has a genuine creepiness through simple bumps and whispers. When you take a normal family in a suburb that experience unexplainable events that progress to evil acts in the safety of their own home, you just can’t help but think of that in bed at midnight.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose:

Again, not a very scary film but the creeps are all over this. I don’t know if she was possessed or not but the scene of her contorted on the floor staring at her boyfriend as he slept made my feet go cold. There is nothing more disturbing than having someone stare at you in your most vulnerable state.

Learn from my mistakes! The night I saw this with my ex-girlfriend we went to bed and she was pretty riled up from the film. A few hours later I woke up to use the restroom and came back to bed. For some reason it seemed like a good idea to “act out” the same scene when Emily was contorted and lying on the floor, staring right at her. I coughed a few times to wake her and when she came to and realized I wasn’t beside her she looked around the room and called for me. She sat up and looked right at me being a total asshole on the floor and holy shit! She freaked out. There was screaming and tears. I didn’t think it was that scary. Makes you wonder why we didn’t last, huh?

So to recap, go see Paranormal Activity. But remember, the fear doesn’t come in the theater quite like it does at 2am from the safety of your own bed. Man, now that is brilliant film making.

All Hell-o-Weenish Stuff

SAME? Keeping with the October theme I want to shed some more light on my favorite thing to do this time of year and that is watch horror movies without getting weird looks from friends and family. Trust me, I have watched Jacobs Ladder on Easter morning and got more than a few raised eyebrows. It was my silent protest after spending two hours outside, freezing for sunrise service. But anyway, I do love the frightful TV programs on AMC and The Chiller Channel so much. It is what makes Halloween now that I am an adult. So today I will talk about some of the more memorable scenes, some fellow website pals that do a better job of listing horror favorites and some my odd childhood scares and items that I still hold close to my heart thanks to Tobe Hooper and the like.

MOVIES!

Ho-Boy! The 1981 classic, Ghost Story, isn’t well known to those who are fans of SAW or The Grudge but it will beat them hands down when it comes to the creepy factor. This movie has a little bit of everything for everyone and includes gore shots, boob shots and the controversial full frontal male nude shot. I wasn’t a fan of the penis shot but in a genre full of boobs I guess there should be equality.

The premise of the film is a group of four gentlemen who befriend a young woman and they accidentally kill her… so they thought. In their panicked state they load her body in a car and push it into a lake only to see her scream as it slips under the frozen water. Tormented with grief they vow never to tell about this until they are old men and she comes back to haunt them, taking their lives one by one. Excellent. Plus Alice Krige is super hot in this film, for a ghost. Take a look but please put down anything that can be spilled or dropped (i.e. coffee, tea, water, cat, baby….)

GOOOOO! That’s just great, isn’t it?

Robert Wise 1963 film The Haunting is the creepiest movies of all time and I say the with hesitation. I know in a day full of special effects and gore, the possibility of a black and white film to be of the same scare caliber might seem iffy at best, but it blows any film away. I have seen this countless times and it keeps getting better. It truly holds up and even the remake by director Jan de Bont in 1999 couldn’t touch it proving that the only thing special effects do is remove the viewers imagination. And that is a crime.

This movie was as much psychological as it was supernatural. The camera angles, the inside the head conversations and the muffled ghostly sounds makes The Haunting truly terrifying. Wise hit a home run and please, please watch this clip. This has to be the greatest ghost moments of all times in the cinema and probably made our parents completely sleep deprived for weeks. Enjoy.

Poltergeist. (whistle) Just the name sends shivers down my spine. Who hasn’t seen this Spielberg/Hooper classic? Well if you haven’t, stop what you are doing, go to the movies store and get it. That’s an order. I can’t decide which scene is the best so I’ll just leave you with the trailer. I love the dude’s voice. I have already reviewed the movie here, so, that’s that.

SITES!

Robert Berry’s site, RetroCrush is by far the greatest site on the web when it comes to pop culture. He does an amazing job of archiving, interviewing and listing all things cool from yester-year and today. Recently he made a top 100 horror movie character list and it will have you blowing at least an hour out of the day scrolling through the actors. Even though I would move a few of the characters’ places around, he hit everyone and that takes eminence effort.  Stop by and don’t forget to check out his list of the worst Halloween costumes. Hilarious!

Mystie has done some great work when it comes to Halloween reviews for the holiday, both food and cinema. If you haven’t been there it’s a trip down memory lane especially if you are a girl that grew up n the 80’s and 90’s. To me, her snarky sense of humor makes even an article about Polly Pockets fun. What can I say? I’m a fan and she is a very good friend. Click the Crown Combo picture above!

The Flesh Farm is all things great when it comes to archiving, reviewing and sharing clips and trailers to every horror movie available. J.P. Butcher and staff have outdone themselves with this site and I have been a fan for a couple of years now. Be careful when viewing this because there is some language and nudity so it’s not for the office or public computer viewing but when you get home, late at night, it’s a great way to spend the time. I give this site two severed thumbs up! Click the picture above to see what I am talking about.

Oh you didn’t think that was going to exclude X-E from the site shout out list did you? Of course not. It’s not like I haven’t plugged it about 300 times. But Matt is the king of holiday preparation and review so he earns a spot anywhere that Halloween centers as the topic of conversation. Even though the past couple of years haven’t been like the previous in scale it is still the place to go to find out what is hip in the world of spooy treats and decore. You can’t blame him. It’s near impossible to keep 45 days of holiday  reviews alive while working full time and having a life. But we appriciate his efforts. Again, click the picture above to visit Matt and all of the X-E cult.

TV SPECIALS!

“You owe me restitution!” Who doesn’t love the classic, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charley Brown! ? Well besides one person I know. I won’t say who but you know who you are! Anyway, this signifies that Halloween is upon us and much like A Christmas Story, I will never miss this CBS Special that, for some reason, generally lands on a Tuesday night. I haven’t figured that one out yet. This is one of my favorites and no matter how many times I have seen it, it never gets old. My dad has seen it, I have seen it, my kids will see it, their kids will see it, their kid’s kids will see and then maybe an asteroid will hit. So, with that said I am going to go out and bury a copy in an airtight titanium case in the backyard. It must survive.

“‘Arrrr, I been Orange Beard The Pirate Cap’in, and this be me first mate….Odie the Stupid.”

This comes in a close second to Chuck Schultz’s master piece above, but still, it’s a classic. I can’t remember if they aired it last year or even the year before, but I hope so. When I was little I owned all things Garfield and the Halloween special really was close to my heart. Even the pirate ghosts were scary. Ok, ok…are scary. Happy?

COSTUMES!

You see this? When I was 8 I would have sold my soul for this plastic and cloth piece of shit. I begged for it from August to the last week of October. There were so many dreams of showing up to school, dressed in my amazing costume and wielding my deadly fist of blades. But when my Dad finally caved and bought the Freddy Glove, the thrill quickly faded. First off, it didn’t fit. Yeah I was eight and had hands the size of a cellphone but even today, and I still have it, it doesn’t fit. If I had bear paws for hands, maybe, but human hands? So that year I was knight. I love my Dad.

Here’s another one! I saw Halloween II and I knew that I was destined to be Mike Myers for Halloween in 1991. That meant my parents needed to shell out another $25 bucks for latex shit. And it was. The mask above pretty much looked identical and when I was at home looking in the mirror, the realization that I would be the subject of ridicule was eminent. Not only did I not look like “the Shape” but I didn’t even look scary. I looked like a dead Don Knotts. So that is what I went as. I put on a Hawaiian shirt, khaki pants and took off to plunder treats from the neighbors as a zombie Mr. Furley. This was my father’s idea and that makes him uber cool.

CANDY!

Fruit Stripe Gum was always in the Trick or Treat bag and I loved it. It’s too bad that the flavor only lasted 3.2 seconds. I remember that a lady went the cheap route and gave out individual sticks and later on that night it did not pass the parents/customs treat inspection. Still bummed and now that I am an adult and can buy mt weight in Fruit Stripe gum I must say, the thrill is gone.

Here is my second favorite Halloween candy, Spree! Doesn’t the sight of these just make that thing behind your jaw and under your earlobe tingle? Mine does. In fact, one year I ate so many Spree I numbed my tongue out until Christmas. Honest! Moderation is key when it comes to Spree.

OLD DECORATIONS!

Holy Hell! Remember these wall decorations? Tell me these weren’t all over your homeroom walls and windows in elementary school! I remember being truly terrified of the eyeball skull and witch as a child. But back in the early eighties, the folks thought the fright was cute and even tormented me by putting them on the outside of the front door. Do they even make these classics anymore? Or do I have to roam around the neighborhood and steal them off the elderly home’s like I did last year. Am I joking? Maaaaaayyybbbeeee……

Here are some more of the classics. God I love this time of the year! But seriously, that flaming skull still fucks me up.

I apologize about this post. There isn’t really any organized thought process behind it other than just verbal vomit of all things Halloween. But it was fun to write and I hope it was fun to read. Please check out the sites. They do a much better job but then again, they get paid for it. So they should.

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