More HORROR, Please!


I went grocery shopping on Thursday to get a jump on all the assholes getting ready for the “big storm” we are supposed to be having here in Seattle. But like a true Seattleite, this storm just couldn’t be bothered to be where it said it would. So I cooked chili and have a list of horror to watch and no storm. Not really. I mean, it’s windy. It’s grey. It’s been raining off and on for two days. But this is Seattle.

So, while my fella catches up with GLaDOS, I’ll give you a brand new list of horror movies. Movies I haven’t listed before! I’ve made a few lists of horror movies. I’ll link them here for you.

Since some awesome movies have come out in the past few years, and I have overlooked a few, I thought it was the right time for another list. Enjoy!

Lake Mungo, (2008) – I’m putting it first so you don’t miss it. This is by far the scariest film on the list. And I do NOT scare easy. If at all. This is a documentary style horror film that leaves you wondering if it really isn’t true after all. It makes Blair Witch look like the footage my mom found of our camping trip to Lake Tahoe in 1988. I don’t want to say anything else. If you see one of these movies, make it this one. You’ll be sorry in all the right ways.

From the Dark, (2014) – I put this in the “survive the night” category of horror movies. All they have to do is make it until the sun comes up. That’s all. A couple who has… car trouble… finds a creepy house to take shelter in. Stupid.

Antichrist, (2009) – All of Lars Von Trier’s films should be classified as horror. I’m just saying. But this one… THIS ONE! Let’s just say you haven’t seen a “couple in a cabin in the woods” movie like this one before. Known only as HE and SHE, the already terrifying Willem Dafoe, and the always in need of a hug or a valium Charlotte Gainsbourg play the couple. If you have the stomach for it, this is a fantastically horrifying film that even seasoned horror fans like myself had trouble sitting through. A fucked up movie. It’s violent. It’s gory. And again, it’s directed by Lars Von Trier.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, (2014)large_sgkw6ifftakwlqy2olfdq4ubxv0I love horror movies in black and white. Maybe it’s a sentimental thing, but every shadow is creepier in black and white. This movie takes place in the aptly named Bad City, where darkness, death and loneliness are your new neighbors. It’s also about a skateboarding vampire badass bitch. It’s an Iranian film written and directed by a woman named Ana Lily Amirpour

The Vanishing (Spoorloos, 1988) – This movie fucked me up for a few days. Psychological terror is worse than a guy with a knife any day. This movie deals with that feeling of needing to know… A woman is abducted from a truck stop. Years later, after dedicating his life to finding her, he receives a letter from her abductor. An utterly devastating movie.

Wolf Creek, (2005) – My favorite way to begin any movie: BASED ON TRUE EVENTS. Ah, yes… Backpackers on a road trip. Does it ever end well for them? Not onscreen. Without giving too much away, this one deals with three Australians in the outback who run into some trouble and go looking for help. This movie is disturbing and it feels like someone is breathing over your shoulder the entire time. You’ll hate every second as much as you love it. A remake is due out this year, but see this first!

Dead End, (2003) – As the title suggests a family makes a really bad decision on their way to a family Christmas dinner. This is low budget horror at its best. And that’s all I’ll say about it. I don’t want to give anything away.

The Bad Seed, (1956)bad-seed-1956-patty-mccormackAn oldie but a goodie. The original Kiddie Killer is still the creepiest. Played to perfection by a young Patty McCormack, Rhoda Penmark is the perfect little angel. Most of the time. She just gets real upset sometimes. Another movie in black and white, this 1950’s film breaks from the monsters of the time and gives us something far more horrifying: CHILDREN.

Grace, (2009) – Speaking of fucked up children, have you seen Grace? I guess this is more of a fucked up mom, but still. After a tragic accident kills her husband and unborn baby, Madeline Matheson insists on delivering the baby to term anyway. And as you might have guessed, this baby doesn’t want Mother’s Milk. It’s gross and disturbing and pretty much perfect for mom’s to be.

Bug, (2006) – I’m still pissed at my friend who told me to watch this. This movie messed me up for like… six years now? It stars Ashley Judd and the always frightening Michael Shannon as two lonely losers who find solace in each other and a shared delusion. It’s insane. It’s scary. I took a shower after.


The Scariest Ghost Movies of All Time

drag-me-to-hell-610x354It depresses me greatly to think about how far from scary Halloween has become. People don’t seem concerned about looking scary, or having a good scare. Halloween seems to be about sex and candy. Two things I am all for by the way, but Halloween should be scary. So, if you are planning a Halloween party, or you just want to get in the spirit of the holiday, try these oh so scary Ghost Stories.

Drag Me to Hell (2009) Sam Raimi excels at horror. He also excels at dark comedy. When you put those together you get classics like Army of Darkness, and this little gem. This is the story of a young loan officer who denies a really gross old lady a loan, and therefore gets gross old lady evicted from her home. Then gross old lady attacks Sweet Young Loan officer and puts a curse on her. The rest super fun so I won’t spoil it. But… there is a goat possession. That’s right. GOAT. POSSESSION.

The Others (2001) A fresh take on the Haunted House genre starring Nicole Kidman as a woman who lives in a huge house with her two weird kids who are sensitive to light. There are creepy caretakers, and odd nannies, and there are even cool, twisted memento mori photographs scattered about to keep the spooky vibe. I saw this in the theater when it came out and left happy. It’s a good one.

being possessed is hard work

being possessed is hard work

Amityville Horror (2005) I’m not usually a supporter of horror remakes, but in this case I’ll make an exception. The 70’s version just doesn’t stand the test of time. It’s hard to take a haunting seriously when James Brolin is brooding under six tons of facial hair. It’s much easier to take a haunting seriously when the unhappy ghosts want to inhabit the incredibly chiseled body of Ryan Reynolds.

Ghostbusters (1984) Ok, so Ghostbusters isn’t really scary. But, when I was ten years old seeing it on a big screen, it was pretty close. While it offers a few jumps and jolts, the most frightening parts of the film involve Rick Moranis trying to flirt, Zuul’s dogs, and a giant marshmallow man which terrorizes New York. It still holds up after all these years.

The Haunting (1963) I read The Haunting of Hill House in high school. I loved it. It was the first book that ever scared me. The book has been made into a movie more than once, but this is the best version. A doctor is researching the existence of ghosts in a really creepy old mansion that has a lurid history of death and insanity. The always amazing Julie Christie plays Nell – the young psychic who has a really hard time dealing with crazy.

The Shining (1980) the-shining-snow1The Grandfather of all ghost stories comes from the master of horror himself, Stephen King. Many people complain that the book is scarier than the movie. Whatever. Learn that film and literature are two different mediums, and that those two mediums work in two different ways. It’s like comparing apples to a steak. Anyway, Jack Nicholson is a writer with the worst case of writer’s block, like ever. He takes his family to The Overlook Lodge in order to work as the caretaker over the winter. Things start going spooky almost immediately. Look for Scatman Crothers as the Chef with the shining. Watch this together with Room 237 if you want to spend four hours in terror.

The Sixth Sense (1999) You all know the big secret of this movie, but knowing the secret doesn’t make the movie any less scary. Bruce Willis plays a shrink who is trying to help a cute little boy who thinks he sees ghosts. Angry ghosts. Mean ghosts. Ghosts who like opening cabinets… and not shutting them!

The Devil’s Backbone (2001) A movie directed by Guillermo Del Torro and produced by Pedro Almodovar is a movie worth seeing. Carlos is a twelve-year-old boy who stumbles upon an orphanage in the midst of the Spanish Civil war. He soon discovers the schools dark secrets, and its ghosts. This movie is awesome.

915852_originalThe Frighteners (1996) Long before Peter Jackson was gallivanting around New Zealand making gay hobbit porn, he made movies like this one. (And Dead Alive. And Meet the Feebles) Michael J. Fox plays a man who recently lost his family in a car accident. He soon discovers he can communicate with the dead and make a living as a phony paranormal expert. Not to be confused with a real paranormal expert. This is a pretty scary movie for young viewers, and the special effects are still pretty awesome.

Top 10 Horror Satires

ghostface_in_scream-HDSATIRE – The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices

“Horror” is a broad genre. It has more sub-genres than I care to keep track of. Horror gets a bad rap because it recycles the same plots and stories over and over again. I mean, how many Friday the 13th movies are there now? (answer: 12) Somewhere in the mid 80’s Hollywood began spoofing horror movies, or making out right horror satire. I like when a genre can make fun of itself, especially when that genre is horror. So, in no particular order, the top 10 horror satires (or spoofs) …in my opinion. MANY SPOILERS AHEAD!

  1. Scream (1996) Not the first, but arguably the best of the horror satires. Scream was a breath of fresh air in the mid-90’s when horror movies were at an all time low. It was original, funny, and smart. Not since Alfred Hitchcock killed off Janet Leigh in the first act of Psycho has a horror audience been so surprised at an on-screen death. Drew Barrymore dies a grizzly, bloody death all before the credits roll. Scream also managed to make fun of itself and horror movies in a way that let us all in on the joke. There are nods to Wes Craven throughout, and of course the famous “Horror Movie Rules” monologue. I’ll be right back… 
  2. Heathers (1988) dish-091212-heathersUsually grouped in with movies called “dark comedies”, Heathers is a perfect example of a satirical horror movie. Heathers takes an extreme look at high school life through the lens of two teen lovers who accidentally (?) start killing all of their obnoxious friends and staging the murders to look like suicide. It’s awesome. I have so many favorite lines from this movie that I’d be hard pressed to choose just one. It stars Winona Rider and Christian Slater before they became intolerable. And Shannon Doherty as one of the Heathers. Think “Mean Girls” but meaner. Way meaner.
  3. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) I know. By no means is this a “horror” movie. But, it is a spoof and I will take any excuse to put a Don Knotts movie on a list. This one is my favorite. If you have kids, they will love it. Don Knotts plays Luther Heggs, the afore-mentioned “Mr. Chicken”. He has to spend the night in a haunted house. You get it. It’s a cute movie that is one part “horror” (lite!) and one part comedy. The comic timing couldn’t be better. I still watch this movie and smile. And here is a little “Easter Egg” for you. Listen throughout the movie for a voice saying “Attaboy, Luther!” multiple times in the film. Anyway, it’s a great little movie. (Start at about 2:00 for the speech) 
  4. Cabin in the Woods (2012) cabin_in_the_woods_posterOne of the most recent, and quite arguably one of the best of these movies ever made. I don’t want to say too much about this one because I would hate to ruin any of the surprises in this little gem. But I will tell you this: The screen play is by Joss Whedon. That should be enough for you, but here are the bare bones – a group of super hot college kids go to a secluded cabin in the woods. From there you can guess what happens… sex, drugs, nudity. Yep. But… what happens next? You’ll have to watch to find out.
  5. Young Frankenstein (1974) young-frankensteinWhen I think satire, I think Mel Brooks. And this one is his best. It’s the story of Frankenstein… as told by Mel Brooks. That means you are going to get a lot of slap stick comedy, a few song and dance numbers, and all of these awesome people – Terri Garr, Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn – and even a few sight gags. (Keep an eye in Igor’s hunch) The movie is smart and very funny. It pays tribute to the Horror Classics while pin-pointing the absurdities and cliché’s of the genre.
  6. Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010) If you like horror, and you haven’t seen this yet, then stop reading this and watch it. It is fantastic amounts of fun. This film takes your fear of red necks and turns it on its ear. That’s right, the red necks in this movie don’t have lampshades made of human skin, they aren’t collecting girls in the basement, and they don’t have a crazy inbred family or a meat hook at their disposal. They are just a couple of nice guys who happen to look creepy to the wrong bunch of college kids. 
  7. Shaun of the Dead (2004)  You’ve seen this one, right? It’s awesome. I know a lot of people have OD’d on Zombies, and I hear ya, but this film stands alone. It takes the “Zombie movie” and attacks each and every cliché and trope with hilarity.
  8. Zombieland (2009) amazon-will-produce-a-tv-show-about-zombies Speaking of Zombies… This movie is part Road Trip, part Apocalypse and of course, part Zombie movie. And for a “funny” horror movie, it’s pretty gross. But in a good way. A group of survivors take to the open road in an attempt to find sanctuary…someplace. This one is a lot of fun – all the characters have places for names (Tallahassee, Wichita, Little Rock) and well, Bill Murray is in it, and you just can’t beat that.
  9. Bubba Ho-tep (2002) BUBBA_HO_TEPI have two words for you: Bruce Campbell. Not enough? Ok, how about Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley living on the down-low in an old folks home in Texas? The film also stars Ossie Davis as Jack, a black man who claims to be John F. Kennedy, stating that he was patched up after the assassination, dyed black, and abandoned. In Texas. It’s brilliant. The two team up to defeat an ancient egyptian mummy, and address themes like aging and growing old in a culture (and country) that only values the young.
  10. Dead Alive (Braindead) (1992) MV5BMTcwMzY5MTYxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTUwOTc4._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_Before Peter Jackson decided to dedicate his life to nerds everywhere and make Hobbit movies, he was a super cool horror movie director. This movie is so badass, I don’t know if I have the words to describe it. But, I’ll try. It’s all starts with a young man and his mother… and his monkey. A Sumatran rat-monkey to be exact. This cute little fella bites his mom. She gets sick and dies, then comes back to life eating nurses, dogs, neighbors, friends – she’s not really picky. And to be fair, she wasn’t that nice when she was alive. It’s really funny, really dark and really, REALLY gross. And, it’s the only movie where you’ll hear these words “I kick ass for the lord!”