The producer behind "The Purge," "Get Out," and "Paranormal Activity" makes the case for getting spooked.
Silence of the Lambs.
I couldn’t go in my basement for a long time.
I can still hear, Clariiiiiiice in my head.
No one has mentioned The Thing(1982) with Kurt Russell. What a great movie.
Here are mine (not in any particular order):
Night of the Living Dead
Blair Witch Project
The Body Snatchers (1954 B&W political allegory)
Alien (original only - sexy and terrifying)
The Fly (original )
"The Shining." Nicholson alone is worth the price of admission. It's really Danny and to a large extent Scatman Crothers who are the protagonists in that picture. And don't forget Shelley Duvall's eyes. And the two little girls....
When it came out, my father encouraged me to see it, saying it played in his head for weeks. So I did. He was right. A few years ago, we watched it with my college-aged daughter. A few weeks later, she and I decided to hike to the top of Blood Mountain in north Georgia. Afterward, we drove the dirt roads through the mountains so I could show her a few of the places I used to hike. Then the sun started going down, the shadows lengthened, the hollers began to grow dark. And she was ready go home. Now!
Five of my favorites, proffered in no particular order:
Definitely “The Exorcist,” frightening not so much for Linda Blaire’s makeup but because the film takes the idea of demonic possession of a young girl very, very seriously.
“The Haunting” (1963), based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, starring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. The ultimate Bad Place movie.
“Horror of Dracula” (1958), the Hammer Films take on Bram Stoker ‘s novel, starring the late, great Christopher Lee as the sanguinary Count and the late, equally great Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing. This old-school screamer holds up surprisingly well.
“Pet Sematary” (1989), very frightening indeed. When Stephen King finished the first draft of the novel, he filed it away, telling himself that he’d finally gone too far. But his wife convinced him to resurrect and publish it. A recent movie remake is more gruesome but somehow far less frightening than the 1989 version.
“Stir of Echoes” (1999), starring the ubiquitous Kevin Bacon, based on the 1958 novel by Richard Matheson. If you’ve ever thought that it might be cool to have psychic powers, this movie will change your mind.
I'm sad to see you and others glorify "Get Out" - a racist insult to every person who by chance was born white. "Get Out" is not a horror movie at all except in its clear depiction of the rapid cultural decay of the American bicoastal elite. "Get Out" is instead a racist fantasy that promotes the tired and endlessly repeated themes of black victimhood and white supremacy. The silly, racist conspiracy presented in "Get Out" says nothing about white people in America and everything about Jordan Peele and the others who produced it. Peele is even on record (see Hollywood Reporter 3/26/19) saying he will never hire a white man in a lead role. Insert any other ethnicity and he'd have been rightly excoriated as a racist. Neither Jordan Peele nor his racist propaganda should be celebrated.
To a little boy who liked trucks, Spielberg's early film "Duel" was gripping. Dennis Weaver was the perfect unwitting and hapless fool - sort of like the twits who hide behind the chainsaws in the Geico ad.
The Ring. One of the best in the last 20 years.
Chronologically from my youth:
The Fly - The original, but Jeff's version was a classic as well
The first three gave me many nightmares through my youth. I watched the Exorcist as a 15 year old when I was home alone. I read the book in one night, and went to the theater to see it the next. I slept with every light in the house the next week, and still heard shit in the attic. The scariest movie ever.
Not a fan of the genre, and Halloween is my least favorite holiday. But you have to admire Alfred Hitchcock's skill as a moviemaker, and he can't be matched for suspense and plot twists.
I'll be in the kitchen eating Kit Kats (and Milky Ways, Sinckers, Reese's Peanut Butter cups, etc.) with Bari.
Anything and everything Alfred Hitchcock touched is the pinnacle of film making. The moment when Mother’s skull is superimposed on Norman Bates’ face still gives me the creeps every time even though I’ve seen Psycho dozens of times. Bernard Hermann’s soundtrack is half the genius as well.
Eastwood’s Play Misty For Me. Terrifying because it’s completely capable of happening.
The scene in The Road where they go into the cannibals’ meat locker/dungeon are one of the scariest moments in film for me, again because it’s another thing that could actually occur.
( Shudders )
Just watched Rosemary's Baby last night! It's such a beautifully-shot movie and sad, as well as scary. It stuck with me all last night and into today; I'm still thinking about it.
Now I want to read the book by Ira Levin, who also wrote The Stepford Wives. Imagine a time when a man could write two novels that explore the world from a female POV ... and not be attacked for it. There was so much creative freedom in mid-century America and it produced great popular entertainment.
I would say that about half the modern books I read are garbage, but since they're from the "correct" authors, with the "correct" message, they get published. Recently I read this book called Reluctant Immortals. The main character was Lucy from Dracula. I've always loved Dracula, and Lucy is my favorite character. In the original she's so sparkly, flirty, and fun, so when (SPOILER) Dracula turns her into a vampire it's a blow, and then when she gets staked ... well, I almost stopped reading. I've always wanted to see a version where Vampire Lucy lives and is able to break free from the Victorian norms that held her down.
Well, the Lucy in Reluctant Immortals was ... dour, joyless, and kept talking about how "men like Dracula" have ruined so many girls. She lives in poverty, like a nun. UGH. BORING. And it misses the incredibly obvious subtext of Dracula, which was about repressed female sexuality. A Vampire Lucy who not only survives, but is unburdened by Victorian norms would be very interesting and, dare I say ,"feminist'. But writers today are so simplistic. Man = bad (the author of all evil). Woman = good (but she must suffer).
Anyway. I'm sure Ira Levin will be a lot more interesting.
1963’s “The Haunting “ is the scariest movie I have ever seen. It stays with you long after it ends
I have a problem with really enjoying horror films, especially the ghost and demon sub genre and then having it ruin my life for a solid six months. It makes me literally afraid of the dark. I’m 38 years old and if I’ve seen a ghost movie and the lights are off I’m getting increased blood pressure. Paranormal Activity ruined me for a solid year. So of course I saw the second one. Another year. I stupidly saw The Conjuring and I was off horror forever. At least ghosty horror. I love creature features!