What 5 Horror Movies Scare An Author…Specifically Me?
Posted on October 25, 2012
The more I read last Monday’s post, the more I realized I was concentrating on recent Blu-Ray releases (minus the bits about Elvira, but, really, how can you talk about Halloween and NOT mention Elvira?) instead on films in my collection that have given me a solid ol’ scare through the years. Not that The Funhouse didn’t scare me. It did. It’s still a little uncomfortable for me to watch. But, you know, that was Monday. Get ready for a few flicks that left this author…well, wishing he’d watched them with a few more people around. I’m no wuss, but I’m not that intelligent sometimes either.
A film I’d read about and even saw for sale–but didn’t buy because I just wasn’t sure if it would be worth the money–happened to be available on a flight I took to go see the husband. It’s called Insidious and let me tell you…the hair on my arms were standing up during this one! James Wan not only delivered an old fashioned ghost story with a twist, he scared the living hell out of me without blood and guts. What’s it about? Not all houses are haunted. Sometimes…it’s the child! Don’t worry. That wasn’t a spoiler. The only thing the film suffers from is a weak final act, which I’m guessing is due to budget constraints. Still, how can you not watch it knowing how freaking adorably cute the director is? And yes, I bought it. Seriously, give Insidious a watch!
Please, roll your eyes at my including this one on my list, especially if you haven’t see it yet. I would if I read it on yours. Why? I’d be all about calling you pathetic for elevating such a low-budget film by saying it scared you. Sadly, the truth is I watched this on my laptop while in bed one night and damn if I didn’t lose three nights of sleep over it. Seriously. Every goddamn noise in the flat had me on edge! A simple idea has yet to be done quite so cleverly as this and you’ll never look at the closet that leads to the attic the same way again. Ironically, the Blu-Ray features the theatrical ending and alternate ending, neither of which I saw until buying the Blu-Ray. The ending I saw was quite a bit different. Of course, had they kept that ending, they wouldn’t have been able to write Paranormal Activity 2 and 3 the way they did. And no, I haven’t seen 4 yet.
Cabin In The Woods
Love it or hate (most people are one extreme or the other), but I loved Cabin In The Woods. I had no idea what it was about, didn’t see the theatrical trailer before going in, and just sat there with a huge look of WTF is going on throughout most of it. Okay, I’ll admit that I hated the end the first time I saw it. Subsequent viewings have allowed it to grow on me, but I’m still not overly thrilled with it. Imagine every cliche about a group of horny teens traveling to a cabin in the woods where all hell breaks loose. Now imagine all those cliches be used on purpose instead of through bad writing. Exactly. Brilliant! Director Drew Goddard was asked if he was going to do a sequel to which he replied with something along the lines of “Did you watch the end of my movie?” Okay, but Drew, how about a prequel? Can you imagine how much fun you could have bringing the folks back in the control room and watching the Japanese triumph again and again and again? You’ll laugh, jump and possibly have a movement, all at the same time.
Friday the 13th
Skip the crappy remake. The only thing decent about that one was the presence of actor Aaron Yoo despite his not doing a nude scene or even appearing shirtless. So glad I had a free ticket since he didn’t show any skin. I’d have otherwise paid to see it…maybe even twice. That aside, Sean S. Cunningham’s original still sends a little ol’ jolt to the heart while watching it. Why? Because it looks so damn real. The camp is real, the characters act like normal people, the mayhem is juicy red, and Harry Manfredini’s score is scary as hell. And that ending? I literally jumped off the couch the first time I saw it. You just aren’t going to beat the original, though I did like Part 2 and Part 4. Oh, and best Jason EVER? Kane Hodder!
This starts off looking and acting like a typical seventies film, only it doubles as part of its charm as well as misleading anybody watching it. I’ll tell you right up, too, that I will NOT watch this one by myself! George C. Scott is superb as a music teacher who lost his wife and daughter in a tragic accident. He tries picking up the pieces by accepting a position at a university and moving into a giant, furnished house that hasn’t had anybody living it in a very, very long time. But what are those strange noises and where are they coming from? Is the house haunted or is a presence there trying to reach out to him? If you find out, do it with company. Don’t be a dipshit like me and watch it alone. And don’t watch it with an Asian. Ghosts aren’t their thing and they’ll yell at your ass for it.
So there you have it, five films from a rather long list of films I pulled from. Are these the only ones that have scared me over the years? No, but they are the ones that came to mind.
Tell me, what movie scared you THE MOST?
Creepy hug noises,
Kris (who’s really not creepy)
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
11 Responses to “What 5 Horror Movies Scare An Author…Specifically Me?”
Jordan L. Hawk says:
October 25, 2012 at 9:39 am
Great list! Although I have to say I loved the end to Cabin in the Woods. I’ll have to check out Insidious for a good scare.
October 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm
Some people just didn’t like Cabin. I can only guess that it’s because they didn’t quite “get” what the director and Joss Whedon were doing. I kept watching it thinking it was brilliant.
October 25, 2012 at 9:51 am
I don’t see many horror movies. Not that I don’t go, but that I keep my eyes firmly clamped shut during most of the picture. But for me, you still can’t beat “The Haunting,” with Claire Bloom and Julie Harris. Pure terror simply because you never SAW anything. When Julie Harris, in the same bed with Claire Bloom for comfort and protection senses something in the room and begins whispering to Claire, then says “don’t squeeze my hand so tightly, you’re hurting me,” then realies Claire isn’t in the bed……well, I rest my case.
October 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm
Of course you never saw anything in The Haunting, D. You said so yourself, your eyes were closed.
I think I would enjoy watching you watch Paranormal Activity…
Kimber Kahn says:
October 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm
I’m with Dorien on this one. The original The Haunting was a fabulous scary movie! The book of course was even better. That being said, I can’t just leave it there. The Exorcist scare the bejesus outta me…still does! I will not watch it at night…alone…in the dark. Nuff said? Yeah, I thought so. Insidious when I finally watched it also made it where I had no desire to sleep! That was some freaky shite! And I think I’d have to say The Changling is right up there with the makes your skin crawl possibilities. When the ball bounces down the stairs, still wet…? Yeah, I’d have had to move. There are others, but this response has already gotten hella long and it is Kris’s blog…not mine! Lol Thanks for sharing your scary with us, Kris!
October 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm
I kept wondering while I watched Insidious as to what kind of mind could possibly have made this film. And then I saw his face and I was like “Awwwww! Look at the pretty director! He’s HAWT!” So I bought the film.
One of my more shallow moments, but I stand by the fact it’s a very scary film. Changeling, too.
Lloyd Songal says:
October 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm
I loved insidious. Real class A Sundance material.
What about “The Shining”? “honey, I’m home,”
Jack Nicholson was awesome.
October 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm
I personally liked the Friday the 13th series, IT and The Exorcist for my retro list. So many of the new ones are disappointing! I do want to see The Changeling now! The Woman in Black was interesting, but not scary at all. So many to choose from now that I wait until someone critiques them before wasting my money. Plus I can’t get Ted to sit through anything with blood! Nothing really spooks me anymore.
October 25, 2012 at 9:26 pm
The hubs swore up and down that The Woman in Black was scary, Please. I think not. He watched Cabin in the Woods in under 15 minutes. I married a wuss. lol
Kimber Kahn says:
October 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm
It don’t need the gore. That just makes me ill. ALTHOUGH, Hostel was way out freaky as fuck!!!
October 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm
Funny you mention Hostel. I watched it tonight while I was doing work on the computer. It’s gruesome and I’m interested enough to see Part 2 now, though I’ve heard to ignore Part 3 completely.
Another you might like (from the 80s) is called Madman. Freaked me out as a kid.