Just for fun: Halloween Horror — A List of Scary Flicks
Until December of last year, Weekly Industry News Editor Gary Wolcott critiqued movies. He did so for 32 years. Combined with his love of movies before becoming a movie critic, Wolcott says he’s probably seen 10,000 films.
Among his personal favorites are horror movies. Wolcott’s first horror experience was at age 7 or 8 when he sat in a movie theater and caught The Blob with Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood.
It started a lifelong love of the macabre.
That said, he’s not at all fond of chop and slash movies. Wolcott contends people being pruned by a cretin with a chain saw is not really horror. It’s disgusting.
In fact, he said his favorite horror movie review was for the Friday the 13th flick, Jason Goes to Hell. Wolcott wrote, “Good idea.”
“Two words, and — presto — my favorite horror movie review ever,” he said. “I still laugh about that one.”
For this issue of Weekly Industry News, Wolcott looked at Entertainment Weekly’s picks as the top horror movies of all time. He said he agrees with most of the picks and many of these films are on his best of list, too.
Here’s what he had to say about the list:
1. The Exorcist — 1973. Linda Blair’s head spinning scenes when she was a pre-teen girl made her a star. The movie focused more on scenes like that and all the gruesome scenes from William Peter Blatty’s 1971 book.
The movie misses Blatty’s point. The book was more about the mind-game between a dedicated priest and a demon. It is one of my favorite horror stories and I don’t think the movie did it justice.
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre — 1974. This one is based on the murders done by Ed Gein and it’s one of the original, low budget chop and slash movies. As noted earlier, it’s not my cup of tea but this kind of movie is loved by many.
Too many (LOL).
3. The Shining — 1980. Jack Nicholson’s ad-libbed line, “Heeer’s Johnny” is as terrifying as is Stanley Kubrick’s movie. Though it deviates from Steven King’s equally terrifying book, this one is one of the all-time best.
It also lands as number-three on my all-time favorite horror flicks.
4. The Silence of the Lambs — 1991. A twisted, and frightening flick that made Jodie Foster a star and made people who didn’t regularly go to movies notice Anthony Hopkins. He did Dr. Hannibal Lecter with such menace that, after seeing the movie in a theater, a lot of us had to sleep with the lights on that night.
5. Psycho — 1960. Alfred Hitchcock’s imaginative camera angles and editing techniques taught today’s directors how to use a camera to create tension. Some of my all-time favorite shots are done by Hitchcock.
And the murder in the shower of Janet Leigh’s character still has movie editors and movie fans trying to figure out exactly how it was done.
6. Jaws — 1975. This movie Steven Spielberg on the horror movie map. By the way, Spielberg is one of the directors who learned shooting and editing techniques from Alfred Hitchcock.
7. Halloween — 1978. Halloween is original chop and slash. Not a fan. But I am a fan of John Carpenter who doesn’t do much directing anymore. Too bad. Carpenter is one of the all-time greats, and is one of the most original, horror movie makers.
This one cost him $300,000 to make and brought in $55 million.
Plus, as a franchise, Carpenter made gazillions more. And then there’s Jamie Lee Curtis who got lots of attention and this one put her on the star map. She’s still doing Halloween movies. Her latest is currently in theaters and she — and the franchise owners — say this will be the last.
One can always hope.
8. The Thing — 1982. Not in my top 5 but it is one of my favorite horror flicks. John Carpenter again. It’s a remake of a 1951 Cold War flick. Kurt Russell starred and this is the movie that made him into a much-in-demand action hero.
This one is messy, bloody and — at the time — had exceptional effects.
9. Night of the Living Dead — 1968. This one is in my top 5. In my opinion, this is the best of the zombie movies. George Romero — I just learned — failed to copywriter his concept. Others made millions from his concept.
Don’t feel too badly for Romero. He didn’t do too badly with this and other zombie flicks on his resume.
The great thing about Night of the Living Dead is that it is done in black and white. That adds to the terror, and when the little girl eats her mother, I totally lost it.
Loved this one.
10. Rosemary’s Baby — 1968. Also on my top 5 favorite list. So many great performances in this terrifying, but very subtle horror flick. Mia Farrow’s performance gives a virginal, innocent countenance to Rosemary, John Cassavetes spent most of the movie looking guilty as hell and — at the time — no one did it better.
But the real star is Ruth Gordon whose screeching in places is as frightening as the concept.
That’s Entertainment Weekly’s list. Wolcott added a couple more favorites to this story.
Alien — 1979. By the way, this is not science fiction. It’s pure, unadulterated horror.
I saw this in a theater in 1979. It started out kinda creepy and director Ridley Scott was doing pretty well. Then the alien popped out of John Hurt’s chest. I almost screamed and popped out my chair in the theater. At that point I knew I had found a new favorite horror movie.
From that moment until Sigourney Weaver buckles up for the long ride back to Earth, all hell breaks loose.
By the way, Scott learned a lot from Alfred Hitchcock who was one of the Hollywood pioneers of the theory that what you don’t see is often more terrifying than what you do.
The Alien sequels weren’t close to as good as the original film. And it, ranks as my second favorite horror movie.
Pan’s Labyrinth — 2006 and The Shape of Water — 2017: Pan’s Labyrinth is written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. A few years after Pan’s Labyrinth, del Toro won an Oscar and other best of awards for The Shape of Water which you can almost say is a sequel to the 1950s classic, Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Pan’s Labyrinth is set in Spain during World War II and is about a little girl who encounters all kinds of monsters at a mansion rented by her evil, military stepfather and mother.
Like The Shape of Water, it often asks the question, who is really the monster.
Pan’s Labyrinth has one of the best horror scenes ever done. The little girl stumbles upon a banquet and is warned not to eat anything. What happens at that event is very much like the alien popping out of John Hurt’s chest and helped put this one on my top 5 list.
On the topic of horror movies, the company, Solitaire Bliss did an analysis of box office sales, Rotten Tomatoes scores and Google searches and has determined the most popular horror movies ever. While most of us won’t agree on all of them, this is what Solitaire Bliss says are the top 10 best horror movies ever.
Obviously, the list is a strong indication that these films are more or less picked by people under the age 50 and most are likely under the age 40. In Wolcott’s opinion, only Alien vs. Predator is worthy of being on any kind of a best list.
6. The Nun
7. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
8. Saw III
9. Paranormal Activity 3
10. Alien vs Predator
Source link: Entertainment Weekly- https://bit.ly/3TTQXzX