Thursday Thirteen #19: Scaaarry!
1. The House on Haunted Hill (1958) – Many people of my generation only knew of Vincent Price because of his stint on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, but I know him as the creepy guy who scared the dickens out of me when I was a young kid, watching movies with my grandmother. To this day this movie creeps me out.
2. Psycho (1960) – When I was a morbid pre-goth kid, a kindred spirit gave me a collection of Alfred Hitchcock short stories. Deliciously disturbing; I recall one story centred on moldering furs in an unused closet and someone scaring themselves to death… Then I got introduced to his movies, starting with Psycho. Brilliant.
3. The Birds (1963) – I saw this in grade-school. Really. I had a teacher who was a film buff, and he would occasionally run classic movies for the class. One of the best ways to scare the silly out of you when you’re in the 4th grade.
4. The Changeling (1980) – Start with one moldering mansion. Add George C. Scott, despair, and a murdered child. This scared the snot out of me, mostly because of the atmosphere. Added bonus – many scenes were filmed in Vancouver and other parts round BC.
5. The Others (2001) – I saw this again last night, and even though I knew the plot twists, I still felt that same horrified sensation as the main character is slowly handed the pieces of the puzzle. I’m not usually awed by Nicole Kidman’s talent, but in this film she’s perfect, her rigid body language echoing her narrow world view. Her character’s repression is palpable. Caution! the link to this movie does contain spoilers…
6. Sleepy Hollow (1999) – Johnny Depp. Christina Ricci. Dead people. All directed by Tim Burton. The fog and overcast skies in this film should have been listed in the cast list. A tad cheesy, but good fun nonetheless.
7. From Hell (2001) – Another Johnny Depp scarefest, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore. This movie fascinated me, partly because of the subject matter (Jack The Ripper), partly because of the way they developed the theory, and partly because of the visuals. More gore than any other JD movie I’ve seen, yet I thought it was wholy appropriate. Still, Lunchtruck won’t watch it. He finds it disturbing.
8. Repulsion (1965) – Catherine Denueve in a non-sex-kitten role. Squirmed my way through this one in an abnormal psyc class, and can’t bring myself to watch it again.
9. Shawn of the Dead (2001) – I love me a good zombie flick. Yes, this one’s played for laughs and the soundtrack is fun, but it’s also very smart, and gives props to the classic zombie movies that have come before, particularly those of George Romero.
10. The Wicker Man (1973) – NOT the recent remake. This was my first taste of odd English folkiness, and Christopher Lee. Talk about a double whammy. I know there’s a remake with Nicholas Cage, but honestly, why? The original is a classic, and it’s fascinating to see how much interest it still spawns.
11. Child of Glass (1978) – As an adult I would probably find this movie charming & gothic at best, diabetes-inducing at worst. But when I was a child watching my Disney movies on a soggy Autumn afternoon, the idea of some dead little creole girl haunting another child because she needed help in order to rest was.. well… haunting.
12. The Shining (1980)- OK, I’ve yet to be able to watch the whole thing. Sad, no? But the truth is, something has always got in the way. When I was a teen it plain old scared me and I felt really stupid for having tried to watch it at home by myself when it was cold and dark and stormy outside. What little I have seen creeps me out and fascinates me at the same time. This year, I will watch the whole thing.
13. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1958) – I know. It’s a Disney cartoon. Would you mock a child of single-digit age? I thought not.
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