Monday, December 13, 2010


          Halloween is long past, but it’s almost always fun to watch a good scary movie.  I’m no expert in the field, not being a huge gore fan myself (haven’t seen Saw, Freddie Krueger films, and the like – yet) but one of my macabre hobbies (in addition to ghost hunting) is watching scary movies alone in the dark at one in the morning.  Adrenaline rush times ten!  You’ve got to try it.

          So – here are some of the best scary movies I have seen, perfect for that rainy night alone.

          The BEST, of the best of the best of the BEST I have seen is – without a doubt – Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.  It begins and you’re like, “This is a scary movie?”  But don’t worry; the best is yet to come.  As the plot thickens (cliché properly used here), the viewer not familiar with the surprise end will be jolted in their seat; and even the spoiled will not be prepared for the last two seconds of the film: the scariest of anyone’s entire cinematic experience.  Top of the late night list!

          I put this on the thrillers list but it deserves mention on “Freaky” as well: M. Night Shyamalan’s masterpiece The Sixth Sense is a jump in your seat classic; best the first time, second best every time you get to watch your friends jump watching it for their first time.  Original in its take on the supernatural with powerful story and script, artful in its execution.  On the scare list and here to stay.

          The Descent.  A thriller/horror about a group of female friends off on a girls’ weekend out of cave exploring out in a park somewhere in rural America.  Half-way through their jackass leader tells them it’s actually a new cave she wanted to check out after they have already been trapped inside by a series of unfortunate events.  But that’s only the beginning.  Soonafter they realize they are not alone.  A real jumper and fun to watch with friends.

          This is thee psycho-thriller but can be checked off as horror as well: The Silence of the Lambs is one of the best scary movies I have seen (understatement).  Got to love the tension climaxing with Dr. Hannibal Lector’s attempted escape from his animal confinement coupled with the hunt for and showdown with serial killer “Buffalo Bill.”  The greatest film of its kind.  The sequels/prequels suck, FYI, though Hannibal is good for a few jumps if you can bear its incompetence. 

          One of the ultimate scare tests is The Exorcism of Emily Rose which is not nearly as scary as it could be but you are guaranteed not to sleep for the next week.  The Exorcist is interesting and has scary moments, much more artsy than Emily Rose but for the modern viewer, it is not terribly scary.  Rose has a great cast and story, but doesn’t rise to “great movie” status.  Dare you to watch it at one though.  (Ha, ha, ha, ha!)

          There aren’t that many movies that are actually scary out there; but who am I to talk though if I haven’t seen the blood fest films?  Shoot me a comment with your suggestions.

          Generally I don’t enjoy the gross-only no-story movies but – generally speaking – am open to the beauty of art, wherever it is.

          The Shining!  Why was that not up there?  “Redrum. Redrum. Redrum.

          Right Norman?



  1. Not taking anything away from those flicks, but a few more scary movies that I would add just off the top of my head: John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), and Sam Raimi's Evil Dead (1983) & Evil Dead 2 (1987).

  2. Thanks for the info. I liked James Cameron's "Aliens" much better than Ridley Scott's first. Sam Raimi is not on the top of my directorial list. I can't wait for the remake of his once hyped Spidermen movies. And consider the other films on my list. If I'm not mistaken, Halloween is the famous Mike Myers film. Heard good things about it.
    Thanks man.

  3. The films you put up there are good. The flicks I mentioned were just some of my favorite horror films that you didn't mention. You mentioned some of my other favorites in your list. And I know that as a filmgoer you have to prioritize the films you see, but when you are done with the films by Spielberg, Scorsese, Tarantino, Mamet, Ford, Hawks, Mann, Curtiz, Hitchcock, McTiernan, Donner, Scott, Cameron, Woo, To, Welles, Coens, Hill, Peckinpah, Fincher, Wo-Ping, Linklater, Kurosawa, Carpenter, and De Palma you might want to check out the first two films in the Evil Dead trilogy. I'm not saying that Raimi is the greatest director on the planet, but rather that his first two Evil Dead flicks are ones that I really enjoyed.

    And you really need to see Halloween (1978). Now. No joke.