Sunday, October 28, 2007

Movies That Scared The Crap Out of Me or Why I Am a Giant Wuss Who is Too Stupid to Stop Watching Horror Movies

So, Bravo's been running their "1oo Scariest Movie Moments of All Time," since Halloween is like, days away. And, though I've seen the countdown several times before, I rewatched it. It's a really good list. They have 100 slots to fill, so they end up having to pick some pretty obscure stuff. And the commentators are, for the most part, smart and witty. And since Eli Roth is in there, occasionally HOT AS HELL. (Eli, dude, don't like your movies much, but you seem like a smart guy. And cute! Call me!) But the #1...JAWS?!?! Are you fucking kidding me? When I saw this for the first time, I about had a fit. Josephine can attest to this as it was at her Halloween party and how she laaaaughed at me.

Josephine: So you've invested what? A week in this and you're all pissed at the end? AHAHAH!
Bea: *is throwing a tantrum* Shut up.

So, here's my list of movies that scared me a whole lot:

  1. Dawn of the Dead (the 2004 remake); GREAT movie. Good scares, good action, good performances. I was LEAPING out of my seat in terror at several points. But. The movie? Takes place in a MALL. I saw it? IN A MALL. Late at night. So, as I was leaving the theater, I was just waiting to be besieged by zombies.
  2. The Blair Witch Project; Though Mame isn't much for horror movies, I saw this one with her and friend and occasional commenter, Mamma Mia. Now, I don't know if people remember, but The Blair Witch Project was a HUGE deal the summer it came out. It had this crazy, but brilliant, marketing campaign and was (I think) one of the first movies to have a website and the filmmaker were trying to convince people that the whole thing was real. With a fair amount of success, I might add. We had to go to Nearby Large City to see it, as it wasn't out in wide release yet. IT SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF US. Now, in my own defense, I did know that the people on the screen were actors. They had to be. No way where they going to show some kind of snuff film to the public. But. I wasn't entirely convinced that the story wasn't based on something that had actually happened. I know, I know, sounds stupid now. But the filmmakers were pretty convincing. The power of suggestion, yo. The last fifteen minutes of that movie...DAMN. I think everyone in the (totally packed) theater was in the fetal position, whimpering for their mommies. I didn't sleep for a week. Unfortunately, it is not a movie that's aged well. Removed from that particular time period and that media blitz, it's just not as scary. Or something.
  3. The Evil Dead; I was about 10 when I saw this movie. It's one of my favorites now and I find it more creepy than scary and also totally hilarious. Seriously, a girl gets raped by a tree. Yeah, you heard me. A TREE. But to a 10-year-old? NIGHTMARE CITY. Plus, it introduced the world to Bruce Campbell. And that can only be a good thing. Gotta love Bruce.
  4. Session 9; This is a little gem of a horror movie that nobody saw and is actually pretty awesome. It's about an asbestos removal team sent in to fix up an old, abandoned mental institution. I know, you're sold on the scary part already, right? What's scarier than an old, abandoned mental institution? How about an old, abandoned HAUNTED mental institution. When I worked at the video store and teenagers wanted horror movie recommendations, I ALWAYS gave them this one. And they always returned it and told me that it scared the shit out of them. Heh.
  5. 28 Days Later; One of my favorite movies, period. Guy wakes up from a coma to find himself alone in London, most of the city either evacuated or infected with a "Rage Virus." The scene where he's attacked by the infected priest? DAMN. But what happens after he meets other survivors is even scarier. It's shot on digital video, which I love because it gives such a feel of intimacy and immediacy, which is especially effective when you REALLY want to be as far away from what's going on in the movie as possible. Great performances by Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris (I totally want to BE her character when I grow up!) and the incomparable (and hot!) Christopher Eccleston. Really a great movie.
  6. Mullholland Drive; I'm a sucker for David Lynch films, this one is probably my favorite. It has all the twists and turns and weirdnesses that you'd expect from Lynch but without the ugliness that you usually get. There are two scenes in particular that freaked me the hell out: the scene in the diner where the guy is talking about his dream and the scene where the two giggling old people are menacing Naomi Watts. If you haven't seen the movie, that made no sense. If you have seen the movie, I guarantee you are nodding in agreement and shuddering.
  7. Scream; The first fifteen or so minutes of this movie? Practically had me on the ceiling. Where the killer is menacing Drew Barrymore on the phone? DAMN. I wouldn't check my answering machine without first checking my house for MONTHS.
  8. Poltergeist; That fucking clown doll.
  9. A Nightmare on Elm St.; It's the creepy dream sequences that make the Nightmare on Elm St. movies a cut (heh) above the usual slasher movie. Some of them are so brilliant, with their blend of realism and fantasy, you can't tell what's a dream and what's not. Just like the characters in the movie. Oh, but the first one? Where Nancy falls asleep in class? And wakes up to the guy reading aloud from Hamlet in that slow, creepy monotone? *shudder* That one is art. (Oh, and also? I'm your boyfriend noooooow, Naaaancy! Hahaha. That line is awesome.)
  10. The Ring*; Hands down, the scariest movie I've ever seen. The whole movie, you just have this feeling of dread and when it looks like the characters have averted disaster, you don't quite believe it. And by the end, you find out you were totally right. There are quite a few scares, but the last ten minutes are excruciating. I saw it twice in the theater (I know, I'm a masochist!) and the second time was actually worse because I knew what was going to happen. I didn't sleep for like, three days and you'd BETTER believe that a week after I saw it, I made DAMN sure I was in a public place. To this day, I won't use the alarm or sleep timer on my television. I don't want it turning itself on or off and getting any ideas.
*The Ring is a remake of a Japanese horror film, Ringu. The original is a good movie too; you'll like whichever one you saw first a little bit better. One boring night at the video store, a coworker and I did a side-by-side comparison of the endings of both movies. We agreed that Ringu is a little bit scarier. So, have fun with that.


Anonymous said...

So, I thought that no one had seen Session 9 except me. LOOOOOOOve that movie. Scary as hell. And, I was just thinking of the scary coolness of Dawn of the Dead on my drive into work....strange **cue twilight zone music** And, the scariest movie ever...not so much Jaws. But I do remember laughing, maybe cackling, at you for spending like a week watching scary movies and having that be the #1. Kind of anticlimactic. he he he. ~Josephine

Mamma Mia said...

Remember what happened after we saw Blair Witch and were heading back to the car?? When I waited until it was all quiet and then screamed at the top of my lungs, and Mame went into fetal position?? BWAHAHAhahahahahahaha that was the funniest thing EVAH!

BTW, I'm with you on every choice (except Session 9, which I've never even heard of but have to check out now because I'm a masochist), except I have to give props to "The Grudge" yo, because that scared me so bad that I made my boyfriend come over even though I wasn't speaking to him. It also didn't help that there was a squirrel in the crawlspace of my apartment (I didn't actually know it was a squirrel until later) and the access panel was in the ceiling of the closet, just like in the movie. Oh, and Japanese version was even creepier for this one as well!

Auntie Mame said...

The memory of that scream still haunts my dreams, Mamma Mia. I was sure someone was standing in the corner.