Friday, October 19, 2012
October Horror Part I
I've recently been out to the theater to see two, one that was very good, the other that wasn't horrible, and Paranormal Activity 4 kicks off today, so far so good. I'll get to them in Part II, but for Part I, I wanted to show some love for my very favorite horror movies of all time. I'll try and avoid the obvious ones (Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, Exorcist, Halloween, etc), in hopes that there might be at least one on the list you've never seen before....
genuinely disturbing use of special effects, but more importantly the wisdom of knowing when NOT to use them. It's rare to encounter a movie in the modern age that has any sense of restraint - why hint at death and destruction when we can throw it in the viewers' faces? I don't know about you, but the things I imagine typically scare me more than the best Hollywood shlock, and Carpenter gets that.
Crazy fact about the movie: the Black Church depicted in the film as the seat of all evil is a real place!
The movie does an outstanding job of starting things off with an uneasy feeling, then ratcheting up the tension to a truly terrifying finale, made infamous by the fact that actual physically and mentally disabled people were hired to portray demons and damned souls. Whether it was in good taste or not, it makes for a scene you won't forget.
"I have a message for you, and you're not going to like it. Pray for death."
It's also the origin of this classic .gif file, from the ever-over-emotive David Caruso:
Jacob's Ladder: Another movie that excels at barely glancing at the more horrific aspects of its mythology rather than slapping the viewer across the face with them, freakishly tall Tim Robbins (6'5!) plays a Vietnam vet who comes home from the war after nearly losing his life to find that things are significantly stranger than he remembers them being. Another movie that watches like an RPG, you can see the influence on 90s horror RPGs such as Kult, World of Darkness, and other games where the horror of the unknown creeps in, fraying the edges of the world a bit at a time until the protagonist can't tell where the real world ends and where the horror begins. A movie that keeps the viewer off balance, and effectively puts the viewer in the protagonist's seat, you'll find yourself wondering along with Robbins' character, "Did I really just see that?"
more to come.....