If you haven't already noticed, I'm kind of a morbid person. I always have been--my sisters can attest to this. And really, all three of us are pretty morbid...what with our bone collections and those bird feet and wings we have, from time to time, picked up in parking lots and Seattle street corners. (And just think, I wrote that days before Monika posted that dead bird picture.)
So, it should come as a surprise to exactly no one that I am a fan of scary movies. Ghosts, witches, zombies, demons, werewolves, aliens, creatures, vampires, human weirdos...I'm game for all of it except torture porn (like the Saw franchise). I'm happy to watch an alien pop out of someone's gut, but I don't care to watch a person tear into another person's gut to retrieve a key or something. Whatever. I have no patience for that mess, thank you very much.
THE OTHERS: A house shrouded in mist and rooms kept in shadows. Creepy kids, weirdo servants, a long-lost husband, a quietly frenetic mother. Nothing is as it seems, and someone has an unspeakable secret. Everything that I love about moody, atmospheric dramas, plus isolation, isolation, isolation! My total fave.
For other movies that start sleepy and creepy before turning up the scare volume, check out The Awakening, Pan's Labyrinth, The Shining, Session 9, and The Haunting (1963 version, based on Shirley Jackson's book, of course!).
28 DAYS LATER: The movie that reignited the zombie craze and spawned legions of sprinting zombie copycapts. It's one of my favorite fast-paced, action-packed, edge-of-my-seat scary movies, and I'm always left feeling like it's an accurate representation of what the end of the world could be like.
For good (and serious) movies in the same vein, I recommend Rammbock (or Berlin Undead), [REC], and Dawn of the Dead (which I still watch probably once every other month). For zombie movies on the comedy side, I love Shaun of the Dead, Fido (it took me a long time to watch this, but I loved it), and Cabin in the Woods.
THE THING: In my book this is the top alien creature movie. Being naturally suspicious of everyone I encounter means that I'm always prepared for an alien-taking-control-of-people's-bodies situation. And by always prepared, I mean, always wondering if people are aliens. Because, really, there's no way I'd survive an alien invasion. My innards would be ripped out like two seconds in. I just can't control the volume of my voice well enough to hide effectively.
If you're into aliens, or just creatures taking over bodies, try the life-alteringly scary IT (the mini-series that destroyed my brain at age 9), Event Horizon, Alien, or The Exorcist (see below).
THE EXORCIST: I first saw this when it was re-released in the theater. Catherine and I foolishly thought we could give it a go. We were wrong on so many levels. I had to cover my eyes several times, and that just doesn't happen to me. But seriously? Crab-walking down those stairs was like the nightmare of my life. It didn't help that Monika and Catherine made color copies of Regan's demon-possessed face and taped them to the bathroom mirror for me to find. Rude!
If you've braved The Exorcist and want more--fool!--try The Omen, Poltergeist, and Rosemary's Baby. I don't think they terrify me on the same level as The Exorcist, but all three are unsettling to the max.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN: I might be alone in this camp, but I feel like the sexy vampire market (much like the zombie market) is a bit saturated at the moment. For me, vampires are at their best when they're a mix between human and other. The otherness just makes everything so much more interesting! And this little gem is quite interesting. At the risk of giving all away, I won't say anything more.
For vampires, I recommend F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu. You might be thinking, Ughhh, really? That's such an easy choice. OK, I get it. It's a silent film, and the vampire is not exactly someone you'd want to make out with. But it's a classic horror film, and you should really just give it a try. And after you do, watch Shadow of the Vampire. Yesyesyesyesyes. All that being said, know that I will always watch The Lost Boys, Interview With the Vampire, and Fright Night.
Now, what are your favorite Halloween movies? Please clue me in about all the awesomeness I'm missing out on!