Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Top 5 Scary Movies (AKA: Movies That Actually Creeped Me Out)

Just about anyone who knows me will tell you I don't scare easily. I can watch a horror movie and go straight to bed afterward with no ill effects.

But, every now and then a movie comes along that sinks into my psyche and has me looking over my shoulder and flicking on the lights before I cross the threshold of a room. (Possible spoilers ahead.)

5. Insidious

I watched this movie by chance. It was a lazy evening, I was half asleep and it was the only thing on Netflix that looked remotely interesting.

This movie plays on the idea that it's not houses which are haunted, it's people.

Scariest moment: The old lady. I won't say more because it comes toward the very end of the movie and I would be spoiling everything.

4. 28 Days Later

My husband and I went to see this when we were dating. We were one of the few people in the theatre. (That's kind of a pattern in my life... The perks to seeing movies when they've been out a while.)

Now zombies, for the most part, don't scare me. Shuffling corpses that are rotting on their feet and can be taken out by a blow to their softening craniums? No problem. Of course, in a hoarde there could be a problem.

And if it's a hoard of rage virus infected zombies, get me out of dodge.

Scariest moment: The zombies in the church. You don't see them...and then you do.

3. Mama

Children in horror movies are creepy. The children in Mama are
extraordinarily creepy as they've been left on their own for so long, they're essentially feral.

But beyond the creepy children is the fluid creature that is Mama (played by Javier Botet - yes, there's an actual person behind the character). Stretched tall and thin with long fingers and flowing hair, she is beautiful and grotesque and terrifying. And when she slithers from the shadows or up out of the ground....

I jumped during this movie. And that just doesn't happen.

Scariest moment: Annabelle realizing the figure she just saw was not, in fact, one of the children playing.

2. Candyman

Based on "The Forbidden," a short story by Clive Barker, this movie follows Helen (Virginia Madsen), a grad student completing a thesis on urban myths, who encounters the legend of the "Candyman." The story and movie is a twist on the Bloody Mary tale.

I don't remember how old I was the first time I saw this, but for a while I was very, very careful about how often I said the title and I had trouble looking in mirrors for a few days afterward. Even now, after watching it I sometimes expect my reflection to do something independent of my actions...and I'm still reserved about saying the name of the movie. (You'll note I only typed it twice.)

Scariest moment: The first time Candyman speaks. Tony Todd has this sonorous voice that rattles your very bones.

1. The Ring

The Ring (a remake of the Japanese film Ringu) was one of those movies I didn't see until it was out of the theatre. Everyone had been raving about it so my natural inclination was to presume that I'd probably hate it. (I've been burned often enough.)

I didn't hate it. I was very pleasantly surprised. In 2002, it had been a long time since I'd seen a horror movie that made the skin along my spine crawl.

From the grey-blue underexposure of the cinematography to the subtle music to the slow building climax, tension and threat permeates the movie.

And the sight of Samara eventually crawling out of someone's television to wreak vengeance (or just havoc) is one that has stuck in my psyche. The first time I watched The Ring, I had to cover the television in my room in order to go to sleep.

Honestly, every now and then I still get a little nervous around an uncovered television.

Scariest moment: The well. I thought it was all over for Naomi Watts' character.

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