Saturday, October 24, 2009

Turn Off the Lights and Turn On the Fear

So it’s getting close to Halloween and you’d like to get into the spirit of the holiday, but you’ve already dressed up like David Bowie and egged your neighbor’s house? I suppose you could go to some costume shindig or something, but I, Matt Frey, have spent countless hours of my life slaving over the following list of scary movies for you to see instead.

Social interaction is overrated anyway.

Friday the 13th: Even though Freddy Krueger is my hero, Jason Voorhees, the villain of the Friday the 13th series, still holds a special place in my black heart. Despite the disappointing Jason Goes to Hell and carnival of pain that is Jason X, the series is pretty entertaining and a great pick for some Halloween fun. However, the old Nintendo game is actually scarier than the movies. For one thing, the music freaks you out, and random Jason encounters leave you paranoid; you’re always terrified that he’ll jump out at you in the woods and kill your character. The other reason it’s so scary is that it’s one of the worst games ever made. It’s frustrating, ugly, and boring. And yet, I love it. Go figure.

Halloween: I know what you’re thinking, but despite the title, this film is NOT about Easter. No, it’s about the maniac killing machine Michael Myers. For some reason, Michael is very angry at the local teen baby sitter population, and he proceeds to off them one by one in creative, sometimes decorative ways. A classic; required Halloween time viewing.

Gigli: It was so scary, I cried for hours.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: This series has had its ups and downs, but as a whole, it’s a lot of fun. Nothing beats Johnny Depp being eaten by a demon bed, Freddy bleeding something that looks like Mountain Dew, random livestock running around in Freddy’s basement, and Nancy’s aloof, orange skinned mother. And that’s just in the first installment. If you’re looking for a crash course in Freddyology, see parts one, three, and seven.

The Others: Most of the fear in this movie stems not from brutal slayings, but from psychological terror. One of the people I saw it with four years ago grabbed my arm so hard during the scary parts that her fingerprints are still embedded in my skin. It was like a free tattoo, only it hurt more and it looks stupid. Thanks, Nicole Kidman!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Yeah, so, it’s not really a horror movie. But there are lots of people running around wearing Halloween costumes in it, and it has the word “horror” in the title, so I’m putting it here anyway. After watching this movie, even smiling will make your face ache.

Silent Hill: The movie is pretty good, but look: Get the original Playstation game. Now. It’s terrifying. The second one, for PS2, isn’t as scary, but the storyline is great for creeping you out the more you think about it. Both do a better job making you cry for your mommy than the recent film, but if a DVD player is all you have, don’t hesitate to see it.

Sleepaway Camp: Yeah, I hadn’t heard of this either until I picked it up on a whim. At first, I thought it was a cheap Friday the 13th rip-off, but it’s actually nothing like it. It keeps you guessing until the truly shocking final scene, which I sometimes re-watch whenever I need to experience severe psychological trauma for a paper or something.

Videodrome: This film raises some terrifying questions about control, the dark side of human sexuality, and if there’s anything good on TV. It’s probably not normal to hide a gun INSIDE one’s chest, but Videodrome somehow makes yanking out your own insides look glamorous.

Vampire Hunter D: This animated cult classic features a dark hero with a talking hand that eats dirt, an agile but wardrobe-impaired heroine, and Dracula exploding someone’s head. Nothing rocks harder than Dracula exploding someone’s head, and as such, it occurs only once in this movie. This, for those keeping score, is exactly one more time than every other movie ever. Vampire Hunter D a lot like Titanic, only with vampires and lots of killing. Fun for the whole family over 18.

After hearing about all these choice films, if you’re still thinking about going to some lame party and getting drunk this Halloween, consider this: Waking up next to one of these movies the following morning does not require you to awkwardly ask for its phone number. Happy Halloween!

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