Every October I rack my brain trying to come up with some new type of horror list. (Me and every other genre site in the world!) But I was watching one of my favorites the other night and I was struck by how damn creepy the movie is. Like from frame one to the final stinger. Off-putting, distressing, ominous, sinister ... creepy, basically. And boom, there's your Cine-7 topic. Plain Old Creepy Flicks. And obviously I want some good contributions from you folks. Have a safe and happy Halloween.
Sleepy Hollow -- It's not often mentioned among Tim Burton's best films, but I've grown very fond of this flick over the last several years. The basic story is cool enough, and there's a great ensemble to sift through, but it's just the simple LOOK of the movie that keeps me feeling a little bit creeped out. This adaptation is perfect for family viewing, too, provided your kids are at least pre-teens. It's scary (and gory) enough to not be corny, and it's got just enough plot to keep the parents interested. Plus, c'mon. Johnny Depp is great in this movie.
Pumpkinhead -- Prior to sitting down with the recent (and excellent) special edition of Stan Winston's one and only directorial effort, all I'd remembered about the flick was A) Lance Henriksen, B) a very cool monster, and C) a surprisingly atmospheric presentation. And that recent viewing said the same thing: This is a very cool monster movie. Dark, gothic, a little gory, and a rather cool ending.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- Nothing against the immortal Don Siegel and his 1956 classic, but it's Kaufman's 1978 masterpiece that makes me feel all chilly and spooked. From the opening scenes of an alien "something" landing inside of Earth's plainest foliage, the movie simply documents the end of humanity in very frank and matter-of-fact fashion. I don't know what's creepier: The sequence in which Sutherland is nearly cloned, or the maniacal shrieks that the "others" employ when tracking down their victims. I love love love this movie.
The Haunting -- If you have to ask "The original?" then I fear I may have to smack you for sheer silliness. Not only is the original a true-blue classic of horror cinema, and the absolute benchmark on how to scare people silly while showing virtually nothing -- but the remake is a crap-heap of monumental proportions. It really is. The masterful Robert Wise sets out to deliver the creeps through simple camera tricks, eerie sound effects, and a premise that's just believeable enough to swallow. Dang this movie used to give me nightmares.
Session 9 -- I feel like I've been hyping this movie since the day it came out, and that's because I have. Just those bird-sounds and the memories of the slightly slowwweeed-doowwwwn audio recorder creep me out ... oooh, and that bit with the kid running down the underground hallway as the lights flick off over his head. This flick is full of great little details, and it's one of my favorite "haunted edifice" movies of the past ten years. Creepy!
The Shining -- An obvious choice, but I gotta go with my gut, right? If Kubrick's goal was to create an entire hotel that reeks of outright creepiness, then I'd say he succeeded big-time. Something about those huge empty hallways and those freaky twin girls ... and don't even get me started on what's sitting in that bathtub. Yikes.
Frailty -- Chew on the ending for a little while. Seriously creepy.
Halloween -- If I thought The Shining was an obvious choice, then yeah: This is the pinnacle of obviousness. But I refuse to apologize, because John Carpenter's Halloween is one helluva creepy movie. Long before the sequels and the remakes required back-stories and go-nowhere subplots, the essentials were there: Michael Meyers was a blank slate, a force of simple evil, the goddam unstoppable boogeyman. That's creepy. Plus Carpenter does a fine job of creating a small town Everyville, which makes the creep factor tick even higher. And then there are factors like the editing, the really nifty sound effects, and that awesome "location montage" at the very end. Yeah, baby. Creepy!