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A Touch of Grue...Favorite Horror Flicks...

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Joined: 16 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 1:07 am    Post subject: A Touch of Grue...Favorite Horror Flicks... Reply with quote

The task is complicated by the fact that often there is not a fine line between horror,science fiction and just plain slasher flicks.Anyway,for what it's worth,here are my favorites.I would really be interested to hear about other people's favorites....

1."The Haunting"(The original one...filmed in black and white.There was also a remake two or three years ago...also good ,but not up to the original.The fear in the movies derives largely from the UNSEEN.From the Shirley Jackson book "The Hauntng of Hill House"

2."Halloween"(the original one,and in my opinion,the best movie ever directd by John Carpenter.Best line in the movie"He really WAS the Bogeyman"! Four or five sequels,none as good as the original."Halloween 3,The Day of the Witch" had nothing to do with the original plot.In later sequels,Michael Myers became sort of a poor imitation of Jason in the Friday the Thirteenth series.)

3."Alien"(The original one.I know,this one is probably closer to sci-fi....but it certainly has elements of horror in it.Ridley Scott(who also directed the sci-fi "Blade Runner" did a great job on this one. Horror elements...the alien landscape of the planet on which the ship is marooned...the dark,oily murky interior of the rusting hulk of the spaceship...with a suggestion of something LURKING in every shadow.

Of course,there is the (in) famous chestburster scene...the first time I saw this movie,I actually saw several people in the row ahead of me start gagging and head for the exit.Whoops!There goes the hotdog!Whoops!There go the nachos and cheese...)

4."House on Haunted Hill"(this time,at least in my opinion,the remake of about three or four years ago,is BETTER than the original.Only my opinion.Some people hate this one.)

5."Phantasm"(Okay,okay,that flying silver sphere is pretty damned weak....but actually the TALL MAN,played by Angus Scrimm,is pretty frightening... Also some sequels....not up to the original,though.)

6."Curse of the Demon"(a horror flick from the sixties.based on the M.R.James short story "Casting the Runes".Directed by Val Lewton,who also directed the original "Cat People".The demon is not actually seen until the very end.Until then the fear of the UNSEEN permeates the movie.)

7."Freaks"(a horror flick from the thirties,filmed using actual circus freaks as extras.It was banned for years in the UK.Many theaters in the US refused to show it...after it was reported in a newspaper that a pregnant woman in Ohio had run screaming up the aisle and out of the movie theater.It can now be rented at major outlets like blockbusters.It seems tame by today's standards.

8."Legend of Hellhouse"(this one made it only to the drive-ins and maybe a few other low budget cinemas.From the book by Richard Matheson.

9."Nightmare on Elm Street"(I thought the first one was genuinely frightening.Some of the sequels became a bit....silly.Probably this is more in the slasher genre...but certainly has horrific elements)

10."Carrie"(In my opinion,the best thing that King ever wrote...sort of downhill after that...selling on his name...although 'Salem's Lot was pretty scary.Also,in my opinion,the best movie ever made from a King book or story.I am sure there will be other opinions on this one.)

.Stupidest horror(slasher) series and the one we could most easily do without...Jason,his hockey mask and that Friday the Thirteenth drivel....

A couple of really weird,offbeat entries"The Hills have Eyes"...and "Mother's Day". Rolling Eyes

I know...I left "Night of the Living Dead" off...I didn't like it that much.... Smile
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good horror films are like good language schools...

The Exorcist - I consider this one to be the benchmark. Atmospheirc and a creepiness that is second to none. The sequel took a different tack and paled in comparison. The third installment, mind you, was a pleasant surprise.

Halloween - A masterpiece. John Carpenter's hommage to Hitchcock. This classic had the dubious distinction of being the wellspring from which a seemingly endless array of slasher films spewed forth.

Jaws - Mom, how far is Amity Island from here? Shocked

Wolfen - Good lycanthropy yarn.

Jacob's Ladder - Psychadelic nightmare.

Suspiria - Dario Argento, director. Good atmosphere.
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 3:40 am    Post subject: Some Grue....Part Two Reply with quote

Shaman posts:"Good horror films are like good language schools"..right...few and far between!! One could also say....that a LOT of language schools are like horror films.

On his(her?) list,I agree on "Halloween"...a masterpiece. "Wolfen"...a very good lycanthropy film...yes, indeed.Another interesting lycanthropy film is "A Gathering of Wolves"...a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood...more sombre,gorier...

"The Exorcist"...well ,just my opinon...I did not think it was too bad...but that thing of Linda Blair twisting her head and spewing peasoup or whatever it really was a little comical...I think the scariest thing about that movie was the music.I never saw the third installment.

"Jaws" it really a horror movie? One might also say that "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal" are also horror films,in their way,I suppose.
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 3:54 am    Post subject: Shiver and shake!!!!! Reply with quote

Bnix, now you've got me really worried!
Please do comedies or musicals next!
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 4:17 am    Post subject: Comedies?Comedies?We Don't Need No Feelthy Comedies! Reply with quote

YES,I KNOW IT's BAD GRAMMAR,GUYS...little outake there from "Treasure of the Sierra Madres"!

Only joshing,again Zachiah! Have no fear ! For comedies...we have a lot of TESOL situations(notice that I did not go all the way and call the TESOL profession a comedy).....Hold the brickbats and outrageous slings and arrows guys...I am feeling unusually mordant today!

As for musicals,well,a lot of us have been put in situations in this business where we practically have to get up on stage and trip the light fantastic.Righto.Elvis is dead, and it is too expensive to fly Wayne Newton in from Vegas,so they crave a little entertainment from the TESOL teacher.("What do you mean you can't play the saxophone.I thought all teachers could play the saxophone!")

Never did cotton much to musicals since I saw "Westside Story" and what was their names?...oh yeah...the Jets and Sharks, got ready for a ferocious gang war....then broke into song....GIVE ME a BREAK! Saw the much vaunted "Chicago" recently....overrated...disappointing...would have been much better as a straight film...not a musical.

I have always liked horror films ...i remember cringing at the Saturday matinee ...The Mummy...Dracula or my dad told my disapproving mother.."So the kid likes horror flicks!That's a lot better than doing drugs'...or something...

However,next time,will try to come up with something in a lighter vein...or something... Smile
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 4:32 am    Post subject: The horror, the horror Reply with quote

Dear bnix,
I'm not much into the horror genre - life usually furnishes enough of that.
But here are two favorites:

" Psycho " ( How many of us who saw that dreaded washing our hair in the shower for years afterwards? )

" The Shining " ( IT'S Jack - for me the scariest scene in the whole movie was a very quiet one. It was when the wife, who has been hearing Jack typing away for days on his " novel ", sneaks in to check on his progress and discovers only dozens of pages fillled with the words " All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy " ).

What makes both of these especially " horrible " to me is that they don't rely on the " supernatural " or " aliens " to inspire fear. The insanity the human mind can descend into, all on its own, is quite enough.

Last edited by johnslat on Thu May 01, 2003 5:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Poltergeist' really scared me when I was younger. 'Poltergeist 2' wasn't as scary but they guy who played the evil minister was creepy.

'Suspiria' wasn't that scary but the soundtrack was very good.

Frighteningly bad movies:
Starship Troopers
*barfing emoticon*
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 11:13 am    Post subject: Horror films Reply with quote

I think it depends on what age we are when viewing,or perhaps in what company.When younger i was shocked by most of the Hammer Horror productions my parents allowed me to see,but now i find them rather tame when compared to the current films full of special effects.
Of the more recent films i would say that The Exorcist and Carrie were the ones which had the greatest effect on me,as i now expect almost anything to occur because of technology,and so the fear of the unknown has almost gone.
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spooky Movies!!!

2 of my favorites are Roman Polanski flics. An oldie REPULSION (more psychological horror.And a newbie THE NINTH GATE.

2 more classics my friends used to watch over and over. THE EVIL DEAD and THE CHANGELING.

2 King adaptations. THE SHINING and THE DEAD ZONE.

2 movies that really make you sleep with the lights on are johnslat mentions PSYCHO and the EXORCIST.

The older ones like Hammer films are silly and new ones like Signs aren't scary. Go for the ones in between.Let me mention 2 more for the heck of it..TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD... For that matter we could add anything by Sam Peckinpah or David Cronenberg there so many...
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 4:03 pm    Post subject: Horror-ific Reply with quote

Lots of good points and films. How could I be so remiss to exclude The Shining? And Psycho? That was Carpenter's template for Halloween - not for so much for thematic material as aesthetics.

Gerard - Ninth Gate - a good one. I especially found the ending sequence (the face) pretty eerie.

Travellingscot raised the salient point about the age of the viewer. As we get older, the monsters in the closet or under the bed usually tend to disappear (or become language school owners) Twisted Evil

Seth - yes, that preacher in Poltergeist II was startlingly creepy. I also agree on Showgirls, though I haven't has the misfortune of viewing Starship Troopers.

Johnslat brought up the point of human insanity being enough to inspire fear. True enough. With monsters and special effects, the viewer is afforded a buffer. It's a little closer to home when it's a social reality.

Bnix - I like the classics too. Bela, Boris and Lon are in my collection, not to mention Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I agree with you on musicals as well. It's not too intimidating to have a gang of "toughs" break out into song and dance. Perhaps this illustrates johnslat's point about insanity though. Laughing

Zakiah - Comedy would definitely be fun.


P.S. Keeping in spirit with this thread - I'm an alpha-male. Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 11:37 pm    Post subject: Ninth Gate Reply with quote

Yes,Ninth Gate is very good.Most of Cronenberg's stuff is very good,too.The Brood,etc.The "Evil Dead"zzz/..well, a cult film...I do not think it is really so scary myself.
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