09 April 2013

H is for Horror Films

I used to love horror films. I've never been very brave though. They have always really scared me, but I chose to inflict the terror on myself. The problem was that I wasn't just scared while the film was playing - it would stay with me long after, returning to haunt my brain whenever I was on my own, or in the dark, or going into empty public toilets (still scary now - there are so many horrible things that happen in toilets in horror films). So a good few years ago I decided not to watch them anymore, unless I knew they were particularly great films or stories (or I'd seen them before). 

Every now and then I do get the urge to scare myself so I might brave a film from the horror topic on Netflix. The last one I watched was Insidious. The trailer made it look much more terrifying than it actually was. I think the story was a bit too lame for it to be scary. I wouldn't have watched it alone though. Just in case.

So, to honour my love-hate relationship with the horror flick, I've compiled a list of 10 of my favourite scary films. In no particular order.............

1)  Evil Dead II (1987). Now, I said 'in no particular order' but this one has to be the best horror film. It is funny mixed with a touch of scariness, and one of the few films of any genre that I'd happily watch again and again. Groovy.

2) The Blob (1988). This was the first horror film I ever watched, at the tender age of 12 at a sleepover, and it was literally the scariest thing ever. I was both glued to it and terrified by it. I did watch it again some years later only to find that it really wasn't that scary after all. Still, it makes the list for being the first of many scary sleepover films that stayed with me long after we turned it off.

3)  IT (1990). Another sleepover film. I remember it scaring the life out of me at the time, but I haven't watched it since so not sure how bad it really was. Perhaps I'll muster up the courage to put it on again soon.

4) 28 Days Later (2002). This is a really brilliant film, and I loved it for lots of reasons - the scenes of an empty London were really fantastic and I love the effort that it took to record them in short bursts while keeping out all the traffic and people, the story is one of those that-could-really-happen ones, and the soundtrack is awesome. 'In the House, In a Heartbeat' by John Murphy is such an iconic piece of music. Brilliant.

5) Let the Right One In (2008). This is the original Swedish version, not the American remake Let Me In (2010), although that was pretty good too. I read the book by John Ajvide Lindqvist first which is so brilliant - I was telling everyone that would listen how good it was. The film is definitely different, and there are scenes which worked better in the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it all the same. It is very bleak. Makes you appreciate the British weather.

6) The Ring (2002). I watched this on a plane the first time, and I think that helped to make it slightly less terrifying. Subsequent viewings have reminded me that it is indeed one of the scariest things I've watched. And that classic bit where the girl comes out of the TV doesn't get any easier to watch either. 

7) The Grudge (2004). Another properly scary film. I watched this at my friend's house then went home to a dark empty house of my own. This was not a good idea. I remember having to stay up for hours watching something completely opposite to scary before I could go to bed. I do not want to watch the sequels or the Japanese original. I wouldn't watch it again either, even though it does star Sarah Michelle Gellar. No way. Even looking at the movie poster gives me shivers.

8) The Exorcist (1973). This list wouldn't be complete without The Exorcist. Surprisingly, due to the number of aforementioned sleepover horror films we watched growing up, I hadn't seen this one until it was re-released in UK cinemas in 1998. I must have been only 16 (oops). It did freak me out a bit, especially when she traps her mother in the bedroom with her. Scary stuff.

9) Dawn of the Dead (2004). Another remake. Plagues, viruses and zombies - standard horror stuff - but for some reason I enjoyed this one a lot. I think I've even watched it more than once. Must have been feeling brave.

10) Scream (1996) and the rest of the bunch. I was just the right age for the Scream films. Young enough that they had the power to scare me at first, but as I grew up and the next one came out I appreciated the comedy and cliche of them too. I just had to include them. And even though they are a completely different franchise, I kind of want to include the I Know What You Did Last Summer films here too. 

Does anyone else have any particular films that scared them silly when they were young but looked pretty pathetic years later? Or perhaps you still need to revisit those nightmare films from childhood?  


Kristen Dyrr said...

I was thinking I don't like horror films, but I totally agree with your top four, minus "IT". Those are some awesome movies. I would replace "IT" with the original "The Thing," with Kurt Russell. I'll have to check out "Let the Right One In." That one sounds pretty good.

#atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

Jana Grissom said...

I watch scary movies with my hands covering my face - like thats going to help! LOL

Jana @ A Novel Reality

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