Posted at 5:58 PM on October 28, 2005
by Euan Kerr
I had a long chat with the Movie Maven a while back about the scariest horror movies. She was looking for suggestions for a Midday appearance. I quickly said "Apocalypse now," which she just as quickly dismissed as not being a horror movie. I begged to differ but was unable to change her mind. (You can find the list she came up with here)
Of course, what is scary is in the mind of the beholder. For years the movie that gave me the most nightmares was "Black Beauty," although the Evil Queen from "Sleeping Beauty" took a few disquieting trips though my dreams too.
During my teen years a steady diet of the Hammer films thrilled me more than scared me. They were relatively innocuous, and always seemed to star Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, or Vincent Price. I found myself drawn to other kinds of movies. This decision was enforced by my younger sister who delighted in turning up to ruin the family breakfast by reciting, in excruciating detail, some gore-fest she had seen with her metal-head boyfriend the night before.
Then I started seeing movies that truly disturbed me. David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" was one, even though I laughed through much of it. (I have a friend who says that Lynch's first feature "Eraserhead" is the only film that gets scarier the more times you see it.) Then Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" freaked me out, but I went to see "Reservoir Dogs" at a revival house anyway, and it was even scarier. Reality is always so much more disturbing than fantasies of vampires,
My mother once told me she believed scary movies were really designed just to allow people on dates to cuddle closer. That was in the 50's though, and today's scary films just make me appreciate the mundane nature of my existance.
As we approach Hallowe'en what films will you be seeking out this year? Something current like "Saw II" or "The Fog"? Or something classic like "The Exorcist" or "Halloween?"