Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Classic Education in Good Scares!

Contributor: Katie Avra, Outreach Coordinator
*This list is representative of the contributor’s point of view.

Tis the season for witches, goblins and ghosts to haunt us with their terror tales and crazy blade swinging characters. This is the perfect time of year to watch a scary movie that will give you the fright of our life! Enjoy this list of top scary movies of all time.

Pet Semetery, 1989- Where did you bury the cat and why is she trying to claw my eyes out? Since this worked out so well, let’s bury our dead son there too and see what happens!

The Thing, 1982- A John Carpenter masterpiece. Don’t trust your friends; they might just be dying to kill you! A 2011 remake is set to release on Oct. 14th and the music harkens to John Carpenter’s taste.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1957 or 1978- need a reason to question your strange friends and family members? They may not be themselves! Donald Sutherland and a young Jeff Goldblum star in the 1978 version.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974- Well what could go wrong that hasn’t already? This is a classic tale of wrong-place-wrong-time with chainsaw enthusiast cannibals.

The Birds, 1963- a Hitchcock classic, a thrill and suspense masterpiece starring Melanie Griffith’s mother as the leading lady who can’t seem to avoid the aviary invasion!

Psycho, 1960- The suspense building musical cues in this movie set a standard still strived for today; a jump out of your seat classic good scare.

Dawn of the Dead, 1978- This is the follow up from Night of the Living Dead. They kill, they eat the living, and then they get up and kill.

Night of the Living Dead, 1968- George Romero’s classic black and white terror; it is a night with the dead who cannot die and whose only food is the living.

Amityville Horror, 1978- A twisted tale of a good step-dad gone mad! Is it the house, the town or the murdering possession driven spirits? The 2005 remake inserts a background story line explaining the possession.

Evil Dead, 1981- Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell fans unite; a true epic classic for cheesy, gory flicks.

Friday the 13th, 1980- This epic revenge tale portrays the prefect scary camp setting; a great American genre classic with Kevin Bacon.

The Howling, 1981- Long before “Jacob” and the rest of the hip new ware wolves, there was a great “bite you, turn you, and convince you to join a cult” classic.

Jaws, 1975- Who could forget one of the most terrifying musical cannons of classical cinema! Can you see the waves parting on the sides of the rising great white shark fin now? Dun-ah, Dun-ah…Dun-ah Dun-ah Dun-ah!

Poltergeist, 1982- “They’re here!” Oh memories of the braces that attack your brother, your backyard tree and pool trying to swallow you! Those were the days!

Hellraiser, 1987- As a young girl I remember sneaking a peak of this horrifying band of evil misfits with my brothers (nightmares for months).

Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984- The rhyme that could make your hair stand up on end with a chill running down your spine. 1, 2 Freddy’s coming for you. 3, 4 better lock your door. 5, 6 grab your crucifix. 7, 8 better stay up late. 9, 10 never sleep again. This is a top pick from my childhood.

The Shining, 1980- If Stanley Kubrick’s setting for this film wasn’t stunning enough, Jack harkens back to the Psycho and other Hitchcock days.

My Bloody Valentine, 1981- This was a surprise hit for me. It brought me back to camp Crystal Lake and the unsuspecting friends theme is a familiar classic.

Carrie, 1976- Maybe red was the color she wanted for her prom dress all along!?! And who hasn’t known a crazy fanatical mother! This film later makes way for 1980’s Prom Night starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

Exorcist, 1973- This film affirmed a level of gore in films not scene before. It defined and became a cornerstone for horror fans and laid a future foundation for gory films with religious ties.

Black Christmas, 1974- This was another surprise hit for me. Familiar stars include Margot Kidder, who was also in Amittyville Horror and John Saxon who was the detective/father in Nightmare on Elm Street. This movie gathered more popularity in Canada during its original release. The 2006 remake asserts background information regarding the mystery caller and his motives not in the 1974 production.

Halloween, 1978- What could be more realistically scary than an unsuspecting babysitter and her teen friends being terrorized on Halloween night? Moustapha Akkad, executive producer of the Halloween films, was right! The theme, the music and the simplicity work. Aren’t we glad that Akkad agreed to let Carpenter have his name before the title so this chilling movie can exist? Halloween spawned the slasher movies we know and love today. This is my eternal #1 pick for top scary movie of all time.

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