Well, it's just about 'All Hallows Eve' and if you're anything like me, then you have already depleted your candy supply and you've been watching as many horror movies as you can get your hands on. And as I've watched everything from The Wolf Man to 13 Ghosts I've been thinking how few movies actually scare me -- the rise of torture porn was nauseating, sure, but scary? Not really. Over at Den of Geek they've compiled a list of movies that scare them and it has inspired me to think about what flicks have given me the honest to goodness heebie-jeebies over the years.
Usually when I watch horror, it's with an eye for comedy and usually the lamer the film, the better. But occasionally there's a film that actually does what it's supposed to: scare the crap out of me. But as much as I tried to find a common denominator for what scares me on the big screen, I came up empty. In fact, there's never really any way to tell just what is going to hit the right buttons when it comes to horror, but I guess that's what makes it so much fun.
After the jump: 5 movies that guarantee me a 'bad night's sleep'...
Now before we get started, keep in mind, this list isn't about the 'best' in horror, just the stuff that scares me. So if I haven't included your favorite, go easy on me.
Usually serial killer movies aren't my thing, but in David Fincher's adaptation of Robert Graysmith's book, the scenes in which we see The Zodiac 'go to work' were some of the most horrifying things I had seen committed to film. It wasn't because they were gruesome or because they were 'creative' kills -- instead, what made them so scary was how quick and utterly unremarkable they were, and reality is way scarier than fantasy.
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
I saw Tobe Hooper's classic almost 20 years ago, and I still avoid it like the plague whenever possible. Part of the reason I was never all that into the 'Hostel' brand of horror was that I never got a thrill out of watching people beg for their lives. Chainsaw is the granddaddy of that feeling for me, and it's all thanks to the scene in which Sally is dragged in for Grandpa to slaughter at the family 'dinner' table. I get the willies just thinking about it.
3. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Alexandre Aja was hired by Craven to remake his 1977 horror on the strength of Aja's High Tension -- which is a great horror, but just didn't quite scare me as much as it should have. But Hills made up for it, and even after Aja had to re-edit the film to get an R rating, it still freaked me out -- I mean, the breast milk thing alone was enough to give me nightmares for days.
4. The Shining
This one usually takes the top spot on most people's list of scariest flicks, and with good reason. Sometimes when a film becomes so entrenched in pop culture (and the subject of a Simpson's episode) some of the fear factor can wear off. But as a friend pointed out, what makes this movie still scary is that while we can write off monsters as just part of our imagination, in The Shining, the monster is just a regular guy with writer's block.
5. Twilight Zone: The Movie
Now this is actually kind of a funny story: as a kid, whenever my parents felt that a movie was getting a little intense, my sister and I would hear the magical phrase "cover your eyes!" and instantly the offending content was, for all intents and purposes, 'censored'. I'd watched Twilight Zone on TV, so when the movie was released my parents figured we could handle it, but in the opening scene when Dan Aykroyd asks Albert Brooks "Do you want to see something really scary?", it turns out the answer for me was no, and I instantly covered my eyes. Now here's where it gets kind of strange, because to this day, I still can't bring myself to watch it. I know it won't scare me (probably) but I think I kind of like my quirky childhood story more than actually knowing what takes place (and yes, I've even had it explained to me.)
Well now that you know what scares me, how about you? Leave your scariest movies in the comments below...