Welcome back for another installment from Brady Riann, Moviefone's teenage correspondent. You'll get reviews and insights into the world of film -- from a teenage perspective.
Halloween is here! And who doesn't look forward to this time of year? Kids get to roll in mounds of candy, teens have parties generally based on making bad decisions, and parents get to see the smiles on young children's faces -- and deal with their sugar highs later (okay, so win/lose). October is an absolute blast because it focuses on one of movies' most prominent genres: horror! It's the best time of year for fans of all kinds of movies to absorb as much creepy crawling craziness as they can handle.
Everybody loves a good scare, but sometimes the pile of garbage gets too high to sift through -- so let's do it together. The following titles are two of my favorite obscure scary movies that really put me in the Halloween spirit, along with two classics that you need to see if you haven't already.
Check Out:"Session 9" (2001)
"Session 9" centers around an asbestos clean-up crew working in an abandoned mental hospital -- with a peculiar past -- as tensions that affect the job, rise within the group. The utter insanity unfolds in an interesting series of events, and a jaw dropping finale. "Session 9" is one of the most effective films of the genre. It utilizes a great cast of names that, barring Josh Lucas, I had never heard of before; this makes the film more realistic and easier to believe.
It also has one thing that many horror films lack: the scares! A lot of the genre relies on cheap jump scares and gore to "scare" an audience. I hate gore in horror; I find it mindless and not scary. What's the point in watching a horror film just to see a prop head cut off and have fake blood cascade all over the floor? All movies are fake, but the good ones create a world that feels real. Minimal gore means that somebody took time and extreme care to craft a film that will deliver a horrifying experience, and "Session 9" is that kind of film. Most of us have seen the "abandoned mental hospital" thing before, but "Session 9" makes it feel completely original. I've watched the film more than once and I remain as creeped out as I did the first time. I suggest you seriously consider it, if you dare!
Pair it With: "The Shining" (1980)
Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining," is nothing short of absolute brilliance, but I have to admit I'm kind of a sucker for Kubrick. This was the first Kubrick film I watched -- before even knowing who Kubrick was. But I knew as soon as it was over that it was something completely different. I'd never seen such style, such framing, and such outstanding lead actors. Before that, I really didn't care about those things, but Kubrick forced it out of me. "The Shining" is a film that needs to be watched more than once, not because it's extremely complicated, but because it feels so fresh every time I pop it in. (I've gushed about the character of Danny before)
I think this film is perfect to pair up with "Session 9" because it focuses on people and their demons. The creepiness is in it's subtlety (just zooming in on Jack Nicholson's face was enough to give me nightmares). Gore-wise, it's also pretty tame with the exception of one scene, and it's definitely a nightmarish sequence. That's what this film really is: a horrifyingly detailed nightmare, and one I would have over and over again.
Check Out: "Vampyr" (1932)
Allan Gray is obsessed with the supernatural. He travels to a remote castle and starts finding evidence that some odd people are lurking about... and they may not even be human. One of the reasons I love "Vampyr" so much is because the effects are practical. It adds to that "creating a sense of reality" thing I talked about earlier. It's astounding to watch directors of a different age conceive a creepy film without having the advantages of modern day effects.
It's a German film, and the Germans knew how to make some frightening flicks (See: "Nosferatu"). Don't get scared by the language barrier because there isn't much dialogue, and when there is, it's fairly simple. My favorite part of the film has to be the shadows... but that's all I'll say. Also, don't get discouraged by its release year; the film is as chilling as any good modern horror film.
Pair it With: "Psycho" (1960)
No, it's not a vampire movie, but it does deal with the same issue of a person going to a hotel and getting more than they bargained for. Norman Bates is one of the most mysterious characters in American horror, and Anthony Perkins is so good in the role, it's hard to imagine anyone else playing it. "Psycho" is filled with enough twists and turns that it's hard to pin down which is the best. Alfred Hitchcock was a great director who knew exactly how to manipulate his audience into feeling what he wanted. This film is nothing short of unsettling, so if you're looking for something creepy, I would strongly suggest giving this one a try.
Everybody has an opinion, so tell me yours! What are some of your favorite obscure horror films?