Friday, October 22, 2010

Top 10 Scariest Films Of All Time Trixi-Style (in honor of Halloween)

Halloween is my favorite Holiday. I even married the love of my life on that Holiday just so we could have a lifetime of spooky, themed anniversary parties. In honor of the glorious pending Holiday, and as part of some kind of wacky social networking game, my circle has been sharing our list of horror film favorites. What follows is my 'right at this moment' list, with the usual Trixi-type insight. Feel free to ignore my under-qualified, but very passionate, observations.

1) The Excorcist - Films about demon possessions* scare the living Be-Jesus out of me. I have a steadfast rule that I will only watch this movie while there's daylight....on a Sunday.

2) Evil Dead - The first time I saw this was at a slumber party when I was 12. I watched the entire film while peeping through a tiny sliver from underneath my sleeping bag. From the very beginning it had me with that marvelous low-budget, grainy camera work and muffled boom mics that made it feel like the characters were speaking to me through a fog. Starring 'the man with the handsomest profile in Hollywood' - Bruce Cambell.

3) Fright Night - Two words: Roddy McDowell. The soon to come remake has David Tennant playing Peter Vincent. Though I LOVE Tennant, I'm just too devoted to RM to see anyone else playing that role. This has 80's written all over it. The wardrobe. The all-too-perfectly sweet girlfriend. The hero that shouldn't be a hero. Chris Saradon's smug handsomeness, with just a hint of homosexual subtext between him and Jonathan Stark's character. And Evil Ed. Neat sidenote - The director for the remake directed some ep's of 'US of Tara'. He parked next to me on the studio lot. His first words to me were 'mind my car'. He's a funny, sweet guy with a great eye & enough of a sense of humor that he'll do right by the remake.
'You're so cool, Brewster!"

4) The Birds - I'm a HUGE Hitch fan. His work is the reason why I studied film in college. His catalogue is more 'suspense' than horror, but I had to give a shout-out. Also, aside from the crow attack scene in Damien:Omen II, the tip-toeing through the turtledoves scenes at the end are the creepiest bird related bits of cinema ever. It still sends shivers, and causes me to eye our local robins with cautious suspicion. Finally, the chemistry between Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren is super hot!

5) Cloverfield - FREAKED MY SHIT OUT! Saw this in the theater in West Hollywood, where the crowd can be a little more savvy when it comes to film ("Industry People" *sniff*). The reaction when the credits were rolling - stunned silence. Jonny had to peal me off the walls after this one. The handheld, character p.o.v. camera work that caused motions sickness to some movie goers, only added to the 'This IS ALL REAL' feeling for the extremely terrified audience. There's a moment when the monster looks right into the eye of the camera from high above that made me almost hide under my seat. Another side note - Cody's biz manager's offices were on Cloverfield. It always made me uneasy to visit there...and then I saw the film.

6) Alien - In space, no one can hear you scream.

7) Nightmare On Elm Street - Anyone in my generation that does not have this on their list needs to turn in their 'Modern Horror Film Buff' card. It was dark and erie and fun. Also - Jonny Depp in a blender.

8) Happy Birthday To Me - More slumber party fodder in which Mary from Little House On The Prairie goes bananas as a secret evil twin. The death scenes are cringe worthy, if not a bit cheesy. A weightliftng set? Really? This one is a 'right of passage' for every girl's sweet 16 party.

9) House of Wax (1953) - Vincent Price had to be somewhere on the list! I was VERY young when I saw this on TV (minus the 3-D effects that are so obvious in hindsight). I think it might have been my first introduction to the genre of horror, and I was terrified. The scene where the victim in wax is recognized by her earrings totally disturbs me.

10 ) War of The Worlds (1953) - Though it's really more of a Sci-Fi than horror film, it is hands down one of my favorite films of all time. The alien ships, the sounds, the special greenish hue that only 50's movies can have. It's all so utterly beautiful. The scene in the farm house just oozes with a kind of suspense that many a film have followed suit since. And our hero is cut of the same chiseled chin cloth that all 50's horror heroes come from. CLASSIC!

*Paranormal Activity makes the honorable mention list, only because when we watched it with Miss N, she didn't flinch once. This labels me a wimp, and pushes this demon possession film out of the top 10 running. Another add - ALL Hammer Horror Films. They're too much of a genre of their own that I could not single out 1, or even 10 of them. Rocky Horror Picture Show, being an homage to Hammer in musical form, also makes the list...but in a very silly way. And finally - Susperia. It's use of color and interesting choice of music and set design, gives it a dreamy beauty that makes it more of an art piece than horror to me.