Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stellar Four's Scariest Movies

by the Women of Stellar Four

Who doesn't love a scary movie? Halloween is the best time to pull out your favorite film, grab some candy, and scare the pants off yourself.

We couldn't let the holiday go without highlighting some of our favorite Halloween movies. Here are the movies we always watch when the days get colder and the wind starts to howl. Does your favorite make the list?

Glove shopping must be a bitch.
Sara N.: I tend to gravitate to the gory comedies. (Gomedies?) Shaky laughter is a fantastic tension-reliever after a set of scares. That's why An American Werewolf in London is one of my faves, and it's the one film I go out of my way to watch around Halloween. It's disgustingly gory, frighteningly intense, heartbreaking and wry. The werewolf transformation scene set the bar on cinematic special effects at the time and still amazes today.

Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, two of my very favorite comedies, also have some frightening zombie scenes. 406 chasing Columbus around his apartment? The group trying to blend into the zombie horde? Yikes.

One not-so-funny film that scared the bejeezus out of me: the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Fast zombies are total nightmare fuel, and the opening scene? With the kid zombie standing in the bedroom door? I have only seen the scene once, and that was in the movie theater the first time I saw the film, and it disturbed my sleep for at least two weeks. My hand to God, for a time I slept with my car keys on my bedside table so I could grab them and run if necessary. Any time I've watched the film since then, I make sure to tune in when it's safely 10 minutes in.

Com-horror doesn't get any better than young Bruce Campbell and young Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy.

Finally, I should mention Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. It's not the scariest film ever, but it's gory and, more importantly, hilarious. Bonus points for the presence of the always amazing Alan Tudyk.

Meghan B: I don't like scary movies, sadly. I have a low tolerance for horror movies, so my favorite Halloween films are beautiful flights of fancy or just dead funny! Here's my list:

Nightmare Before Christmas: My absolute FAVORITE MOVIE since I saw it when I was seven years of age. I saw it in theaters and was flabbergasted by how beautiful and funny it was. It scared the hell out of my sister and our friends, but I loved it. It's a lovely movie about hope, about love, about friendship and ambition... oh, it's also about a skeleton who kidnaps Santa and wants to take over Christmas. Look, I never said I was a sane child.

Corpse Bride: From the devilishly brilliant minds that brought us Nightmare Before Christmas, this stop-motion film is also lush and beautiful. It isn't as good as Nightmare, but it's got a lot of heart, some catchy music, and unforgettable characters.

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!: If you don't love this, then you have a stone where your heart should be. I believe in the Great Pumpkin, do you?

Hocus Pocus: This movie is to Halloween what Love Actually is to Christmas; quintessential. Hocus Pocus is demented fun, incredibly 80s and just awesome in general. It has everything! Witches, zombies, black cats, magic... I'm on the edge of my seat every time. It's as if that movie... puts a spell on you...

Scary Godmother: I didn't want to like this movie. It's too childish and it's that bizarre cheap computer animation... and yet, it's adorable and funny. Scary Godmother is based on a series of books by Jill Thompson and they are about a zany witch who becomes the scary godmother to a scared little girl. Despite all the negatives it has, it also has a huge amount of heart and lots of humor only adults will get. There's a flamboyantly gay skeleton and a vampire family that is too funny for words.

Addams Family: I've always been a fan of the Addam's Family. I used to watch the TV show, I've read the comics, and the movies are an utter delight. I can't stop quoting them. Morticia and Gomez are still my dream couple and each movie is just hilariously wrong in so many ways. If you don't like the Addam's Family, we can't be friends. Sorry.

Young Frankenstein: Mel Brooks is the undisputed king of comedy and this is the crown jewel of his empire. Gene Wilder brings us the slightly unhinged Dr Frankenstein (er, excuse me, Fronk-en-steen) who has to get used to an inherited castle that comes complete with it's Igor (um, I mean, Eye-gore). This hilarious send-up of old black and white horror movie is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. It's endlessly quotable, deeply messed up and insanely clever.   

Rocky Horror Picture Show: Two words: Time Warp. 

Kathy F.

First of all, I ditto everything Sara wrote about Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. (Alan Tudyk! Watch this movie!) I also love Nightmare Before Christmas and Young Frankenstein like Meghan. However, there are two movies that scared me like few others can.

It - The reason so many people I know are freaked out by clowns. How do you spell scary? P-E-N-N-Y-W-I-S-E. Especially with Tim Curry in the drivers seat. I remember watching part one and being so freaked out I had nightmares for weeks (**cough** years **cough**), and refused to watch the rest of it. I could have saved myself some trouble if I had actually finished it, because once the kids grow up and face the monster in the end, it wasn't so scary. That final monster couldn't match Curry's homicidal, rip your arms off, I-still-hate-walking-by-drains-in-the-street, demonic clown. So maybe just watch part one for some chills Halloween night.

Event Horizon - The only movie I've ever walked out of. It made me feel sick, and we had barely gotten to the gore. I blame the constantly rotating, blade-covered walls of eventual death. A spaceship that disappeared while opening a door to another dimension suddenly comes back and a crew is sent to salvage it. It looks like the crew tore each other apart, and now the ship is haunted. Did the ship open a door to another dimension, or a door to hell?!? Then Sam Neill (who does creepy so well) gets possessed and starts taking people out. There's lots of eye trauma - eyes explode or get ripped out. The cast is pretty good (Laurence Fishburne, awesome as  ever). I just couldn't watch it on the big screen and had to rent it later.

Asher P.
I am a complete lightweight when it comes to scary movies. However I do LOVE An American Werewolf in London, Dog Soldiers, Evil Dead, Zombieland, Cabin In The Woods and a lot of that sort of kind-of-scary-but-not-really-and-oh-hey-there's-some-really-cool-puppets-and/or-cgi-and-quippy-dialog. Meghan's list of Halloween themed movies is also pretty much my own in terms of what I break out for Halloween.  But I will not watch anything a little creepier than the above. I just can't go there. I'm sorry, I actively avoid it and the movies I mentioned above I tend to watch in the middle of the day in the most brightly lit room possible. And if you try to get me to watch anything scarier, I'm the type of person who will cover my face with a blanket for 70 minutes while coming up with a story about ponies in an attempt to drown out on-screen screams beyond my safe blanket fort.

I'm going back to my blanket fort now.
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1 comment:

  1. My favorite _scary_ movies are all black & white: The Spiral Staircase, Psycho, Night of the Hunter, and The Haunting.

    My favorite Halloween movies are Beetlejuice, The Addams Family, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.