Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Movies That Scare Me

Scary movies are not really all that scary to me. I love watching them though because it's a form of escape. I put myself in the story and think what would be different if I was being chased around by a homicidal maniac. I hate when people say "Scream" is listed as someone's favorite scary movie because it's not a scary movie, it's a parody. And "Scary Movie" is a parody of a parody. But I digress, my favorite scary movies, and the ones that actually do kind of scare me, are listed below in no particular order.

Jeepers Creepers (2001)
"Jeepers Creepers" brought me back to the horror genre after a hiatus for a few years. Written and directed by Victor Salva, the movie focuses on Trish and Darry (Gina Phillips and Justin Long) on a road trip home from college. On a deserted highway, they run into The Creeper (Jonathan Breck) and soon have to run for their lives as one of them has something The Creeper wants. What really got me was the highway Trish and Darry drive on is reminescent of highways here in Kansas. Surrounded by farmland and winding through the countryside is essentially what Highways 24 and 40 do from the Missouri border to the Colorado border. Add in the abandoned church and the creepy Creeper truck and you have the makings of a scary movie that could happen in reality. I understand that horror movies can be pretty real up to a point but there is always an undertone of unbelieveability that taints the movie. If I could actually see the story work in real life then the movie has done it's job for me.

Last House On the Left (1972)
I caught this movie on IFC one night and loved it. It centers on Mari and Phyllis who are out in the city to celebrate Mari's 17th birthday at a concert. Unfortunately, they are kidnapped by a gang of ruthless criminals and are basically tortured throughout the movie with forced urination, countless rapes and molestation. Finally, they plan their escape which doesn't exactly go as well as you might think. The police are no help in finding the girls so it's up to the parents to stop the gang of escaped prisoners. The movie is written and directed by Wes Craven before he became a mockery of the horror genre.

The Ring (2002)
We all know what The Ring is about but I didn't know until I rented it even though I did want to see it in theaters. I enjoyed this movie more for the back story than the actual horror story. The cursed videotape, the creepy Samara, the cabin and well all make for a good story that's really better than the story that's meant to scare you. I honestly didn't really get the ending though.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The amazing Blair Witch. Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that it revitalized the horror movie and made independent movies a powerful force in Hollywood. The story revolves around Heather, Joshua and Michael as they traipse around the woods surrounding Burkittsville, Maryland searching for the Blair Witch and filming a documentary. While nothing really happens in the movie except a lot of in-fighting and walking around, the filmmakers do hear some weird sounds in the woods while they sleep. They eventually run across this abandoned house while seaarching for their friend, Josh, who has vanished. There's a lot of camera shaking and screaming of the name Josh then the movie ends. While I would've liked the movie to be expanded upon I was happy with the result. It made me scared to go into the woods for a while which was hard because I lived near woods and I would look out the window of my bedroom and wonder if there was something out there. There was but more on that later.

I guess in short, I like horror movies that are grounded in reality. If I can picture it happening in the newspaper then it has accomplished a lot for me. Now I really want to watch these movies.