I really, really, really do not enjoy horror movies. Maybe it’s the gore (probably). Maybe it’s the terrible acting (a little bit). Maybe it’s the fact things jump out at you making you feel uncomfortable in your own skin when all you wanted to do was rent a movie to relax and forget about your terrible day at work and ignore the fact you have a Mount Olympus-level pile of dishes in your sink, a girlfriend you know you should be spending more “quality time” with that does not include watching a movie and you know it’s your turn to take the dog for a walk but that would involve putting on shoes…and pants…and you really don’t want to (a good chance).
But I do enjoy good movies. Movies that put me in a situation I would never, ever want to be in but I will for the sake of the experience. The thrill. So I’ve put together a few movies for those of us who don’t like horror, but do like to be entertained. In no particular order:
1) Halloween (1978) – sorry Rob Zombie, your remake wasn’t so bad as much it was a complete remake of the fantastic original. Hey Rob, if you’re going to do something new…DO SOMETHING NEW. The original is just as creepy as ever as we meet Michael Myers for the first time.
2) Silence of the Lambs (1991) – it won Academy Awards for a reason people…lots. “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster proved horror can be intelligent and scare the crap out of you.
3) Saw (2004) – you can ignore the rest in this series, which were more about the gore and the contraptions than the story and the frightening. The horror of being put in an impossible situation and the greater horror of the decisions you’re forced to make to survive.
4) American Werewolf in London (1981) – want some funny with your maiming? Take an amazing soundtrack, add the brilliance of make up artist Rick Baker and bring in the director of Animal House, John Landis and you’ve got something original.
5) The Thing (1982) – After Kurt Russell had his Disney stint, he decided to grow a pair and show he wasn’t afraid of horrific, intense situations (no, I don’t mean the Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes…look it up). There was Escape from New York and there was this – an arctic, sci-fi, survivalist, horror movie.
Are there others? Sure. Aliens, The Ring, The Exorcist…There are a few but I like to stick to manageable bites. Really, that’s where the discussion kicks in. What are your top five horror movies that are as much good movies as they are scary? Step up. Watcha got.