If there's one thing that I love about this time of year, it's the quantity of scary movies on TV. It is, of course, important that in all of this hoopla quality isn't overlooked. Though really, there's something to be said about the horror genre - no matter how "bad" the film may be, even if it's completely ridiculous, it's still entertaining.
Anyway, in the spirit of things, here is my list (in no particular order) of my most memorable and my favorite horror films - scary, gory, hilarious, and everything in between!:
Spider Baby - This is, in my opinion, one of the classics. There's nothing better than a B-movie starring Lon Chaney Jr., one of the all-time greats of course, and a story about a creepy family and regression into madness! And, what's better, AMC is showing this movie FOR FREE on its website (at least for a limited time)!
Cabin Fever - Eli Roth does not disappoint in this AMAZING hilarious gorefest. You probably know Roth best for his torture and exploitation flick, the insanely popular Hostel, but truthfully Cabin Fever surpasses the Hostel films in humor, wit, smarts, and complexity. And come on, who doesn't love a flesh-eating disease and a weird hillbilly kid who does a flying jump-kick off of a porch while growling "PANCAKE!"? Amazing.
A Tale of Two Sisters - This Korean horror-drama is probably one of my favorites of all time. It has it all: fairy tale elements, a Gothic setting, one creepy ghost, and an ending that is as shocking as it is heartbreaking.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - I'm not sure that this necessarily falls under the "Halloween movies" category, but this movie still creeps me out no matter how many times I see it. Sibling rivalry doesn't even begin to describe Baby Jane and Blanche. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are pitch-perfect in a way rarely (if ever) seen anymore.
The Exorcist - This is probably the scariest film of all time and it holds a special place in my heart. What scarier horror film villain can you have but the Devil himself? There are many disturbing, memorable scenes in this film, including the creepiest crabwalk you'll ever see, the worst way to use a crucifix, and of course some 360-degree head-spins and pea-soup puke. The most disturbing part of the film for me at least is the large chunk where Regan undergoes some pretty painful medical testing; I am pretty squeamish, though. Regardless, this film is an absolute classic.
Shaun of the Dead - If you want a little less scare and a hell of a lot more laughs, this is the film for you. Shaun has fun playing with horror film conventions, and for anyone familiar with zombie flicks this is a must-see. Favorite character: Ed, Shaun's slacker best friend, who spends the majority of the movie in a shirt that reads "I GOT WOOD". Favorite scene: a pair of zombies shows up in Ed and Shaun's backyard; add some old fashioned impaling and a disposable camera, and it's impossible not to laugh!
The Descent - A group of kickass chicks, spelunking, claustrophobia, and some weirdo crawly surprises underground. This film does a great job of making the viewer feel as trapped as the women as they descend further and further into the earth, trying to find their way out of an unexplored Appalachian cave. Things get even worse for the women when main character Sarah, a grieving woman with severe flashbacks and hallucinations, begins to suspect that she and her friends are not alone underground. And this film confirms that I will never, ever spelunk (though I do love the word...).
The Ring - Though I typically cringe at Amerianized remakes of kickass Asian originals, I have to admit that I enjoyed this more than Ringu. There's just something about a scary, angry ghostchild that keeps me awake at night. Aside from being completely terrifying, this is a great mystery film. As Rachel, played by Naomi Watts, begins to put together the pieces, we learn more about the evil origins of the infamous videotape. The twist at the end of the film, and you know what scene I'm talking about, made me cry and scream I was so panicked.
Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 - Sci-Fi isn't usually my favorite film genre, but these three are so amazing that I can't choose just one. Ripley is kickass, the desolate outerspace environment is isolated and frightening, and come on - that alien is one scary pissed off mama!
Audition - This film has what is hands-down the best twist in the history of movies. I can't even hint at what that twist is! Audition starts off innocently enough: a lonely man holds an audition - hence the title - to find a new love. The film becomes weirder and weirder, until finally......WHOA! If you like to be shocked, if you don't mind a little bit of violence, some elements of gialli, then check this film out!
Rosemary's Baby - If you're a woman, this is a scary, scary movie. Mia Farrow is so wonderful in this film as Rosemary Woodhouse, who's pregnancy takes a scary turn when she realizes she might be carrying the antichrist. Ruth Gordon, from Harold & Maude, is spot-on as the obnoxious and creepy Minnie.
These are only a few of my long list of favorites. Others that I love are Halloween , Ju-on, Psycho, The Eye, and of course The Shining. Those creepy twins always scare the hell out of me!
Happy watching! Let me know which ones I missed!