Monday, October 31, 2011

What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?....Happy Halloween!

The lines uttered by the ghostface killer in the Scream series (1996-2011) have now become infamous.    In an ominous voice the killer asking their future victim "What's your favorite scary movie?"  Halloween is a time for everyone to an enjoy a good scare.  I know not everyone likes scary movies, they are not my favorite genre, but you can always beat the genre by watching my other favorite type of film within this genre, the horror spoof (done well).  Here is my advice on what to watch, well, basically my favorite scary movies or thrillers.

Rear Window (1954) Psycho helped put a larger number of audiences in the POV of the killer, but Rear Window is my favorite Hitchock thriller, there is something about watching a man who watches as his neighbor commits crimes and he is helpless to stop him.  The music is haunting, and I jump out of my chair when Grace Kelly is over in the apartment of the neighbor across the way. 


Michael Myers 003.jpgHalloween (1978) John Carpenter's masterpiece this film about a boy who killed his oldest sister in 1963, and then comes back years later to finish off his other sister is scary good.  This film solidified Jamie Lee Curtis as the scream queen.  The killer Michael Myers move so slow as he attacks his victim, and this spray painted white William Shatner mask is beyond creepy.

Alien (1979) I did not see this movie until they re-released it for its 25th anniversary while I was in college.  I remember sitting in the dark theater waiting for Sigourney Weaver and the rest of space crew to get attacked by the alien that got onto their ship.  In the darkness of the small multiplex I cringed and almost screamed.  This is one of the scariest films I ever seen.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Jonothan Demme brought to life one of the best and scariest villains in this film.  Anthony Hopkins, Hannibal Lector has this deceiving charm on the level of Norman Bates; he has manners and does not fling his feces at Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), but be careful because he may eat your face off.

The last films do more to show the irony of the genre, and some of them even mix in the scares with the irony. These are great films or a great series because they have a balance of comedic timing.

Scary Movie (2000) Do not let the title fool you, this movie is not scary.  The Wayans brothers did a great job spoofing many 90s horror films (and other 90s movies like The Usual Suspects).  Scream came out in 1996 and did a great of pointing out the irony of the genre mixed with terror.  While the Wayans brothers would cite most horror films as a product of white society, and the Wayans put a twist to this genre and point out how stupid white people are in these films, and how silly this genre can be.
Movie Trivia: Shaun of the Dead amazing fun weird cool walk 2009072511422743

Shaun of the Dead (2004) I love a good zombie movie, but this film does an even better job spoofing this genre.  The team of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg combine to portray our main character attempting to escape his mundane life; he does the same thing day in and day out and acts like a zombie with his routine.  Then of course when he tries to break this routine he has to battle zombies themselves, brilliant!

and...of  course the film that inspired the title of this post....

the Scream series (1996-2011)  I love the Scream series.  The duo of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have created 4 films know themselves and this genre better than anyone can imagine.  Scream focuses on the "rules" and talked ironically about horror films and how deaths occurred.  Still people even knowing the genre did not last long.  Scream 2 used the rule of sequels and talk more about the hilarity of having a sequel and in one scene how rare it was for sequels to be better than the original.  In Scream 3 the rules are out!  The rule of trilogies is that things go crazy, and kind of start to fall apart.  Within Scream 3 the series did start to fall a part, but were the creators smart enough to realize this?  I think yes.  Cut to ten years later with Scream 4.  Who would have thought this film would continue the legacy of the genre, but it did!  Scream 4 used a combination of tradition and the evolution of horror films within the last 10 years.  The film also used the evolution of technology as well.  I am so inspired by this series.

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