A bit like marmite you either like horror movies or you don’t. I definitely don’t, in fact you could say I am a big scaredy cat. My first foray into the horror genre was Jaws – and yes I know not technically a horror, but it (and the sequels) scared the bejeezus out of me (and gave me a lifelong phobia of sharks). Then came Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, not something a ten year old with an overactive imagination should ever have been exposed to. Next up were the Sunday night horrors which would air late on – funnily enough – Sunday nights in New Zealand, I was never allowed to watch them, but every now and then I would sneak out of bed when everyone was asleep and watch: this is how I came to know the likes of Freddy Krueger, Dracula, Jason Voorhees, Chucky, Carrie, Jack Torrance, Michael Myers and Damien. As you can imagine, many a sleepless night was had! As I got older I stopped watching the slasher type horror movies, instead they got replaced by what I like to call the mindfuck horror movie – the non gore psychological ones – and while I would never go out of my way to watch these movies, they continue to intrigue me, so if I’m flicking channels and one happens to be on tele I will watch – more fool me.
To celebrate Halloween here are the movies that still give me the heebie-jeebies:
Psycho (1960) Hitchcock, that shower scene, Norman/Norma Bates – sheer brilliance. When you think of all the technology that is available in the films made today, that this movie can still make you feel an underlining sense of terror attests to why it still regularly rates in top ten lists for best horror films.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)I didn’t know anything about this film before I saw it, which I think helped build the suspense. I thought Mia Farrow was brilliant as Rosemary who is unaware her husband has made a deal with Satan to further his career; and even though I, as the viewer knew what was going on throughout the film, I still felt this sense of uneasiness, it’s like I could feel Rosemary’s paranoia to the point I didn’t know if the weird happenings were real or not.
The Wicker Man (1973) There is something about cults that creeps me out (think about it – when have you ever heard anything good about one) – throw in a naive Christian protagonist and you’ve pretty much got a lamb to the slaughter. Another reason to love this movie is for Christopher Lee (who plays Lord Summerisle), this guy does evil so well, he’s got form – he has been Dracula, Scaramanga, Count Dooku and Saruman.
The Blair Witch Project (1999) It was a genius move to film this with a handheld camera – the shakiness of the filming and the first person narrative made the story scarily authentic and as such I was sucked in. It felt real. It could be, couldn’t it…