Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Accelerated Version Of The 30 Day Movie Challenge, Horror Edition, Part One

I've always wanted to do the "30 Day Movie Challenge" and just never had the time. So instead, I combined a few of the challenges into one and here they are, in two parts.  NO lines, NO waiting.  NO bullshit.

1) Your First Horror Movie :  Friday the 13th (1980) - While I did watch a lot of Vincent Price films when I was a kid, this movie was really the first film that made me say "Hmm....I think I like this stuff!" It was a turning point. I was twelve, and that is when I started actively seeking out horror.

2) The Last Horror Movie You Saw In The Theatre :  The Woman in Black (2012).  Since I started this post, I've actually just seen Dark Shadows just this week.  But I'm leaving this version of TWIB here, because DS was less horror, more camp for me.  This was a pretty good spook film. Not as good as the original, mind you.

3) Favorite Classic Horror Movie :  Psycho (1960). Can there really be any other answer from me? Certainly not. If you'd like an even older film, I'd go with Freaks (1932). But my heart is always with Norman.  No big shocker there.

4) A Horror Movie You Thought You'd Love But Didn't :  Drag Me To Hell.  Not that I hate it, but with Sam Raimi's name attached, I really thought it would be so much better.  For me, it was just Meh.

5) Favorite Horror Remake :  The Thing (1982).  Good remakes are hard to come by, but it can be done. And it can be done very well. Case in point:  Carpenter's stellar re-do of an early 50's classic.  By the way, my runner-up would be Dawn of the Dead (2004).

6) Favorite Vampire Movie :  Let the Right One In (2003).  As a mega-fan of the fanged fiends, it's hard to pick a favorite.  But this film was so beautiful.  So goddamned perfect. I also enjoyed the remake (Let Me In, 2010) from a few years ago as well.

7) A Horror Movie You Think No One Has Seen :   The Locals (2003).  I don't even know how I happened upon this low-budget Kiwi film.  Nor do I recall when I bought the DVD.  But I know it's a creepy little movie that few people saw.  You should remedy that.

8) Favorite Foreign Horror :  I Saw the Devil (2010).  This is an extremely difficult question, as I have a ton of favorite foreign horror (The Devil's Backbone, Cold Prey, Shiver, The Eye, The Orphanage, Profondo Rosso. etc). But this kick-ass revenge film struck a chord with me.  I've already seen it several times since I bought it last year.

9) Favorite Supernatural/Ghost Horror Movie :   The Woman in Black (1989).  I don't know how many times I can reiterate my love for this one, folks.  You're probably so tired of hearing it, but I'm going to say it again - THIS FILM IS AWESOME! My favorite favorite ghost story....evah.

10) Horror Movie Everyone Loves But You Don't :   The Monster Squad (1987).  I guess it was just a little too silly for me, maybe just caught me at the wrong time.  Maybe I was too old when it came out. Had I been ten years younger in 1987 I probably would have loved it. But I just think it's so hokey, and not in a good way. Sorry.

11) Favorite Horror/Comedy : Shaun of the Dead (2004).  It's doubtful that there is a funnier horror film out there, except maybe Young Frankenstein.  It just takes everything that is hilarious about zombie movies and wraps it up with a big red bow.  Oh, you've got red on you.

12) Your Most Disturbing Horror Film :  À l'intérieur a.k.a. Inside (2007). This movie bothered me on so many levels. I may have chosen Martyrs or Irreversible if not this, but just being a woman and having a uterus made this film utterly terrifying.

13) Favorite Zombie Movie :  Night of the Living Dead (1968).  One of my favorite "comfort horror" films, I love to turn the lights off and cozy up on my couch to watch the film that all zombie films are judged by. Just classic, mind-blowing, statement-making horror.  The best.

14) Favorite Indie Horror Movie :  Absentia (2011).  While I'm not as versed in indie horror as some of my blogging counterparts, I know a good one when I see it.  And this film really rocked.  It's a slow burn, but really gets under your skin with its creepy imagery and subtle scares.

15) Favorite Monster Movie :  Frankenstein (1931).  I doubt I have to list the merits of this classic. But with all the monster movies out there, I still come back to this one.  The story is just so chilling and yet has such incredible heart. Runner-up: Gojira! (1954)

16) Favorite Werewolf movie:  An American Werewolf in London (1981).  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  Nahhh, we'd be here all day.  Landis put a perfect mix of panic and humor in a movie that just NEVER GETS OLD!

17) Favorite 80's Horror :  Evil Dead II (1987).  Speaking of humor... Bruce Campbell is simply groovy in the second installment in the Evil Dead series.  While the first one had some comedic moments, this was Campbell's shining moment.  Let's give him a hand!

18) Favorite Horror Movie Filmed In Black & White:  Psycho (1960). Yep, Psycho makes the list twice.  Actually, it could be in several of these categories, but I'm trying to spread the love.  Just to show you I can be fair, I also love 1962's Carnival of Souls.  Great B & W stuff there, too!  But Psycho...'s PSYCHO!

19) Best Use Of Gore :  Frontier(s) (2007).  Table saws. Cut achilles tendons. Ax wounds. Throats torn out. Death by boiler. Knives, shotguns, and impalements.  No more proof necessary for this film to excel in this category.  An NC-17 rating probably helps its case.

             20) Favorite Horror Character (besides Norman Bates, because that's a given with me!) :  Ginny (Amy Steel, Friday the 13th Part 2, 1981).  I love everything about about Ginny! She's so smart and witty and sometimes just a goofball. Which is why she is here.  Sure, I could have picked Ash (Evil Dead) or Quint (Jaws) but would either one of them put on that ratty old blue sweater of Mrs. Voorhees?  I don't think so!

21) Best Horror Franchise :   Evil Dead series (1981-1992) - While I like other franchises, such as Friday the 13th and Halloween, all of the films within those franchises are not created equal.  In the Evil Dead films, they are all quite enjoyable, hence the reason I call them best. 

22) Best Death Scene :  Father Karras falling down the flight of steps and breaking his neck (The Exorcist, 1973).  Might not be the most gory or the most inventive, but for me, it had the biggest impact. My stomach still lurches as Karras is given last rites. Second to that would be Quint's death in Jaws. Yikes.

23) A Great Quote From A Horror Movie :  "You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat" (Jaws, 1975) I've quoted Jaws so extensively I don't know where to begin.  But this is probably the most famous.

                        24)  Horror Film With A Great Soundtrack :   Angel Heart, 1987
Trevor Jones outdid himself on this atmospheric score to the mystery/thriller. The sultry jazz combined with old standards such as the fabulous 'Soul on Fire' by Lavern Baker (heard during the love scene) catapults this soundtrack to great heights.  I could have went with Psycho, Halloween, Jaws, or a hundred other scores, but feel that Angel Heart is sadly overlooked.

25) Favorite 'Holiday' Horror Movie (other than one of the 'Halloween' films):  My Bloody Valentine (1981) It was a toss up for me here between this movie and April Fool's Day (1986). But I went with this one because it's such a classic slasher flick, and is so dated and hokey!  But here, in a good way!

26) Horror Movie For A Chicken :  Fright Night (1985) or Half Light (2006). Fright Night for potential monster fans, Half Light for ghost story buffs.  Both movies are pretty tame by horror movie standards, with Half Light being the more restrained of the two.

27) Your Guilty Pleasure Horror Movie :   Pet Sematary (1989) I can turn this one on and recite the lines with my eyes shut.  For some reason I have always loved it, and feel it is one of the better Stephen King adaptations, even with some of the watered-down acting. Zelda still give me goddamned nightmares. "Never get out of bed again!!"

28) Horror Film You'd Like To See Remade :  The Legend of Hell House (1973). Much as I love this film, I'd like to see what they could do with it these days.  And it's no secret I love a good haunted house flick.

29) Worst Horror Movie :   Borderline Cult (2007. God how I hate this film.  I can't even call it a's such rubbish. Please, don't ever see this film! You've been warned.

30) Favorite All Time Horror Movie :  Jaws(1975).  My love for this film knows no bounds.  Psycho would definitely run a very close second. But you knew that already!  I don't know what I can say that I haven't already said.  It's perfect in every way.

*Next up, films like Suspiria, Jane Eyre, Let's Scare Jessica To Death, and Cropsey all make the list as answers.  So, what are the questions??


Matt-suzaka said...

Very cool list!

Now I must head out to find me a copy of Borderline Cult!

Christine Hadden said...

Oh Nooooo! Don't do it Matt! Well, unless you are willing to waste 81 minutes of your day.
Alternately, you could just read the reviews on Amazon for a laugh. One star, all of 'em! I got a big kick out of all the different ways to say "hated it!"

B.R. said...

I recently saw some good and bad horror movies. The good; Scanners. Fucking. Awesome. I'd never seen this before, so I was greatly impressed, to say the lest. Also, The Masque of the Red Death with dear Vincent. The bad; The Satanic Rites of Dracula. I wanted to like this movie; I really did. But the fact that Christopher Lee only has about 7 or 8 minutes of screen time was irksome, as well as the stupid manner of his death. And the ugly; Coluor from the Dark, a recent Euro adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's story, "The Colour Out of Space". It sucked. Basically, you get a couple of sex scenes and female nudity, two or three novelty deaths, and an incoherent plot that made me want to gag... while garroting the director, writers, and producers of the film.

Christine Hadden said...

B.R.: Scanners! Head explosion! Ahh, it's been a while since I've seen that one. I should remedy that. And Masque: oh my yes, that's a good Price film.
I actually don't know if I've seen Satanic Rites all the way through, but you don't make me want to :)
And I've never even heard of Colour from the Dark, but there are very few decent Lovecraft adaptations out there. Which is sad - some great stuff to work with!

Marie said...

Awesome!! Can't wait for the next list!

Budd said...

great list

Christine Hadden said...

Thanks a lot, Marie & Budd!

Gabriel said...

Great list indeed. i especially enjoyed your choice for the indie one, Absentia. that film was such a sweet surprise.

Christine Hadden said...

Gabriel: I loved Absentia - glad others have noticed it as well. And if you haven't seen Lake Mungo, I really need to recommend it!

Gabriel said...

Thanks for the suggestion. It seems pretty cool, as well. Be sure to check it out as soon as I get the chance.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo said...

The movie reminds me of Shameless BollyWood Actor "Salman Khan", who has illegitimate Daughters and don't know about this. He dances and romances with his Daughters and still a blind person with open eyes....