Is There A Chill in the Air or Are You Just Terrified to See Me?

I am a horror movie buff. I love them. It’s stupid, because sometimes I see one that actually freaks me out and then I can’t sleep without staring around the dark room wondering if I’m going to hear weird noises or see something standing in the corner. But hey, whatever. Some people like roller coasters, I like my scary movies. So, in the spirit of the season, I present the top five scary movies, in no particular order:
5. Halloween–Okay, the first two originals are great, mostly because they are a continuation of each other, but the first film in the series definitely trumps the second. Also, the remake from last year by Rob Zombie was phenomenal. He delved into the psyche of knife-wielding Michael Myers a good bit and made the story much more three-dimensional.
At the same time, John Carpenter was a genius. His direction of the first film was what made it such a great jump-inducing movie. He doesn’t build up to his scary moments with music, so if you haven’t seen the movie, you won’t know when some of those “gasp” moments are coming–and it makes it sooo awesome.
4. House on Haunted Hill–I include this one because even though you might not find the original all that scary, it still has Vincent Price in one fantastic role. The plot is good and there are some cheesy scares, but if you’re not that into truly terrifying movies, this is a good one. House on Haunted Hill is also a good girls’ night movie: you can get  your thrills without feeling too scared to drive home at three o’clock in the morning when the popcorn and pizza has run out. Definitely a classic that everyone should see at least once.
3. The Ring–Now the first time I saw this movie, this sucker stuck with me for, well, a week. What can I say? I was like sixteen or seventeen. I remember going to see it in the theater with my best friend. One of the teachers at our school had told us he had gone to see the movie, and I quote, “there was this one scene at the end that made me scream like a little girl.” Of course if it could make a grown man scream like that, we had to see it.
Part of The Ring‘s frightening quality was the look on the characters’ faces after they’d seen Samara. So disturbing. And if you’ve seen the movie, you know the scene I’m talking about at the very end. Sent shivers down my spine.
2. The Scream Trilogy–I put this trilogy down because the films are my personal favorite “horror” movies of all time. I’m far beyond being terrified by them anymore, but think back to when these movies first came out.  True, the killers were outside the house, but they were still there. Watching. And freaking you out. I think what appealed to me so much was the fact that it’s still a unique concept. The makers of Scream also tied the storyline together across the trilogy in a not-too-hokey way.
Like The Ring, The Scream movies spawned sooo many practical jokes. I mean, how many of you heard about people getting a call from some drunk jackass friend of theirs who whispered (or laughed, depending on how drunk they were) “seven days…“?   Same thing here. I was actually personally a victim of a prank based on the Scream trilogy and I still love it.
Maybe the reason Scream freaked me out so much was that it was actually kind of plausible. I mean, Michael Myers was shot, stabbed, run over, etc. but he was still walking. Even though he gives me the wiggins still to this day, in the back of my mind, I know nobody is that indestructible. But Scream…yeah, that’s definitely one of my favs.
1. Dawn of the Dead (2004)–I’m not including the original because I never saw it, but George Romero is insanely good at zombies. And because zombies have become somewhat of a pop culture icon, I couldn’t make this list without putting something up. This movie will definitely give you a good fright. I mean, it’s zombies. And not the cutesy, Shaun of the Dead ones either.  These zombies are dead and pissed and want food now.
The great thing about this movie is how far it goes to make the watcher feel isolated. You feel like you’re trapped in the mall with the characters. And what are you going to do? What use is Victoria’s Secret, The Gap, and Express when you might get eaten? I seriously doubt your neighbor-turned-brain eater who used to steal your VS catalogs will remark at how that trendy scoopneck sweater looks so great on you before proceeding to gnaw on your arm that is now flavored with pumpkin scented lotion from Bath & Body Works.
So yes, all those dreams you had (or still have) about being locked in the mall and able to get whatever you wanted at no cost?  Not so cool when you have a hundred-plus drooling zombies walking into a door because they don’t know any better. Definitely one of the great creepy feeling-inducing movies out there.
So there they are. I could name quite a few more. None of these appeal to you? Try Thirteen Ghosts, Gothika, Night of the Living Dead(the original), or Jeepers Creepers. They’re all great movies for this time of year. And don’t hesitate to let me know about the ones I left out. I need some new ones to watch.
(Photo courtesy of http://www.tv.com/)

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