Sunday, 30 October 2011

Top ten scary movies for Halloween, and a personal freaky tale

I seem to be having a bit of a blogathon today, sorry for clogging up everybody's newsfeed!

If you aren't heading out to a big event or throwing a party this Halloween, a tried-and-tested, time-honoured Halloween activity is, of course, curling up with a horror movie and scaring yourself witless. Now, the movies I'm listing here are my PERSONAL top ten scariest; all responsible for sleepless nights and phoning my boyfriend at 3 am because 'there's something in my room'. But I am a bit of a wuss, so if you're a hardened horror fan (like my friend Mia, who seems to genuinely believe that Hostel is a comedy...) you may not turn a hair at these.

Source: The Darkest Show On Earth (Tumblr)
Model: Weeping Willow
Photo: Anathema Rose Photography

10. The Exorcist
The first and second time I watched this classic horror, it didn't scare me a bit, and I wondered what all the hype was about. The third time, I watched it with Jodie, and we had to turn it off halfway through because we were so scared. That scene where possessed Regan crawls down the stairs contorted backwards? We were clutching each other in terror and nearly screaming. Then I had to walk home alone, in the dark. o.O

9. Doomsday
I'm pretty sure that this apocalyptic freak show isn't technically a horror movie, but there's nothing much scarier than cannibals. And people getting burned alive. Not creepy in a Halloween-ish way, but scary nonetheless.

8. Silent Hill
OK, it's based on a videogame and so it doesn't pack the same thrills and chills as certain Japanese psychological horror films. It tends to divide viewers - some people think it's awful and some think it's great. Me, I just have nights when I close my eyes and see the mutilated dead guy wrapped in barbed wire dragging himself across my bedroom floor.

7. The Descent
Claustrophobic and tense, this film is set underground - which makes it perfect for all those 'scary things jumping out of the darkness' moments. Yeah, I fall for those every time. At one point I actually screamed. D'oh...

6. Mirrors
Confession: I'm scared of mirrors (and I've heard all the jokes, so save it). So this movie was guaranteed to scare me. It's a while since I saw it, but basically there is some kind of evil thing haunting a family via reflective surfaces and killing them in rather grotesque ways, by taking the form of their reflection and thereby taking control of their bodies. The woman opening her mouth so wide that it rips her own head open being the example that lingers in my nightmares.

5. 30 Days of Night
Many commentors have claimed Salem's Lot as their number one scary vampire movie. I haven't seen it, so this is mine. Proper vampires, ftw! Suitably gory.

4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Between this and films like Wolf Creek, I'm developing hillbilly phobia. Stopping to help a distressed stranger on the road commits a bunch of young travellers to their particularly gruesome fates at the hands of chainsaw-wielding Leatherface. Real hide-behind-the-sofa material.

3. Outpost
Nazis are pretty scary on their own. Give them supernatural powers, make them unkillable, and then lock a bunch of poor macho morons underground with them, and you've got a cracking horror film that clearly is not going to have a happy ending. The most heart-stopping moment for me (and it's hard to pick just one) is when the mercenary main characters discover a room full of corpses in the bunker, and just at the edge of the screen you can see pale dead things writhing and twitching in the dark.

2. It
Two discs of the heebie-jeebies; I think most kids would be petrified by a yellow-eyed clown that crawls out of the drains to eat them. I'm an adult, but still scared still of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and the words 'They all float down here...' in Tim Curry's gutteral tones have me sleeping with the lights on. And yes, I check under my bed for talkative dead people most nights.

1. The Grudge
I first saw this movie circa 2006 and STILL have to turn the light on several times most nights to make sure there is no long-haired waggle-tongued creepy dead chick looming over me. No, I don't sleep much!

Admittedly, my Grudge-o-phobia was massively exacerbated during a particularly sleep-deprived period when I experienced hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations. Most of these were reasonably benign, such as a small person crouched under my desk and a jug hovering in midair. Unfortunately some were not, such as rolling over in the night, half-awake, and coming face to face with myself, seemingly dead. And the defining episode when I opened my eyes to see a very definitely dead, pale woman with long black hair leaning over me in bed. Not The Grudge, obviously, as I very much like to think the movie is fictional, but rather similar.

The reason why this last hallucination affected me so, apart from its obvious creepiness, was because when talking to my friend Jodie the next day, I did not mention what I assumed was a hallucination, and Jodie was in a panicked state because during the night she had seen a woman identical to my description of my 'hallucination' standing in her room. Needless to say we were both very freaked out when I mentioned the apparition I had seen.

The creep factor tripled when an acquaintance, Rosie, rang me the next day also in a state of fear because she had seen the same woman. Neither Jodie or I were especially close to Rosie and neither of us had discussed with her what we had seen.

A month or so later, Jodie saw the dark-haired woman again, this time whilst she was fully awake and sitting at her dinner table, alone in the house. This time the woman appeared lying in the doorway to the room.

No further sightings so far, but definitely the scariest set of experiences I have ever had, and so far no explanation! I don't care to suggest whether or not it was 'paranormal', possibly a mass hallucination or something, but it was certainly alarming and I'm keeping an open mind.

Anyway, back on the subject of movies. What about you guys? Which do you agree and disagree with, and what are your top-ten guaranteed terrorfest films? My horror-buff buddy Mia recommends Dead Silence, by the way.

Now that I've scared myself semi-witless, here's what I wore chilling out at home last week:

Top: birthday gift from Rowenna and Bronwyn
Jeans: £35, Criminal Damage, alt store in Southampton
Collar: £1, Double Discount pet section


Under_The_Stairs said...

Most of those movies are on my watch list.The problem lies with my mother,though.Shes terrible opposed to stuff like that 'cause she afraid it will bring demons in to the house *rolls eyes*.One time she made me burn a Nat-geo kids magazine because it mentioned ghost.I can respect her beliefs,but seriously?

Inmate 4 said...

The model in the first picture is a friend of mine. She goes by the name Weeping Willow, here's her MM profile:

Inmate 4 said...

Oh, and the photograph itself is from Anathema Rose Photography.

LadyFlaneur said...

woo, you have a cute bathroom! :3

Michelle said...

If you have a mirror phobia, you may enjoy/be freaked out by The Broken, starring Lena Headey. It's more suspense than horror, but satisfyingly creepy nonetheless.

CallaWolf said...

Comment on Silent Hill games, being a fan myself I didn't really think of them as being "action packed" really, despite having combat in it (which was sort of implied to be used for defensive purposes). At least in the first three, they were a bit slow.

But anyways, I've seen about half the films on your list and I tend to agree to say with what you said on each that I've seen.

Anonymous said...

I've seen couple of these films on your list (some parts of The Exorcist) and they didn't scare me (The Chainsaw Massacre, Silent Hill). And for the silent hill games, they aren't actually "action packed" but best described as a "psychological horror" game. As for the result, it is a good list though.

Anonymous said...

That is sooo creepy.
Scary movies are not my friend. Dx

Unlacing the Victorians said...

I personally find movies where you can't see the creepy thing to be scarier than anything else. Demon-possession movies always work with me due to this.

Also, I am probably the only person who seems to have found The Blair Witch Project to be scary as a result. Didn't try to see Paranormal Activity, though, even though I understand it doesn't show the creepy scary thing either.

Also recommend "The Masque of the Red Death" starring Vincent Price (not scary persay, but certainty creepy enough in showing what has the most power over us all. And "The Ring"- the only movie where my mom, two of my sisters, and I ended up squeezed on a three-person couch by the middle of the movie because we were too scared to sit with our backs to the darkness of our basement gameroom on the loveseat just two feet away.

Beesaw said...

If you're up for improving your image of hillbillies, I'd suggest Tucker & Dale VS Evil. Mildly violent, VERY funny, and the hillbilly characters are likable and hilariously misunderstood throughout.
Happy Hallowe'en!

Anonymous said...

Ah jeez. I'm not even sure if there are any movies that creep me out anymore. xD
I guess the hillbilly ones are my favorite, along with ones with deformed people (Deformed hillbillies? Fuck. Yes.)
The Hills Have Eyes is pretty okay!
Umm, I thought Insidious was hilarious and stupid, but everyone else seemed to think it was scary as hell. xD

Nephälia VonDämonen said...

I think the Exorcist is hilarious. Not scary in the least. I was laughing the whole entire time . XD I need to watch more "scary" movies.

akumaxkami said...

I'm not a huge fan of slasher films, so I chose some more supernaturally oriented movies to watch.

Trick-r-treat - which I think is my new quintessential Halloween flick. Corpse Bride, because it's darling and cute, and Pumpkinhead, because it's a classic!

Penelope said...

Deathwatch and Session 9 both creeped me out pretty thoroughly. Session 9 is a low budget psychological thriller, starring David Caruso, but not David Caruso's sunglasses. I think it was the atmosphere that got me most.
Deathwatch is set in WWI, on the front lines and combines isolation, tensions within the regiment, a bleak setting and something supernatural to make a very creepy movie. The bit that got me was when the character who'd been paralysed from a wound in his spine pulled back the blankets over his legs to find they'd been eaten to the bones by rats.

BlackCherub said...

Hi I'm a new follower of yours! ^_^

If I want to scare myself so much I wouldn't dare sleep, I go for more psychological stuff. You know, things that really get to your head. I personally think it adds more truth to the fiction. Paranormal themed and possessions work great too since it also deals with things unseen. For better effect, reading something scary is way more effective than watching.

Gore movies are in my "for fun" watchlist no matter how creepy the story is. I dunno, I like blood. :)

BTW that hallucination thing is very creepy!

Maggie said...

I'm not a huge fan of horror movies (but then again, I'm not into comedies, either), so I hardly find a film sufficiently creepy. I do like the Japanese scary films, though. Oh, and I have just seen Stephen King's "Rose Red" yesterday and found it really good, watchable and edge-of-the-seat entertaining (if you're into ghosts and spooky stuff, that is).

Nightwind said...

I was watching a streaming version of "The Shinning" the other night and suddenly, it simply stopped showing with about 40 minutes left to the film. By then, I was too tired to start it all over again.

"At least I have a horror film coming for Halloween," I thought to myself. As it turns out, Netflix didn't the original version of "Halloween" available, so they sent me the next item in my queue, which is not Halloween related at all. (sigh!) Tonight, I'll be going to a metal concert, so sadly, they'll be no horror films for me this time around.

A happy Halloween to all!

CallaWolf said...

On Penelope's comment Session 9, I loved that one, it was one of my favorites. I saw it without ever hearing about it before seeing it, and I was very impressed.

It was nice and creepy, and had a great story to it.

Minakitty (Mary) said...

The Exorcist would be my number one. I've seen only parts and I'm still too freaked out to finish it. I'm not a big gory horror fan because I am a self proclaimed big baby. Tonight on US cable stations they're playing various film marathons, but I think I'll just pop in something by Tim Burton (predictable, yes, but works for me)!

Anonymous said...

Scary films that scares the wits out of me?

Topping the list would be It, and I haven't seen it since the first time when I was 4. No wonder I hate clowns. (But I still like Tim Curry. Hm.)

Also, since there have been mentions of Japanese horror, the classic The Audition is incredibly creepy and horrifying. Not exactly terrifying to me though. Blind Beast, on the other hand freaked me out. UGH! I get heebie jeebies just thinking about it. (Also Japanese, and actually kind of old. Made in the 60s I think?)

And last, but not least in terror, Event Horizon. Scifi scary to the max. I can't watch it alone, or at night. Creeps me out.

Lilly Peppermint said...

I must admit that when I saw Wolf Creek at age 13 or so, I was rather scared. No nightmares or inability to sleep... but considering I used to live in a rural environment not dissimilar to the setting of Wolf Creek, I found it spine tingling at times. I think that is because the movie is so 'real', character-wise. =) It's interesting to think what people who haven't spent time in Australia feel about it.

Roach said...

I've read this blog for months already, but that's the first time I feel obliged to leave a comment.

There is no way Silent Hill series as a whole could be described as "action-packed". I personally think Silent Hill 2 is a finest example of psychological horror in any media- not only it is scary, but it is also really thought-provoking, insightful and clever.

Despite this small error, this list is a very interesting entry. I'm also scared of mirrors, and death by opening mouth too wide(while looking at my reflection) has already secured its place in my nightmares, and I've never even heard about this film until today.

ultimategothguide said...

OK, OK, I have removed the word 'action-packed'! ;-D

Anonymous said...

I'm scared of mirrors too.
I had a hallucination of woman standing next to my bed but she had dark red hair. And I've seen a dead woman with dark hair in my bathroom.

Chloë Noir said...

I watched The Night of the living dead yesterday :) . Great film..I loved the ending :D

Bixie Willow said...

Silent Hill is one of my favorites. It probably ties for first with House on Haunted Hill. Mirrors freak me out, especially in the dark or in bathrooms. Sometimes I'll make the mistake of looking at my eyes in a dark mirror and it won't even feel like it's me I'm looking at.

Roach said...

Long haired woman seems to be the most common hallucination. I happen to know quite a lot of people who did experience hallucinations, and most of them, myself included, have seen such a figure at some point. So don't be scared too much.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a little old now (so sorry) but if Rosie was only an acquaintance, why would she ring you after such an experience?

Also to negate your fear of hillbillies, try Tucker and Dale vs Evil.

Amy Asphodel said...

Um... Rosie and I have been close friends but tend to have spectacular fallouts. Currently we're close, and had been previously, but at the time we were barely speaking. Hence my use of 'acquaintances'. :-/

devany said...

The creepist horror movie ive seen is japanese its called rattle rattle (kata kata) it a short story but it scared the heck outta me, u can check it out on youtube

Merrihel Wednesday said...

A few years ago I was woken at about 4:00am by small, clipped chewing noises coming from my bathroom doorway. My fertile imagination galloped away at such a pace that by the time I gathered enough of my scattered wits about me to turn and look, I was absolutely certain I could see a bald gargoyle crouching in the half-light, chewing on the doorknob. Yeah. Great night.

Turned out it had been a mouse, chewing on a plastic cup I had forgotten, that was making all the noise. It's a bit of a family joke now!

Anonymous said...

Just reading this was enough to set me into a mild panic. I better not have nightmares tonight! I have also expirienced the sleep thing you were talking about several times between the age 4 and 17. The most vivid and horrible being when one of the clockwork figures from doctor who was standing in my wardrobe watching me and every time I blinked it got closer and I couldent move. Other times I have seen spiderman ontop of my book case and feutus in my wardrobe a small dragon on the end of my bed and smoke spiralling from the ceiling and drawers openings and closing. It's horrible. Good list.

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