Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Halloween | My Horror Movie Picks

"There's a hole in the world like a big black pit,
who are filled with people,
who are filled with shit"

- Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

As Halloween 2014 fast approaches, I thought I would post a few of my favourite horror movies for those considering staying in for a night of terror viewing.

Anyone who has seen Sweeney Todd the musical or the Tim Burton motion picture, will be familiar with the above quote.  When I first saw this movie I was instantly impressed.  Having been a Burton fan all my life, I had high expectations for this film.  So I was really happy when it lived up to them. In fact, I enjoyed Sweeney Todd so much that I saw it twice in the cinemas and, as you can see, now own it on DVD.

With a quality cast including Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen, Sweeney Todd follows the story of a wronged barber who returns to his hometown seeking revenge on those responsible for ruining his life.  Filled with catchy musical numbers, bloody throat-slitting scenes and memorable performances, this movie will go down in history as a cult classic with Burton fans.

Along with Sweeney Todd, I also recommend the following horror flicks --

Sleepy Hollow | Another Tim Burton movie starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci.  Depp plays Constable Icabod Crane who is sent to the isolated town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a number of grisly murders whereby three corpses were found decapitated.  This is another film I can watch over and over.  Burton draws the viewer into a dreamy atmosphere with haunting imagery and Depp's character carries the story along nicely with charming wit.  Those of you who have heard the tale of the headless horseman will enjoy this movie, especially with Christopher Walken's performance as the ill-fated villain.

Insidious | Written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, the duo who brought us Saw, Insidious stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne with a cameo from Whannell himself.  This movie delves into the mystery of OBEs (Out of Body Experiences) and is the first of its kind, as no other horror film has been made about this subject.  A family finds itself haunted by malevolent entities when one of the sons' OBEs opens the door between the worlds of the living and of the dead. Insidious keeps the viewer watching with its effective scoring and editing.  I would also recommend Insidious Chapter 2 if you enjoyed this first film.

The Conjuring | This movie was released at a time when a genuinely scary horror movie had been lacking for what seemed an eternity.  I cannot say enough about The Conjuring.  Written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes, with James Wan directing, this film looks at one particular experience by real-life ghost hunters, Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively.  Wan's uncanny ability to create creepiness and pee-your-pants moments that everyone can relate to, makes The Conjuring so very successful as a horror movie of today.  If you are a horror freak like me, who actually enjoys the feeling of being scared, watch this movie!

Dead Silence | If movies like Child's Play and Puppet Master are your thing, then this is a film you'll probably enjoy.  Again, written by Leigh Whannell and James Wan, who also directed, Dead Silence tells the tale of Mary Shaw and her "children", the many ventriloquist dummies she made and used in her stage shows.  As predicted, these dolls are capable of plenty more than their intended use. Starring Ryan Kwanten and Donnie Wahlberg, Dead Silence has many a creepy scene and a pretty good twist at the end too.

The Grudge | This American adaptation of the Japanese cult classic, Ju-on, explores the formidable consequences of human and supernatural rage.  With original director, Takashi Shimizu behind the lens, The Grudge stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Bill Pullman, Jason Behr, Clea DuVall and Ted Raimi. Takako Fuji plays the film's merciless antagonist.  This is another movie that will give you genuine chills as Shimizu maintains tension throughout the story by scaring the viewer at unexpected times.  I also recommend The Grudge 2 to those who enjoyed this first offering.

The Ring | Originally a Japanese horror cult classic (Ringu) by Hideo Nakata, The Ring is the American remake by Gore Verbinski, starring Naomi Watts and Martin Henderson.  Focussing on the deadly effects of a mysterious video tape, this movie draws the viewer into the mind of Samara, a young girl killed by her adopted mother for possessing extraordinary abilities.  The Ring takes you on a chilling journey of discovery as you learn about the connection between Samara and the tape.  With disturbing imagery and compelling performances, this movie is a must for anyone who considers themselves a horror junkie.  I also enjoyed The Ring 2.

If you do choose to watch some of the movies suggested here, I hope you find them as spook-tacular as I did.  Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!

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