Scary Movies – A Real Scream for Halloween

Dorian Whitmore

It’s been a few years since we’ve had trick-or-treaters ringing our doorbell, partly because we live in a dark, secluded area — partly because we draw the drapes and turn out all the lights. This suits my husband very well because by the 31st, the miniature Snickers he loves are all gone. Rather than being sneered at by Sponge Bobs and Little Mermaids when we hand out canned peas and carrots instead of candy, we generally sit in the dark and watch scary movies. Quietly, with the doors locked. It’s always cold enough for a fire, because these movies are quite chilling! Following are some that have frightened us best over the years, and I invite you to leave comments about films that have been known to scare your socks off.

The Shining (1980) — Individually, Jack Nicholson and Stephen King each know how to chill your blood. But the two working together can scare you to death, especially with an isolated haunted hotel as a backdrop and some way-over-the-top cabin fever. The Shining gets under your skin, for sure. And it stays there, haunting you forever. You have no place to hide. If you’re like me and find the movie terrifying, I double-dare you to read the book!  REDRUM!!!

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)The greatest and most terrifying slasher film, ever. Here’s where you go for a giant dose of horror, demented murder, carnage, elastic reality, shock and way-cool awesomeness. Just don’t expect anyone to go with you — and come back alive.

Let the Right One In (2004) – The original Swedish version of this movie, it’s far more starkly beautiful than the American remake – more horrible and at the same time, more achingly tender. Yes, it’s a movie about Swedish Vampires, but it’s a chilling story that is touching, sweet and spine-tingling terrible. You’re gonna (shiver) love it!

Young Frankenstein(1974) – Whoops, sorry — this really isn’t a scary movie. But it’s so funny that you might scream with fits of laughter. It’s an affectionate parody of the 1930’s Frankenstein genre, the perfect antidote for anyone’s blues, and I think one of the funniest films ever made. All the names associated with this movie — Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars and Gene Hackman – should make you terrified of missing it!

The Others (2001) – Rather ghostly herself, Nicole Kidman thinks her bizarre house just might be haunted. We think she’s on to something. Clever, startling and creeeepy, this movie may encourage goose bumps to have goose bumps and old married folks to snuggle.

The Thing(1982) – Terrifying with a capital T, this is a remake of the 50s classic starring Kurt Russell, who finds himself in a remote and frigid Antarctic research station, having to deal with the … thing. The story is nerve-racking, and the…  thing… itself is chilling to the bone. By the powerful and shocking conclusion of the movie, we’re always surprised to discover that a lamp has been mysteriously been turned on. Boo.

Alien(1979)-You’ll find just about everything that’s scary about scary movies inthis science-fiction, horror combo. Not at first, but the menace grows and grows, and then grabs hold of you, squeezing … even after you wet your pants, cry uncle and beg for mercy. If it doesn’t scare you to death, it’s because you’re already dead. Alien is one big, unforgettable nightmare. If you have watched it as many times as I have, it’s no wonder people our age can’t sleep all night!

Silence of the Lambs (1991) — Anthony Hopkins is extraordinary as the cool, cannibalistic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, locked away in a subterranean prison for the criminally insane. And, if that’s not enough psycho to pump your adrenalin, how about that grotesque seamstress? Two monstrous villains for the price of one — this movie is so heart-poundingly scary that watching it could make you want to have an old friend for dinner. Bwahaha!

Hocus Pocus(1993) — Three hundred years after being hung for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, three accidentally resurrected witches return — with a horrible vengeance and a cauldron full of Halloween chills and thrills.  But, because the witches are Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, there’s also a whole lot of fun, music, special effects, and magic mixed into the horrifying plot. Make no mistake, these witches are evil-wicked-mean-bad-and-nasty, but at times they relate more like the Three Stooges.  It’s an oddly satisfying combination, and it’s our scary movie choice for this Halloween!

Having already locked up, turned out the lights and drawn the drapes, we will light a fire, pop some corn, and snuggle under fuzzy blankets. Why not bring your own scary movies and join us for some fun? There’s  plenty of popcorn and blankets, but I’d really appreciate you bringing a few little Snickers to help me keep my husband awake beyond the FBI warning — it’s scary here in the dark alone.

There isn’t room in this post to include every worthy bloodcurdling movie, so please add to list with your comments…

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