Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Best Horror Movie EVER !

There's a lot of debate that goes around this time of year about what the best horror movie of all-time is. Horror movies go all the way back to the beginning of film, so "all-time" certainly covers a lot of ground. You've got to consider everything from Dracula and Frankenstien through Psycho through the teen-slasher flicks of the 80s through the Scream trilogy through Saw 3...in theaters this weekend. It's a very subjective question with really no "right" answer...so I'll just give you MY answer...

HALLOWEEN.

John Carpenter made this movie on a budget of $300,000 - which is a ridiculously small amount of money - back in 1978. It ended up being the most profitable independent film of all-time. Why? It's a GREAT movie! Many people consider it the original "slasher" flick that paved the way for a slew of poorly done imitators trying to cash in on the same theme of a masked "boogeyman" stalking and killing teens. Where HalloweeN succeeds and the others fail, in my view, is that Halloween produces tension, suspense, and genuine scares while movies like "Friday The 13th" rely on gore for their entertainment value. In fact, there is VERY little blood in the original HalloweeN (the same can't be said for it's seven sequels).

For the unitiated - here's the low-down:

In 1963, on Halloween, in Haddonfield, Illinois, a 6-year old boy named Michael Myers stabs his older sister to death. He's locked away in a sanitarium for the next 15 years until he escapes and returns to his town on Halloween 1978 to continue his killing. His psychiatrist, Dr. Loomis, with the help of the town's sheriff, does his best to find Myers before...well, you know.

HalloweeN resonates with so many people for a number of reasons. First - every town has a house down the lane that everyone thinks is haunted. Maybe someone was killed there or someone went crazy there many years ago. That's the Myers house.

Secondly, Michael Myers is a blank slate. The pale white expressionless mask he wears is so much scarier than any other kind of "Halloween" mask or scary face you're likely to see. It lets us project all of our fears onto it. It's just plain creepy. Michael doesn't speak. We don't know his motivation. We don't know why he chooses to kill the people he does. It could be anyone. It could be YOU.

Most importantly, this movie could REALLY HAPPEN. To me, that's what makes this film so much scarier than horror movies about zombies, aliens, or supernatural occurances. Michael Myers is a real person, in a suburban town just like Galloway, or Northfield, or EHT, or "Anytown, USA". HalloweeN shows us that evil is lurking behind the bushes, standing in our backyard, and following us in the car. It's potentially everywhere. And most don't see it until it's too late. THAT is a scary concept!

As I said, there is very little actual on-screen blood in HalloweeN. The movie is beautifully shot, has the SCARIEST movie score of any film I've ever seen, and does a tremendous job creating SUSPENSE.

Check out the 4-star review from Roger Ebert. That's VERY rare for a horror movie!

Rent HalloweeN this weekend, watch it on AMC, - or better yet, see it on the BIG SCREEN at the Regal Cinema on the Black Horse Pike in Mays Landing Monday or Tuesday night! They're showing the movie each night at 8pm...so grab some popcorn...grab your main squeeze...and get ready to be scared! And this Halloween, watch out for the BOOGEYMAN!

What do YOU think? What's the best horror movie? What's YOUR favorite? Click on "Comments" below and let me know!

Paul

18 Comments:

At 11:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas Chainsaw Masacre!!!!!!!!!

 
At 12:00 PM , Anonymous terri said...

Psycho.. When the movie first came out on tv, i was in the shower and my mom stuck a butcher knife thru the shower curtian to scare the hell out of me! I was ten and had just watched the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 12:00 PM , Anonymous terri said...

Psycho.. When the movie first came out on tv, i was in the shower and my mom stuck a butcher knife thru the shower curtian to scare the hell out of me! I was ten and had just watched the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 12:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psycho!! When it first came out on tv, I was 10, my mom put a knife thru the shower curtian to scare the hell out of me!!! It worked..... Terri

 
At 12:55 PM , Anonymous Paul Kelly said...

Wow Terri - that's just plain mean! I hope you've gotten your mother back for that one at some point over the years!

Paul

 
At 4:10 PM , Anonymous JC said...

One of the most haunting is "Mothman Prophecies". I get the chills anytime I see two glowing red lights, like the tail lights of the car ahead on a foggy night...and knowing that the movie is supposed to be based on actual happenings.

 
At 4:10 PM , Anonymous kathy said...

The Exorcist by far is the scariest.

 
At 4:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the scariest movie ever made? In my opinion, the live broadcast of Carnie Wilson's G.B.S. Just kidding. I never saw that one, but the stuff they show on DISCOVERY CHANNEL; SICK.
Anyway, I think the best horror flick by far is SAW, something just creeps me out when I see someone cutting a limb off, or getting a limb cut off.
-GARY

 
At 4:52 PM , Anonymous Carolyn said...

Definately Halloween!
Jamie Lee Curtis was awesome.

 
At 6:05 PM , Anonymous Dawn Ashman said...

I have been watching horror movies since I was 6. I went and saw all the Halloween movies and Friday the 13th series. They are the best but I was never scared. Then I went and saw Scream. I was so scared that I saw him every where for weeks. I would make my ex check in the closet and under the bed. Every were I turned I saw him. I think that is up there with the best and that is Halloween.

 
At 7:43 PM , Anonymous Adita said...

Nightmare on Elm Street is it for me, that squeeky noise of the sharp knife like nails going against the metal of the pipes just really gets to me!

Ada

 
At 7:46 PM , Anonymous Adita said...

Nightmare on Elm Street

Just hearing those knives from his gloves making that awful squeek when up against the metal, it just gives me the chills!

 
At 9:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halloween was unconvincing, mainly because it was made in the wrong season ....see any autumn leaves on the trees in that flick?

Try "Race with the Devil" (Peter Fonda, Warren Oates), in which a couple of couples are pursued through Texas in their RV by satanists after witnessing a human sacrifice. Or "Salem's Lot," the made-for-TV Stephen King vampire fick, with the late James Mason as the vampire's keeper.. Now that's scary!

Bill

 
At 9:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halloween was unconvincing, mainly because it was made in the wrong season ....see any autumn leaves on the trees in that flick?

Try "Race with the Devil" (Peter Fonda, Warren Oates), in which a couple of couples are pursued through Texas in their RV by satanists after witnessing a human sacrifice. Or "Salem's Lot," the made-for-TV Stephen King vampire fick, with the late James Mason as the vampire's keeper.. Now that's scary!

Bill

 
At 9:33 AM , Anonymous Paul Kelly said...

Hi Bill,

You know it's funny that most people don't pick up on the leaves thing. The movie was made in the springtime in California. The crew had big garbage bags filled with painted brown leaves in them to scatter around on the ground before shooting each scene. Then, when a scene was over, they would rake them up and put 'em back in the bags until the next scene. Also - if you look very carefully, you can spot a palm tree or two. That being said, I think they did such an excellent job creating the atmosphere of Halloween in a small town that most people don't notice that the trees are full of green leaves.

I've never seen "Race With The Devil" - but it sounds like it's worth a rental!

Paul

 
At 4:51 PM , Anonymous kelly said...

I was 10 when my girlfriends father took us to see the exorcist the movie traumatized me I think its the scariest movie ever.Even now I can't watch it even hearing the music freaks me out,the girls at work thinks its funny also my boss has the music as her ring tone she likes to play it every now and then just to freak me out

 
At 1:38 PM , Anonymous Buffie said...

I have been watching horror movies since I was 8 years old and I have to say that none of them have scared me. Some are good, some (Friday the 13th) suck, but none are scarey. I am kind of partial to Stephen King movies though.

 
At 5:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to rankopedia, the best three horror movies ever are Alien, The Exorcist the The Thing.

 

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