Monday, October 01, 2007

31 movies I would recommend for someone's month long Halloween movie marathon (aka, the post where I throw all of my credibility away)

It's with some trepidation that I am making this available to the world at large. Mostly because I know that my taste in movies is suspect to begin with, and here I am, confirming it for everyone. Eh, fuck it.

Here it is, my nomination list for the 31 FLICKS THAT GIVE YOU THE WILLIES.

Alright, since this is a nominating list, it doesn't need to be in any specific order, so here it is, my list as presented in the format of... The 31 movies I would recommend for someone's month long Halloween movie marathon.

Some things to note. This is MY list. It reflects MY tastes. I'm not a huge fan of Carpenter, it shows in the list. I'm not a huge fan of slasher movies, it shows in the list. I don't care about the Freddie and Jason movies, it shows in the list.

I also tried to stay away from all those low budget, scfi channel movies that I love. I enjoy watching them, that does not mean that they're good. Some of the movies veer towards comedy, and may not be as scary as others, however, I included them because, well, I think that they are good. Also, I think that they showcase a good blend of horror and light fun. And you need that sometimes.

The other consequence of my list is the format I chose to present it. I took it as a challenge to create a list of 31 movies I would recommend for someone else's movie marathon. This means that I may not have made a list of 'the 31 greatest fucking movies I ever saw and if you disagree you're a cock sucking asshole from outer space'. I picked movies that I like and that fit certain thematic requirement, arbitrary as they may be. What I do hope it accomplishes in terms of nominations though it to give a couple of smaller gems a little credit and maybe a bit of a boost, even though half of them will be the same shit everyone else is nominating.

Oct 1: The Ring

This was a toss up. I could have put Ringu on the list instead and been just as happy. However, I think that the American remake is equally as good, and a great way to ease into what's yet to come here in the first week. Not to mention, it's a great little kick off to the whole month. I think it's really a great, creepy movie that really serves to demonstrate that Hollywood CAN remake an Asian horror movie well. So long as no one is paying attention yet.

Oct 2: El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone)

This Spanish ghost story from Guillermo Del Toro has a ton of atmosphere. It's a creepy little ghost story in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War. While not as heavy on effects as El Labarinto del Fauno, it's still an amazingly fantastic piece of work.

Oct 3: Ju-on

Ju-on was one of the first Asian horror movies I watched, and still one of the best. It scared the shit out of me. The pale little boy. The atmosphere. The undefined evil that just bleeds off of the screen. This was the rare instance that I was glad I wasn't watching the movie alone.

Oct 4: Haute Tension (High Tension)

Now we're talking. Alexandre Aja gave us a neat little psychological twist in this one that people either love or hate. Ending aside though, this movie it a tightly wound ball of fury and pain. What's starts like any other movie quickly dissolves into a frantic chase. Trying to escape alive.

Oct 5: Ils (Them)

This is a very new movie, but certainly worthy of inclusion on the list. Claiming to be based on true events, you can't help but get emotionally involved in this movie. 'Them' refers to an unknown person or group who is terrorizing a young couple new to Romania. The events themselves all take place over the course of a day and a most.

This takes us into our first weekend, aptly titled Isolation Weekend (I tried to get a couple of themes going while stringing together some of the movies)

Isolation Weekend:

Oct 6: Kairo (Pulse)

Kairo itself isn't a perfect movie. What it is, however, is an excellent study in loneliness and isolation. It's the end of the world as electronics seek to drive everyone apart. The Japanese original is miles better than it's 2006 American counterpart which was like watching lepers suck cock.

Oct 7: 28 Days Later

It's 28 days after the outbreak of the rage virus when Jim wakes up from a coma, alone in London, and unaware of the crisis he's about to face.

This leads us into Zombie Week. Might as well do a week of zombie movies, right?

Zombie Week!

Oct 8: Resident Evil

Not the greatest movie ever made, but a good little zombie adventure. Milla Jovovich is kicking ass, the effects work and the zombies themselves are creepy as hell.

Oct 9: Slither

Say what you want. I liked it. And, sure, the little slugs turn everyone into a PART of Grant, they still exhibit many zombie-type behaviors.

Oct 10: Boy Eats Girl

This is one that I'm sure will not be on anyone else's list. I'm okay with that. This little Irish zombie movie was good though! Part teen comedy, part bloodbath, this zombie movie is the rare diamond in the rough. It looks like just another zombie movie at first glance. Once you get deeper though, it's a movie with a lot of heart, not to mention a lot of zombie killing.

Oct 11: Return of the Living Dead

Dan O'Bannon shows us that he can do something besides write creepy movies like Alien with this sort of sequel to Romero's Night of the Living Dead. While a bit more comedic in tone that Romero's work, the unrelenting hordes of undead still stand out. Not to mention the twist that killing them spreads the disease.

Oct 12: Shaun of the Dead

The story of two guys who's lives barely change when the zombie apocalypse comes. Part romantic comedy, part zombie flick, and part social commentary, this movie just works in so many ways that even if it's not exactly scary, it's hard NOT to include it.

Dawn of the Dead Weekend

Oct 13: Dawn of the Dead (original)
Oct 14: Dawn of the Dead (remake)

Here's a twofer for you. Both are the stories of a zombie outbreak. Both have their survivors seeking refuge in a mall. That's where the similarities end. Both however are excellent movies.

Oct 15: Alien

Could you make a list without Alien? No, it would be like making a list without The Thing.

Oct 16: The Thing


Oct 17: Jurassic Park

Okay. This might not be what most people consider a horror movie. However, the velociraptors themselves make this a worth while inclusion. Speilberg basically manages to do for raptors what he did for sharks.

Oct 18: Gojira

This is another one that straddles the horror fence. It's hard to think of a more frightening allegory for the use of weapons of mass destruction though.

Oct 19: Jaws

The movie that made a generation of kids afraid of the water. Mechanical problems forced Speilberg to do the one thing that ultimately makes the movies so effective...limit the screen time for the shark. Nothing is scarier than what you don't see. More than 30 years later, it's still an amazing movie.

Oct 20: Dog Soldiers

Neil Marshall manages to make an amazingly sinister werewolf movie on a scifi channel budget. You never know who to be more afraid of, the werewolves, or the black ops.

Oct 21: Jurassic Park 3

Fuck you. It worked for me.

Oct 22: Shikoku

A Japanese ghost story about a young girl with long black hair, go figure. This one, though, managed to send a chill up my spine. It's not Ringu, it's not Ju-on, but that works in it's favor.

Oct 23: Silent Hill

It's the atmosphere and cinematography that really make the movie here, not the story. Silent Hill has a look to it. There's little else to say. It feels creepy. The fog around the town, the burning coal mine, ash covers everything, and when the darkness careful!

Oct 24: Open Water

What's scarier than being abandoned in the water due to bad counting? When the sharks arrive.

Oct 25: Cube

You're alone with a group of assholes for no apparent reason in a facility designed to kill you.

Oct 26: Evil Dead 2

The first time I saw it, I hadn't slept in days and must have felt much like Ash when the appliances and taxidermy started laughing and howling 'dead by dawn'.

Sam Neil Weekend

Oct 27: In the Mouth of Madness

One of the few movies to really scare me. Like, really scare me. In fact, I wouldn't feel that scared watching a movie again until Ju-on.

Oct 28: Event Horizon

Great characters, great concept. Poor execution, but still an enormously creepy movie.

Oct 29: Ab-Normal Beauty

Oxide Pang's story of a photographer who becomes obsessed with death. The ending isn't perfect, but it's still a great story.

Oct 30: The Hitcher

The devil himself comes out to play on Devil's Night as Rutger Hauer terrorizes poor C. Thomas Howell in an unrelenting killing spree across the desert.

Oct 31: The Descent

Claustrophobia, monsters and madness. Can you ask for more? No.


That's it. That's my list. Criticize me all you want. Tell me I wouldn't know a good horror movie if it handed my a business card that said 'I'm a Good Horror Movie'

Tomorrow, I'll take a look at a couple that I wish had made the list but did not. And, naturally, by 'tomorrow' I mean 'when I get to it'. And by 'when I get to it' I mean 'tomorrow'


Unknown said...

I'm not a fan of anything even remotely scary or suspenseful in any way, so this is totally a list of "movies Kate will never ever watch" Except that I've seen a bunch of them. So that just proves I'm a contradiction.

PIPER said...

I liked how you broke up the list into days and weekends. Nice work. Jurassic Park 3? I know, fuck me.

But some good stuff. Jurassic Park scares the hell out of me, not from a dinosaur perspective but from an amusement park gone wrong angle. It's why Westworld will be on my list.

Unknown said...

Jurassic Park does it for me on a science back firing level. That for all of our delusions about being in control, ultimately, we aren't. That control is only an illusion to help us sleep better at night.