For me, Halloween was a bigger deal when I was a kid. I got to dress up, go trick-or-treating, and bring home a crap-load of candy (I lived in a trailer park and back then, about seventy percent of the residents gave out candy, so the haul was spectacular). Nowadays, it's an excuse to wear cute pumpkin earrings and then buy candy at a discount the day after.
It's also all about the scary movies.
I'm a huge fan of horror movies. Have been since I was a kid. I can't recall ever not knowing who Freddy Krueger was, or being unaware of Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein, and the Crypt Keeper. That love of horror tends to creep into my writing (people coming back from the dead, bloody torture, losing body parts, etc...). But good horror isn't easy. Good horror should evoke a visceral reaction from the reader/audience.
So in honor of Halloween, I wanted to share five of my favorite horror movies. I'm not sure if they're my absolute favorites (those types of lists are very difficult to come up with, because my choices tend to change by the month). But these are five current favorites.
The utter creepiness of this movie is amazing. And the fact that the monsters are not completely CGI, but rather old school latex and makeup, makes it all the more impressive. The somewhat ambiguous ending just completes the creepy factor, and it makes me a bit leery of foggy days.
One word: Pinhead.
Two words: puzzle box.
Three words: Don't open it.
As much a riff on horror movie cliches as it is a true gore-fest, this movie just rocks. It's gross, it's hilarious, and it's got characters you don't mind watching. Just don't trust anyone's Life Expectancy Rating.
The most self-aware slasher movie ever, this one turned the psycho-slasher genre on its head. It's the perfect movie for people like me, who were raised on the eighties slasher films and were also teenagers in 1994. How can you not think of it when someone asks, "What your favorite scary movie?"
While the grand dame of this series will always be the first installment, I'm putting the boxed collection on the list because it's my favorite movie series. If you can ignore parts 2 and 6, the series is pretty awesome in how it follows certain characters from film to film. And the seventh movie, A New Nightmare, totally rocked my world by having Freddy going after the actors themselves. I'm not terribly fond of last year's remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, so let's pretend it didn't happen.
How about you? What's your favorite scary movie?