HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

It’s this marvelous time of year again. One where we get to be anyone but ourselves for a night (or two) if that’s what we want to do. One where we get to stuff our faces with all sorts of candies and snacks. One when watching scary movies might make it just a little bit spookier.

Horror has to be my most favorite type of movies. Maybe because, unlike most people I know, I only started watching them quite late in life. Which means I haven’t really been “traumatized” from seeing them too young. I know that not everyone was, but I had numerous friends over the years tell me they couldn’t watch horror flicks, mostly due to seeing The Exorcist while they were kids. KIDS! No wonder they’d develop an aversion to horror.

I was one of those kids who wouldn’t go against her parents’ wishes (or… orders? Maybe?). So when my dad told me I COULDN’T watch horror flicks, I just didn’t. And since I was never the rebellious child, when I went over to a friend’s house at about 11 years-old, I averted my eyes when I saw that she and her siblings were watching The Evil Dead. Kind of made sure not to be in the same room, but I still saw that raping tree scene. And now that I think about it, I can’t say if I ever did see that movie in its entirety. Maybe I was somewhat traumatized, after all.

This being said, I tried to watch the Ash vs. Evil Dead series, and I honestly got bored! Which is quite bizarre, considering the type of TV I usually like to watch. I might have to go back and keep watching it. And I’ll have to do the same thing with Wynonna Earp, which I kind of didn’t get hooked on, even though there are some clear similarities to that other show I kinda like… Supernatural?

Sorry, I’m not here to talk about TV, but rather movies. Horror movies. So let’s do that, shall we?

Way before I caught a glimpse of The Evil Dead, I saw this other one as a child: Walt Disney’s Child of Glass. The title alone still gives me goosebumps. And I’m pretty sure that watching it again as an adult would make all those delightful spooky feelings disappear, which is why I refuse to watch it ever again. I’d rather keep being afraid of that little blue ghost girl. What can I say? It’s a nice memory!

Another glimpse of horror movie I saw far too young (younger than I was for The Evil Dead) was David Cronenberg’s The Brood. Not that I knew then what it was. I only found out many years later when the question I had sent to Premiere Magazine was answered in one of their issues. Can’t remember the name of the guy who wrote that column, but I was very much impressed that he was able to find it from the little I remembered about the flick. Saw it again after that, by the way. More disturbing and gory than I would have hoped, I won’t lie. 

This being said, I don’t like all types of horror, if that makes sense. The worst for me are the gory ones. I’ve still seen a lot of them, mostly out of curiosity since they were really popular, but most of them just fell short for me. I mean, I did see Saw, and almost all the following installments, too. I even watched both the first and second Human Centipede movies. Tried watching the third one and just… nope! Five minutes in and I was done. Not sure why I even tried, to be perfectly honest. *shudders*

My favorite horror flicks have to be of the supernatural kind. Don’t like slashers all that much, mostly because they’re often kind of the same, but supernatural? With ghosts, and demons, and ghouls? That’s my jam! Throw in usually inanimate objects that move, or “faulty” mirrors, and there’s a chance I might have to look through the thin slits between my fingers. And I’ll LOVE it.

Because of my “dolls & mirrors” trigger, it kind of means that the movies that scared me the most didn’t do much for other people. I mean… Poltergeist III? I was TERRIFIED!!! All mirrors are supposed to do is reflect what’s in front of ’em. If the reflection differs from reality or worse, interacts with the “real world”, it should be enough for me to almost pee my pants.

Sorry for the image there, but that’s what it is. I can’t help it. And when I talk about inanimate objects (mostly dolls) that start moving, I’m not really referring to Child’s Play’s Chucky here. Seen most of those movies, but I find them mostly amusing, I won’t lie. (Most horror series do that… if the first movie is often scary, the more sequels there are, the more ridiculous they become).

No, I’m mostly talking about more subtle stuff. There’s that scene I remember, just can’t say which movie it’s from. For a long time I thought it was from 1972’s The Last House on the Left or even the 1979 version of The Amityville Horror, but I rewatched them afterward and never saw that scene again. So, in that scene, there’s a lady in a bedroom (her daughter’s, I think) and she’s looking outside the window. Behind her, there’s a doll sitting on a desk or something. THE. DOLL. TURNS. ITS. HEAD. TO. LOOK. AT. HER. Then we’re looking outside with the lady and two red glowing eyes appear in the night.

Even thinking about it now, I get the chills. Not to say I saw that as a kid, but I’m pretty sure that if I watched now it wouldn’t be as effective. So maybe it’s fine that I don’t know what movie it is. I can keep being scared of it.

This being said, I’d like to share about those horror flicks I prefer. I won’t lie, they’re mostly old. The sad thing is that I don’t have DVDs or whatever for most of them. So I can’t just go and watch them when I’m done here (it’s Halloween, after all).

Oh, and by the way… there might be some spoiler-ish stuff in this post, so be warned. Just go to the next title if you haven’t seen it and don’t want to know things in advance. I mean, I try my best, but some stuff might come out. (I’d say tough luck, they’re old, but nobody has seen ALL THE MOVIES. So, just be careful.)

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT

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I know, it’s cliché. And, apparently, not all that scary. To which I can agree now that I’ve seen it more than once. Except the first time I saw it? It was in a theatre with some friends, far too close to the screen for my taste. I was so invested in the story that, as it built up to the last frame, I became so scared that I was about to flee or start sobbing. The movie ended just in time, leaving me bundled up low on my seat with my heart racing and right about to cry.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this scared watching a movie, to be honest. Maybe it was just a special day. Maybe being this close to the screen means I kind of forgot I even was in a cinema. Don’t know what it was, but it was GREAT! I’d love to get that feeling back. It’s never happened again. Maybe that’s why I have a special fondness for those movies I saw a long time ago and haven’t really seen again. I love the feeling of dread I get when thinking about them.

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF
IN LONDON

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To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of werewolves. Not usually. But this movie his special. If you haven’t seen it, you really should, doesn’t matter that it’s “ancient” (1981). And I don’t think I’m all that wrong when I say that the special effects are amazing for the time period. I mean, CGI wasn’t really a thing then and, as far as I remember, the transformations looked realistic as hell.

To this day, when fog appears, I can’t help imagining a guy in a red parka walking about and getting jumped by a damn werewolf. Not to say I’m scared of the fog, I just associate it with this movie. And, well… it’s a nice souvenir for me. Although if I were to cross paths with an actual werewolf, I probably wouldn’t find it all that nice. 

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

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Of all the 80’s movie monsters, Freddy Kruger has to be my favorite. I don’t care that the series became more of a comedy with the different sequels, I loved them all. Most of them, anyway. I think the first one I saw was the fourth one, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master. Once more, I saw it in a cinema, so maybe that’s what it takes for me to really get into horror flicks. Although, the movie itself wasn’t what made me edgy back then… it was the fact that my friend and I had bought tickets to see Dirty Dancing but snuck into Nightmare instead.

If you know me even just a little, you won’t be surprised to know that hadn’t been my idea. And that I spent the whole movie looking over my shoulder, convinced one of the ushers would come and kick us out for going to see a movie we hadn’t paid for.

And since I have all the DVDs for the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, which I PAID FOR, I’ll probably be treating myself to a Freddy Kruger once I’ve published this little thing. What I’m missing are candies… maybe I’ll go to the store and splurge on full priced Halloween goodies (oh, the horror!).

PIN

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Another thing I’ll find truly horrifying is “psychological” stuff. Truly horrifying mostly because it COULD happen. It’s the worst kind of horror… I mean, just look at the news!!! 1988’s Pin is one of those “realistic horror movies” for me. A bit like Psycho and now that I think about it, it might have been greatly inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece.

Maybe I should watch it again (it’s been a while), but I think this one is more disturbing than it is horrifying… I mean, would you look at that dummy’s face? Also, it is scary, but maybe it’s more of a psychological thriller type thing. Mostly, I think it’s on my list because it’s weird as all hell. Like… W. E. I. R. D. And do have a soft spot for weird stuff. If I had to compare it to another movie (besides Psycho), it would be May, which I’ve talked about here.

Creepy people are the best… on screen, that is. In real life? Not so much, no.

ROSEMARY’S BABY

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As I looked up images and stuff, I noticed this was a Roman Polanski movie. I had managed to forget that. I wonder why, seeing as I hadn’t forgotten that one of my ultimate faves, The Fearless Vampire Killers also was his. And that fact alone had deterred me of talking about it. And as I write this (well, editing, really, since I’ve been working on this for the last couple of days), I’m debating the fact that I should just kill it altogether. If you wonder why that is, I would ask you to google him.

I’ll keep it in, only because I’m already running late on this and am tired as all hell. I went to see the band Polyphia last night and I’d rather be drooling and staring at the wall right now. In case you’re interested, the show was AWESOME, even the two first acts, Covet and Hail The Sun were great!! You really should look them up, if you like that kind of music, that is.

So, about the movie… what I love about it is that we don’t see much of anything, yet it’s truly terrifying. Another interesting tidbit (for me anyway) is that at some point in time, my mom looked a whole lot like Mia Farrow. And it’s just not me who’s imagining things, my dad (who had been divorced from my mom for a long time when I asked, so no bias there) confirmed he too thought so.

I know you don’t know my mom, but I still thought you’d like that. Mostly because I have nothing more to offer on the subject of this film other that I’ve always found it scary, unsettling, and Rosemary looked like my mom (maybe I’m the Devil’s child, who knows?)! And, well… I’d rather not spend too much time on it. If you haven’t seen it and decide to do so, you should do it preferably with the lights off. And alone. Late at night… just not if you’re pregnant, maybe I wouldn’t recommend it.

• • • • •

I know this is a short list, mainly because there’s no way I can talk about all the movies I want to talk about. Those are the most significant, though. Others are almost as significant, like The Shining or The Exorcist. I just preferred to speak of others that had a little more of an impact on me.

The one thing I cannot do in a post about horror movies is not mention movies like The Ring or The Grudge. If I did like the American remakes, they were nothing compared to the original Japanese ones, Ringu and Ju-On. I’ve never shied away from watching subtitled movies until recent years. Nowadays, I can’t really watch them, and I hate that. It’s become too tiring watching movies as it is (sounds stupid, but it’s still the case) so having to read on top of it is pure torture. Which means I’ve missed on a whole lot of Asian horror masterpieces, I’m sure.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve missed on many international horror movies altogether. Like a favorite of mine, the Mexican Somos lo que hay (We Are What We Are). I can’t say if I’ve seen all that many Mexican horror flicks, but this one stuck with me. Because, although the creature portrayed in this is of a supernatural nature, it feels as if it could happen. As if we’re looking at a real family struggling with having to nourish themselves the only way they can. Again, pretty disturbing stuff. Loved it!

That I can’t watch all those little gems anymore probably is the scariest thing I can think of sharing with you today. There are so many horror films on Netflix that I haven’t been able to watch, no matter how interesting they seemed to be. They might not even be good, but I don’t really care. Actually, the worst they are, the more I might end up liking them. Well, not so much “worst” as “disturbingly weird”. lol

Still, every time I try watching one, I have to stop because it’s just too damn difficult. And no, watching dubbed movies isn’t something I can do either. Or maybe I should try again, I don’t know… better than never seeing them, I guess. On a good day, I might just try again. Especially now that’s I’ve read about a movie that had ROB ZOMBIE himself quaking in his boots. I mean… isn’t that enough to want to see it? It’s called Audition, it’s Japanese, and I NEED to see it! RIGHT NOW!

I think that if I was granted a wish, any wish, it would be to understand and speak all languages (animals included). I would then be able to watch any movie I want without having to read on top of it. And then I could have philosophical discussions with my dog. Much better than asking for fame or money! (I know, I could also ask for perfect health. But how would that help me have a chat with my dog, huh?)

There are other great movies, although classified as horror, that I don’t consider as such. Probably because they didn’t really scare me all that much, making me a bit sad instead. That’s what happened with The Others. There was some spook in there, of course, but the ending kind of made it all a moot point. All I was left with was a bit of sadness.

I hope this little thematic list entertained you a bit. Maybe it reminded you of movies you had forgotten. Or maybe it made you curious about movies you’ve never seen. As for me, I’d love to know about those movies that scare you, freak you out, make you need to check under your bed before hopping on it to hide under the covers.

In the meantime, I wish you all a safe and fun Halloween! And happy November 1st, also known as “Let’s-Get-All-The-Candies-On-Sale” day. I may have thought I’d be going out to buy some today, on Halloween, but I might just try to make myself some salted caramel popcorn instead.

If I’m lucky, it’ll turn out GREAT! I’ll let you know when I see you again next Wednesday! Toodles!!

Thanks for sharing!

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