Showing posts with label horror movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horror movies. Show all posts

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How would you define a top horror movie?

What is a top horror movie? A top horror movie is a movie that not only prompts you to go see it, based on its reviews and trailer but once you see it, it effects you on some level, staying with you long after the experience.

If you are an avid follower of the horror movie genre you only have to look to the countless examples of such movies over the many decades that fall into this category.

A Top horror movie usually tops the “best of list”

Each year as well as each decade a number of horror movies have the distinction of being the best or top horror movies for that particular time frame. For example during the year of 2005 The Descent was one of the top horror movies released not only that year but in my opinion of all time.

What is a top horror movie?

Well, the easy answer would be, you’ll know it when you see it. But if we were to elaborate just a bit, we would put this way, a top horror movie is one where the movie draws in you before the movie, engages you during the movie, usually done a number of ways, and then leaves you with some type of indelible impression.

Case in point, during the year Alien came out I recall sitting in the theater watching previews before whatever movie I was to see that day and when the preview for this movie came on I immediately knew I had to see it.

It was very ominous. If you saw the theatrical trailer then you know how foreboding the movie appeared and it was because of its inauspicious nature many fans, again myself included put down our money to see Alien. During the trailer, it successfully conditioned us, drawing us in, then once we actually had the opportunity to see it, not only did it met our expectations we had of the movie, it far exceeded them and in the process of it all, leaving changed in some small way. That is what a top horror movie does and how I define one.

  • Sunday, February 19, 2012

    Stephen King's It DVD

    Based on the King Of Horror's 1986 Best Seller, "It" is a jittery, jolting excursion into personal fear. "It" raises goosebumps-and brings out the stars. Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Annette O'Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Tim Curry and Richard Thomas star in this thriller about a malevolent force in a small New England town.

    Price: $5.98

    Click here to buy from Amazon

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Child’s Play: The use of dolls in horror movies

    Written by "MonsterMan"

    Child’s Play—the use of dolls in horror movies

    “Child’s play” was a horror movie that came out in the 80’s at a time when most of the movies that were being produced in Hollywood were not just horror movies but “slasher films” most of which were nothing more than low-budget “GrindHouse” fare. And like many of its contemporaries, although not a “slasher film” Child’s play in retrospect was an average film at best.

    The movie is about a doll named “Chucky” that comes to life after it is possessed with the spirit of a harden criminal named Charles Lee Ray the infamous "Lakeshore Strangler" as he is so named in the movie. The doll later goes on to become, should I say, quite the “little terror”.

    Despite its flawed story the producers of Child’s Play tried to capitalize on the brilliant use of “dolls” in other horror movies in order to make the story work. The most recent example of this was the sinister looking doll used to inspire fear in the “Saw” franchise. Fortunately that’s where the similarities between the two movies end.


    The doll in the movie, as you remember doesn’t do any of Jigsaw’s bidding as far as killing or torturing and although inanimate except for when starring in many of his “home movies” which he leaves for the “viewing pleasure” of his victims, the doll is quite disturbing nonetheless. Its something about seeing that doll sitting in a chair, its mouth seemingly moving on its own, to the voice of one very creepy sounding Tobin Bell who plays the homicidal maniac Jigsaw, along with the movie’s music playing in the background, the combination of the various elements leaves you chilled to the bone.

    I’m not sure if there were too many other instances in motion picture history where a message is delivered on screen with as much unsettling and horrific impact as it was the first time the writers of Saw initiated the clever use of a doll in this movie.

    The Trilogy of Terror

    Another example of the effective use of a doll on screen was in a movie I saw when I was all of 9 or 10 years old. The movie was called The Trilogy of Terror. Although the premise of the first two stories escapes me, the final installment, I won’t easily forget.

    Karen black plays a woman who while out shopping comes across this little “warrior” doll that she apparently decides will go quite nicely in her home. Although as UGLY as this little guy was (and boy was he ugly you should have seen his teeth) I’m not sure how she could possibly want it or think that it could some how compliment her home’s decor.

    Nevertheless at some point in the story the doll seemingly comes alive and begins to terrorize the woman moving about her home with the precision of a highly skilled hunter stalking his prey.

    Imagine the absolute terror she must have experienced after hearing the pitter-patter of little feet piercing the quietness with in her home only to later DISCOVER the sound was from the doll that is suddenly not where she originally placed it.

    In hindsight, not only was the sight of that little ugly black doll with ENORMOUS razor sharp teeth scurrying about quite disturbing to me as a child but the clever way in which the director animated and contorted its already ugly face to look genuinely angry and more terrifying than how it previously looked before its sudden animated state.

    “Peek a boo...I see you”

    Another truly awesome use of a doll on the big screen was in the movie Poltergeist. The classic horror film by Steven Spielberg remains a personal favorite of mine since the day I saw it in the theater some years ago.

    The movie was about a family of 5, a couple and their 3 children whose home experiences arguably the most terrorizing poltergeist activity ever put on film. Of all the rooms that were experiencing the paranormal activity in the family’s home the one with the most belonged to the two youngest children. As if they didn’t have enough already to be afraid of, you know with the “monsters” in their closet and the “boogie man” lurking in the shadows?

    The room was typical of most kids rooms, there was a large number of toys and of course a number of dolls. But there was one doll in particular that their son Tommy didn’t care for much, a clown that sat in a chair across from his bed that appeared as if it was staring. Because the doll was a clown it had this “silly looking” smile on its face and although not disturbing, it was unforgettable nonetheless.

    So much so that each night as the young boy attempted to go to sleep before he could put his head down he would cover the clown with something to prevent it from seemingly watching him. One night after the frighten child gingerly approaches the doll to that end he returns to his bed where he would struggle to fall asleep, periodically looking over his shoulder, in the dolls direction, to make sure it was still in the chair. Moments later the child repeats the process but this time he finds the doll gone, the boy’s fear heightens, now more evident as the shear look of terror extends the whole of his face.

    Electing not to leave the somewhat secure confines of his bed he does the only other thing that he could think of doing at this point which is…

    Look under the bed.

    Just the act of looking under the bed, for a child is like peering into “the abyss of hell” as it is symbolic of the place where their worst fears are realized and so the only other thing, at this point, worst than having to look under his bed would be finding the dolls two eyes peering back at him from out of the darkness.

    But that’s not what happened is it?

    After Tommy discovers the doll isn’t under his bed he lifts his head back up and suddenly notices over his shoulder the doll behind him. And now with his fear at a crescendo the doll grabs the terror stricken little boy about the neck, takes him to the floor and not so coincidentally, drags him under his bed.

    Again another demonstration of the effective use of a doll in a horror movie and although it wasn’t scary in the same sense as some of the other dolls I’ve seen “running amok” on screen, the scene nonetheless worked quite nicely within the context of the overall story.

    The doll a symbol of innocence

    Of course there are many other excellent examples of how dolls have been used for dramatic impact in motion picture history but the reason it works so well in horror movies is due to what dolls symbolize. For the most part dolls are synonymous with the innocence of a child but when they are utilized on screen in the many threatening ways they have been, mainly in horror films, the symbolism tends to get lost in a world where absolutely all things are possible and for the moviegoer perception becomes reality, at least for 90 minutes it does.

    Read my other article about Scary Doll Movies

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Worse horror movies ever part 1

    Here's my list:

    1. The Exorcist Part 2
    2. Motel Hell
    3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
    4. Halloween 3: Season of the witch
    5. HellRaiser
    6. I Eat Your Skin
    7. Screaming Skull
    8. Fright Night (Although entertaining it was very bad)
    9. Evil Dead: Army of Darkness
    10. It’s Alive
    11. The Boogie Man (The Original)
    12. Pet Cemetery

    Worse horror movies ever part 2

    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    Halloween Movie Review

    Written By: "MonsterMan"

    We’ve all seen certain movies that we don't mind watching over again, and each time we see them they remind us exactly why we liked them in the first place. Well, for me Halloween is that kind of movie.

    Halloween is a story about a murderous-escaped mental patient, named Michael Myers, who returns to his fictitious home town of Haddonfield, Ill. on Halloween in order to continue his homicidal predilection discovered by his parents when he was six years old, after killing his older sister.

    Halloween was made in 1978, but still remains one of the best horror movies ever made. Here are just a few reasons I believe why.

    Halloween: The night he came home.

    The first thing I must say was John Carpenter's and Debra Hill's decision to write a horror movie using Halloween as the backdrop. They figured out that if done right they could maximize the latent potential for terror, suspense and horror that creating a movie surrounding the holiday could present. And baby, was it done right. The result, 29 years later, the movie has become a cult classic and is considered by many to be the forerunner to most of the horror movies of the 80's and beyond.

    A Star is born.

    Jamie Lee Curtis played Laurie Strode, the wide-eyed innocent and awkward teen who took on Michael Myers, and although she along with movie-goers was absolutely scared out of our minds, she gave Michael Myers as much as he could handle. For someone who hadn’t had one single role on film to that point, and although Ms. Curtis was very critical of her performance, I can’t image this movie being as good as it was with out the young actress in the role.

    Mr. Myers the Doctor will see you now.

    It’s been said that, no matter the type of movie, you really don’t have a story without a well written antagonist. And as for Halloween, the role of the antagonist was played exceptionally well by late actor Donald Pleasance. Donald played Dr. Sam Loomis, the doctor who had the daunting task of treating Michael Myers when he was a kid. And because of his knowledge of his patient, he knew if he ever was set free from the hospital, he would without question return to his home town, and the end result, would be as predictable, people would surely die. You get the sense from watching the Dr. Loomis’ character on screen that he was very much obsessed with ridding the world of the “evil” that was Michael Myers. Christopher Lee, a very good character actor in his own right, if I’m not mistaken was originally offered the role but it obviously went to the man who with out a doubt did it justice.

    The Man under the Mask

    There have been many others to play the role of Michael Myers in the sequels that followed but none did it like Nick Castle. He was the perfect embodiment of John Carpenter’s vision for what he saw as “pure evil”. In order to really appreciate this man’s stellar performance one must only see him in all of his gory. Sorry, in all of his glory.

    What’s the Boogey Man?

    The main thing that made this movie so good was John Carpenter’s ability to capitalize on our “child-like” fear of the “Boogey Man”. The Boogey Man is every kid’s worse nightmare. Nothing scares children like the boogey man. Kids always believe that despite what their parents tell them, the boogey man does in fact hang out under their beds and in their closets, waiting and lurking in the shadows to snuff out their little lives. Kids revere their parents, at least most do, and may even be afraid of them from time to time but, as for the Boogie Man, they are truly afraid. And for this reason the Michael Myers character is in a sense an archetype, in that he is the fullness of the only individual who scares us like no other. This is how John Carpenter envisioned him. He did, however, refer to him differently when he was writing the part. The website, says of Michael Myers, The Shape is what John Carpenter referred to Michael Myers as in the script. Throughout the movie you only see the outline of Michael lurking in the shadows, non-descript and very much a "shape". Now you tell me, who does that sound like to you?

    Ok, die already will you!

    What I remember most about this movie, when I saw it for the first time, was that it was truly frightening, of course any 14 year old kid would think so. I guess it was something about the large imposing masked man wielding an equally large kitchen knife, looking to take any and everyone’s life, and do it with relative ease. A man, I might add, who refuses to die on more than one occasion. Clearly Lauie Strode was unaware of one simple fact about the boogie man and it was this, no matter how hard you try you absolutely cannot kill him. Okay Michael Myers may not have been the actual boogie man, the infamous purveyor of terror, but he was however, one scary ass dude. One I don’t mind watching over and over again in this terrific movie.

    Halloween Movie Review

    Saturday, February 24, 2007

    What's the Scariest movie you've ever seen?

    Here's the "Monster Man's" scariest movies of all time.

  • Poltergeist
  • Amityville Horror
  • The Sixth Sense
  • Carrie
  • Halloween
  • Aliens
  • The Exorcist
  • The Beast Within
  • The Devil's Rain
  • Tell me what you think of my list.

    The "Monster Man"