The Scaredy-Cat’s Top 5 Horror Movies!

September 28, 2012

Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chickenby Maggie Kruger

Horror is a film genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience’s primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer, and the macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror films often deal with the viewer’s nightmares, hidden fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage, commonly of supernatural origin, into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, aliens, vampires, werewolves, curses, Satanism, demons, gore, torture, vicious animals, monsters, zombies, cannibals, and serial killers.” —

“Scaredy-Cat: 1) Someone frightened by almost everything. 2) Someone who shies away from facing their fears” —

The first definition is what Forgotten Flix will be focusing on during October. The second definition may as well just have a picture of me trying to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street next to it.

I wish I could watch horror like I used to. But then again I maintain that Horror movies are a lot more Horrible than they used to be: modern Japanese, Paranormal and Extreme Horror just don’t appeal to me in the same way that films like The Exorcist, The Shining and The Omen used to.

I have an inkling that there may be a few more cowardy-custards like me who read Forgotten Flix, and because we really, REALLY want to hang out with the cool kids, I thought I should put together a horror-lite list. Movies that you can watch at Halloween but won’t leave you needing to sleep with the bedroom light on.

So, without further ado… The Scaredy-Cat’s Top 5 Horror Movies!

1. Creature Feature: Slither (2006)

This is a big old pile of daft. An alien parasite lands on earth, infects baldy Joel G. Robertson Michael Rooker, who then turns the rest of the town into zombie parasitey things, and hot nice sheriff Nathan Fillion has to save the day.

It’s not big and it’s not clever, but it’s dark, funny, and only the tiniest bit grisly. And even when it is gruesome you’re kind of laughing about it.

2. Fangs for the Memories: Interview with the Vampire (1994)

Now, before anyone jumps on me for picking a Wee Tommy O’Cruise movie, just be glad I didn’t pick Twilight and the emo-bloodsuckers.

Interview With The Vampire is an adaptation of an Anne Rice novel about the vampire Lestat and his adventures with the very sulky Louis, and she famously slated Cruise when he was cast, saying ‘That short bloke from Top Gun can’t play my sexy whipsmart vampire and he’s really shit at Irish accents’.

And then she did a complete 180, saying ‘I love Tom Cruise, he’s marvellous and his Irish accent is the best I’ve ever heard, better than an actual Irish person.’*.

Whatevs, Anne, whatevs.

So anyway, this probably does have some slightly gory bits in it, and there’s no denying there’s an awful lot of blood in it, but it’s a great film, it looks beautiful, and Brad Pitt’s lustrous mane of hair is a thing to behold.

*I’m paraphrasing a little here.

3. Ghost in the machine: Beetlejuice (1988)

I was THIS CLOSE (“ “ ) to giving you Ghostbusters, but that’s hardly a *forgotten* flick, is it? Even my nephew knows the Ghostbusters theme tune and he’s only 2 months old. So I’ve gone with Beetlejuice instead, to remind you all of a time when Tim Burton made good movies with actors that weren’t his missus and Johnny Depp.

Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin (back when he was a sex symbol) are killed in a car crash, venture into the afterlife and come across Michael Keaton’s eponymous antihero, who proceeds to cause all sorts of mischief. This is dark, in the way that all of Burton’s early films are, but brilliant and very funny.


4. The Devil is in the Detail: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

A horror movie that’s more suspenseful than truly horrific, Rosemary’s Baby is a bonafide classic. Mia Farrow gets pregnant and spends a couple of hours playing Who’s The Daddy. Is it her husband, John Cassavetes, or is it someone more sinister? Perhaps the friendly Satanic cult living next door can help…

This has one of my top 5 favourite lines in a movie: ‘Oh look, he has his father’s eyes!’.

5. Which witch is good witch?: The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

I’m going to digress a bit here. I’ve just been looking through some ‘not-too-scary’ horror film suggestions on the good old interwebs, and did you know that Poltergeist had a PG rating? SERIOUSLY??!! That is one movie I really don’t want to see. (I told you I was a chicken).

Anyway, what’s Halloween without witches? For that reason (and because I thought you’d all laugh at me if I picked Hocus Pocus), I’ve gone with The Witches of Eastwick, because it’s a little bit dark, a little bit funny, and probably the scariest thing about it is Jack Nicholson’s wardrobe…

So there you have it – 5 movies that even wussies like me can watch at Halloween. And if there’s something weird in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call?

Chuck Norris, obviously.

Maggie Kruger fell asleep on her dad’s lap on her first cinema trip to watch Return of the Jedi in 1983, and has loved the movies ever since, even going so far as to study them at college, where she worked on a number of short films. She lives and works in London, UK, and will tell you that her favourite film is Dr Strangelove, although when pressed will also admit a certain weakness for 1980’s brat pack movies and most of Adam Sandler’s early work. Follow her on Twitter: @emmizzykay .

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