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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6 comments on “The Scaredy-Cat’s Top 5 Horror Movies!

  1. Gail Pascaris Sep 28, 2012

    I, too, am a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror films. The images tend to stay with me and wake me up in the middle of the night. So I’ve learned not to watch them.

    Growing up in Michigan, I used to watch Sir Graves Ghastly every Saturday afternoon. I still have a fondness for those old Black & White spooky flicks.

    I’m happy to say that I’ve seen everything on this list but Rosemary’s Baby. I somehow missed that one. I enjoyed the DVD extras on Slither. I find that the monsters scare me less when I first know how they were built. Plus the talent behind the scenes fascinates me.

    I’ll take a wee Tommy O’Cruise movie over any Twilight film. Many thanks for not one incluyding a movie that featured dolls of any type. My step-mom collects them and while she is not evil, I’m not convinced any of her dolls aren’t.

  2. Nice colummn Mags, perhaps some bits on there I can get my other half to see. She gets scared of films with kids in. Sixth sense being the prime example from her. I for one certainly wouldn’t jump on you for Interview with the Vampire, It’s a brilliant film in my book. I just wished they’d have sorted the follow up out.
    Was Poltergeist a PG??? I remember my brother having it on vhs and it was a 15 many years ago.
    Reminds me I must get round to watching witches of eastwick myself soon.

    No Chucky or Puppet Master for Gail then lol.

    • Thanks Guys!
      No, Clowns or Toys were never going to make it onto this list, including puppets – they’re just too freaky. I rewatched the Tim Curry TV series of IT earlier in the year and was still a bit disturbed by it. I’ve never fancied Magic with Anthony Hopkins for that reason!
      As much as I slate Wee Tommy I actually think IWTV is my favourite performance of his. He actually seemed to enjoy himself (and of course, no airports for him to run through in 19th Century New Orleans)
      One thing I meant to say was – even though it looks like it’s a safe, non-scary bet – please, please AVOID like the plague Eddie Murphy’s ‘Vampire in Brooklyn’. It’s not scary, it’s the worst thing EVER committed to celluloid.

  3. lol i picked that up the other day. I watched it years ago and couldnt remember what it was like.

    • I have a story about Vampire in Brooklyn but for decency’s sake I shan’t reprint it here…

  4. Isn’t it odd when you spend your time working in a niche and it feels like you might be one of a small number then you find a site like yours and learn that other people get huge machinery as well! Pity my family are not as interested 🙂

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