Fearful films for Halloween
- October 29, 2011 4:53 PM |
- By Eli Glasner
So it's Halloween, the streets are filled with 16-year-old thugs in bad costumes demanding candy and you're at home hiding in the dark. Why don't you put on movie? Below, a mix of movies for horror freaks, scaredy cats and cinephiles.
If you're one of millions who made P.A.3 a box office success, there's plenty more found footage fears to find. Myself, I've always been partial to the city-smashing charms of Cloverfield. But if you're looking for something a little more intense, check out Open Water. From the husband and wife team Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, the predicament is deceptively simple. A couple on Caribbean vacation are left in the middle of the ocean when their scuba-diving tour boat leaves without them. With the camera bobbing beside them, Susan and Daniel have to contend with a storm, jellyfish, sharks and the unavoidable realization - no one is coming to rescue them. An improvised acting style influenced by the Dogma 95 movement helps the story come alive. And those sharks aren't CGI. The actors actually wore chain mail under their scuba suits. Talk about commitment to a role.
Before the undead shuffled their way back into the pop culture spotlight Trainspotting's Danny Boyle gave the zombie genre an energy boost with 28 Days Later. Aficionados may howl, but it was the infected victims manic speed that set them apart. I still remember the scene when the father Frank looks up. A single drop of blood falls in his eye; he tells his daughter he loves her, then the raging virus takes hold.
Truth be told, this is more of a holiday movie than a Halloween one. But the tale of Jack Skellington and his ghoulish friends conquering Christmas Town is a treat to watch just about any time. Here's an interesting tidbit for you. The singing voice of Jack Skellington? Composer Danny Elfman himself. (Any Oingo Boingo fans out there? ) And I will say, that moment when the Oogie Boogie Man splits open? Seriously creepy.
Some movies just stick with you and Pulse, which first hit screens in 2001, has a resonance few can match. Directed by Japan's Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Pulse is a film that takes its time. In an atmosphere of oppressive dread, a group of students investigate their friend's unexpected suicide. Going online they discover a strange new website that shows flickering videos, static filled shots of pale, pixilated faces. As in 28 Days Later, a wave of violence begins to spread throughout the cities. Red-taped doors keep the madness at bay until unplugged computer monitors spring to life. From a time when the worldwide web really was a new frontier, Kurosawa builds an end-of-the-world scenario around our on-line obsession. Oh and make sure to avoid the 2006 American remake. Ugh.
How do you like to spend your scream time? Share your own Halloween horror favs below:
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