Monday 31 October 2011


            HALLOWEEN- yet another festival I have never celebrated due to geographical problems! But one can dream right? If I could, this year I would dress up like the Eleventh Doctor- bow tie, braces, floppy hair... everything. And I've always wanted to look like Charlie Chaplin à la The Tramp. But alas, this will not happen for atleast the next few years.
           However, if I cannot put on a costume, I will do the next best thing. Sit on my laptop and make a Favourite Horror Movies list. Yippee! OOOOOOH (that's supposed to sound scary). I am not a big fan of the genre (more like scaredy cats laugh at me), but I do watch horror movies from time to time. I tried watching Dawn of the Dead yesterday but the internet went nuts and it just seemed sort of illogical to waste time watching something that was clearly causing me distress.

Note: I am only going to talk about universally accepted scary films. So as much as I love them, there is no Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland in this, and neither will there be things like Antichrist (that's just plain disturbing), Nosferatu (great film, doesn't really send chills down my spine sorry) or The Silence of the Lambs (I prefer to think of it as a psychological thriller).

Honourable mentions: It will sound ridiculous, but I was actually terrified of Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body the first time I saw it. Even with all the "maneater" jokes, I couldn't sleep at night and was convinced she's perched outside my window *shudders*. And as a kid, Chucky, the doll from Child's Play was the scariest fucking thing ever. Obviously with age, I could see the humour in it all, but try telling Mini-Me that. Also, I just saw 28 Days Later and it has not made the total impact on me yet. I thought it was quite good, but then I didn't like the second-half as much as the first.

10) Poltergeist-
This scene comes out of nowhere. Always manages to take me aback. I think the biggest asset of this film was the child actor Heather O'Rourke, whose angelic face and singing bird-like voice, especially when she says the very famous line "They're here" that both scares people and make them want to save this poor little girl.

9) Scream-
Ghostface has become one of the most recognisable villains of the last two decades, because of this film. I suppose the basic plot is the same- group of teenagers being killed in gory fashion by some scary-looking murderer, but it re-invented the slasher genre very effectively.

8) The Sixth Sense-
I am a person who knew of the big secret at the end before watching the film, but it shocked me still. This film, with Haley Joel Osment's prodigious performance, is always entertaining to watch as well as touching to see a little kid so affected by all the death in the world.

7) The Blair Witch Project-
The most amazing film this film does, and why it is so popular, is that we never actually see what it is haunting the three documentary film makers. It is all about the sounds and the shivers and the strange things found that creates the fear in our head. So while they were getting more and more frightened, so were we.

6) Rosemary's Baby-
This Roman Polanki's classic makes one feel breathless and claustrophobic in my opinion, just like its protagonist Rosemary Woodhouse, played by the divine Mia Farrow, when she finds out that everyone is after her and her baby. It also makes one distrustful of one's neighbours because if Ruth Wilson turns out to be a Satanist then well... The ending is the best part.

5) The Others-
Such a film will not exist were it not for the "demonic child" movies of the 70s. Nicole Kidman is great as the concerned and possibly mad mother. I love this film as everything is the opposite of what you think and the final reveal is easily among my most favourite movie twists of all time.

4) Carrie-
One thing this film always makes me think is that if you felt that you had an awful puberty, imagine being Carrie White. Margaret White is easily one of the worst and most horrifying mothers of the silver screen. Of course Carrie turned out the way she did. It doesn't mean she deserved it though. Sissy Spacek as the eponymous protagonist is someone I feel bad for because she had to grow up with her psycho-religious-fanatic mother and mean girls from high school, and well telekinetic powers. In my opinion the prom scene is one of the best scenes ever made.

3) The Shining-
Inspired by events in a real-life hotel, this Stanley Kubrick masterpiece based on a Stephen King novel is as iconic as they come. The whole motif of a hotel from hell and strange things in different rooms has become a cliché ever since, but it is still most potent here. Everyone in this film-  the naturally crazy-looking Jack Nicholson, spaced-out horrified Shelley Duvall and cute creepy kid with quite an imaginary friend Danny Lloyd, is perfect. Add to that the Kubrick precision and hallways being flooded with blood...ah Christmas!

2) Psycho-
Surprised this wasn't in any of the horror films lists I have seen so far. I think this film is so popular and so a part of people's psychology, that we never really look back to see trivial things like what genre it belongs to. Technically this Hitchcock spectacular gave birth to the slasher films genre, thanks to Mrs. Bates. It is so beautifully made, this film, and Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates is such a pathetic little villain, that I don't know, I always feel bad for him. But he does go a little mad sometimes, which results in some of the most beloved murder scenes in all of film history.

1) The Exorcist-
Yes I am the cliché of all clichés, but this film really is that good. And the first time I saw it, I actually did the whole sitting in the dark alone thing, which is not nice. At all. I love that this film is not a lesson in religious dogmas and stuff and the fact that even the priests don't believe in the possession until the very end. Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil and Ellen Burstyn as her mother Chris are excellent in this film. I know everyone just credits the make-up department for Blair's work, but god I would never ever ever want to look like that. This is a film that truly scares us, and makes us think that if a bad spirit can do such horrific things to someone as innocent as Regan, who knows how we will survive it? 



  1. I'm so awful with horror movies, I haven't seen that many. My favourite is probably Psycho, but I really LOVE Carrie. I might watch that tonight.

    28 Days Later is a really good movie. As you know, I love Cillian Murphy, and having him in that movie was a big plus :)

    Happy Halloween, darling!

  2. Happy Halloween to you too love.
    I am pretty awful too, especially with the zombie ones. And the kid ones just annoy me. And Saw is gross.

    I think technically Psycho is my favourite of the lot, but as a horror film, nothing beats The Exorcist for me. I love Carrie too. I think my top 4 entries were almost at the same level and I had to really think about the rankings.

    Cilian Murphy and his pretty eyes! The film was good, but I got a bit bored towards the end.

  3. Great list! All classics, great range, I have many of these on my own list. Did you consider Night of the Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw or 28 Days Later? Swing by to compare

  4. Oh thank you. I haven't seen the first two (though I did see one of the remakes/sequels to Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Renee Zellweger and Matthey McConaughey) and I just saw 28 Days Later, and it's in my honourable mentions.
    I liked you list also...quite a few films in there I need to see, like The Wicker Man.
    Thanks for commenting :)

  5. Love that we have so many in common. You’re right, that is precisely why The Blair Witch Project is so effective. My god, the subtle terror that film exudes…