Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My favorite thrillers

Halloween is the time when your TV gets swamped with "scary" movies. Most of them are not scary or even entertaining anymore. Modern horror films have become gore fests trying to up the ante on how many shocking ways people can be dismembered. And apparently there are still plenty of blood hungry people willing to shell out some cash to see them, otherwise they wouldn't have needed to make Saw V. So what better time to offer up a sample of my favorites in the horror/thriller genre.

Shaun of the Dead

Nothing like a good zombie movie. Throw in some romance, the best young comic actors Britain has to offer, more hilarious moments than whole seasons of most American sitcoms, and you've got a modern horror/comedy classic! "You've got red on you."


What makes Jaws a great thriller is NOT the shark, because I can hear you now saying, "but it looks so fake!" It was actually fortunate for Spielberg that the mechanical shark broke down at the beginning of production because his original plan to show us the entire beast in the first sequence was thrown out. It's what we DON'T see for most of the film that freaks us out. John Williams' music is still terrifying and instantly recognizable, and face it, you know a movie scares people when they stop going to the beach for months after seeing it.


F.W. Murnau made his silent classic in 1922 after Bram Stoker's widow refused to give him the rights to film Dracula. Murnau decided to change the name and created the creepiest vampire in film history, Count Olaf. Plus, his cameo made one of the funniest SpongeBob episodes ever!

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn

Another comedy/horror classic which put both Bruce Campbell and director Sam Raimi on the map. Perfect combination of Three Stooges slapstick and George Romero-like horror. When they kick the old hag in the face I crack up every time.

The Sixth Sense

Clever idea for a horror film and proof that you don't need gore, monsters, or even special effects to make an audience jump out of their seats.

What Lies Beneath

Once again, very little special effects needed to send chills up your spine. I love the way Robert Zemeckis plays the audience in this one. It's not even all that scary, but when you find out the truth you don't want to believe it. I'll leave it at that for anyone who hasn't seen it.


Director Henri-Georges Clouzot's French mystery masterpiece was unfortunately remade with Sharon Stone! GAG! See the original and keep the classic ending to yourself.

The Shining

Jack Nicholson is superb in Kubrick's horror classic. I actually root for Johnny, he's so funny. "Give me the bat, Wendy!"


Still the greatest horror flick ever made because there's never been another Hitchcock. It was made in 1960 and hasn't aged a bit. Anthony Perkins gives one of the best performances in film history. And if you think not going to the beach was a big deal, after Psycho people stopped taking showers!

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