The other day my partner in crime made a list of her favorite scary films, and I wanted to share one as well. These are the horror films that stuck with me, have been scorched into my mind, and are in no particular order.
The Descent: I don’t know how to truly convey just how deeply scared I am of this movie. It fills me with sheer, absolute terror. Listen, if you’re gonna have some sort of scary monster or demon in your movie, it’s gotta live up to the hype you build. The albino-cave-dweller-human-eater creatures this film flaunted had no problem in that department. I shudder at the thought. The spelunking/claustrophobic/getting-stuck-in-an-underground-cave premise is conveyed so well that even if you aren’t scared of tight spaces, you will now add that to any list of phobias you might have. The images here stayed with me for a long, long time. I’ve never been able to shake that ending, either.
Silent Hill: This is adapted from a video game, which admittedly, I know nothing about, but I do know that watching this, horrified me. The atmosphere – foggy, cloudy, all-encompassing grayness, ashes constantly falling, creepy old coal mine town – puts you on edge immediately. Throw in the fucked-up back-story and those HORRIBLE AIR RAID SIRENS that signify a forthcoming HELL-LIKE sequence, all had me grasping for the nearest pillow or blanket to cover my face with. The climax in the church (that sounds so blasphemous, doesn’t it?) was way over the top, but I was already so spooked that it didn’t cheapen anything. Also, Sean Bean is there, looking studly. You can never get enough of the Bean.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose: Despite my ambivalence about religion, demonic dealings make me want to huddle in a corner and cry. This movie, supposedly based on a true story (who knows what that even means anymore), centers around a young girl’s alleged possession, and it stars the chick from Dexter. I can never, ever, ever, imagine her as anything but twisted and broken, fricking upside-down, eyes dilated, on the floor of her dorm room at college. This shit is seared into my brain tissue. And for a month after watching this, anytime I woke up around 3 am, I felt SICK.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006 version): I don’t have quite the issues with hill people that my co-author does, but this movie made me so upset, I actually had to watch it in two sittings. In my defense, I started it in the middle of the night, and once that scene (you know which one) occurs where it all goes STRAIGHT TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, and right quick, I couldn’t take it anymore. These hicks from hell reminded me of the inbred brothers from that episode of The X-Files, who killed average folks to the smooth tunes of Johnny Mathis and impregnated their own mother, who they kept under a bed, to boot. Except if those brothers and that storyline were on crack.
Wolf Creek: This loosely based (and I mean loose, like stool) story of some kids on a road trip in the outback who hook up with the WRONG dude, was a visceral experience in my opinion. There was an element of realism to this film. When you’re screaming at a character on screen to “Get out of there! Don’t open that door! Don’t turn around!”, you know they are doing something that you WOULD NOT DO GIVEN THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCE (or at least you hope). But when a film cares enough to make you care about the characters by giving them stories and personalities, and then puts them in some situation where you truly believe you’d do the same as them, it makes it sooooo much worse. Which is exactly what this film did to me. If I was in the middle of some fucking crater in Australia at night and my watch stopped and my car was dead and there was nothing and nobody anywhere and miraculously, someone shows up and offered help, what the hell else are you gonna do?!!! Oh, woops, my bad, I guess get tortured and dismembered.
Jeepers Creepers: Yeah… I’ll never forget watching this one. My friends actually hit pause to go get me a pillow to scream into. That happened. This film though, it’s all about “The Creeper.” Every creature in each movie on this list lived up to the expectations of the audience and this guy is no exception. I still shudder to think of his demonic head and WINGS. Plus, these kids were like, driving home from college or something, which is what I did most weekends at this time in my life. If you feel like it could happen to you, it’s gonna touch you in a bad place.