Friday Fun

Scary Movies for Halloween: Three that Thrill

For more Halloween themed Friday Fun, this week we thought it might be time to talk a few favorite films once again. So here we have Scary Movies for Halloween: Three that Thrill.

While we can’t say these are the scariest movies of all time, the following titles certainly have thrilled and chilled us, so why not do what we do? Invite a few pals over and when the last trick or treater has come and gone, make a batch of Apple Spider Cocktails and have a mini movie fest of your own…

First, a contemporary title, The Conjuring. Set in the 70s, it is inspired by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Whether ghost stories are up your alley or not, director James Wan certainly knows how to build tension, and where and when to cut away. Anchored by extremely real performances from Wilson and Farmiga, it’s impossible not to like and care about what happens to these people. And it must be said: Hide and Go Clap in a haunted house? It’s delicious wee set-ups like that, that are pure pleasure.

Going back to a movie that was shot in the 70s, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). Ardent partner Chris Comrie says: “That movie is just total hot chaotic fucking nuts. hot and crazy…”. The cutting and camerawork are masterful in their almost documentary like feel, and the behaviour of the friends-at-risk is weirdly believable.
Other kids showed it to me when I was a kid, and it was so dark I felt like I couldn’t read many of the images. I just knew that something very, very bad was happening to those people in the dark, and that’s how it felt to me too, like we were in a place of hot chaos.

And last but definitely not least, going back earlier in time to The Night of the Hunter (1955) Because of the era in which it was made, this film may seem gentler than the others, but psychologically it’s a devastating film. Somehow actor-turned-director Charles Laughton was perfectly able to tap into the psyche of children, and the whole movie has the feeling tone of a child’s bad dream. Robert Mitchum is a villain from nightmares for sure, perfectly in charge of his greed, his violent nature, and a coiled and dark sexuality. That is one bad preacher-man that can dupe a vulnerable widow and menace her kids, all to get at some money their father supposedly left behind from a robbery.

This isn’t the trailer for the movie, but rather a short clip in which an old woman, played by Lillian Gish, protective of the children, now has a sense of just how dangerous Robert Mitchum is, and she sits in wait, vigilant, with her shotgun, as he slowly approaches the house. Singing.
She’s a tough old bird, and brave as hell, but look at the beautiful shot of her in the dark, in the chair. Her breathing shows her fear, but she doesn’t even consider not protecting those kids…

For more sinister cinema, you can take a look at Five Films that Frighten .

 


 

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