Fall traditions continue. It’s officially that time of year when I attempt to watch at least one scary movie. I have a major love/hate relationship with horror movies—I like the thrill of a good scare, but only if someone will be by my side for the next 3 nights at minimum. (I blame an overactive imagination and jump reflex.) I am the girl you do NOT want to sit near in a theater, and under no circumstances should you take me to a haunted anything. (Several friends will attest to this.) Yet, every year I tell myself I can handle it and I hunker down with a blanket and hot cider…maybe some early Halloween candy…and try not to look away or throw my hands in front of my face. And now that I live in a small Midwest town and everything has a Jeepers Creepers/Children of the Corn vibe, I might even try to do a haunted maze or hayride…because I’m a total glutton for punishment.
So, since it’s that time of year, here are the top 5 horror movies that made an impression on me, in no particular order: (Feel free to eat candy while you read.)
- Pet Sematary (1989) – I actually didn’t see this because I was too young when it came out, but I made my older sister sit on the edge of the tub and tell me the entire plot start to finish. I’ve had an unhealthy fear of children slashing my ankles from under the bed ever since. I’ve heard it’s a ridiculous movie, but I still can’t bring myself to watch.
- When a Stranger Calls (1979) – “Have you checked the children?” (shudder) There is nothing scarier than a “call is coming from inside the house” situation. The movie alone is enough to give you goosebumps, but let’s add watching it in a secluded Virginia farmhouse.My best friend and I used to go to her family’s farmhouse on the weekends for sleepovers and the one little store that had video rentals (yes, videos) only stocked older movies and didn’t have much of a selection. The cover seemed harmless. So wrong. We would enjoy many a scary moment at that place over the years, but this one scarred me for life. (Oh, and the remake doesn’t even come close.)
- The Ring (2002) – I saw this in college and the images were so disturbing that the group I was with decided to stay out as long as humanly possible, simply to avoid going home and staring into the dark. (What that?!?!?!? Oh Jesus, it’s just my robe.) I don’t even like writing about it right now…moving on…
- Halloween (1978) – That music! I never could appreciate Nightmare On Elm Street or Friday the 13th, but Halloween is truly frightening. We even tried to make our own version in high school, complete with playing the creepy song on the piano for “atmosphere” and using a real knife, which I almost walked into at one point. (Take that, Dawson Leery.)
- Scream (1996) – Scream may be my all-time favorite scary movie. Every year I like to watch it and make Jiffy Pop in the aluminum tin, because I’m big on theme food. (More on that in future posts.) No matter how many times I’ve seen it, it still makes me jump! My friend used to wear the mask and scare the hell out of me on campus.
It may take me awhile to work up to my next scary movie, but in the meantime there’s plenty of nightmarish shows to choose from.
American Horror Story: Hotel (10/9c FX) The creepiest of all creepy shows returns! I love that this horror anthology keeps most of the same cast each season, but since the location and story changes, you can always pick it up without having to watch the previous one. I’m two for four now–I saw seasons one and three, but skipped two and four. I’m eager to see if Gaga adds to the show or not–she looks amazing in the photos and has that theatrical, over-the-top thing down, but acting is another matter.
Arrow (8/9c The CW) Oliver & Felicity driving off into the sunset last season feels a little too good to be true. And I sense there will be a lot of cross-over this season between the characters on this show and the upcoming DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Supernatural (9/8c The CW) The first five or six seasons of this show were absolutely terrifying and delightful, but now that they’re on season 11, I’m not sure how much more story they can get out of this show. Although, I do have a new appreciation for all the creepy, deserted, back road drives they go on through the middle states.
Casual (streaming on Hulu) New family comedy from Jason Reitman (Juno, Up In the Air) about surviving the dating world. Tommy Dewey was great on The Mindy Project and Michaela Watkins is always funny, so this has potential. You can see the trailer here.