Tag Archives: The Ring

Listeria – To Be Afraid or To Not Be Afraid

8 Sep

I like scary movies, but I do not see them that often. Why? Because no one else around me likes scary movies. Heck, my wife and my stepdaughter watch shows like Criminal Minds and cover their eyes during the crime scenes. How do you watch a crime show and not watch the crime? On top of that, my wife is always getting scared. If I walk into the room, then she screams. Never mind that we are the only people in the house, and she should suspect that I might walk in.

It does not stop there. The last “scary” movie I saw was The Woman in Black. My nephew went with me, but he did not like it. He likes all kinds of gross stuff, but he is not a fan of scary movies.

Honestly, I cannot see how people can get scared by a movie. It is happening on screen and is being performed by actors. Those are not real people, and they are not in the room. Getting scared in a dark alley? That is one thing. Getting scared in a dark theater? That is completely different.Horror

The other day, I saw a magazine about the “50 Scariest Movies’ that, I assume, was put out for Halloween. After all, Halloween is only two months away. To me, retailers putting out decorations two months before a celebration is scarier than any movie. Anyway, I picked it up to see how many of them I have seen and to write a blog post. I will list the ones that I have seen and write a short commentary about each one.

Cat People (1942) – I am cheating on this one. I watched the 1982 version on late night cable. It starred the beautiful Natassja Kinski, and I was not watching it for the chills. As an impressionable young man, I was watching it for her thrills.

The Thing From Another World (1951) – I saw this one a couple of months ago. It stars James Arness as the marshal of Dodge City. Wait, that is something else. It stars James Arness as an alien plant kind of creature.

The Fly (1958 and 1986) – Yep, the original and the remake made the list. The first one is best because it has Vincent Price, and it is creepy to see the fly guy caught in a spiderweb.

Psycho (1960) – Has a scene about a naked woman covered in chocolate ever been this scary? Only Alfred Hitchcock could pull that off.

The Birds (1963) – The other day, I tried to Tweet about The Birds, but autocorrect turned Tippi Hedren into Tipping Hedren. They should make a movie about someone killing autocorrect.

The Exorcist (1973) – The theme song used to be my ringtone. Every time someone called, I was hoping it was Max von Sydow.

The Wicker Man (1973) – This movie is not scary. How can a movie about people dancing in the woods and becoming one with nature be scary? In the end, Edward Woodward needed to call The Equalizer. The odds were against him, and he needed help.

Jaws (1975) – After watching this, I really see no need to venture into the domain of sharks. We have legs and do not have gills.

The Omen (1976) – Damien used to live in my neighborhood. At least, that kid should have been named Damien. There is no doubt that a 666 was carved into his head.

Halloween (1978) – You think William Shatner overacts in Star Trek and those online travel commercials. You should see his mask overact on the face of Michael Myers.

Friday the 13th (1980) – This got the decade off to a rousing start and made hockey goalies that much more menacing. I must admit that the old hockey masks looked a lot cooler than the new ones. I cannot imagine Jason wearing one.

An American Werewolf in London (1981) – The lesson of this one? Do not go hiking down foggy roads in the United Kingdom. If you do, then spend the evening in the local pub.

Poltergeist (1982) – You cannot trust real estate developers. Wait, I am a real estate developer. I just know not to build on a burial ground.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – I have to admit that I always cheered for Freddy Krueger. My good friend Robert and I had an interesting meeting with Freddy at a Halloween haunted house. I should write about that when Halloween gets closer.

Misery (1990) – I only have one thing to say. It has the worst use of a sledge-hammer in movie history. I could not get that out of my mind.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Cool movie. Cool characters. A big scene is supposed to happen in Tennessee. However, it took a few viewings before I realized what the lamb part was all about.

The Blair Witch Project (1999) – A good friend of mine thought the footage was real. How could anyone be fooled like that. It is like those television shows that hunt for Bigfoot. I they had found it, then we would have already known it. The same goes for this movie.

The Sixth Sense (1999) – I figured this one out when Dr. Crowe was having dinner with his wife. When I told the people I was with, they got mad.

The Others (2001) – This is one of my all time favorite movies, and I figured it out pretty quickly, as well. However, I did not tell anyone. I learned my lesson from two years earlier.

There you have it. Those are the movies on the list that I have seen. Interestingly, one scene in one movie freaked me out, and that movie is not on the list. I will give you a warning. If you ever watch The Ring, then you should turn it off before the final scene.

 

 

The Horror of It All

15 Feb

Recently, my nephew and I saw The Woman in Black, the horror movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. When I told my girlfriend that we were going, she immediately started in on the “I Hate Horror Movies” conversation. She went on about how she doesn’t understand why they are enjoyable and how she can’t sleep if she watches one. Of course, she has become a pro at watching movies through her fingers. After we saw the movie, she asked if I had to lock my bedroom door and sleep with the covers over my head.

Well, nothing like that happened. In fact, the only thing that scared me about The Woman in Black was the future prospect of Radcliffe’s acting career. The audience consisted mostly of mothers with their Tween daughters, and I reckon they thought it was going to be Harry Potter versus Valdemort’s younger sister. With that being said, I must admit that there were a few times when I thought he should just pull out his wand and get rid of the bitch. That’s unfortunate for Radcliffe because I am afraid that he is heading down the path that Sean Connery took after James Bond. Although Connery made some good films, people did not accept his new roles, and his career stagnated until it recovered with The Untouchables. The one thing I fear more than Radcliffe’s future is being forced to watch a screening of Zardoz.

This is probably a good time to get back to my original point. The Woman in Black did its best to scare me, but no “scary” movie has ever accomplished that. It’s just a movie. I have never understood why people fear something on a screen and jump at every noise when they get home. I say again that it’s just a movie. However, my girlfriend’s comments did make me think. Have I ever locked my bedroom door after a movie? No. Have I ever slept with my head under the covers? No. But, I have had a few movies that stayed with me for a while. They did not make me afraid, but they did give me the creeps and made me think. These are the ones that will never get a second viewing by me.

Misery – The idea of being trapped or held prisoner has always bothered me, but a lot of movies play off that theme. This one really hit the cringe quotient when Kathy Bates took a sledge-hammer to James Caan’s legs. He got massacred as Sonny Corleone and played the toughest sport ever in Rollerball, but nothing compared to this. It took days to get the sound of bone crunching out of my head.

Pet Sematary – My friends and I saw this one at the old multiplex in town. The details have faded, but I know shit starts getting up and walking out of a cemetery good things will not happen. This is not a very scary movie on any scale, so I don’t know what hit me wrong. It was just creepy. (Oh, one more thing. I suppose the kid could be considered a zombie since he is the living dead, and that brings up a pet peeve of mine. When did voodoo lose the monopoly on zombies? Now, it’s always a disease that causes it.)

The Ring – This was a cool movie in every way. Cool concept. Cool filming. I was thoroughly entertained until the epilogue. When the girl crawled out of the television, I got creeped to the max. Of all the films, I carried this one the longest and didn’t watch television in my bedroom for a long time.

Paranormal Activity – This is one of the best horror concepts in a long time, and it scares me to think they will mess it up with continuous sequels. The latter ones a weaker than the first, but that could be because it was so great. It increased my creep factor by placing the story in an everyday setting about everyday people. There are no weird priests or spooky fog in this one. It’s in a suburban house that could be down the street. Or could be the one you live in.

The Grudge – I don’t remember much about his one, but I can never forget the creepy ghost kid that looked like Mikey from those old cereal commercials. The only difference is that after he ate anything – the anything turned out to be rat poison. And, that black blob thing was kind of strange as well. It was the scariest blob since James Arness in The Blob.

Twelve Monkeys – This movie is not really part of the genre. It is more of a desolate future kind of story. However, it stayed with me for a while. As I wrote earlier, I am not big on movies that show people being trapped, and I am sure my therapist would say there is some deep psychological reason for this. And, this movie is about being trapped in a time loop. We don’t know it until the end when Bruce Willis realizes it. It was a great movie until I figured out that the story was going to keep going and going like some evil Energizer bunny in Groundhog Day.

There you have it. The movies that stayed with me even though they didn’t scare me. I promise they didn’t, and I didn’t cover my eyes once.