Long-time reader, first time….er….responder. I usually read Kindertrauma at work (shhh don’t tell) so I don’t have much opportunity to post. However, that’s not stopping me from replying to your invite for getting to know the horror community. Hope you like.
It’s a Horror to Know You: Mayday
1. What is the first film that ever scared you?
The Incredible Shrinking Man – I have always been severely arachnophobic, yet as a child I watched this film several times on Saturday’s Dr. Schlock Theater (or something like that) despite how horrific the spider battle scene was. Somewhere around that time I also saw Jaws, which gave me nightmares for about a week, as my mother predicted it would. Additionally, I watched Beware! The Blob around this period, which traumatized me, yet I viewed it till the end. Twice.
2. What is the last film that scared you?
Insidious – At this stage of my life I consider myself mostly immune to the powers of ‘scary movies’. But Insidious caught me off guard several times. James Wan and Leigh Whannel pulled out all the stops on this one, creating an atmospheric and deeply disturbing old-school horror flick. It had a nice mix of excellent jump scares paired with a creepy aura to challenge even the most stalwart of horror aficionados.
I do have to give a close runners-up shout out to the first two Paranormal Activity films. They proved that less can be more and re-established a true movie-going experience with these unsettling films. Hearing everyone else in the theater emit a collective gasp got my heart racing several times. PA3 had a couple of scenes that managed to equal its predecessors, but overall wasn’t as effective.
3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.
The Ruins – While on vacation in Mexico, a bunch of (actually likeable) college-age kids go in search of an archaeological dig at some ancient Mayan ruins. They discover something far more sinister atop the temple than even the villagers who won’t let them leave. The film is as creepy, dark and vicious as the book, both of which were penned by the amazing Scott Smith.
The Saw sequels – Unlike most horror series that continued past three entries, the Saw films always stayed true to the narrative and rules established in the original. The movies are clever and always move the story forward. Calling them mere torture porn with no redeeming value is wrongfully dismissive of them.
House (1986) – Though the effects are dated today, back in the ’80s, this film was scary. And tense. And cool. And full of awesome 80s TV actors – William Katt (The Greatest American Hero), George Wendt (Norm from “Cheers”) and Richard Moll (Bull from “Night Court”).
4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.
The Devil Inside – I know everybody and their brother hated this film, mostly because everybody and their brother went to see it its opening weekend thanks to the hype, and were ultimately disappointed in it. I was prepared to find it to be utter dreck, but I actually discovered it to be effective and spooky. And I quite liked the “no definitive resolution” ending. Movies don’t need to be wrapped up with a pretty bow.
April Fool’s Day (1986) – The story plods along, the script is lame and the scares aren’t all that and a bag of chips. It has subpar special effects, and a ludicrous plot. But for some reason I enjoyed the hell out of this when it first came out and still do to this day.
The Wicker Man (2006) – Nic Cage proves once again that he has no idea what a fitting role for him is. He over-emotes his way through a hodge-podge script that in no way compares to the original. But his inevitable fate in the movie alone makes it worth watching. Who wouldn’t love the chance to break his legs and set him on fire?
5. Send us to five places on the Internet!
Final Girl – Stacie Ponder has some of the wittiest, snarkiest, most insightful commentary in the history of….ever!
Lost Highway – Some of the funniest write-ups of some of the crappiest B-films.
Quiet Earth – Reviews and sneak peaks of horror, sci-fi and indie films, many of which come from the UK or other interesting places outside the US.
Cracked – Be prepared to split your sides laughing at their endless supply of sarcastic, sardonic and evilly hilarious lists involving movies, TV shows and life.
Kindertrauma– I like getting people caught in an endless internet loop.