Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tennies top horror picks for Halloween 2016

Since moving to the US, fall has become my favourite season. And its not because of all the pumpkin spiced food and drink. You noticeably see the season change and the rawness in the colours which line the streets with its amber and yellow fall leaves. In Australia we never really celebrated Halloween with much of a bang (well our close friends did with parties sometimes) but here, they really make a BIG deal about it and EVERYONE gets involved including kids and parents!

It makes the week in the lead up to where our mortal world and the spirit world is it's thinnest exciting! TV celebrates with horror and thriller movie specials on every evening. Syfy network show a different classic horror film each night and Netflix has recently launched the "Scream" series based on the classic 90's movie. So without further adieu, here are my top 5 picks to warm up to the spookiest eve on earth:

5. The Cabin in the Woods - 2012

It's a given that any film written and produced by Joss Whedon is going to be of quality scare. He was the master of classic series like Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly (which sadly only survived one season but my husband still rates that as one of his all time top favourite series). So with undertones of the morbid scattered through some of his works, it was no surprise to see him direct this excellent film.
Cabin in the Woods
Cabin in the Woods
A group of teens visit one of the groups cousin's abandoned cabin in a forest to have a wild weekend. Little do they know that the scares they will encounter are being manipulated by a psych facility who are keen to spook the teens with various monsters and ghouls. What the teens don't account for is the already lingering dark past of the cabin itself. You find yourself questioning the actual reality of the monsters whether they are part of the test or for real. There is an awesome twist at the end of this film which will get you on the edge of the couch, and I still to this day, I rate it in my top 5 of all time scare flicks for it's originality and surprise.

4. 30 Days of Night - 2002

30 Days of night vampires
Vampire crew - 30 Days of Night

Forget all your run of the mill vampire movies, this chilling (and I mean literally chilling as it's set in a wild part of northern Alaska) film will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The town of Burrow experience 30 days of night and when the night falls, a group of vampires use this time to lay carnage on the towns folk by having a month long feeding frenzy. The new town sheriff is keen to put the carnage to rest and sets upon devising a plan to try and kill the head vampire. I spent most of this movie huddled up against my partner because of my epic fear of teeth. The stylisation of the vampires are that of Nosferatu (the original depiction of vampires) and for me, teeth has always been an element which freaks me out. The sheer violence and audacity of the vampires in this film set a new precedent making True Blood seem like a childrens vampire series (lol). Don't watch this one alone!

3. Paranormal Activity - Film series (1 - 5) 2007-2015

Apparently you are meant to be less scared when modern technology can film odd occurrences and paranormal sightings in the family home, because at least you have proof that you aren't god damn crazy right?
Paranormal Activity 3
Scene from Paranormal Activity 3
The series of films is based on the story of a young lady named Katy who believes she has a demon attached to her, which is causing chaos in her life and her home. The series then goes on to elaborate on this evil demonic possession which makes it's way into Katy's extended family and their neighbourhood. Hailed for it's real life scares and anticipation in some horrific scenes, this is another series of films you won't want to watch alone. I recommend watching during the day time!

2. The Blair Witch Project - 1999

The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project

Hearing stories of the Blair Witch, 3 film students go off in search of more information and to try to uncover more about the myth of the witch in the Black hills near Burkittsville in Maryland. The film is shot in a documentary style, making their journey more realistic for the viewer. The students decide to take their search to the woods one night to disprove what the locals have told them, and of course...everything takes a turn for the worse. Armed with nothing but their camera's, every horrifying encounter with the unknown is shown before the viewers eyes, making this high up on the list of top scares for the last 20 years.
When I watched this as a 20yr old, I went off searching for more fan theories long after viewing this film and seeing the ending as it left me with so many questions and open ends to the plot.

1. The Shining - 1980

Originally written by Stephen King, the master of 80's scare, and directed by legendary Stanley Kubrick, this film will stay with your thoughts long after you've watched it. Jack and Wendy Torrance with their young son Danny, take on the care taking role for the winter (October- March) at a large hotel (originally filmed in northern Oregon). The hotel becomes snowed in for the winter and the Torrances aren't aware of the hotel's sordid history, as the main hotel building has been built over an Indian burial ground. There are stories of the last care taker and his family being murdered because he went mad but they refuse to believe the folk lore until things start going crazy.

Axe scene from The Shining movie
"Here's Johnny!" Horrifying scene from The Shining

I only watched this film around 5 or 6 years ago for the first time, but since then, it has always stayed with me. The beautiful pop culture of the cinematography has been used over and over time and time again for music film clips, meme's and other such media. Jack Nicholson's most famous crazy line "here's Johnny!" is truly hysterical the first time you watch this. One of the scariest films of ALL time!