Guest Post: Classic Scary Movies By Kenya Carlton
Winter is the best time of year to snuggle up close to someone and just be downright scared. I missed Halloween this year and in the spirit of my paranormal book, Sweet as Sin, I would like to pay homage to the horror movie.
Not one to be frightened easily, I am a true horror movie connoisseur or at least I believe that’s what I am. Of course this should not be confused with the slasher movie and gore genre that subsequent generations have remained hooked on. Oh no! Those poor movies have no soul, no sense of mystery, and absolutely no depth. Personally I could careless how that girl got on that hook in the opening scene, but what I am sure of is that there is 88 more minutes to go in this sacrilege to film and media that I can’t be bothered to sit through. So with no further ado from scary to scariest I have compiled my own personal list of films that have left me confused, thinking, but mainly just freaked out.
The Dead Zone: 1983 David Cronenberg. To me the scariest thing about this movie is the thought of losing years of your life and coming back to a world unknown. For the lead character Johnny Smith the psychic flashes come after being in a coma for years. This new ability leads to Johnny being ostracized in the community he grew up in which makes the viewer not only empathize with him but understand his final act of selflessness in the last scene.
The Invasion of the Body Snatchers: 1978 Philip Kaufman: This version of the classic is one of those movies where as the viewer you realize the human body can only endure so much but you can’t stop moving because if you do you die.
Christine: 1983 John Carpenter: Revenge is understandable and sometimes even warranted but in Stephen King’s Christine, it comes to lead character Arnie Cunningham at a steep price. What’s actually scary about this movie is that Arnie is likeable and the viewer has to ultimately watch his transformation to the dark side over an evil possession that should in theory be easy to give up.
Poltergeist: 1982 Tober Hopper: Quiet suburban life disrupted by greedy real estate developers. This movie was adapted from a true story and the easy way it lulls you into everyday life then rips the rug right from under the viewer is what horror movies are all about. “You left the bodies and you only moved the headstones!” Steve Freeling.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: 1984 Wes Craven: Our first introduction to Freddy Krueger is the best. A perfect twist to what goes bump in the night is the burned and scarred boogey man who not only wants your innocence but also wants your soul. In a million years I could have never imagined such a perfect villain to foil teenage-raging hormones and sleepy time dreams.
The Fog: 1980 John Carpenter: Isolation and separation of the town folk of Antonio Bay is almost scarier than actually finding out what’s lurking in that ominous fog.
The Orphanage (foreign speaking subtitles): 2007 Juan Antonio Bayona: Creepy dead kids always seal the deal when it comes to twisting those stomach nerves into knots. If you can get past the subtitles and simply allow the atmosphere of the cinematography and spunk of the leading lady Belén Rueda to pull you in then be prepared for the creepy crawly tingles to take over.
The Devils Back Bone (foreign speaking subtitles): 2001 Guillermo del Toro: This movie is one big WTF! Kids are the central characters the viewer follows on this supernatural journey and the scary jumps never stop.
The Shining: 1980 Stanley Kubrick: The Overlook always struck me as the type of hotel you would stop at and then get right back into your car. Yeah sure it was big and glitzy but if lead character Danny Torrance’s imaginary friend Tony told you that it wasn’t kosher you would believe him. Everything about this movie touches a chord from the acting straight down to the glimpses of crazy that flash by, but the viewer’s mind can never fully rationalize. To this day I still don’t know what’s up with that dude in the dog costume but he freaks me out every time.
The Thing: 1982 John Carpenter: This movie was the only movie to ever give me nightmares. Lead character Kurt Russell, R.J. MacReady has no one to trust. He will die if he goes outside in the freezing Antarctic cold but he will most certainly die if he stays in the scientific compound with an alien form that is slowly but surely taking over his co-workers bodies, decisions decisions.
Honorable mentions: Alien, Silence of the Lamb, and Night of the Creeps. Tell me, what scares the bejesus out of you.
Synopsis: The rich and available Captain Drake Devilin had the biggest body count in World War I. Injected with serum that turned him into something unnatural, Drake’s troop annihilated the enemy, but once his tour ended, Drake was plunged into a world of family tragedy and financial ruin.
Sienna Caldwell is stunning to even the biggest cynic; with her exotic looks and rich brown skin, the playboy wasn’t exempt from her charms. Buckling under the pressure of his financially strapped inheritance, Drake makes a deal with the devil to marry the prosperous landowner in order to protect her.
After one year, he can return the black beauty back to her island and collect on the fortune that will save his family’s reputation, but the task proves far easier said than done. The war may have made Drake into something lethal, but he soon finds his new bride was born more powerful than he could ever imagine. Not only does Drake have to figure out away to keep his hands off his alluring wife, but also he has to make sure she stays alive.
About The Author:
Kenya has a B.A. in Mass communication, Television and Radio. She has fifteen years in production of television and film and five in television engineering. In 2009 Kenya Produced Dawn a short film and Executive Produced Destination Everywhere the pilot for a travel series through her production company Black R.O.K Productions established in 2008.