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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Trick or Terror? The Best in Horror

Posted by David R.

For the coming Halloween season, scare up a few lesser known titles for your pumpkin party! 

The library now owns several entertaining titles on DVD that every true horror film fan should see. Witness Wes Craven’s 1981 thriller Deadly Blessing (featuring a chilling James Horner music score, and three beautiful leading ladies, Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, and Susan Buckner, in a bizarre murder mystery tale involving an Amish-like religious sect in a backwoods community); Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 picture The Shining (while clearly more of a Kubrick film story than an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name, Jack Nicholson’s hilarious and horrifying performance raises the film up to the level of anally retentive paranoia that is chilling in spite of its maze-like interiors);  Ruben Fleischer’s amazing Zombieland (a “zomedy” unlike anything you have ever seen, star Woody Harrelson gets laughs and thrills out of his audience as a maniacal killer of zombies in this post-apocalyptic road movie parody); William Friedkin’s 1973 shocker The Exorcist (less intense now than it was in its year of release, the film is unique for treating demonic possession as a curable psychological disease, still involving because of fine performances from Jason Miller, Max von Sydow, and Ellen Burstyn); Neil Marshall’s 2005 British film The Descent (a spelunking trip goes wrong in a hurry when five female friends set out on a descent into the lowest reaches of fear itself—this thriller may be too intense for those who do not appreciate claustrophobic spaces, but for a thrilling descent into the maelstrom, it can’t be beat); Joe Dante’s 1981 chiller The Howling (a parody-oriented werewolf movie about a clinic in the middle of nowhere for recovering trauma patients, this John Sayles-doctored script is mostly lightweight fare for hardcore horror fans, but others may find it too racy and freaky—Dante is a fellow lover of film trailers, and his quick cutting and oddball casting choices (even Slim Pickens is in this one) remind one of the best of yesterday’s drive-in horror flick titles); and finally, two new Wes Craven titles on DVD—The Serpent and the Rainbow (a terrific thriller about Haitian voodoo and mind control) and The People Under the Stairs (a 1990 Craven classic that gets my vote for the most original mainstream horror movie of all time).

So pick up one of these spooky titles soon…and Happy Halloween! 

1 comment:

  1. No mention of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes? Ha! These are all good ones!