Well, see, now I just can’t stop. In this installment of Hauntober I’ll be looking at my personal favorite (not best) horror/scary movies out there. Again these are not the best, nor likely the scariest. Unless you’ve never seen a horror movie before then shoot dang, you’ll probably poo yourself. I won’t apologize for soiled trousers. Ready?
So we’re clear this is your second day of a Neve Campbell movie from 1996. I won’t apologize for it. I will however rave about how I love Kevin Williamson (you may remember him as the man who brought us Dawson’s Creek). This movie isn’t just about attractive high schoolers in the ’90s being chased by a psychopath. Arguably it isn’t about attractive high schoolers at all. You will get to see Courtney Cox and David Arquette spawn their love (that’s not a euphemism). This movie is so incredibly self-aware even some of my most fearful movie-viewing friends have admitted they like this movie.
Bonus Feature: (It’s my favorite line in the movie) My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me.
Scare factor: You can’t trust anyone anymore. Even strangers who call you.
Scream 2 (1997):
Oh that’s right. A sequel. Kevin Williamson does it again. (He does it two more times, and while I’ve seen and enjoyed all of them the first two are my favorites). This time high school students are replaced with college students. And bra-less murders are replaced with racist ones.
Bonus Feature: Sarah Michelle Gellar being weak.
Scare Factor: Seriously, just stop answering phones.
Urban Legend (1998):
We’re just powering through the late ’90s, huh? If you don’t know this about me yet, it’s time you learned. I loved urban legends. I love them. Some day I’ll tell you all about my favorite ones, but for now let me tell you the kidney heist tops the list. What isn’t an urban legend is that Joshua Jackson bleached his hair for this movie, and it is disgusting. More importantly Jared Leto’s eyes will still burn through your soul in the only way they can. Plus a mash of college urban legends and deranged friends.
Bonus Feature: “Fat” Tara Reid. (By fat I mean, looks like a person)
Scare Factor: You’ll never be able to sing in your car at night again. That’s a promise.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997):
Don’t worry. Kevin Williamson is here again, and he’s brought Sarah Michelle Gellar along. In fact, this movie brings long lots of three namers. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr. (Yeah, I just considered Jr. a name), and Sarah Michelle Gellar. And Ryan Phillippe who is now ashamed he only has two names. Nerd.
Bonus Feature: Did I mention Freddie Prinze Jr. yet?
Scare Factor: You can’t hit a guy in the road with your car and then drop him in the ocean without repercussions anymore. What is this world?
You know what’s creepier than a black and white movie? A black and white movie when color was an option! Chocolate syrup blood. Creepy music.
Bonus Feature: By the end of it I honestly said “What a psycho.” *beat* “Oh. Yeah. I get it.”
Scare Factor: Never trust a taxidermist.
Cabin in the Woods (2011):
That’s right a recent one. And I admit that part of my love is because of Joss Whedon, but then there’s also Tom Lenk. And Chris Hemsworth. No, that’s not the kid from Cousin Skeeter. And a wonderful satire of what has become a very formulaic torture porn genre. It really does a good job of making you laugh just when you want to cry, and then making you cry for laughing. Oh. Just me?
Bonus Feature: No. Really. It’s Tom Lenk.
Scare Factor: Remember the Truman Show? Well now you’re dead.
The Grudge (2004):
Sarah Michelle Gellar is back for a third visit. I can tell you’re happy. I will warn you not to get too attached to Bill Pullman’s existence in this. I did the first time.
Bonus Feature: It’s Bill Pullman.
Scare Factor: I no longer look in crawl space-style attics. Ever. EVER.
The Faculty (1998):
It’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers in a high school! Baby Elijah Wood. Josh Hartnett. Drugs. And aliens that crawl into your ear and remind me of the yeerk from Animorphs. Oh, was that too ridiculous of a comparison? Tough!
Bonus Feature: Jon Stewart. Agent Doggett as a football coach (not a stretch).
Scare Factor: Everyone who suddenly starts acting funny is to be untrusted. Everyone.
Final Destination (2000):
The villain here is death. Not the Grim Reaper. Dying. Dying will kill you. Don’t forget.
Bonus Feature: Devon Sawa
Scare Factor: Everything is going to kill you. Everything.
Session 9 (2001):
This is a really slow, not scary movie. UNTIL IT ISN’T! If you hand me a movie with psychopaths or an insane asylum, I’m set. Forever. And asbestos. It’s really a pretty stupid movie. It is.
Bonus Feature: Lobotomies. Frontal lobe ocular lobotomies.
Scare Factor: Lobotomies. Frontal lobe ocular lobotomies.
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003):
Okay, I’m warning you now. This is not in English. It’s in Korean. In my mind this makes it scarier. I watched this movie near the beginning of college. Maybe freshman or sophomore year with my friend Elise. We were really into watching things no one had heard of. She might still do that. I did it because I was a jerk and wanted to feel superior. Alright, here comes the racism. East Asian girls are scary. No that’s unfair. They’re creepy. They’re damn creepy. Two East Asian girls. tapped. I’m out. I’m crying in horror.
Bonus Feature: Ghosts.
Scare Factor: Two Korean girls.
Friday the 13th (1980):
This is my favorite of the Friday the 13th movies, because it’s the original. Also because Jason is really just a mcguffin. I can get behind a movie where the “scariest factor” is something that never matters.
Bonus Feature: Rain coats. KEVIN BACON.
Scare Factor: Creepy groundskeepers. Summer. Camp. MOMS.
The Haunting (1963; 1999):
Watch them both. I mean it. They both scare the snot out of me, but the ending of the 1999 one is so unsettling. Ghosts, guys. Ghosts.
Bonus Feature: In the 1999 one you get Owen Wilson.
Scare Factor: Everyone thinks you’re nuts, except the house!
House on Haunted Hill (1959; 1999):
Again, both. The twists are good in both, and one gives you Vincent Price. Okay, if I’m honest I think the old one actually only had one moment that truly bothered me. Everything else was just me going “oooooh Vincent Price.” But the new one, it’s actually, I think it’s the cast I love so much in the newer one. It just doesn’t make any sense. Chris Kattan, Taye Diggs, Geoffrey Rush, Peter Gallagher? Ali Larter? No. Just. Just watch it.
Bonus Feature: Seriously, Vincent Price. AND MONEY
Scare Factor: If you’re ready to pee your pants, hold out a little longer. Money is probably worth death.
John Cusack. I really wanted to make that my summary, but this movie confirmed one very important thing for me. Curling up in the fetal position until it all blows over does actually work. It does!
Bonus Feature: John. Cusack. Samuel L. Jackson
Scare Factor: Vents are not to be trusted, and certainly not to be looked in.
Jeepers Creepers (2001):
I know where you blossomed, Justin Long. I know where you scrounge for money, Eileen Brennan. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but the idea of someone preserving himself forever by stealing parts of other people (and also killing them) and sewing them onto himself it just doesn’t sit right with me. Also the idea of a boy with a flower tattooed around his bellybutton. That’s vom making.
Bonus Feature: If you haven’t heard the song “Jeepers Creepers” before, you’ll get to.
Scare Factor: If you have heard it before, you’ll never watch the Parent Trap or Good Morning, Miss Bliss the same way again.
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948):
If you don’t have the patience to listen to a radio drama, then I suggest you watch this movie version of one creepy story. Whiny and demanding invalid wife overhears two men plotting to kill a woman. Thinking it’s crossed wires she calls the police to report what she’s heard, but it doesn’t take long before she realizes she’s the intended victim.
Bonus Feature: Barbara Stanwyck
Scare Factor: This time the phone is your only ally. And even that’s a lie.