Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bad Things Happen in These Scary Movies

It's Halloween time and here are 13 of my favorite scary movies:

Alien (1979)
Ridley Scott directed this sci-fi and horror classic about a spacecraft crew dealing with an alien invader. The scene with John Hurt is unforgettable!

The Birds (1963)
Although the special effects are dated, this Alfred Hitchcock movie, based on a Daphne Du Maurier short story, is timeless. It's Tippi Hedren versus the Birds. You can still visit the school house (located near Bodega Bay, Ca.) that was used in the movie. It's a private residence, but there are tours.

Carrie (1976)
I literally jumped out of my seat during the final scene! Piper Laurie as Carrie's mother gives a near perfect performance as an Evangelical Christian you don't want to cross paths with. Brian De Palma at his best. 

Dressed to Kill (1980)
Brian De Palma's cautionary tale about the dangers of causal sex in the pre-AIDS era. Surprisingly prescient. Angie Dickinson doesn't have a line of dialogue during the museum scene, but her eyes convey fear, lust, and sexuality! She is the only actress who could have played this part.

The Exorcist (1973)
A controversial film with stomach-turning visual effects: a twisting head, spinning bed, and green vomit. A tormented priest tries to exorcise the devil from 12-year old Linda Blair.

Fatal Attraction (1987)
Glenn Close is SCARY! Extra-marital affairs do have consequences.

The Innocents (1961)
Based on the Henry James novella, The Turn of the Screw, this movie is either a psychological study about Victorian repression or a ghost story. It's never clear.

The Omen (1976)
Damien is cute and evil; but for my money, Billie Whitelaw steals the show as the nanny, Mrs. Baylock.

The Orphanage (aka El Orfanato) (Spain, 2007)
A terrific movie from Spain. It stars Belen Reuda and Fernando Cayo. A child disappears. What's a mother do to?

Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Roman Polanski's movie about witchcraft in NYC. It stars Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes and the chilling Ruth Gordon.

Silence of the Lambs (1991)
I love Anthony Hopkins's line: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. [Hisses]

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
A bed-ridden women (Barbara Stanwyck) overhears a plot for murder on her party line (remember what that was). A film noir classic with Burt Lancaster. Turn off the lights and enjoy this thriller.

The Vanishing (aka Spoorloos) (The Netherlands, 1988)
A woman vanishes without a trace. Surprisingly, this happens everyday. A cerebral mystery. The American remake was terrible.

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