Posted by Gabriel in Uncategorized
on October 23, 2013 | Comments Off
Dracula in 3D
My name is Gabriel and I’m part of the programming team at Living Room Theaters. While my tastes tend toward more “artsy” type movies, I’m a huge horror film junkie so I always enjoy this time of year when we get to revisit some of our favorite scary movies.
This year for Halloween, we’re pleased be opening the new film from one of the genre’s greatest directors, Dario Argento. Dracula in 3D opens at Living Room on October 25 and is a salacious, luridly creepy 3D version of the classic vampire tale, drenched in gore and sex. To celebrate the opening, we’re giving away several collectible lenticulars from the film. You can see them in action HERE.
To be entered to win one of the lenticulars, just post a list of the five films that you consider the scariest ever made in the comments of this post. We’ll select winners at random and post the names in the comments. We’ll announce winners on Thursday, October 30. To get you started, here are the five films I consider the scariest, in no particular order.
Although John Carpenter’s Halloween didn’t invent the slasher film, it set the bar for all those that followed. Michael Meyers is an escaped psychopath who returns to his hometown to kill remorselessly while wearing an expressionless hockey mask. The film relies on suspense rather than sensationalism. Our fear is caused by what might happen rather than actual events, as Carpenter spends a good amount of time in darkness, making us see things that may or may not be there. Halloween is noted for its camerawork, which has the audience identifying with the villain for the first part of the film (a device used to similarly creepy effect in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Bob Clark’s Black Christmas). The formula, by now, is legendary: Take a group of promiscuous high schoolers, throw in one vestigial virgin and one psychotic killer and watch the horror unfold. Great fun!
The Exorcist (1973)
When The Exorcist hit theaters in 1973, it redefined the horror genre and revolutionized the way these movies blended legitimate scares will stomach-churning special effects. The movie tells the story of Father Damien Karras’ (Jason Miller) attempts to drive a demonic spirit out of the body of a young girl named Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair).
The makeup used to show Blair’s transformation from young girl to full-fledged demon were so disturbing for audiences at the time that some theaters actually handed out “Exorcist Barf Bags” in case anyone’s stomach couldn’t quite handle the horror.
But it wasn’t just in the physical distortion of a young girl that made this movie so disturbing; there is also a lot of religious desecration throughout the movie that struck a chord with some of the more devout members of the public.
A bonafide masterpiece, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was a cultural slap in the face. Censors wanted to ban it, while screaming audiences couldn’t get enough of it. Hitchcock employs all of his tricks – shifting audience sympathies, killing off the main character halfway through the film and a ton of macabre humor – but more importantly he makes the horror internal. Norman Bates isn’t a monster in the classic sense; he suggests that the greatest evil can lurk beneath the quietest, most pleasant surface. A perfect film that can be watched again and again and again…
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is a national treasure. Shot on a shoestring budget in and around Evans City, Pennsylvania, the zombie classic stands as a crucial milestone for independent cinema, an untouchable gem amongst horror purists and an intelligent, thought-provoking time capsule from the Civil Rights era. The dead are walking, and hunger for human flesh. A group of panicked survivors are barricaded in a deserted farmhouse while the army of flesh-eating zombies hovers outside their door. For a movie that features graphic scenes of zombies gnawing on human flesh, it is also sublimely beautiful.
The Innocents (1961)
If you ever find yourself having to defend the horror genre’s honor to some elitist blowhards (you know, the ones who always devalue scary movies into a form ghettoized cinema), tell them to watch Jack Clayton’s The Innocents. Deborah Kerr plays a governess who arrives at a bleak mansion to take care of Flora (Pamela Franklin) and Miles (Martin Stephens), the wealthy household’s two children. Outwardly the children are little darlings, but the governess begins to feel that there’s something unwholesome behind those beatific smiles. It’s the best kind of creepy film, one that works beautifully as a suspenseful tale of the supernatural but is also elegant, prestigious, and impervious to the genre’s naysayers.