Of course, I was watching all sorts of horror movies during October, but the actually writing about them part didn't happen. I'll have to go back and do so - thank you Netflix viewing history. (Another binge rewatch of Leverage in September Julie? Really?)
But for now, I'm gonna give you a run down of some horror movies I really like. (NOT my "ALL TIME FAVORITE HORROR" list, because that's just too much pressure for a Monday afternoon.) Let's say 10, because that's a good round number, right? okay. so:
TEN HORROR MOVIES THAT JULIE REALLY LIKES.
-Dawn of the Dead (original): This was one of those that creeped into my head and stayed for a while. This, for me, is the pinnacle of the zombie genre. Asks all those questions about who is really the monster and critiques of capitalism and society...before Romero started using the "THIS IS SYMBOLISM!" hammer in his movies. (I love you, George, but we get it. The monsters are us.)
-May: We stumbled on this on IFC, and would have thought it was some sort of quirky indy romance flick had we not taken a few minutes to look up the description. The character of the "quirky" girl whose awkwardness becomes too real, too uncomfortable, and not "cute" in that socially acceptable "manic pixie dream girl" way. A modern take on Frankenstein, mashed up with the serial killer flick. (Also, oh my god. Eyes. This one tests the limits of my squeamishness around anything having to do with eyeballs. I tend to watch large portions peeking out from behind my fingers.)
-[Rec]: Point of view/found footage. My entire family laughs, because I can be fantastic at suspending my disbelief if I want to, and I am a total sucker for jump scares, but this is one horror movie that truly, honestly, terrified me. The atmosphere, the location, and the way it is all used is so very effective that just seeing the staircase still has the power to send a shiver down my spine. Also, Angela is a fantastic final girl. She's not "tough" in that stereotypical "Strong Female Character" way, but though she is terrified, she also fights for her survival with every speck of grit she can muster.
-[Rec] 3: Total departure from the feel of the first two movies. But- Zombie fighting chainsaw wielding bride. What's not to love? Also, it is totally and completely a love story. Not one with a very happy ending, but still, a love story.
-Let the Right One In: I know, this one is on just about everybody's list. It's just really really good. Also, this is not something I usually go into raptures over, but the sound design is absolutely brilliant. (This may be the movie that I can credit with my beginning to totally geek out over the sound design in horror movies.)
-Poltergeist (the original. duh): Okay, you want to know the real reason I love this movie? Because it is a family movie, in the best sense of the word. That family is going through something terrible, and horrific. And they stick together, they take care of each other, and because of that they come out on the other side.
The first one is so lovely for just that reason, that I am living happily in a land of denial and have refused to watch any of the sequels.
-Dead Alive (also known by the original New Zealand title of Brain Dead): am actually a little afraid of going back to rewatch this early Peter Jackson effort, because for a long time it was "MY FAVORITE!" but twenty year old Julie's sensibilities were a bit different than forty one year old Julie's sensibilities. But for now I remember it as the goriest movie that has ever made me laugh that hard. (There's a scene with a lawnmower. And a room full of zombies. Set to a waltz. Any questions?) Also contains these two classic lines of dialogue:
"Your mother ate my dog!"
"I kick arse for the LORD!"
Just...full of absurdity. (And gross out humor. Don't eat before watching. Seriously. I have friends who will back me up on this.)
Shaun of the Dead: Yeah, I have a bit of a weakness for horror comedy. The remake/homage to Dawn of the Dead that it actually deserves. (Forget that "zombies! in a mall!" remake. Because that is ALL that remake understood about the original.) This one has held up through repeated rewatchings, and it still delights me. It's goofy and it makes me laugh, but its biggest strength is that it has very human and real characters that we actually care about.
Nightmare on Elm Street (the original. again I say "duh" SO very much. I've seen the remake, and it is so terrible in so many ways.): Ah, nostalgia. The effects are cheesy. (Although I love the surrealist atmosphere of the "dream" sequences) The synthesizer soundtrack is cheesier. But the idea of a villain who could enter your dreams terrified me as a teenager. As did the subtle implications that Freddy was not just a murderer, but also a child molester. And Nancy is a determined and clever final girl.
Trick R Treat: An anthology of intertwined stories happening on Halloween. (I adore me some intertwined storytelling.) Creepy and gross and scary, with moments of humor. Everything I love about Halloween. The perfect movie to pull out every October.