As it’s Halloween, I thought I’d not do anything Halloween-y. Then I decided to.
Here’s my Top 5 horror films of all time.
5. Wolf Creek
Neither you nor I picked that loveable John Jarrett would be any more sinister than ripping some weeds out from the garden. He was though.
Granted this didn’t do wonders for WA tourism but it did set pulses racing in a ‘GET THE F $#@! OUT NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN’ sort of way.
4. Creepshow 2 (1987)
Compared to modern horrors, this would be considered B-grade, but I didn’t have the luxury of this basis of comparison in Year 4, so Creepshow was fucking terrifying. The film involved 3 short stories – but it was the middle one about a swamp blob devouring over-confident students on a raft that really sticks in my mind (pardon the pun).
In horror films, character development often holds a predictable pattern. The arrogant alpha male becomes immediately clear – and subsequently one of the first to die. The squealing, busty female is generally next and by word there’s always a lot of squealing. But the character built up by the writers to be liked by the audience – through characteristics such as honesty, integrity and selflessness usually gets through the harrowing ordeal, scatched but alive.
Not in this case. Just as this protagonist makes a last-ditch attempt to out-swim the blob he arrives safely on the shore of the lake – but then ruins it all by showponying. And if there’s one thing that villains don’t like the hero to do it’s to show pony’. So the blob easily creates a mini-tsunami and devours him whole. End of story. And end of my uninterrupted sleep sequence for the next few weeks/months/years.
3. The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
Noone likes moths. Especially when they’re 8-foot tall with red eyes, cause car accidents and collapse bridges.
In one of the very few good films Richard Gere appears in, a mothman appears out of nowhere and drives him off the road, killing his wife in the process. A few years later, he unknowingly returns to a small town aptly named Point Pleasant. Unaptly I mean. It’s far from pleasant. Weird shit starts going down. Bathroom sinks start speaking. People start shooting at stuff. Bridges start collapsing. Relationships with police officers start forming. Moths start doing more than eating through your favourite linen shirt. Whatever. I give it 4 insomnias out of 5.
2. The Stand (1994)
Care that it’s a TV miniseries, not a film – it still scared the shit out of 13-year old me, minute by apocalyptic minute for 6 whole hours. This Stephen King tale is an epic.
A weaponised strain of influenza is accidentally released. This is bad news. 99.4% of the human population die.
This is the story of those few survivors who are immune to the strain, and while making attempts to meet up, in their dreams they are frequently visited by Randall Flagg, this cowboy also known as ‘The Dark Man’ or ‘The Walkin’ Dude’. He’s really just a personification of the devil. But it’s all ok – Mother Abagail, an old lady on a rocking chair next to cornfields is the God equivalent.
Some real traumatic scenes include the trek through a tunnel full of cars and corpses, survivors turning on each other and a crow that’s always buzzing around (that’s Randall Flagg again).
Undoubtedly the scariest film I’ve ever seen. Went to watch this with 4 or 5 mates at the cinema about 10 years ago and by the end we were shaking like victims of brutal sodomy.
A man wakes up from a coma in a hospital after a little bicycle mishap. The accident itself and presumed rehabilitation starts to pale into insignificance when he soon realises he’s the only person alive in the hospital. And then on the street. And then the whole of London.
This hospital scene is preceded by an interlude setting up the story. A group of animal activists set about releasing caged monkeys from a lab, much to the chagrin of the scientists who warn them they don’t know what they’re doing as the monkeys have the ‘rage’ virus.
The few survivors that do gather make their way to a rumoured army shelter but then the primal instincts come into play in a battle for survival and dominance.
Great soundtrack, superb acting and one of the most incredible scenes ever when an eerily closed off London is used in filming.