We've been hosting a pretty intense non-stop Halloween film festival around here lately, and I thought it might be fun to share a few of my top creepy-crawly favorites with you guys. I know that lots of folks don't like scary/horror movies, but some of these are classics, and most really defy the genre (so even Halloween-movie-haters might want to give them a shot).
I realized as I was making my list that most of these are very girl-centric, which I guess isn't that surprising. I'm linking to the IMDB page of each film here, so you can find out a little more about them than what I have to say (if you're interested). Follow the jump, here!
- Nightmare Before Christmas, everyone has seen, but I still need to include it. I love that movie so fiercely, and it never fails to make me cry at the end... from the sweetness, but also the sheer force of the visual beauty and craftsmanship of the thing.
- The Descent is a new film, and though it's not quite as scary on the little screen as it was in the dark, cavernous theater, it's still so good. I'm a big fan of well-executed creatures, and the ones they find in the cave are amazing and interesting. The creatures aren't the scariest thing, though...the suffocating journey is.
- Don't Look Now is one big foreboding, tense mystery. Even when the film ends, the foggy Venetian canals still run circles around any logical explanation of what you just saw. I happen to love Donald Sutherland (even though I know some people think he's seems a bit of a creep...ahem Sara and Josiah) and I think he's great in this. It's very thoughtful, and not really a horror movie...but more of an eerie, creepy movie.
- Ginger Snaps seems like the worst, most cheesy film from the look of the box (and the plot synopsis), but it's really very good. I watched it expecting a so-bad-it's-good sort of thing (as I think most people do) but it's not that at all. It's part dark comedy, wistful growing-up drama, and monster movie...and it has a sort of sweetness that is unexpected and genuine.
- Dracula, the Guy Maddin version is really beautiful, and a good introduction to him as a director. I adore Mr. Maddin for his unfalteringly perfect aesthetic, and this movie is a great synthesis of his unique look, the ballet, and the classic story.
- Eyes Without a Face has one of the most beautiful Criterion-covers ever (in my opinion) and is a really graceful and methodical French horror film. Apparently, the dubbed US release was called "The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus"...though it's not really Faustian. It's about an obsessed father/doctor who tries desperately (and unsuccessfully) to fit his deformed daughter with a new face...and it is quite scary. I haven't watched it this year, but I think it would make for excellent Halloween watching!
- Rosemary's Baby is one of my favorite movies, and I don't really know why. The ending is so ridiculous, but the rest is so very good. Most of you have probably seen it, but Mia Farrow never stops being wonderful and luminous and the Castevets never stop being creepy as hell...so it's always worth breaking out when October rolls around.
- Spider Baby is another of my favorite movies...and everyone that watches it loves it. It's another dark comedy, with a strangely awful-but-awesome performance from Lon Chaney. The sisters are amazing, and I am particularly smitten with the title-character. It's short-ish, lovable, and truly a mad, mad movie, and I think more people should see it. A special edition just came out, and I am so happy that I finally own it!