horror movies to die for... > horror movies for adults
As horror movie lovers, we know how many horror movies are out there. That said, we will not include everything for the obvious reason that some may not deserve mention. This might incite a furor in those who wonder where their fave horror flick is! Keep in mind that the list of movies is continually growing. We soon hope to post your reviews as well.
Quickie Synopsis: Relentless “boogeyman”, Michael Myers returns to his hometown on Halloween after being institutionalized for 15 years. He’s out for blood. Has a penchant for a gal named Laurie Strode who later turns out to be his sister in Halloween 2 et al.
Our all-time favorite, never get tired of watching this! THE perfect Halloween flick. Best thing: the music. Worst thing: Laurie's annoying friend Linda. Like totally. Most the sequels stink, however the third one is not bad considering it has absolutely nothing to do with Michael Myers.
Rob Zombie's Halloween
Quickie Synopsis: Expands on the same storyline of the original, however a closer and look into how a seemingly normal kid morphs into a killing machine.
On a sad note, with much anticipation I paid $12.75 to see Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Good things: the young kid who played 10-year old Michael Myers. I like the in-depth look into the violent, "white-trash" upbringing of little Michael Myers. You almost can't blame the poor kid for going insane. Bad things: On the flip side, though a look into Michael's psychology is enlightening, the great thing about Michael Myers in the original was that he was the "boogeyman", NOT just any poor beat-up kid. The anonymity added the element of "non-human" to his villainy. Also, Zombie's version was a bit too violent. Suggestive violence sometimes work best. Lastly, the casting of Laurie Strode was awful. The girl was just plain annoying. Never warmed up to her, however, because most the movie centered around Michael, Laurie and her friends were truly secondary, if incidental. The movie pretty much fell apart in the second act.
Quickie Synopsis: A pair of lovebirds hear about the legend of the notorious Dr. Satan and decide to investigate. Eventually they come to realize that they've stumbled upon something far worse. They meet up with the disturbing Manson-like family, the Fireflies who seem to enjoy taunting their victims more than the actual kill.
I admit it, I had my doubts that an ex-metal-head could do more than write head-banging songs, however, Rob Zombie's directorial debut proves he can actually do more than sing. Written by Zombie as well, this campy B-movie, cult-slasher film is both absurdly sick and engrossing. I kept thinking that no way can people, yes, even "inbreeds" do the things the Firefly family inflict on their victims with such zeal. Then I reminded myself that this is a movie...duh. However, despite all my naysaying, I found myself really enjoying this movie. It's over the top, funny as hell and gruesome all rolled up into one tasty cannibal morsel. It is a testament to Zombie's twisted little mind that he created such memorable characters as Baby, Otis and Captain Spaulding. It just leaves you wanting more....which he delivered with The Devil's Rejects.
The Devil's Rejects
Quickie Synopsis: Sequel to the House of 1000 Corpses. The Firefly family is on the run after a siege of their “house of horror” by the local police. Brother Otis and sister Baby are accompanied by Dr. Spaulding at a roadside motel and of course, the result is bloody mayhem
Easily a cult classic, The Devil's Rejects is equal parts Kill Bill, Thelma & Louise and the Manson Family. I've heard people claiming the Devil's Rejects being far superior to the House of 1000 Corpses. Seeing them both back to back, I can't exactly agree. They both brought the same sick and diabolical Manson-esque atrocities right SMACK into our faces, however the plots are so dissimilar that they cannot really be compared. Like apples to oranges, the two movies are like Tarantino's Kill Bills. The second just continues where the first left off. A thought that did occur while watching the Devil's Rejects was the glorification of the Fireflies. Did Zombie do this purposely to make a point? Not sure. However, when the good guy cop (William Forsythe) goes vigilante on the Fireflies, no matter how much we dig the bad guys, we can't help but cheer when they get their ass kicked...finally.
Quickie Synopsis: A bickering couple unite when they find themselves the potential stars of a future snuff film at a rundown motel.
Armed with well-known stars, though not capturing major box office, I didn’t have the highest expectations for this movie. However, I was quite happily surprised - it just has a certain je ne sais quoi. It isn’t your usual teenage slasher film, instead takes the obscure topic of snuff films and turns it into something truly frightening and plausible. Loved Frank Whaley as the creepy bad guy. Just like Psycho once did, Vacancy might have just scared me to stay in ritzier hotels!
Quickie Synopsis: Shot in shaky documentary format, three college kids, armed with video cameras and backpacks, go out into the creepy woods of Burkittsville, Maryland hoping to track down the legendary Blair Witch. Are they successful? Do they parish? Stay tuned…..
This movie truly spooked the bejesus out of us and a few we know. As smart and ingenious that we never actually witness the Blair Witch, it's also maddening as hell. But, like the three morons in the woods, curiosity sure kills the cat. With that said, the last culminating scene will stay with you for awhile...guaranteed!
Quickie Synopsis: FBI newbie Clarice Starling is out to catch serial killer, Buffalo Bill - who has a penchant for skinning his victims. Bill ups the ante by kidnapping a senator’s daughter. In order to get inside the mind of Bill, the FBI enlists jailed serial killer, Hannibal the Cannibal Lecter for help. A provocative game of cat and mouse between Hannibal and Clarice ensues.
Quickie Synopsis: After radiation from a fallen satellite has caused folks to become flesh-eating zombies, a small group of people find themselves fighting ‘dem zombie attackers off at a remote farmhouse in Pennsylvania.
Had to give this movie the highest rating - not only for the interesting, terrifying plot and message, but for introducing and popularizing zombies to the world! Thank you George Romero. Oh, and thanks a lot for all the crap that is out there too. We should take one ghost rating away for that reason alone!
Quickie Synopsis: A lovely, but misguided lady is on the lam after she embezzles money from her boss. Stopping by a roadside motel for a night’s rest, she realizes she must fix her mistake and return the money. Unfortunately her good intentions are never realized because she is murdered by the motel owner’s insane “mother.” Watch how Norman Bates tries to hide his “mother’s” handiwork.
No doubt about it, anything by Hitchcock deserves nothing less than the highest rating – and this just happens to be one of his best films. It rivals any contemporary horror/slasher film in the thrills and chills department - but this is actually well-directed, acted and photographed. Think it was ingenious to have the protagonist (Marion) somewhat less than perfect. Was it supposed to be easier to see her pay for her sins?
Quickie Synopsis: The bad deeds of a small town come back to haunt them when Antonio Bay celebrates its 100 year birthday. While they prepare to party it up, an unearthly fog descends upon the town revealing gruesome ghosts out for revenge.
Four ghosts may either piss people off, confuse some, or get a high five. Sorry, this is a personal favorite... a ghost story and a slasher all in one. Love Carpenter's slow, atmospheric pacing and the actors starring in it. Also love that both daughter Jamie Lee Curtis and mother Janet Leigh act side by side, be it for a short time. P.S. We beg you not to rent the 2005 remake...puke!
Quickie Synopsis: Birds gone bad. A feisty woman trails after Bodega Bay’s heart throb after he piques her interest back in San Francisco. However, her arrival into his sleepy coastal town seems to have incited the local birds to go postal on its human inhabitants.
Before there were killer sharks, snakes or rats there were Hitchcock’s killer birds. Hitchcock's Birds can be seen as either an obvious message of animals' payback for us caging them or a symbolic metaphor that women (often referred to as "birds" in Hitchcock's native England) are unpredictable by his portrayal of women in the movie: domineering, cloying mother, sweet ex-girlfriend and the mischievous protagonist.
Quickie Synopsis: A group of teenagers unwittingly pick up the wrong hitchhiker which leads them to Leatherface’s home – a family of cannibals who appreciate the fine art of torture. It is shot semi-documentary style which creates a realistic, terrifying feel to it.
In the appropriate Texas drawl, DANG this is one scary movie - almost too scary at times. The scene when Leatherface sticks it to the paraplegic in the wheelchair just doesn’t sit right with us (pardon the pun). Defies all usual convention of “No way, can the poor dude in the wheelchair get killed off!” It’s documentary feel makes it all the more horrifying – later to be used in the Blair Witch Project.
The Amityville Horror - (1979 version)
Quickie Synopsis: Based on a true story, a family moves into a seemingly normal Long Island home only to discover it’s a hotbed of evil. A year earlier a man murdered his entire family in the house. Now the new man of the house is starting to act a little bit fiendish as well.
Very spooky, don't watch this alone at night. To note, we recommend the 1979 version, NOT the 2005 remake, which was just ok - didn't have the same eerie quality. Also, after watching Amityville, finding 3:15 on your alarm clock in the middle of the night will never be the same....
Quickie Synopsis: Camp Crystal Lake is preparing to open for the summer season. Too bad there's a serial killer hampering their efforts by killing off the camp counselors.
Friday the 13th is just great horror movie fun. Nothing brilliant or unique, just good old-fashioned slasher-stuff. But we give it a recommendation because it did spawn the beloved Jason Voorhees...over and over and over....
Quickie Synopsis: Two priests come to the assistance of a young girl possessed by the devil. It’s a pretty tough possession to exorcise, nearly driving the priests to the brink of death.
Well over 30 years old, we still have a hard time watching the split pea scene! And if you've seen The Exorcist, you know what that means! This film has evoked people to faint and throw up from its intensity. That said, it holds a dear spot in our hearts.
Quickie Synopsis: Loosely based on Stephen King’s novel, Stanly Kubrick creates a more “removed” evil in this Jack Nicolson-driven movie production. However, the storylines are similar with both book and movie: The Overlook, a resort hotel isolated high in the Colorado Rockies is the new “home” for Jack Torrance and his small family when Jack takes the job as the new caretaker during the long and bitter winter season. Both versions reveal the slow descent into madness as the Overlook takes possession of its caretakers.
Jack Nicholson is unforgettable as the über-creepy Jack. The revelation of Redrum's meaning is a truly terrifying scene. One complaint - why kill the Scatman? A recommendation would be to also rent the television remake which is more true to Stephen King's book.
Quickie Synopsis: A brutish shark wreaks havoc on the sleepy coastal town of Amity Island. Three very different men take on the big fish: a naive local police chief, a book-smart shark geek, and a crusty, rogue fisherman.
Jaws is proof that horror movies do not need a human killing machine - a big fish will do just fine. "Bruce" the shark has permanently scarred many a swimmer.
Quickie Synopsis: The young folk on Elm Street are being murdered in their sleep by a burned-to-a-crisp madman by the name of Freddie Krueger. Now the teens must come up with a plan to catch this killer even if it means doing so in their sleep.
Nightmare is almost groundbreaking for its surreal vision and diabolical humor infused with basic slasher-elements. We leave the movie feeling that Freddie is bad yet soooo good. Must make a point: Why must horror movies have to exploit our fears? First the shower, then the ocean, and now our favorite place of all time? Our comfy bed? Argh!!
Quickie Synopsis: An unlikely group of heroes find themselves pitted against an alien undertaker, the super creepy Tall Man. They first catch wind of him at a friend’s funeral when the youngest spies the Tall Man acting “other-worldly”. Once they begin snooping aroundf, they find themselves sucked into a terrifying world.
Has the feel of a B-movie, this is one very creepy movie. The appeal? The Tall Man! Though he doesn't have Freddy Kreuger's finger-knives, he is just overall creepy - and don't forget the aid he gets from those nasty silver spheres. His famous, "Boyyyyy!" can even be heard coming out of Homer Simpson!
Quickie Synopsis: A smart self-aware horror flick analyzing and satirizing itself as a genre along the way. . It follows the generic plot of a killer on the loose hacking up local teenagers. But these teens know the rules of horror films and try to implement these skills to unmask the killer.
This is a seriously entertaining horror movie. It's a good balance of both terrifying and humorous moments - the comic relief is a welcome relief from being scared to death. Scream really likes to startle its audience which is fun and sometimes annoying. Mostly, found nothing not to like and everything to love, except for its sequels…woof.
Quickie Synopsis: Set in the self-absorbed 80s, a psychotic business man, Patrick Bateman, finds he can’t hold back his homicidal tendencies any longer. And just as the 80s are the epitome of self-indulgence, so Patrick begins to indulge in butchering anyone from business associates to prostitutes. A satire-drama-horror movie all rolled into one.
Not your everyday horror/slasher flick. Besides that charming psychopath Patrick Bateman, the other villain in this movie is the 80’s lust for money. It deserves highest rating for Bale’s performance as well as its jaw-dropping, head-scratching ending.
Quickie Synopsis: A lonely widower gets talked into an ingenious ploy to meet hot chicks: hold fake “auditions” and you are sure to meet up with some hopeful starlets. What his friend didn’t figure on was that he would pick the looniest of the batch. A beautiful but obsessed woman with serious abandonment issues.
A warning: Do not eat before, during or after watching this movie. This is in regard to one particular scene which we will not reveal here. Otherwise an excellent movie à la Fatal Attraction. The villain: a pretty, soft-spoken lady with not such a pretty disposition when it comes to love. Forget knives, axes, or guns, the new weapon du jour: piano wire. Japanese horror movies are giving Hollywood a real run for their money.
Quickie Synopsis: Charley suspects that his new neighbor might be a blood-sucking vampire. Met with skepticism from friends and family, he enlists the help of television vampire slayer, Peter Vincent to help stop his neighbor and his burgeoning army of vampires.
Fright Night is equal parts horror, comedy and cult. And it is a blast to watch. There are some truly funny moments supplied by the dearly departed Roddy McDowall. There is something very addictive about this vampire-inspired movie. You find yourself completely enmeshed and rooting for poor Charlie and his daunting task of battling his new vampire neighbors. Gotta suck.
An American Werewolf in London
Quickie Synopsis: In this mix of horror and comedy, two American buddies take off backpacking in the woods of England where they encounter a wolf-like beast. Bad idea: one friend returns as a corpse, the other as a tortured werewolf.
This movie has its rabid fans and is considered one of the best werewolf movies of all times. Though sometimes a downer. Excellent special effects, which is what it’s mainly known for. Besides the horrifying man-to-beast effect, one of the best parts of the movie is the wry humor infused throughout. And Griffin Dunne’s reoccurring role. And the creepy townsfolk. Can’t say the same about the Dr. Pepper guy.
Quickie Synopsis: Imprisoned in a skinless state by the sadistic Cenobites, Frank enlists his former love, and current brother’s wife, to supply him with human blood in order to become whole again. She goes along with the plan, but it gets sticky when the Cenobites catch wind of the scheme. That should teach Frank not to mess with Hell-summoning puzzle boxes.
A group of us used to get together to watch the Hellraiser series. Even whilst among others, this movie makes you feel terrifyingly alone and vulnerable. The thought of being trapped with Hellraiser’s gang of freaks like Pinhead or Chatterbox can scare the dickens out of you. Barker really creates a horrifying fantasy world that really makes you happy it's just a movie. To note: Part II is equally good.
Quickie Synopsis: College kids board a party train celebrating New Year’s Eve. However, a victim of a past fraternity prank-gone-awry has boarded the train as well and he is pissed. Now for some the fraternity morons (and several other unfortunates), it will be their last New Year’s Eve alive.
A bit on the fence with this one, but a sentimental fave from childhood, so there. It's also a long-forgotten jewel among horror films. Terror Train is a true-blue slasher film starring queen of slash – Jamie Lee Curtis. However, she's not even the best part of this movie. The killer is. He is the epitome of a vengeful demented dork…and we do know what killed Kenny at the end! Despite some painfully bad dialogue and not a real surprise whodunnit, this is a decently scary and fun little horror flick to watch on a Friday night. One question: Why torture the audience with David Copperfield’s acting?
Quickie Synopsis: Dying killer, Charles Lee Ray transfers his soul into the nearest available “body” – a Good Guy doll using voodoo magic. Now he’s after a human body to transfer into and that body belongs to little 6-year old Andy Barclay, the first person Chucky revealed his true identity to. Lots of blood and humor along the way.
Creepy dolls and horror just go hand in hand. Maybe because when walking down the toy isle as a kid, seeing those lifeless dolls, in the back of your mind you wondered…perhaps they’re just faking it. Of course, this also applies to puppets and the worst….clowns. So yes, Chucky is creepy but he is fun to watch. That’s where Child’s Play and its sequels differ from the other “creepy doll/puppet/clown” movies. Chucky also gets funnier with each sequel – he has some of the best dialogue of all horror villains. “Don’t f*** with the Chuck!
Quickie Synopsis: Claire Spencer thinks she might be going crazy: first she thinks a neighbor killed his wife, then she suspects there might be a ghost in the house. Her husband Norman thinks she’s just suffering from major stress until the ghost gets a little too close for comfort.
A nice departure from brainless slasher flicks, What Lies Beneath is both well-written and directed and stars two major mainstream actors (Pfeifer and Ford). But at heart, it is simply a great ghost story. It is also very clever in its twists and turns. I give kudos to the casting director because… well I can’t say why or it will give something away. Trust me, it is worth watching just for the ending, which is both startling and daring. If you love a good ghost story, What Lies Beneath is not to be missed.
More on the way....