I timed this one to be shared on Halloween, because it’s MONSTROUS! 😀 We were tagged by fellow YouTubers “Geeky Couple Carnage” to answer some spooky, Halloween-esque questions. ^_^
It doesn’t always work out so well (especially when I’m working out West), but my husband and I have a bit of a Halloween tradition. We try – to the best of our ability – to watch a horror movie every night for the entire month of October. Sometimes it can be very difficult to work one in at the end of a busy day, but it’s never difficult to find a movie to watch, because we own well over 400 of them.
Yes, we’ve seen our share of scary movies, so today I’m going to share a few of my favorites.
Depending on your personal disposition you might not think of the original Evil Dead as being a particularly scary movie, especially since it’s a little older and doesn’t exactly scream “realism!” But it’s one of my favorites because once you know the story behind it’s production you realize that the cost and crew did an amazing job with very limited resources. Evil Dead tells the story of a group of young people who drive out into an old cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release an ancient evil that will never let them go. All of the special effects are done the old fashioned (*cough*fun*cough*) way, and the way that the “evil” is portrayed is both extremely simplistic and totally creepy. It may not scare you half to death, but if you’re a fan of horror movies and you haven’t seen this one, you really should.
I’m a big believer that Americans should pretty much stay away from the impulse to redo Asian horror films, and the reason is that Asians are way better at the genre (when they’re actually, genuinely trying to be scary). An excellent example of this is a spine-tingling ghost story called Shutter. It’s the tale of a photographer and his girlfriend who get into a car accident and thereafter begin seeing strange shadows and faces in all their photographs. But of course, it doesn’t end there. It is creepy as hell, and there were more than a few moments that made me literally yelp out loud. It’s the kind of movie that, once it’s over, you’re scared to get out of bed because you’re imagining all the things that are going to reach out and grab your feet. But if you’re going to watch, make sure you’re looking for the 2004 original, because the 2008 American remake does not do justice to the ghostly eerieness.
Okay, I have to admit right off the bat that this one isn’t exactly scary, but I have to mention it in this post because it’s been one of my favorites since I was about ten years old. Hocus Pocus tells the story of three evil witches who are accidentally brought back to life by an idiotic teenage boy in an attempt to impress a girl. The witches have been brought into the future by the spell and must drink the life from a child before sunrise in order to stay alive and young. Honestly, it’s more of a comedy than a horror, but it has crazy evil witches, a zombie, and a talking cat, and that is plenty enough for me. I watched this movie dozens of times as a kid and continue to watch it every Halloween as an adult. It’s a great one to share as a family!
Now if you want something that’s Halloween-y and can give you a couple of chills, I definitely suggest Trick ‘r Treat. This film is a kind of anthology that moves from story to story as it reveals the Halloween hyjinx of a variety of characters. Each of the stories is delightfully creepy, and the movie has one of the straight-up freakiest little characters of all time. ‘Sam’ looks like a trick-or-treater with a dirty sac over his head as a mask…but oh, he is so much more. I’m not that easily frightened these days, but I’d be lying if I said that I’d never had a creepy dream or two about Sam. Want to experience the wiggins (or, alternatively, let me know that I’m a total wuss)? Check it out! It’s a great Halloween flick to watch during the holiday.
Do you enjoy super-scary movies, or do you prefer the tamer ones? What are your favorite horror movies? Have you ever had a horror scare you so badly that you couldn’t sleep afterward, and how old were you when that happened? 😉 Please share!
Visceral Video Games
You all know that I’m a bit of a gamer, but depending on your own personal experience with them you might be surprised to see me bring up video games in relation to Halloween. After all, the Mario Bros. aren’t exactly terrifying. Well I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of spine-tingling video games out there to give you a rush. Some of my favs? So glad you asked!
The franchise has gone downhill in recent years, but when I was a kid it was all about Resident Evil. This classic originally took place in a zombie-wracked Racoon City, and employed a strategic system of gameplay that involved a lot of sneaking around, conserving limited ammo and items, and, of course, shooting undead monsters in the head. By today’s standards the graphics are quite less realistic, but back in the day they were plenty good enough to scare the pants off me. I can still remember the night my best friend and I were playing the second game in the series and a Licker jumped through a window at us. The game controller went flying across the room as two squealing little wusses went scrambling for safety. There were a few nervous, embarrassed chuckles that night, let me tell you.
Time went on, games came and went, and the next game to genuinely scare the bejeezus out of me was a gem called Fatal Frame. This interesting little series had a very different kind of gameplay wherein your character’s only “weapon” was a mysterious camera that could view and photograph ghosts. Your only means of fighting back against violent ghosts was to take pictures of them – the better the picture (according the game’s criteria), the more damage you did to the ghost. This could make for some tense moments as you struggled to get the perfect shot while ghosts swooped down on top of you with dead eyes and shrieking mouths. I have to admit that I never actually played this one myself. Instead I used to snuggle up beside my husband (boyfriend at the time) and watch him play. And that was enough. Every time a ghost popped out I nearly jumped through the ceiling, so goodness knows what would have happened if I’d actually been the one in control.
Several years past the days of Fatal Frame, my husband put together a funny ‘Zombie Box’ present for me for Christmas, and part of that present was a game called Dead Nation. It’s a post-apocalyptic world in which your character traverses the zombie-infested landscape while searching for the ‘safe zone’. It’s a top-down-view shooter, which isn’t usually the scariest of views to play a game in, but let me tell you…this game can be tense. There are lots of moments during the game in which you are absolutely surrounded by zombies on all sides, with no way out, and it really gets the blood pumping. Humorously, I actually found this game to be even more tense when I eventually downloaded it on my Vita. You wouldn’t think that you could get too jumpy playing on a handheld device, but if you’ve got a good pair of headphones on and are holding the screen right up to your face? Yeah…things can get pretty real.
But the game that gave me the most jump-scares and straight-up wiggins in the past decade or so? Well that honor goes to a game that isn’t even really, technically, a game. It’s a free download on the Playstation Store that is simply called “P.T.” and it came very close to giving me a heart attack more than once. I don’t want to say too much because it’s a hell of a lot creepier if you don’t understand what’s happening when you’re going in, but believe me when I say that if you want to have a creepy evening, download this game, draw the shades, and crank the volume.
Do you enjoy spooky and scary video games? What is your favorite? What’s your most memorable video game scare? Please share!
The time of spooks and specters is almost upon us. Halloween was always a favorite of mine, not only because I always loved dressing up and going Trick-or-Treating, but because even during the time of my life when I was a godawful wuss, it was always a little bit fun to be scared.
In honor of our favorite frightful holiday, this week I’m going to be talking about my favorite moments of horror…in the form of various kinds of media.
To start off, today I’m going to talk about TV shows of the spooky variety.
Let’s start off with some shows of the past. When I was a kid I was a lot easier to frighten, but even considering that, some of the shows I used to watch late on Friday nights were pretty creepy, in my opinion. Are You Afraid of the Dark? was one of my very favorites, something I watched every weekend without fail. It’s pretty damn tame by today’s standards, and the special effects leave something to be desired when compared with what television can do these days, but at the time it was an amazing show that gave me no end of shivers.
The show centered around a group of youngsters who called themselves the “Midnight Society” and would take turns telling each other scary stories around a campfire. Each episode was one scary story brought to life. Most of the stories were based on common folk tales and urban legends, with the majority of them designed specifically to be frightening to children. I recall the episode that freaked me out the most was one in which a girl gets sucked into a mystical dollhouse and begins to turn into a doll herself. There was just something about watching the girl’s limbs become porcelain that creeped me right the hell out!
As I got a little older, I began to get into the “reality” ghost shows. I couldn’t name one in particular, but you know the type: a group of people with cameras and really crappy flashlights venture into a haunted house, or an old asylum, or a creepy abandoned graveyard, and records the results. The funny thing is that I never really believed in ghosts myself, but when one of these shows was actually done well…yeah, it could really give me a spook! Even to this day, if the show is well-done (which is asking a little much, apparently) I can still get a chill from the antics that are experienced in the world’s creepiest places.
These days I don’t find there are a lot of TV shows out there that are able to genuinely frighten me. Maybe it’s because there aren’t many TV shows that have the budgets of big Hollywood horrors, or maybe there’s just not a lot of genuinely scary stuff out there on TV right now. Or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. But that doesn’t stop me from loving shows that are meant to be scary. Supernatural has been one of my favorite shows for ages (even though recent seasons haven’t been that great) because I love all the different monsters, creatures, and beings that regularly popped up on the show. It was never really all that scary of a show, because that’s just not the kind of show it is, but all the paranormal stuff, monsters eating people, and super-strange occurrences gave me that good tingly feeling; the kind you get when snuggled up in bed with a good ghost story.
American Horror Story (the first season) raised the bar a bit, throwing all manner of weird, crazy, and creepy at you all at once. The show about a family living in a(n extremely) haunted house focused mostly on the mental insanity and anguish, but there were definitely moments when I got the shivers because of a creepy side-plot or two.
But I can’t finish this post off without giving a shout-out to some of the classics. Not your weekly kind of TV show, but the TV specials that are made specifically for Halloween. Some are old, some are newer, and lots of them are tons of fun. Every year my family and I are sure to watch Garfield’s Halloween special, and my daughter is a big fan of the spooky Spongebob episodes. Want to bump up your enjoyment of the holiday? You should totally go on the hunt for some Halloween specials. They’re fun for the whole family and a great way to get into the Halloween-y mood. ^_~