It's been a while since I had blog on which to ramble about the things I love. I used to do a yearly 31 Days of Creep thing on tumblr during October, but I kinda grew out of tumblr.* I had a secret poetry Livejournal in the early aughts, but that's neither here nor there. What I'm saying is that miss writing in a format longer than 280 characters. So here, in no particular order, and with no real thought to quality or lasting cultural impression, are my Top Five Favorite Horror Movies.**
Keep an eye out for future Friday Fives here.
*Not just because they banned porn.
**As of right now, in this minute, while I'm composing this.
1. The Abandoned
In The Abandoned (2006) (not to be confused with Abandoned (1949), Abandon (2002), Abandoned (2010) or The Abandoned (2016)) our heroine Marie inherits a house from her estranged mother in Russia. Upon arriving at the remote homestead, she finds out the place is anything but vacant as her mysterious family history comes back to actually haunt her.
This one’s a claustrophobic and atmospheric thinker with enough twists and chills for a second or third viewing. The filming and set design amplify Marie’s fear and desperation as she tries to make sense of her house of horrors. And the ending ties everything into a bleak ouroboros that will make you hope you never inherit anything in your life.
2. The Changeling (1980)
The Changeling tells the story of John Russell, a widowed composer who rents a big, old house in the wake of losing his wife & young son. Russell soon realizes he’s not alone in the rambling mansion. Pushed by a ghostly presence, Russell unravels a web of secrets and murder implicating a powerful local family.
While the Changeling isn’t well-known outside of horror circles, its influence is obvious in The Ring, another movie I’ve watched a billion times. The film artfully blends haunted house story and murder mystery. Also, George C. Scott rules.
3. As Above, So Below
Rogue archaeologist Scarlett Marlowe enlists her ex-flame George and some subculture locals to search the famous Paris catacombs for the philosopher’s stone, a fabled alchemical substance rumored to grant eternal life. After getting lost in the labyrinthian catacombs, each character must face horrors from their past to return to a normal present.
Sometimes when I don’t know what to watch, I’ll put on this flick. As Above, So Below combines folklore with likeable characters, spooky imagery and slick production value. It’s fast enough that you don’t get bored, but complicated enough that you can watch it over and over.
4. Silent Hill
After some creepy foreshadowing and a mild car accident, Rose (Radha Mitchell) loses her daughter Sharon in the spooky ghost town of Silent Hill. Joined by kick-ass lady cop Cybil, Rose searches the hellish town for Sharon, evading terrifying mutants, a murderous cult and a dude called Pyramid Head who is a real sack of crap.
It’s possible that I only like the Silent Hill movie so much because I loved the video games. But there’s some real production value here; Radha Mitchell’s costume slowly changes from light pastels to a deep blood red as her quest to find her daughter progresses. And of course once you’ve visited Silent Hill, you’ll never hear a foghorn again without peeing your pants a little.
5. Ghost Ship
Don't @ me, this movie is flawless. FLAWLESS.