FILM THREAT’S TOP FILMS TO WATCH ON HALLOWEEN (PART 2)

FILM THREAT’S TOP FILMS TO WATCH ON HALLOWEEN (PART 2)
The fun continues in Film Threat’s Top Films to Watch on Halloween as writers Phil Hall, Felix Vasquez Jr., Stina Chyn, KJ Doughton and Michael Ferraro offer up their favorite films for viewing on Halloween. Enjoy the madness!

Onibaba
Selected by Phil From Hell Hall
Kaneto Shindo’s 1964 thriller is set in 16th century Japan. The young wife of a soldier and her mother-in-law eke out a precarious living in an isolated swamp by preying upon wandering samurai. After killing the samurai, they sell the dead men’s armor to buy food. When word comes that the soldier has been killed in battle, tension arises when the younger women becomes the object of romantic attention from one of her late husband’s colleagues. Her mother-in-law seeks to disrupt that union through a supernatural masquerade. To give away more would spoil the effectiveness and genuine climactic terror of this disturbing tale. While the threat of demonism is used to bring fear to the film’s characters, the genuine demonic behavior of everyday life (jealousy, violence, self-pity and war) offers the most brutal horror of this classic production.

28 Days Later
Selected by Felix Eviscerated Vasquez Jr.
There have been many people who have claimed that this technically wasn’t a horror film, but for my money, the end of the world in any form is perfect horror viewing, because humanity and the world are not infinite. Danny Boyle’s versatility shows through, in what is one of the best apocalyptic horror films I’ve ever seen, and one of the best horror movies ever made. In Boyle’s film, man doesn’t fall at the hands of flesh eating zombies, but at the hands of man’s rage, thanks to the accidental releasing of an experimental monkey.

After an animal rights group breaks into a lab, they’re infected with “Rage” a blood disease that turns its victims into red eyed homicidal monsters only thirty seconds later. A man named Jim awakes in a hospital after a coma and discovers the end of the world. Boyle’s dark epic is nothing short of a horrifying piece of nihilism that became influential in ways many horror fans still won’t admit to. Boyle’s creation helped to inspire the opening for Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead,” and became a frame of reference for the Dawn… remake. I doubt we’d have running zombies at all if not for Boyle’s film.

28 Days Later, though, stands along as one of the most thought provoking and horrifying films made in years featuring some of the most intense sequences ever filmed. The highlight is the wonderful ensemble performances by Christopher Eccleston, Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, and Brendan Gleeson, and drips pure terror with frenetic and pure gripping moments that test the viewer’s perceptions of murder, relationships, competence of the military, and tears away our own sense of security as Boyle introduces characters, brings us in close, and kills them off without remorse. It’s a film I’ve watched again and again and always pick up something new. The best horror films do that, don’t they?

Suspiria
Selected by Stina Scream Queen Chyn
Call it over-rated, call it overly stylized, or call it one of Dario Argento’s less impressive endeavors, but Suspiria (1977) continues to be the one piece from his body of work whose ending I cannot watch. Incorporating visual elements of Gothic horror and Italian slasher films, Suspiria follows a young American girl, Suzy Bannion, who goes to Europe to attend a famous ballet academy. She witnesses mysterious and murderous events; Argento unleashes upon the film bright colors and blood and the pounding sounds of the music group Goblin. I love Suspiria, and I would consider it one of Argento’s finest films, but I’ve yet to be able to watch the final five to ten minutes of the film. I’ve peeked through fingers, stolen a glance from behind sofa cushions, but the culmination of suspense and the image of the antagonist is too much for me to bear. Thus, you absolutely must watch it.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Selected by KJ The Damned Doughton
Everyone remembers the first film they ever saw that was so disturbing they vowed never to see it again. For many, Henry… took the blood-frosted cake. Sporting Michael Rooker as a tormented serial slasher and Tom Towles as his even more depraved sidekick, Henry… inherited the baton from Last House on the Left and Texas Chain Saw Massacre in the “too-real-to-be-fun” relay of filmic horror. There’s a home invasion scene stark and nihilistic enough to have viewers wishing they had never imprinted such images into their forever-scarred noggins.

Friday the 13th Part 3
Selected by Michael Myers Ferraro
Lest anyone forget about this three-dimensional classic, Steve Miner’s Friday the 13th Part 3 is easily the best and most under-appreciated entry in the entire series. Here we see Jason shoot a spear gun, pop a guy’s eye out, and destroy some little furry bunnies – all in 3D! When you watch it on DVD (or VHS for you cavemen), the 3D glory is lost but that isn’t to say the fun is gone. No, no ladies and gentlemen. Plus, this entry also has one of the best characters in the Friday universe: Fat Shelley (his infamous slogan – “I’m not an asshole, I’m an actor.”) is a misunderstood make-up artist/actor who no one in the group of campers seems to like, makes you wonder why they hang out with him and brought him to Camp Crystal Lake with them in the first place. Oh yeah, we needed a higher body count… in three dimensions.

We’re not done yet! Check out the terrifying conclusion in Part Three of Film Threat’s Top Films to Watch on Halloween>>>



Posted on October 31, 2006 in Features by
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