With the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street hitting theaters this weekend, I thought it’d be fun to talk scary movies on this week’s installment of The Five. I’m not really interested in discussing films that gross us out (don’t even get me started on The Human Centipede), because a) I seriously despise gross-out movies, and b) I’d rather focus on films that truly scare us – the kind that give us nightmares and make it so we sleep with the door open and lights on for a good week or so. Yup, those movies. I love ‘em, you love ‘em, and most of us wouldn't have scored on a date with out ‘em. So, here are five that gave me nightmares…
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – How do we not kick things off by mentioning the original Nightmare on Elm Street. Back before they decided to turn Freddy Krueger into a comedian, this first installment was scary, intense and totally nightmare-ish. People usually feel the safest when they’re sleeping, and so after watching a movie about a serial killer who invades your dreams only to murder you in the most extreme and terrifying ways…well, let’s just say I didn’t sleep very well for, like, a year.
The Blair Witch Project/Paranormal Activity – I’m a sucker for ghost stories – especially films that feature ghosts who terrorize unsuspecting normal people who remind me of myself. I don’t exactly know why, since I usually end up sleeping with the lights, TV and radio on in the middle of the living room, but I do enjoy the sensation of being incredibly creeped out. And both Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity succeeded in consistently upping the creep factor – mainly because they were made to look like real-life home movies – but also because with no Hollywood stars to stare at, we were able to completely lose ourselves in the freakilicious action.
Poltergeist/The Ring – Not only would these two films make for the perfect double feature, but they also made it so I kept away from my television set for a few days, afraid I’d either fall into it or some weird girl would crawl out of it. The scariest movies are the ones that revolve around things that are very familiar to you, and that’s why Poltergeist and The Ring – both with their weird, trippy TV-related plots – managed to make my heart jump a little whenever the TV screen fills with static.
Halloween – One of the first horror movies I ever saw, and till this day it’s one of the scariest. The perfect example of how much music adds to the mood of a film, Halloween (and its creeptastic score) did an excellent job of building suspense as a masked killer named Michael Myers eerily stomped through a quiet neighborhood, knocking off people one by one. Man, I still can’t watch those final scenes with Jamie Lee hiding in a closet without closing my eyes while holding onto the nearest hard object (preferably a weapon of some sort).
The Exorcist – Little girls are creepy enough, especially little girls who are possessed by demons. Considered by many to be the scariest movie of all time, the thing I’ve always found to be the scariest had nothing to do with the head turning, pale face or demonic eyes. Nope, I kinda lose it when the girl spews green vomit all over the place. Yuck! As someone who has a fear of vomit, could you imagine having to clean up that mess? Not me. Nope. Girl is on her own for that one.
Time for you to speak up: What are the scariest movies you’ve ever seen?