Wednesday, October 19, 2011

13 Days of Scary Movies

Halloween is approaching, and what better time to curl up on the couch with some popcorn and scary movie? Check back here each day, or like us on Facebook, to read about 13 of the most horrifying movies available at Carnegie-Stout Public Library.

The Exorcist
This 1973 film, based on the novel by William Blatty, was nominated for ten Academy Awards (winning for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay), and is consistently selected as one of the scariest movies of all time.

This 2004 British zombie comedy stars Simon Pegg and is directed by Edgar Wright. The two had previously worked together on the comedy series Spaced. This is the only zombie film I will ever be brave enough to watch.

This 1978 film is the follow up to George A. Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead, though the only characters they have in common are the zombies. For fans of the zombie genre, it's difficult to pick a favorite between the two, but there's no doubt that the zombies remain popular to this very day.

Ridley Scott's 1979 horror film set in deep space role has influenced science fiction and horror over the past three decades.The film stars Sigourney Weaver in her first film role. Alien continues to be influential today, with unforgettable special effects and scares like the chestburster. In addition to a number of Saturn awards, the film won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

This intensely violent 2004 film proved popular enough for six sequels, as well as a comic book. The Jigsaw Killer's twisted morality and gory torture has been compared to the earlier film Seven, though not always favorably. Despite the criticisms, the Saw franchise has been an undoubtedly popular addition to the horror genre.

Rosemary's Baby
Roman Polanski's 1968 film was based on the novel by Ira Levin, and started a trend of horror films about Satanism. Ruth Gordon won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the entirely too creepy neighbor.

Plan 9 From Outer Space
Ed Wood's 1959 film has zombies, aliens, terrible special effects, and Vampira. Both a cult classic and one of the worst films ever made, the library's copy includes commentary by Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The Shining
Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's novel initially met with poor reviews due to its slow pacing, and was one of the first films to be nominated for a Razzie. However, opinion has shifted to the film's favor over the decades. The film is now considered to be an iconic source of pop culture imagery, but many still prefer the original novel.

Let the Right One In
This 2008 film combines two of the hottest trends of the 21st century: Swedish literature and vampires. Young Oskar is lonely, bullied, and not terribly happy but then a new little girl, Eli, moves in next door. There was an American remake in 2010, Let Me In, but the reviews weren't as favorable.

It's difficult to select a single Hitchcock film, but Norman Bates, inspired by Ed Gein, is slightly more terrifying than a bird. Not only did Psycho (1960) receive four Academy Award nominations, it was so controversial at its release that it prompted the resignation of film critic C.A. Lejeune.

The Thing
The story of parasitic extraterrestrials that invade a remote Antarctic base started life as a story written by John W. Campbell, and was first adapted to the big screen in 1951 as "The Thing From Another World." The film was remade in 1982 by John Carpenter with Kurt Russell. This fall a prequel to the 1982 film was released to somewhat poor reviews.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
We start off our list of 13 scary movies with one of the earliest. This silent film from 1920 is a notable example of German Expressionist film making, and boasts one of the first twist endings.

Paranormal Activity
What started as an independent film written and directed by Oren Peli, and filmed in his own home became one of the biggest hits of 2007. The story of a young couple who suspect that all is not right in their home, the film packs big scares with minimal special effects. A third film in the series was released this October.

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