Scare yourself the right way
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Would you rather watch a movie that periodically startles you or a movie that lodges so deep into your skin your blood cells quake? That’s a substantial difference, and it takes special skills to choose the right scare. Listed here will be the do’s and don’ts for your Halloween movie night – from choices in the theater to Netflix.
Definitely one of the dangerously original horror films of recent years, Sinister benefits from an ingenious plot, stellar patience and superb acting. Horror directors normally aim for looks instead of talent in the leading role but not here. Ethan Hawke (The Woman in the Fifth), who’s sound in all of his roles, plays Ellison Oswalt: a riches-to-rags novelist seeking inspiration for his next book. He discovers vintage home video tapes from a previous family and spends many sleepless nights fighting against more than he prepared for.
Film: House at the End of the Street
Movies like House at the End of the Street perfectly define an average horror movie – we have seen this formula countless times before, and yet it still gets us a couple of times. Elissa Cassidy (Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games) forcibly moves into a new house with her mom (Elisabeth Shue, Hope Springs). And, of course, the house at the end of the street has a suspicious teenager living inside of it. This won’t truly scare you, but it’ll occupy your mind for 90 minutes.
Film: Paranormal Activity 4
I’ve watched lingerie advertisements that are scarier than Paranormal Activity 4. Why should we care about any of the people involved? It’s obvious directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Paranormal Activity 3) have signed up solely for their paychecks instead of taking part in actual filmmaking. There’s not much more to say about it. This is one of the worst movies of 2012.
Film: The Grey
When I first saw The Grey in theaters, my heart dropped to the theater floor. I felt constantly challenged – the action is constantly engaged at the characters and the audience. Ottway (Liam Neeson, Taken 2) leads a band of airplane crash survivors against snowfall, wind chill and bloodthirsty wolves. This premise sounds conventional at first. But trust me, you won’t see this one coming.
Film: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Guillermo del Toro (Rise of the Guardians) never disappoints, as he assumed writing credit for this little-known horror gem. A family moves into an old mansion, only to discover small demon monsters that try to claim the family’s young child as one of them. Guy Pearce (Lawless) and Katie Holmes (Jack and Jill) stay human in character, while the monsters are relentlessly creepy. The film might have been scarier without revealing what the evil monsters look like, however.
Film: Paranormal Activity 3
Just to make sure you don’t become tempted to see the fourth movie, PA3 isn’t much better. The only memorable difference between PA3 and its cohorts is its use of plot. If anything, PA3 is the absolute cutoff point for watching the series. It’s still a watchable film – for free, that is.