Nerdy Basement

Halloween Special – Horror Flicks, part 1

So I set out to map some of my favorite horror movies of all time. First I was going to pick top ten. That proved to be next to impossible, so I then wrote down ten categories with one or two outstanding examples. What I ended up doing is thirteen different categories plus the bonus round with movies that are truly out of the box and thus free of any categorization. And for each category I picked three movies to introduce you and I tried to pick less known and unique ones but I give enough credit for classics too. I have tons of others picked out, ready for future usage. 😀 Oh and so that this post won’t become a novel, I’m splitting this into two parts. If you are still looking out for movies to watch this Halloween, stay tuned. Here we go! 🙂

1. Terror From Out of Space

When science fiction get scary enough, horror would accept them into the genre arms open.

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Alien (1979)
After almost 40 years, it’s still one of the best scifi movies so claustrophobic and eerie that Alien earned a solid place in the realm of horror. The practical affects beat the most of fake looking CGI nowadays, and I simply can’t fathom how fucking amazing the alien creature looked. While I love all three sequels in the series, the first one would always remain my favorite.

Predator (1987)
When hunters become the hunted, Predator created the same kind of claustrophobic vibe as Alien, albeit with less finesse and more muscle. The sequels are shit, but I still like to watch them and all of the Alien Vs Predator. But the original Predator, a story about an ultimate hunter race that made Ah-nold struggle just a little bit. They are honorable warriors of whom I never quite get tired.

Species (1995)
A less known no doubt Alien rip off, but it was still entertaining enough to earn a little spot here. If you like watching some alien/human action, here it is! 😀 And the kills in Species is quite cruelsome that it’s more horror than scifi. We got a couple of sequels but the idea of an alien species wanting out puny human genes gets old pretty fast.

2.1 Torture Porn

I split this category into two parts cos it was getting a little crowded, so I separated the clearly torture porn and those about serial killers, although they usually are the same thing. Movies with a lot of gore and consist of lots human body tormenting, sometimes just to test the stomach of its audience, I call them torture porn.

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Saw (2004)
Before Saw turned into the too long of a franchise that wore me down, it was this freaking awesome thing that injected a dose of adrenaline into the sleepy horror scene and shocked it back to life. It was brutal, clever, exciting and so unexpected that I felt downright invigorated after watching it. Yes, I’m wicked like that. I’ve said this before. If you haven’t seen any of Saw movies, you’re in luck! Just watch this first one, and treat it as a stand alone. I sure hoped I did.

Hostel (2005) & Hostel part II (2007)
I like to think that without Saw jerking the horror fans awake, there wouldn’t be the Hostel movies. I freaking love them. It’s the mindlessness of it, but it is also very scary because I believe that Hostel is absolutely possible if it doesn’t exist already. The world is full of sick people. These movies are meant to be enjoyed together, as part two literally continues right where part one ended. I personally like part two a bit more, just because it had one of the most satisfying ending I’ve ever seen.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
When it comes to torture porn, we simple can’t look past this cult classic that might be less gory and bloody than torture flicks these days. But it traded the buckets of fake blood into buckets of mental torture. This movie is absolutely cuckoo, and it’s disturbing to its core. It’s basically the movie that had me believe that some people don’t need any reasons to be utterly evil. Surprisingly though, the cruelest scene in the movie is not performed by the so-called bad guys.

2.2 More Than Three – Serial Killers

You may be qualified to be called a serial killer when you’ve killed three or more people with some down-time in between.

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Se7en (1995)
“WHAT’S IN THE BOX?” You might have seen the memes about Brad Pitt yelling this. If you don’t know where did that come from, it’s time to watch Se7en, about a serial killer going around killing people who have committed one of the seven deadly sins. Morbidly enough, a number tattoo I want to get, the seven deadly sins on my thigh, it is inspired by this little flick.

Natural Born Killers (1994)
Natural Born Killers is not strictly horror, it’s more like a tragic love story. A little bit a psycho, a little bit of tender and whole lot of charisma from both of the leading actors. It’s the flick that made me fell for Woody and Juliette, they had incredible chemistry together here, and they made you root for a couple of psychopathic serial killers.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The only horror film that won the Oscar for best movie, and it did earn it. Anthony Hopkins is an incredible actor, but for me the role of Hannibal Lecter is still his very best performance. The cannibalistic infamous serial killer has many rivals from many movies, but he is by far still the scariest and creepiest, especially in this movie, and he’s locked up most of the time.

3. Brain-Eaters 

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Zombieland (2009)
It’s fun, it’s chic, it’s crazy and sweet and it has both Woody and Emma Stone which both are my favorite actors. It’s the one zombie flick that truly deserves a sequel. It has a simple plot, nothing special, no bigger mission or the meaning of life. It’s everyday people’s apocalypse, and while we’re there, might as well have some fun.

28 Days Later (2002) & 28 Weeks Later (2007)
If you want a bit more appropriate drama with your zombies, then 28 days/weeks later is your dish. It tackles some pretty serious issues like how people are truly the monsters here and everything as sunshine and rainbow. It’s the zombie movie that made me tear up a bit for being so freaking sad. And oh, it’s the zombie movies that first introduced running zombies, damn you! But still, I’m looking forward for the 28 months later, that might never come.

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George A. Romero’s Zombies (1968-2005)
You can’t say you like zombie movies if you’ve never seen Romero’s zombie flick. There are many of them but I like to think that the original trilogy plus the 2005 Land of the Dead are the best of Romero. They take one step further into using zombies to tackle some tricky problems of our society that even after almost 50 years, they manage to still feel like current issues.

4. Blood-Suckers

Ah my favorite horror sub-genre. If zombies are a method to tackle societal problems, then vampires symbolize passion and the lost of innocence.

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Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Talk about the lost of innocence, Interview with the Vampire is a marvellous example of that. It’s the classic gothic, when vampires didn’t sparkle but were quite deadly but no less beautiful and quite elegant. It’s a stunning portrayal of the loneliness of this ‘lifestyle’, the so-called torture of eternal life.

Let Me In (2010)
Originally a movie from Sweden, this American remake followed closely the original movie, with just the difference of the language spoken and of course the actors. Both are equally stunning and eerie with only subtle clues to the true nature of vampires, but the quietness of the beginning made the shocking events in the end of the movie all the more shocking.

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
If you love vampire movies, then you must have at least heard about Nosferatu (1922), one of the first ever movies about vampires. This little flick is story about the ‘actor’ who played Nosferatu and how he took the role of a vampire quite seriously, he’s almost too good to be acting. It adds some extra flavors to watching or rewatching the original Nosferatu, I enjoyed this very much.

5. Creature Feature

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The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The monster of Frankenstein must be the king of all horror movie monsters, so I chose the classic version of this monster. For some reason, they can’t seem to manage to make a new movie that respects the original story. I chose kinda the sequel because I enjoyed The Bride of Frankenstein a bit more.

The Host (2006)
Not the alien movie, The Host is a South-Korean creature feature that is a brilliant nod for the old timers like Jaws. It’s my gate way drug into South-Korean horror, making something as silly as monster in the sea theme into something truly scary and emotional.

Jaws (1975)
Ah and then the classic. The movie that made millions to avoid swimming in the sea, including me. The movie that was attempted to replicate again and again with different animals and creatures from the sea. The movie that gave us the Sharknado movies. 😀 I don’t think it needs anymore introduction.

6. Straight From Hell

Where demons and the Devil live.

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The Exorcist (1973)
Still a true classic that still manage to shock with unexpected scenes (the one with the cross, anyone?) It set a very distinct genre where they portrayed demons as things that only exist to be evil. They are mean and movies about exorcisms would make you feel uncomfortable. And The Exorcist remains the masterpiece of the genre.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Ah they just do it better in the old days, don’t they? A movie with an extremely creepy story didn’t save time to build things up slowly and it’s a story that’s psychological gripping and terrifying. Definitely one of the reasons why I don’t want to have kids. 😀

Hellraiser (1987)
One of big franchise of the 80s along with Nightmare of Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Halloween, it’s the one with some hardcore torture scenes. Like The Exorcist, it would make you behave extra well for a while, just to be sure you won’t end up down in the bad place when you die. Cos Hell doesn’t look like a fun place at all according to Hellraiser.

Here it is, a few movies for you to watch this Halloween. 😀 More to come next week, until then, Happy Halloween! 🙂

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