Yesterday, I saw The Last Exorcism with my friend Nico. While I enjoyed what the film makers were trying to do with the mockumentary style story-telling, the movie left me wanting more. Specifically, more scares, more intense moments... more cohesion? I guess in the end, the big twist came out of nowhere and the story ultimately fell flat.
Nico and I left the theater a little bit confused... a little bit disappointed. Afterward, we chatted about how we longed for a good scary movie... and realized how rare they are. We tried to come up with a list of TRULY scary movies, and the list was small. My top choice is a Spanish movie called [REC]. Basic premise: zombies, a quarantined apartment building in Madrid, a camera crew... and... stir.
I also liked The Orphanage, another Spanish movie about children and ghosts and a very creepy building. Some horror movies can actually make you feel something other than scared -- and this was one of the more emotional spook movies I've seen.
But we were having a difficult time coming up with more -- I'm not into the slasher, gorefest, torture movies that had their heyday about three years ago. I don't even consider those to be scary movies... But they are what the studios think will sell tickets nowadays, I guess. I told Nico that REC is the one film in recent years that (as I watched it by myself, in my living room, in the dark) made me scream out loud, clutch at my hair, and leap off the couch in shock... We also decided that The Blair Witch Project was a truly scary movie...
I long for a truly scary movie -- a story that won't necessarily give me nightmares, but that is intense, and taut, and well-built, and makes sense. A movie that mixes a little humor in with the horror... because really, what nightmare isn't completely ridiculous on some level? I have some hope for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark... mostly because it was also produced by Guillermo Del Toro (who totally gets it). Check out the trailer here... http://youtu.be/0WCaXfiO8hk
Can anyone think of a movie that truly frightened you recently? I need to get ready for Halloween... which is coming more quickly than we all realize... Do you have a list of recommendations or favorites?