Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Opinions on A LOT of Horror Movies

Hey, y'all! So this post is kinda random (but really, when are my posts NOT random?) but I'm a huge horror movie junkie and I've seen quite a few scary movies in my time, so I thought I'd talk about the scare factor/ quality of several of them. While I tried to list all the movies that I could think of and have seen, I'm sure that I'm missing some. Also, some of these may not even be what you might consider to be "horror" but maybe thriller or something along those lines, but I decided to include anything that could be remotely horror, including horror musicals. I also included some that Wikipedia lists as horror movies, even if I don't personally think they are. I was going to write a little "about this movie" blurb for each movie, but I figured this post was already way too long, and it's not like there aren't already hundreds of plot descriptions available on the internet.

I also did a 30 Day Horror Movie Challenge, which you can check out by clicking HERE.

Before I get started, I thought I'd tell you a bit about my reactions to scary movies, because many people have different responses. I'm one of the people that can watch nearly any scary movie without so much as blinking. Gore typically doesn't bother me in the slightest. The only things that sometimes get to me are jump scares because I get SO into the movie that even someone just walking into the room would make me jump, even if I didn't actually feel scared. Similar to this is the fact that I have never been legitimately scared by a movie... except one, which you'll see below. I don't know why, but they just don't get to me. Part of my obsession with horror movies is that I'm constantly on the hunt for a movie that will actually scare me.

I'm not sure if all horror movie fans share this opinion, but I have one rule for horror movies that trumps any other rule I have: PG-13 horror movies aren't going to be scary. I got into scary movies as a 13 year old, and I wasn't allowed to watch R rated movies, so I had to stick with the PG-13 stuff, and I learned very quickly that none of them were any good. Now, on this list you will see some exceptions to this rule, but overall, I've found it to be fairly accurate. Now that I've gotten this huge intro out of the way... let's begin.

1408

If you want to watch this movie, I would suggest that you NOT watch the trailer before watching the movie, because all the things that might remotely make you jump are in the trailer. This one certainly follows the PG-13 rule of not being scary. I saw this when I was 13, and it didn't scare me in the slightest. I may have jumped from being surprised, but I didn't leave the theater feeling scared. Now, although it wasn't scary, I did like this movie. I think it's really interesting to see the ways that the room terrorizes John Cusack's character.



Amityville Horror (1979)

Ok, confession time. I didn't make it all the way through this. Not because I was too scared, but because I was extremely bored. I think I got a bit past where the flies killed a pastor... or something to that effect. I just remember nothing interesting happening, and after seeing the fly incident, I thought "well, if that's what they consider to be a scary death, I'm not wasting any more time on this." So, I can't say if it got better after that, but I watched for... maybe 30-45 minutes and literally nothing interesting happened.


The Birds


Most people would not find this movie scary. However, since my biggest fear is birds, this movie was probably the one that scared me the most. The birds in this movie are all big, black, crow-type birds, and they're absolutely terrifying for me. It's not necessarily a very scary movie, or even one that I enjoyed very much, but it was scary for me because of my fear of birds. I also really disliked the ending of the movie. I think I have it on DVD, but I really don't know why I do, because I've only seen it the one time and it wasn't my favorite.


The Box


Nonsensical and ridiculous are the first two words that come to mind with this. I feel justified in saying that this is one of the worst horror movies ever made. It's certainly the worst horror movie I've ever seen, and is one of the worst overall movies I've ever seen. Actually, I'm not even sure this should be considered a horror movie. It tries too hard to be creepy throughout, but fails. Nothing is actually scary, and it really just ends up being dumb.


The Cabin In The Woods


I understand that this was supposed to be a movie making fun of horror movies, but I thought it was just stupid. It may have worked if they were just setting up all of these horror movie moments just to create a horror movie or just because, it would have been stronger. But because they're trying to ward off these "Ancient Ones," it just seems gimmicky. I just wish that it would have been just some people terrorizing some kids. That would have been a great twist a la The Strangers.

The Caller

This movie has such a unique concept, and the best choice this movie made was also the one that had me really mad at it. *SPOILER* As much as I was upset that John was killed, it was such a great choice, because you expect him to live and be there by her side, and then he's just gone. It's so great. I was also impressed by the final 'fight' scene. It's great.


Dark Shadows


I certainly wouldn't consider this a horror movie, but Wikipedia has it listed as one, so I thought I might as well talk about it. Personally, I liked it. However, it didn't go over well with most people. I'll admit I'm pretty biased because I'm a big Johnny Depp fan, and this is Johnny Depp in his element. So, while I'll admit it's neither a horror movie nor an excellent movie, I really enjoyed it and would say most Johnny Depp fans would enjoy it.


Disturbia


This one may be considered more of a thriller, but I'd count it as either. I thought this one brought a bit of humor as well. I would think that people older than their twenties may not like this one as much because it's more geared toward teenagers/ young adults. However, since I DO fall into that category, I think it's really good. It's a remake of Rear Window, and while that's definitely a really good movie, I would probably choose to watch Disturbia over Rear Window. Is Disturbia a better movie than Rear Window? No. But I'd generally prefer to watch it for pure entertainment value.


The Evil Dead

Usually, I can't stand horror movies with really low budget/ obviously fake gore, but I really really love this movie. It's completely hilarious, and only really creepy in maybe 2 parts. The number of times that the zombie people come back to life is so hilariously ridiculous that you can't help but laugh. The bit where Ash's girlfriend was sitting on the floor and cackling was just the creepiest part of the movie. For me, it's earned its title as one of the best horror movies of all time.


The Evil Dead 2

Typically, I don't like sequels. I did, however, like this sequel. It's not perfect- I definitely wasn't a fan of that really odd recap at the beginning of the movie, because it wasn't even the same girl and seemed almost as if he was returning for some reason. It just didn't make sense. However, once we got past that recap, it got good again. It wasn't quite as good as the original, but there are definitely some good parts. Like the arm crawling across the floor by itself. Just creepy!

Evil Dead (2013)

Definitely not as good as the original for me, but it definitely served up the gore. I liked it, but not as much as the original. I liked that they kinda kept you guessing a bit about which person was going to survive (if any). I was thinking it was going to be the brother, so I was pretty surprised. I think it was missing a lot of the humor of the original. The original was really campy, and could get away with characters zombifying and then being normal, whereas the remake was a straight up horror movie and a person zombifying, being buried, and then ending up being the only survivor just seems ridiculous. So overall, I thought the remake was a bit too serious for it to be a true-to-form remake.


The Eye


It's also been a long time since I've seen this movie, so I don't remember many details, just overall impression. This one was very ho-hum. It wasn't particularly bad, there was just nothing that stood out about it. Not particularly scary, just overall very average. It was at least somewhat interesting, but not good enough to re-watch.

The Fourth Kind

There are several things about this movie that I didn't like. First off, it's supposedly based off a true story, and part of the movie is someone interviewing the real woman. BUT WAIT! It's not actually the real woman, it's an actress playing the real woman. What? Also, they try to do this weird thing to connect events that doesn't even make sense. This whole movie just was ridiculous and not good.

The Grudge

It's been quite a while since I've seen this one, so I don't remember specifics about this one, but I didn't think it was very good. I remember it being really cheesy, but they were trying to make it good, so rather than it seeming campy and funny, it tried to be good and just failed. There wasn't much of a plot, and the acting wasn't so great. Just... no. Also, the female ghost's whole look seems like such a ripoff of Samara from The Ring.

Hannibal

The majority of this movie is quite unimportant to me. However, one specific part is one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever seen, and if you've seen this movie, you already know exactly what I'm talking about. *SPOILER* and *DISGUSTING* alert. When Hannibal slices off the top of the guy's head, it was bad enough, but cutting out part of the brain and feeding it to him... just EW. And the fact that he's awake the whole time and becomes mentally handicapped is just so disturbing.


The Haunting in Connecticut


This movie was very underwhelming. It wasn't scary, and I didn't think the plot was that interesting or surprising. I actually almost completely forgot I ever saw this, until I was looking at a list of horror movies and saw it on there. It was that underwhelming.

The Haunting of Molly Hartley

This was one of the earlier horror movies I watched, and I remember actually going into it thinking there was a possibility that it would be totally ridiculous. And guess what? It was. The plot was so predictable, it wasn't actually scary, the twist wasn't surprising, and the whole point was dumb. Not worth watching ever again.


House on Haunted Hill 

This was surprisingly good for a movie made in 1959. There were even a couple jump scares I wasn't expecting! I think the plot is really interesting, and it reminds me the slightest bit of And Then There Were None. While this movie overall certainly didn't scare me, I thought it was pretty good, especially for the time period. I can only imagine how much it scared people when it first came out.



Insidious


This is one of those movies that breaks the "PG-13" rule. This one really did an excellent job of delivering some scares while still having a good plot to it. There were actually some things that I didn't notice the first time I watched it, and upon re-watching, I noticed them, and I think it's really great when a movie is really subtle. I wasn't a huge fan of the end or of the whole sequence where the dad goes to save the kid, but I think that was handled better in the sequel.


Insidious 2


Generally, I don't like sequels, so I didn't have really high hopes for this one. However, I actually liked it! I definitely thought there were a few cheap scares, but I really liked the intricacy of the plot in this one. I like when I start out really confused, because I really like figuring out plot points before the movie reveals them, so I think that's why I like this one. I might even say that I like it more than the original.


Nightmare on Elm Street


This movie suffers from a lack of scary longevity. I feel like a lot of the scares in this movie rely on of-the-time special effects, and therefore hasn't continued to be scary after almost 30 years. I can see why it became such a famous movie, because it was probably very scary in its time. I think it's a great concept, but I just don't find it particularly scary.


One Missed Call


This was one of the first horror movies I watched, and I remember not being really impressed with it. I was watching it with my mom, and I remember her getting scared at one point and refusing to watch any further. However, I wasn't scared at any point of the movie, and remember being very unimpressed at the end, because it didn't scare me. I think it's a really cool concept for a horror movie, but I just don't think that it was done well. I'm assuming that the original Japanese version was better.


Orphan


Like some of the other movies on this list, I went into this movie already knowing the twist at the end, and I'm really REALLY sad that I did, because this is one of the most brilliant twists I've seen in a movie, because it's so completely unexpected, yet once you realize it, it makes complete and total sense. This is one of the better scary movies of recent years, and although it isn't one of my absolute favorites, it's a really good movie.

Prom Night (2008)

I still need to see the original, and I sincerely hope it's better than this. Every horror movie cliche is in this movie, and not even in an "oops, tricked you, there's no one in the medicine cabinet mirror" way. Nope, she opens the medicine cabinet, closes it, and the killer is right behind her. And why does it seem like everyone ends up down in the creepy basement when they're being chased by the killer? Then again, the main characters are pretty stupid...


The Raven


A horror movie about Edgar Allan Poe with gory murders based off of Poe's works? Sign me up! I was seriously really excited about this movie! While I wasn't overwhelmingly excited after watching this movie, I certainly wasn't overwhelmingly disappointed. I thought it was well done, and really interesting with the recreation of Poe's works. The only complaint I really had after seeing this was that the gore was a little cheesy, but that shouldn't really be a surprise since I tend to laugh at gore.


The Ring

This one is one of the exceptions to the "no PG-13 scary movies" rule. This was one of those horror movies that I watched before I was allowed to watch R rated movies, and it's one of the only ones from that time that I still enjoy, let alone own. This movie is just great. It's so great to watch the characters try to unravel the mystery, and for a PG-13 movie, it has a legitimate scare factor to it! It's also one of the only remakes of a Japanese horror movie that has been any good. This one is one of my all-time favorite horror movies by far.

The Ring 2

For me, this one was certainly not as good as the first movie. It's certainly better than quite a few movies on this list, and I liked it enough to purchase it, so it's not a bad movie at all. I like that it ties up the loose ends left in the last movie, and it gives a more in depth story about why Samara does what she does, and although some of the material is repetitive, it gets more intricate, and I actually like that.

Saw

Saw is such a polarizing movie. Either you love it or you hate it. I'm absolutely in the love it category. It's so intricately concocted. As I said before, the gore doesn't really get to me, so I was able to just sit and watch the plot unfold. I don't really consider it to be "scary" but rather a really messed up psychological thriller, and I think it's just absolutely brilliant. I know several people who couldn't watch the gore, but the first time I saw this one, I was actually chowing down on a large bowl of popcorn. Sorry, not sorry!

Scream

This is one of the most recent horror movies I've seen, and I absolutely loved it. I love how it plays with the horror movie expectations and stereotypes. I loved how the killer is a totally bumbling idiot. I even love that *SPOILER... kinda* my favorite characters were the killers! And yes, I also love that there were two killers. I even like that they stabbed themselves to make it look convincing. I'll need to watch it a few more times to solidify it as a favorite, but I have a feeling it's here to stay.


The Silence Of The Lambs


This badboy is a doozy. And it is, of course, well known for being a great psychological thriller. It's a great film and Anthony Hopkins is just brilliant playing Hannibal Lecter. For me, the only heart-racing part was in the basement near the end. While this is a great film, I felt like it had several standout scenes, but the rest of the movie felt a little like dead weight to me. I can see why so many people like it, and I would certainly suggest it to people, but for me it's not one I'm going to re-watch several times.

The Shining

This is one of the oldest movies on the list, and also one of the best. The Shining is one of my absolute favorite horror movies ever. This is definitely one of the more "psychologically" scary movies as opposed to typical jump scares. It doesn't rely on special effects to scare you, and I think that's why this movie has had such great longevity even though it was made more than 30 years ago. Ghosts and crazy people with axes will always be scary.

Sinister

As stated before, I really enjoy figuring things out before they're revealed, and this movie gave me a lot of leeway to do that. I thought there were a lot of subtle things that were really clever, like the names of the film reels. There were a couple parts that I thought were kinda silly, but overall, the movie was pretty clever. I didn't think the twist was really a surprise- in fact I saw it coming not too far in the movie, and knew what was coming. I'd like to believe that I'm just really good at figuring things out, but it's probably just that this movie was a bit predictable. I ended up being a bit surprised how much I liked it.


The Sixth Sense


This movie was actually ruined for me before I saw it, because in 50 First Dates, they talk about the twist and I saw that before watching The Sixth Sense. It's really a shame that it was ruined for me, because it's such a great twist, and it's definitely one of those movies where once you learn the twist, you want to watch it again just to see all the little clues. I think it was done really well, and it does a great job of convincing the audience that Bruce Willis is actually alive. Although the majority of this wasn't scary (although it had its moments), it was really well done.

The Skeleton Key

This one was one of those PG-13 ones I watched when first getting into horror movies. Even then, as a 13 year old who had trouble disliking a movie, I thought this one was just bad. It wasn't in the least bit scary, and I was much more easily scared back then. The plot was boring, the twist was stupid, and overall I just say two thumbs down to this movie.

The Strangers

This one is really great, in my opinion. *SPOILER... kinda* The scene where the masked guy steps out in the background is one of the best shots I've ever seen in a horror movie. The fact that they don't change the focus and just allow the audience to discover him there at their own pace is just brilliant. I also love *SPOILER* that the three people decided to attack them just because they were home.  Also, the use of what I consider to be the creepiest song ever made, Tiptoe Through the Tulips. And the scene where the girl knocks on the door is creepy as well. Just this whole thing is so creepy and really good.


The Stepfather


Honestly, I can't remember a ton about this movie, which I think speaks to the predictability of the movie. I specifically remember it not being scary, but I also remember it not being good.

Sweeney Todd

Some people may not consider this a horror movie, but with all of the gore in there, I think it has to be considered a horror. For me, this is a combination of all of my favorite things. I love Johnny Depp, I love gore, I love British things, and I LOVE music. Plus there's a huge chunk of the Harry Potter cast in this movie. I just love everything about this movie. It's just so great. I love that he's an anti-hero and that you're kinda rooting for him, but kinda not at the same time.


Texas Chainsaw Massacre


Honestly, the first 10 minutes were the scariest, and it was really more creepy than scary. Like a lot of movies of the time period, there are a lot of slow points. While the scene at dinner is uncomfortable to watch, I wasn't scared in the slightest. Overall, it may have been good when it was made, but I just didn't like it.

The Unborn

This movie was one of the most predictable movies I think I've ever seen. I remember sitting there watching it and saying what was going to happen next, and then it happened. It wasn't scary, and definitely plays to the "PG-13 movies aren't scary" rule.


The Uninvited


While I'll admit that the twist wasn't something I saw coming, but that's all I really liked. I appreciate that this at least tried to be different by having an unreliable narrator, but its efforts were in vain because it's simply not a great movie.


The Village


This just was not good. It wasn't scary. It wasn't even that interesting. You're supposed to be surprised when you find out that it's taking place in modern times, and you're supposed to be surprised that the village leaders are the "creatures" they're afraid of, but I just wasn't impressed by any of it. M. Night Shyamalan strikes again!


Warm Bodies


This is another one which I didn't consider a horror movie, but was listed as one on Wikipedia. I was really excited about this one because it looked like an insanely cheesy romcom, but it also seemed to realize that it was so cheesy and make fun of itself. It didn't quite live up to my expectations, but since I was so excited about it, it would have been hard for it to. But I liked it enough that the book is on my list of books to read, so that should at least say something about it. But it's certainly not a horror movie.


When a Stranger Calls


Yet another of the first horror movies I saw... and wasn't impressed with. Sure, the line "did you check the children" is creepy, but that's the only part I was really creeped out by. It just didn't scare me, and wasn't that great of a movie.


Whew, that was a really long list! If you made it all the way through, kudos to you! I tried to think of ways to make it shorter or break it up, but I couldn't think of anything that made sense, so this is what I've ended up with. I'm thinking about doing a post on my 10 favorite and least favorite horror movies, so if you'd like to see that, let me know in the comments! What are your opinions on some of these movies? Did you agree with me? Disagree? Let me know! Also, if you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe to my posts/ follow me so you'll see when a new post comes out. Thanks for reading, y'all!

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