In anticipation of Halloween (and in celebration of this week's iTunes release of IMPULSE), Bryan and I have asked our cast and crew to each compile a list of their three favorite scary movies. Our last entry in this blog series contains two sets of recommendations: first, IMPULSE actress Kristen Norwood shares her list...
1) PET SEMATARY: There is hardly anything scarier than Gage Creed after returning from the dead. That little face is so cute yet so terrifying! I always liked the plot in this movie -- a father desperate to bring back his son gets more than he bargained for. Stephen, you are a master.
2) SALEM'S LOT: Okay, another Stephen King. This one I know I would find cheesy and non-threatening if I watched now, but this was, I think, the first scary movie I ever saw as a child...and it was horrifying to me! One thing I always remembered as a kid, and told myself over and over again just in case: "They can't come in unless you invite them" - that was the rule for the vampires in this film and it always stuck with me. To this day, I have never invited a vampire in.
3) CHILD'S PLAY: Clearly, I went for not the highest quality movies for these last two, but this is one that definitely creeped me out and yet I watched dozens of times. Chucky is not only quite scary (demonized doll??!!), but also basically indestructible. You feel desperate to end it and the movie just keeps going, relentless. Add in a single mother just trying to do her best and you've got a classic 80's horror film.
And finally, IMPULSE actor Ian Klink shares his list...
1) FREAKS: In 1932, after his success with Dracula, director Todd Browning delivered what many consider the greatest horror movie of all time, but not due to thrills and scares jumping from the screen, but because Browning released a film that many could consider a true documentary of the life in a circus, which audiences at the time could not handle. In a decision that frustrated Metro-Golden-Meyer, Browning cast real life circus performers, or ‘freaks’ as the times called them. What is fascinating is Browning’s turn of the title. In the film, two ‘normal’ people try to take advantage of the ‘freaks’, so what Browning illustrates throughout the film is the question of who are the real ‘freaks’ are in society. Only an hour long, the film plays like an episode of ‘Tales from the Crypt’ but delivers the shocks while at the same time making its audience think of our interactions in society.
2) CREEPSHOW: I know the standard for George A. Romero is to go for one of his zombie movies, but CREEPSHOW is one of those films where everything seemed to work. A great script from one of horror’s greatest writers, Stephen King, and directed by one of horror’s Masters, this collaboration is a film that was willing to take a chance and worked. Anthology films had been around since DEAD OF NIGHT in the 40’s, but these two took it to another level. I remember as a kid around this time of year I first saw CREEPSHOW on late night ABC early in the morning when I could not sleep. I am sure all of us have been there when we flip right into a film and find that we can’t leave it. I can remember not wanting to go to the bathroom, as I knew walking down the hall, the monster from the Crate was going to get me. All around fun film with great graphics and one of the best, if the not the best “Comic Book Films” I have ever seen.
3) FRAILTY: I have always considered Bill Paxton to be one of the most underrated, under-appreciated actors out there, but I also feel he is an under-appreciated director as well. Many filmmakers would agree what we see in reality is more disturbing then what we create in film, but to face reality in film can cause us to squirm, not just from what we see might be scaring us, but because the filmmakers are taking advantage of our escapism from ‘real life’. Although I will always prefer a ‘monster in a suit’ film, I look at Kubrick’s THE SHINING of how reality can scare us more. In this film, Jack Nicholson scared me just from talking, and I feel Paxton channeled the same school of thought with this film. The story is simple, as a man (Paxton) believes he gets a call from God to kill Demons, whom he sees as normal people in the street, and so with his two small children, he brings his ‘divine’ justice to them. What is not so simple is the psychological questioning you find yourself going through watching the horrible things this man does. Is he really doing what the lord wants him to do, or is he insane? I am not sure why Paxton has not directed another horror film, but if he does, I will be there opening day.