Fall isn’t even close to being here in Texas, and I know that we’re still over a month and a half away from it actually being Halloween. I just think it’s about time that we all get in the mood. The 90 degree weather and lack of foliage isn’t helping with my inherent need to wear flannel and goose down vests, but I’m still stoked for everything that comes along with Halloween season. Apple cider, pumpkins, and most importantly, scary movies. Now, horror movies have never really been my bag. I find most of them to be hastily made garbage for pre-teens. Whenever I’m watching one I always revert back to going to see stuff like House of Wax and When A Stranger Calls. Not for the movie itself, but so I could try and get a hand job from some girl at school.
But thrillers? Thrillers I can get down with at any time, and they are especially good around this time of year. They move the needle for me. And while I fully admit to jumping the proverbial gun on Halloween, I’ve suddenly gotten into the Halloween spirit in the past half hour, so let’s let it fuckin’ rip, man.
We’re almost through September and with that comes a changing of the leaves (at least in the north) and a spookier, wetter vibe as days become shorter and the weather gets worse. This isn’t a prototypical Halloween movie list, but all of these films will definitely get you in the mood for October the 31st.
Zodiac is my favorite David Fincher movie, and it just so happens that’s it’s pretty fuckin’ scary. It’s nearly three hours long, but it’s definitely on my short list for movies that actually give me the creeps. Whether that’s because the Zodiac killer was never caught, or because Fincher shoots basically every scene in the dark is debatable, but if you watch this movie after the sun goes down I’d suggest leaving a light on. This guy will haunt your dreams for a few days after you watch, I can guarantee it.
Jake Gyllenhall, Robert Downey, Jr., and Mark Ruffalo all turn in fantastic performances.
I told you this list was a little unconventional, and I’m sure in 1976 this movie was at the very top of the list when it comes to scaring people. Marathon Man is one that most of you have never heard of but is definitely worth watching. If you hate the dentist now, just wait until you watch this. I won’t say anything regarding the plot because it’d be a crime to ruin Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman’s performances in this one. With all of that being said, if at any time you hear someone who is cleaning your teeth ask you the question “Is it safe?”, run for the fucking hills. You’re probably about to get tortured.
Jack Nicholson is the greatest actor of all time. I get scared just looking at a picture of that guy, and in The Shining Nicholson looks like he’s ready to fly off the handle about two minutes after it starts. Other than The Bates Motel, it doesn’t really get much scarier than The Overlook. Jack Torrance is the caretaker, sure, but then again, he’s always been the caretaker.
Stanley Kubrick has a lot of gems, but The Shining can go head to head with any of ’em.
Probably the most conventional pick on this list. Maybe I’m just a David Fincher stan because this is the second movie directed by him that I’ve placed on this list. Look, if you haven’t seen Seven, cancel whatever you had planned tonight and rent it on iTunes or whatever it is that you use to see movies nowadays. Yeah, Brad Pitt is in it, and he’s great. Morgan Freeman is also stellar. But a guy who will remain nameless because I don’t like to spoil things for others is the best part of Seven. Thank me later.
You either love David Lynch or you hate him. If you’ve seen Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks, than you know what I’m talking about. Lynch is just a weird dude and Mulholland Drive is, in my opinion, his best, most bizarre work. The premise of the movie is difficult to explain, and even though I’ve seen it several times I’m at a loss as to how exactly I would describe the plot. You’ll finish the movie confused and probably a little bit angry because like I said, you either love stuff by David Lynch or you hate it. I can’t watch this scene anymore because it makes my skin crawl, so just a forewarning, it’s fucking weird.
I’ve had issues with claustrophobia since I was small, and The Descent scared the living shit out of me the first time I watched it. It’s always the movies about situations that could happen (i.e. cave expedition, serial murderer who never got caught, crazed dentist) that scare me more than stuff like Saw or The Hills Have Eyes. The Descent will leave you feeling incapable of ever going camping again, and definitely declining any invitations to go on a cave expedition..
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