When the dead have risen, demons have been possessed, and an unstoppable killer has just ripped away through the victim’s guts like paper mache, try not to use your hands as a shield between your eyes and the screen. All Hallows’ Eve is back for another year of haunting tricks, delicious sweets, and gory, mysterious horror films.
There are those who love horror films because they contain the essential ingredients of massive amounts of bloody, grotesque images that question your thoughts of dream and reality and the supernatural phenomenons that give the audiences goose bumps. There are many who dislike horror films because the genre intends to give the audience that thrilling fear of a strange dark figure creeping behind the shadows, the ability of not being able to sleep without the lights on, and closing all doors to protect you from the monsters and things that go bump in the night. Others, such as Jennifer Ramphal, 19, a student at Saint Peters’ University, enjoy watching horror films.
“I’m a seasonal fan. I only like watching them around Halloween,” said Ramphal. “It’s like listening to Christmas music during the holidays. Horror films are scarier during Halloween season.”
1976’s Carrie, based on Stephen King’s novel, Carrie, is a must-watch Halloween film. The film is about a shy, teenage girl named Carrie White attending Bates High School where the students are not exactly friendly to her and on top of that, her mother is a strict religious Christian who abuses her. What makes this film unique is that Carrie has telekinesis, which is the ability to control objects with the mind, but her powers are only shown during stressful moments or acts of anger until the moment when she has had enough.
“It’s such an intensely, uncomfortable movie that’s really chilling and definitely keeps you on the edge,” said Ramphal. “My favorite part is the classic scene of Carrie standing on stage and is drenched in pig’s blood. That look in her eyes is so creepy.”
The buildup of Carrie’s abuse and exact revenge towards the school towards the ending of the film makes Carrie worthy of making it to number three on the top horror films of all time. But what frightens us even more than a vengeful, psychotic, telekinetic bullied teenager? A demon-possessed tween that can turn her head in a 360 degree angle.
The Exorcist (1973) has been called one of the scariest films of all time. The movie was adapted from the book of the same title written by William Peter Blatty, which was based on the real exorcism of Roland Doe. What makes the film terrifying, besides the fact that the basis of the plot was based on an actual event, is its graphic content and psychological terror.
“Back then, in the 70s, horror movies weren’t as graphic as they are today,” said Joel Dilone, 22, a student of Saint Peter’s University. “After watching the films, some people actually had to go seek psychological help because they couldn’t handle what was being shown to them and other people had to go to the hospital right away.”
According to listverse.com and its list of Twenty-Five Fascinating Facts about the Exorcist, a man who saw the film on its original release fainted during the film and broke his jaw on the seat in front of him.
“Today, horror movies like Saw and Final Destination are extremely gory, but it’s accepted. It’s not taboo and most of the viewers know it’s fake. They won’t need barf bags in the theaters.”
A film that sends its viewers to the hospital and has them faint from watching is a film that should come with a warning at the beginning credits, but then again, where would the trick in trick-or-treat be? The Exorcist makes it at number two in the top three horror films of all time.
Having a telekinetic teenager take her revenge on the student body and having the body of a girl possessed by a demon seem to keep the chills in the Halloween spirit alive and the audience at a standstill. What about the fear of ghosts, not necessarily killing or coming after someone, just haunting and having a person use that to their advantage?
- House on Haunted Hill
Number one on the top horror films of all time is the original 1959 House on Haunted Hill starring the horror legend Vincent Price.
House on Haunted Hill is a low-budget horror film with ear-popping screams, great German expressionism which gives the film an eerie look and a hint of humor to keep what’s happening next unexpected.
“It’s definitely a horror classic,” said Ramphal. “I like the old horror tactics the movie uses. You don’t need all those special effects and SGI like today’s films. It’s nice to be creeped out by natural and original effects.”
House on Haunted Hill uses some strings and a couple of skeletons to creep the audience. It is actually amazing how a floating skeleton could actually scare the dickens out the audiences in the 60s, but today that could make a simple nine year-old laugh.
Vincent Price puts the icing on the cake with his quirky gestures, simplistic charm and haunting voice that one cannot forget once heard.
Horror films have evolved from their low-budget strings and plastic to their gory, bloody gut wrenching effects, but one can never defeat an original mystery behind a haunting tale and its surprise ending. The ending of any horror film is unpredictable, but you have to keep in mind that anything can happen in a horror movie. It all depends on how much fear one has.