films for october

10/26/2012

As a kid I wasn't really allowed to watch much television, so if I wanted to know about an episode of the X-Files (this was the 90's after all), my sister had to explain it to me as a bedtime story. It was funny then, that my dad let me see so many scary films with him. Every time that we rented a film, we stopped by the horror section and picked a new title out. I have such fond memories of that time! Through the years I've watched many films from the genre, preferring the subdued type. These are my suggestions for this pre-Halloween weekend!

theinnocents
The Innocents (1961)
When I think of a beautifully constructed film, that is both subtle and creepy, the Innocents immediately comes to mind. The opening credits always give me chills because of the song "O Willow Waly" sung by what sounds to be a sad little girl. The film is hauntingly lovely and surprisingly terrifying at times. It's in my top five "scariest films" and I'll continue with the next four...

theshining
The Shining (1980)
I probably consider the Shining to be the magnum opus of all horror films. I go back and forth between a few others, but it always resonates with me because of it's underlying symbolism. I can't count how many times I've researched Kubrick's intentions in film, which always imply that there's something far more sinister at hand. It's a visual and sonic feast of unrivaled proportions!

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Psycho (1960)
Perhaps I spoke too soon, but Psycho is visually the most masterful film in the horror genre, if it can even be limited to that. By now everyone is aware of the "famous shower scene" which is unfortunate considering it should be experienced within the context of the film. I think Anthony Perkins is under-appreciated for his portrayal, but at least the score is aptly considered to be a work of genius!

thechangeling
The Changeling (1980)
I have a great memory of seeing this unassuming film with friends several years ago- because we were all screaming at the top of our lungs (hah). That has only happened to me one other time, so it is quite rare! Truthfully, I can't see this film alone in the dark or I will never sleep. It hits me in all the right spots - eerie atmosphere, slow build and it involves a haunted house of sorts. It's a must watch!

thebrood
The Brood (1979)
There are so many amazing David Cronenberg films that are worth mentioning, but The Brood was the first movie that had me screaming out loud. I saw it with my sister many years ago, without knowing the plot (which you should never know beforehand) and it completely surprised me. I don't want to give away plot points, but I'll say that anything miniature really scares me haha!

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exorcist2
The Exorcist (1973)
This is an obligatory mention, one that perhaps everyone has seen, but I re-watch it almost every year out of nostalgia. Ignoring it's reputation, it is probably the most effective horror film due to it's sheer terror and unsightliness. All I have to say is: Captain Howdy!

thebirds
The Birds (1963)
Another Hitchcock classic and another film that I re-watch every year. I don't consider it to be among his absolute best films, but I think that it's perfect for Halloween. I saw it in a movie theater several weeks ago and I never realized how loud the Birds were!

bunnylakeismissing
Bunny Lake is Missing (1965)
Aside from featuring Keir Dullea from 2001: A Space Odyssey fame, there's also a random inclusion of the Zombies performing live. How any of this makes sense together is irrelevant, but it all adds to a story that is quite unique and enjoyable to experience.

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picnic1
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
I don't consider this to be part of the genre of "scary films" but it definitely left me disturbed! The costumes, slow filming, hypnotic scenes, and eerie behavior - all left me feeling uncomfortable. It's also somewhat funny which is a welcome aspect to any Halloween film!

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eyeswithoutaface2
Eyes Without A Face (1960)
Any film that involves a mask of some kind, usually manages scare me in some way. There's another film called Onibaba (1964) that similarly gives me an uneasy feeling because of the obstruction of facial features. In this film the protagonist looks strange but also very cool. The themes that are explored are quite interesting and the atmosphere is chilling!

valerie
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
I'll throw in this curveball as a final suggestion, not only because my name is involved (hehe) but because it's a strange trip into a world of Czech oddities. I also loved the soundtrack so much that I bought it on vinyl some years ago. Although it doesn't frighten me in a traditional sense, it does have some unsettling elements!

There are many other eerie films that I like, but these have stayed with me in some memorable way. What are your favorites?

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33 comments

  1. some of these are my favourites but there are quite a few I've not seen--I'll bookmark this list for halloween film night--thanks! x

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  2. i actually haven't watched most of these! You did such pretty screencaps though, I wouldn't have thought they were horror movies haha. I definitely do need to watch classics like The Shining and Psycho, but maybe when we're doing a sleepover or something - I don't fancy going for it alone.

    I read Picnic at Hanging Rock before I watched the film and it does the book a lot of justice. It's an amazing book, I love that even though it involves things that are meant to be "pretty" (nature/schoolgirls), there's this underlying sense of unease all throughout it.

    Also years ago I started watching Valerie and her Week of Wonders on youtube but stopped for some reason - thanks for reminding me about it!

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    1. Haha I purposely avoided all of the "scary" screenshots because I tend to think of horror films as being more than just scares, at least the good ones! I always wanted to read Picnic at Hanging Rock, so glad to hear you had such a good experience with it. I've read some in-depth analysis before but felt too creeped out to read it hehe! x

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  3. now, that's a wonderful list! and I am ashamed enough to say that I have just seen Psycho, The Shining and, of course, The Birds! so, this means I have many to catch up with! ;-) thanks for sharing this! horror movies nowadays are just not at all up to that standard, I'm afraid! :-(

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    1. You're quite lucky to have not seen some of the films - I always wish I could see them again for the first time! And I agree that most films from the genre, or just films in general these days are not as great as those in the past! x

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  4. Well, I love your list of movies...I have to see some of them for sure...However on my list this month are; Rebecca 1940, Misery 1990 and Fargo1996, x

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    1. Those are all great! I re-watched Misery earlier this month, and can't believe I saw that as a kid haha! Rebecca is a wonderful film as well! Hitchcock could almost do no wrong.

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  5. all fabulous suggestions! i've never seen the brood, will be looking forward to the screamfest :)

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    1. Haha it was so fun and yet traumatizing. I guess that's Cronenberg in a nutshell! I'm really scared of small things, so some of the "bad guys" in that film give me the shivers. Have fun screaming Brie xx

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  6. this is so cool! I have a lot to catch up on :)) I've only watched two of this whole list haha, sad :/ I think I'll start with "Valerie and her week of wonders" because I'm going to prague on halloween haha XD

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    1. So lucky! I love Prague and wish I could go back. Can't wait to see your photos and being there on Halloween sounds so epic. I hope they bring all of their weird puppets onto the streets haha. Also - hope you enjoy some of the films, I wish I could see them for the first time again :)

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  7. Oh I wish I could like spooky films. But I'm such a scardey-cat, I can never sleep after them!

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    1. Hehe I can understand. Most people that I meet don't like creepy films. I find them to be entertaining and sometimes quite insightful into our innermost fears. Some of them can affect my sleep, but only if it's really good! x

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  8. I love Stanley Kubrick too, I studied film very briefly and he was a big focus. Very detailed and like you say, very sinister. Have you seen The Vanashing (the original from 1988) it is so scary! Not so much blood and gore, but truly terrifying.

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    1. Yes I have seen the original Dutch version and it was quite disturbing! Seeing such evil people always makes me feel awful, so that's the only reason why I don't cite those as my favorites! There are others films like 10 Rillington Place that I think are very good but I could never recommend because its too much! I love Stanley Kubrick's films (as any cinephile might) so it's very cool that you studied him in school! I've only ever done research on my own, but a course on him would be amazing x

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  9. i'm not really much of a fan of horror movies - i'll admit i get too scared watching them! but i would definitely lean towards classic horror movies which i feel tend to try and be more creepy/uneasy while so many current horror movies are just cheap and gory and i don't see much point in them (for me, at least). but at least aesthetically classic horror movies also tend to be more beautiful, as evidenced by your screencaps!

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    1. I agree about many horror movies being too gory and somewhat pointless. I have never been a fan of gore or extreme violence since I feel that it's usually unnecessary. I much prefer psychological "horror" because it's an interesting exploration into human fears. It can be entertaining, but I also understand that some people just don't like it (my boyfriend is one of them!) x

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  10. You have some good ones here! A lot of classics. You know, I didn't really like the Exorcist when I saw it a while ago, its been long enough that can't remember why except I think I found it a bit boring... Maybe I was too young to appreciate it? (I also felt the same way about Picnic at Hanging Rock, though I recorded it again & it's waiting for me to try it one more time.)
    Eyes without a Face has been one my to see list for ages, and so has the Brood! I went through a Cronenberg phase a while back and watched a ton of his films, but have yet to see that one. I'm also really excited to get my hands on Antiviral!

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    1. My sister and I had a big Cronenberg phase at one point, so we saw a bunch of his film in a row! They are quite hilarious and entertaining for sure. I wasn't scared of the Exorcist as a kid, but as an adult it scares me much more. Perhaps it just depends on when you see it? It's such a great movie regardless! :)

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  11. Any horror film involving kids, terrifies me, and some of these are my all time favourites!

    Girls that glitter love the dark
    xoxo

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    1. Haha I can understand that! And glad to hear it! x

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  12. oh how I love your movie posts. Will put those I haven't seen yet on the list. Especially the last one, with your name. I already see that I would love costumes. Picnic is one of my favorite movies, and indeed one of the prettiest movies ever. Costumes are just splendid. Oh those edwardian times.
    Have a lovely sunday dear Valerie.

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    1. Thanks for the sweet words Nina! The costumes in "Valerie.." are quite lovely and the overall atmosphere is definitely worth seeing! xx

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  13. This is fantastic list! The Shining definitely makes it to my Top 5- I think it's one of my favourite Kubrick films (along with Dr. Strangelove).
    I can't wait to look into the others (like The Brood and Changeling).

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    1. I'm glad to hear it! I'm always amazing that some people don't like the Shining. It's too amazing haha! xx

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  14. I wasn't allowed to watch much television as a kid either, so my sister and I spent all our time playing outside. Looking back on it, I must say it was a large determinant of who I am today. You're very well-versed in classic horror films! I noticed that many came in or around 1960 and 1980 -- they must've been the golden years for good horror films. The only one I've seen of the bunch is The Exorcist, but I've been meaning to see Psycho and The Shining. You should be a film critic! It seems you have a vast knowledge in the field x

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    1. Hehe thanks Emily! I used to have a film review blog about 6 years ago, so I watched a lot of films and loved to write about them. I don't watch nearly as many as I used to, but hopefully that will change when I have some more free time! And you're correct that those were the golden years of horror films. After the 80s, things got kind of bad (with the exception of poltergeist). Ooh you're lucky to not have seen those films. I hope you see them and let me know what you think! xx

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  15. Delicious! I am such an easy scare, but maybe I'll try to find one of these to watch tomorrow?
    Also, I just wanted to tell you that I borrowed one of your Oh la la photos and featured it on my own teeny tiny Norwegian blog, as one of five favourite things for October. With links, of course! You can see the little post here (English translation at the bottom): http://etdrysskanel.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/fem-favoritter-oktober/
    Happy Hallowe'en! You inspire me!

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    1. Thanks so much Synne! What a wonderful comment :) I loved your post as well which was very informative. Perhaps you saw one? They're not gory or anything, so it's not grotesque! Hehe!

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  16. wow thanks for sharing! i'm going to search them, they seem great for this long weekend :)

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