- Strangeland – If you take it for what it is, this movie is highly creepy. It is one of the first, that I know of, to use the premise of stupid young girls meeting guys off the internet. Doesn’t help that the guy’s handle is Captain Howdy, and that he is Dee Snider. Oh, yeah, and he’s a serial killer and sadomasochist. Either you love this movie or hate it, and some might find it laughable, but I try to take movies as a whole story, and I truly found Captain Howdy very scary. Because people like that exist! The scariest stuff is always stuff that exists all around us, just lurking in the shadows. Not to mention, he looks really freaky. Bonus: Robert Englund is in this, too!
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation – Watching Renee Zellweger kick Leatherface’s ass is a good thing in my book, but apparently some people hate this movie with a passion. I believe sometimes people expect too much of horror films, like they expect every movie to be like The Exorcist or Halloween. Yeah, some movies are not great, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve some modicum of respect. I found this one to be a great throwback to the grittiness of the 1970s, with the cheesiness of the 1980s, with some hot 1990s young actors. Okay, so it’ll never win an Oscar, but it will make you laugh, and possibly cringe, either at the acting or the gory scenes. It’s definitely different, with a little country/rock music thrown in, with a dash of conspiracy theory.
- The Fog – This is another film that you either love or hate. I find it classic, simple, and virtually uncomplicated, much like Halloween. It just, is. Of course, it has John Carpenter’s haunting theme music that he is known for, and some creepy looking sailors. You never really get a good look at them, which is a good thing, because like I’ve said before, what you don’t see is always scarier than what you do see. Plus, their silhouettes in the fog makes for some classic scenes. It also has some Carpenter loyals, Nancy Loomis, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Charles Cyphers. I always enjoy watching this near Halloween, and I feel this proves you don’t need a bunch of gore or a ton of obvious special effects to make you feel uneasy.
- The Skeleton Key – Arguably, Kate Hudson is not the best actress in the world, but I think she pulled it off in this one. It’s not hard to be scared of a superstitious, possessed Gena Rowlands! As someone who has always been interested in beliefs and strange religion, this one definitely appealed to me. It also comments on how deep someone can fall into something without even intending to. That’s what the antagonists are counting on. Plus, it isn’t afraid to have an unhappy ending, and is made to leave you wondering.
- Urban Legend – Though this film emerged at the height of the 1990s teen-horror film kick, I feel this one got an unnecessary bad rap. It’s not really scary, but it is a good story, with some of the best kills, you gotta admit. Basing murders on popular urban legends, especially on a college campus? I found it hard to believe someone hadn’t done this before. With a fresh-faced, beautiful cast, you are wondering throughout who is going to be next, and who the killer is. Though the big reveal is not that surprising, the reasoning behind it is rather unique, and understandable when you consider how unstable people can really be. More positive notes include that this was made before Tara Reid started hating herself and got all scary-lookin’, and a very Pacey-esque character portrayed by Pacey himself, Joshua Jackson. And it stars Danielle Harris as well, so if you really hate it, if you’re a true horror fan, you’ll at least respect that tidbit!