Today’s film horror gives you three choices, starting with chop and slash, like the Saw series. Watching people being hacked to bits in creative ways isn’t horror. It’s horrifying.
Your second choice is the mock-documentary flicks like Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project. The originals were interesting, but the sequels are more sleep-inducing than frightening.
Last is the ghostly doings of flicks like The Conjuring. They all look alike, and if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
I’m not a curmudgeon. I just expect a bang for my buck. In 1958, I caught my first horror movie The Blob when I was 9 years old. It scared me silly and led to a lifelong love affair.
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Want to really be scared? A lot of you haven’t seen Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth from 2006. This is chilling and original horror. And when the monster at the banquet table picked up his eyes to chase the little girl, I almost lost it.
The rest of my favorite list isn’t so new. You can’t beat Alien for intense horror. The first time I saw it was before VCRs, when you saw movies in a theater or waited for them to make it to commercial TV. The alien popping out of John Hurt’s chest took my breath away. From there to the climax, it’s what you don’t see that frightens and is what makes it one of the best horror movies ever.
For classic horror, you can’t beat Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny” in The Shining, or the bleached out, over-exposed black and white film of George Romero’s original The Night of the Living Dead (1968).
When it comes to zombie movies — and most horror flicks for that matter — humor helps make the horror seem more real. Two of my all-time favorites are Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. Funny with a capital F.
You also can’t beat the really creepy Rosemary’s Baby, the original and iconic The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws or the riveting horror of The Silence of the Lambs.
You Vs. Mr. Movie class planned Nov. 4-5
Learn how to review movies at a You Vs. Mr. Movie class with the Herald’s movie reviewer, Gary Wolcott.
You will start by watching Dr. Strange on Nov. 4 at Carmike, 1380 N. Louisiana St., Kennewick. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch.
The class will reconvene from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 5 at Kamiakin library, also in Kennewick. There, Mr. Movie will go through the ins and outs of how to review a movie.
It costs $21 and includes the ticket.
Register at bit.ly/You_Vs_MrMovie.