Tag Archive: horror movies


Just Enough Scare

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

One of the things that I find fascinating about horror movies is how they explore the things that make us fearful.

Sometimes when I watch a scary movie I find I am scared because it hits close to home, explores a fear that I may feel deep inside or know that others feel.

HornsSome story lines just stay in my head and they pop out for no reason. One of these movies is Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe. In this story, Iggy is in deep mourning when his fiance is found dead after being brutally raped. Of course he is the obvious suspect and the whole town thinks he did it.

But after a night in which Iggy curses God for not protecting Merrin, Iggy discovers he has started growing horns out of the top of his head. Worse yet, people are telling him their worst secrets; they can’t stop themselves. So Iggy decides to use that power to find the real killer.

What makes this movie worthy is the exploration of good and evil within one’s soul, how looks can be deceiving. Ok, I loved that Iggy could start fights with a mere suggestion and seemed horrified at his new abilities at first. But it is also a reminder that good and evil resides in a person. How we get there is a thin line.

Another movie that comes back to me is The Others starring Nicole Kidman. She plays a woman awaiting the return of her husband from WWII in a big house on the island of Jersey with her two children. She has strict rules in the house because both children are light sensitive.

TheOthers posterThe thing is, she is beginning to believe there are ghosts in the house and that they are causing doors to not be locked and moving things around. When new servants come to the house they have secrets that they want to share but can’t quite do it yet. It plays on our deepest fears of what is really around us. The bumps, the sound, the appearance that something is not quite right.

For me, the jump scares make me more frightened than movies with slashers. You expect the horrible things that happen in those slasher movies, And while they touch on something realistic, the truth is they are over the top in their horror. What is is scary about these two movies named above is that they touch closer to what we live and what we see. Deep dark secrets or emotions held back can come to the forefront when we least expect it. What seems like something simple is a more complex problem and the answer is nothing that we expect.

Horror movies, strangely enough, explore the emotions. It is one way we process feelings of fear in various situations when we can’t do it any other way. Various themes within horror movies comes and go. We no longer explore environmental poisoning or nuclear changes to organisms. But we do explore that of mysterious strangers or strange poisonings or zombie apocalypse.

What might come next, most of us do not know. But it is still interesting to see what it might be.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Scary Movies That Fail

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

It is Halloween week. Just because it is the day or two after doesn’t mean we are going to stop watching those Halloween movies. But let’s do something different.

 

Let’s celebrate the bad movies, the lame thrillers and horror movies. Let’s celebrate those that set up rules and then not follow them. Let’s celebrate those that decided to make a movie based on a bad idea but kept going anyway because the star said he would have it no other way.

 

I am not talking about movies like Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th. As much as I cannot watch them, I have to admire movies that are well made and consistent in their storytelling.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Let’s talk about bad movies such as DarknessFalls.  This movie has an interesting premise. An old woman is lynched after being falsely accused of harming children. But at her death she vows to come back and take children away by killing them when they lose their last baby tooth should they see her.

 

On the night Kyle loses his last baby tooth, he sees the apparition and he stays in the light. But his mother makes the mistake of stepping into a darken room and, well, what happens next is not pretty. As an adult, Kyle chooses to live in Las Vegas and he carries super duper flashlights with him at all times.

 

That is when his friend Caitlyn calls asking for help because her little brother is going through the same issues that Kyle went through. So he returns and the fun begins.

 

I like the premise of this movie because it is based on real fears of what can happen in the dark, what can happen in the places we cannot see. But here is the problem. The light issue can be hit or miss, the amount of light does not seem to matter for when the tooth fairy can get you. She starts showing up in the strangest of places.

 

Plus, some of the town’s people do not believe or even know that the Tooth Fairy exists, such as one townie that yells out “these are my woods” right before the worst that can happen, happens. The town has a curse on it and most people do not know about it? Sorry, not buying that part.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

But this movie is nothing compared to Snakes on a Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson. The legend of this movie is that Samuel L. Jackson loved the cheesy title so much, he would not make the movie unless the title was retained. Another interesting point is there was a lot of internet chatter about this movie with interested parties leaving plot ideas.

 

The basic plot is this: A witness against a mob boss has to fly to the trial. Of course, there are people who want to prevent this. So the plane is rigged to release a number of hungry dangerous and poisonous snakes in the belief one or more will take out the witness and confusing doctors from giving him the right antidote.

 

The agent taking the witness in is Samuel L. Jackson (playing himself) and no one should mess with this guy. Julianne Margulies is the lead stewardess who is on her last flight before heading off to med school.

 

As the cast dwindles and the flight comes close to landing, there is the pivotal moment that must happen to make every other bad moment in this movie worth sitting through.

 

Are these selections horrible? Well, yes, they are. And maybe the opportunity to make fun of them is the only good thing about these movies.

 

Do you have favorite bad movies?

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.