Tag Archive: scary movies


Blair Witch Project

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

In this final week of the Halloween season, I know people are watching their favorite horror movies and getting ready for the Halloween night.

Blair Witch Project Stick FigureOne thing that has fascinated me is the rise of Trunk-or-Treat events. I remember about five years ago seeing a handful of these events and thinking what a great idea that would be. It is a good time for kids to wear their costume again and each trunk can have a different theme with or without a game.

It adds to the fun and festive atmosphere of the season.

I know some people love this aspect. But others love exploring the scary part, the possibility of ghosts and the evil that resides in the human heart. My favorite movies, the ones that I’ve watched once, are filled with scary moments, some ‘gotcha’ moments, and never a sight of the actually villain until near the end if at all.

Blair_Witch_Project PosterPerhaps that explains the popularity of The Blair Witch Project. Released in 1999, the movie purports to be the lost footage of three young filmmakers who go into the woods near a small town in Maryland. They went into the woods purposely to explore the legend of a witch and to see if they can record anything.

Heather, Josh, and Michael are trying to follow a map while searching for signs of this legendary ghost. And what they find are creepy piles of rocks, gooey substances covering their personal items, and stick doll figures. They are followed by strange sounds, lights in the distances, and happenings that cannot be explained.

Because we are seeing ‘found’ footage, it is grainy with a lot of shaky movement. It is a difficult movie to see in the theater. Many people had feelings of nausea while watching the movie. Luckily this does not happen when the movie is watched on a television.

Most of the fear we are watching is tangible, it feels real, it feels as if this is something that could be happening. And that is what makes this movie one of the best in this style to watch. The actors never let us down in their emotional levels – the excitement, the fear, the anger, the resignation. This movie has high ratings along with having been nominated for a Razzie (award for worst movie of the year) which might make a person confused. Is it good? Is it bad?

blair witch posterThe answer is yes to both questions. There are parts that are good, we believe every moment, we believe in the three filmmakers’ fear. And yet, in the after thoughts you wonder why you were scared by what seemed like close to nothing. After all, the person causing all of the fear and terror is never seen. Be aware that there is a lot of swearing and use of the F word. If you are sensitive to this word usage, this might not be the movie for you.

I will never forget what Richard Roeper said about this movie. He suggested that if you want to know if this movie is scary or not, watch it sometime during a dark night, all by yourself in the house.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Gotcha!

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Now that Halloween is near, I am seeing some great Halloween decorations around town and the county.

Ghoulies and ghosts, bats and pumpkins are flying about about or sitting in cute arrangements. We have ghosties to put in our yard and I have started buying candy for that big event at the end of the month. Our church is planning a Trunk-or-Treat event as well.

The leaves are turning and the air smells different. It feels crisp and clear, perhaps this is our version of the Californian sweater weather that I have heard of but never experienced. I know I can go out in the morning with a sweat jacket when I have to walk the dog in the morning and at night. But if I work in the garden during the day, I have to take off a layer.

Trying to find movies I can watch during this time is a challenge. I don’t watch scary movie because they give me nightmares. These movies replay in my head once I shut my eyes which is not always fun. I have to do some serious meditation to keep these movies from sticking. I don’t know how other parents do it. I didn’t let my kids watch the really scary stuff for a long time. My fall back during the season was always Scooby Doo.

The Woman in Black IMDb com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

It’s movies such as The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe that really get to me. These flicks have plenty of “Gotcha” moments that make a person jump and scream a little or a lot. In this movie, Radcliffe is a lawyer sent to close the estate of a deceased client in a far-off English village on the coast. He has to be in her house and anytime the Woman in Black appears, children are going to die. Her unhinged anger at losing a child led to unhinged anger in the after life. Who knew?

What is funny is that I love watching ghost shows such as Dead Files and Ghost Adventures. These people are always going into allegedly haunted places and finding ghosts or evil entities. The things that they say or their actions can be quite frightening. However, when they replay the event you can see how scary or not scary the event might be. You can see if it is real or not. Or as real as it can look; my kids are always telling me how fake these shows are.

The difference between these is the build up to the action. In horror movies, you always know that something is about to happen for a variety of reasons. First, the character is doing something stupid, such as wandering around alone. Second, the music becomes eerie with discordant sounds that sets a person’s nerve on edge. That is when the moment happens. The evil entity jumps out, the mass murderer gets another person, someone disappears or falls through an open elevator shaft.

But in the ghost shows the action never has build up other than a voice over stating that the scene you’re about to see shows some conclusive evidence. There is little music run-up or if there is, it follows a statement before immediately going into commercial break.

Those are the scares I can handle.

slasher movie villiansFreddy, Jason, Michael, zombies, Leatherface, and the Woman in Black terrify me every time. Even when I know they are coming, even when I hear all of the warning signs.

Probably a good thing I am not like the majority of movie goers or horror films would not have stayed so successful.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.