I bloody love scary things. The beauty of them is that if they’re not scary they are at the very least quite funny. Cheesy horror, stupid horror, vintage horror, and ridiculous horror, but the rarest to find is ironically scary horror. The horrifying type of horror that makes you want to sleep with a knife under your pillow, or to have your house and yourself blessed, just in case some big bad is trying to possess your ass. So, after my many endless and not always fruitful endeavors into the deep dark realms of potentially scary films, these are my top ones (in no particular order).
I probably should mention that a few of these films don’t fit into the horror genre, but it doesn’t negate the nightmares I have had after watching them. Lost Highway, one of David Lynch’s notoriously weird cinematic masterpieces, Lost Highway is a complete and forgive me for using this word – mindfuck. In the entire film I have no idea what’s really going on, and my brain hurts every time I try to get my head around it, but the terrifying thing about this film is a character in it known as The Mystery Man. He is a creepy entity that shows up sporadically throughout the film, and no one knows how or why. There are many theories on his presence, one of the main ones being that he is meant to represent the Devil. Either way, this man’s face still forever haunts me, and I am definitely not the only one.
House of Wax
Okay so I’m not going to lie, I only watched this in order to watch Paris Hilton’s hilarious death scene. But regardless of some of the terrible acting, it still makes a fun and chilling watch. Despite its crappy ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, it really is all you could ask for in a horror film. Including but not limited to (SPOILERS) Lip Super-Gluing, ankle snipping, encasing live people in wax, skin peeling, creepy Buffalo Bill type murderers and decapitation. It’s a true gore film with a creepy element that not many gore films manage to accomplish. Plus wax figurines just give me the wiggins, you won’t catch me at Madame Tussaud’s any time soon.
The worst thing about this, is that it’s a documentary. A real life event that genuinely happened, despite the downright spine tingling terror it entails. If you’re not aware of the Jonestown Massacre, then I highly suggest watching it. The gist of it is, this crazy guy Jim Jones (think Fred Phelps on acid) created a cult called the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project which resulted in the simultaneous suicide of over 900 people. The worst thing is that some people actually managed to escape but others weren’t so lucky. Most committed suicide via cyanide of their own freewill. Just shy of this happening there were five murders committed on Jones’ command. The events at Jonestown constituted the greatest single losses of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the incidents of 9/11.
This documentary is definitely in the same vein as the Jonestown massacre. A scary religious cult that resulted in a mass suicide (much lesser numbers with this one, however). Heaven’s Gate believed that the Earth was about to be ‘recycled’ and that they needed to end their lives as they thought their bodies to be only vessels and once they committed suicide they would move on to greener pastures. Think heaven but with more alien life. What I find extra creepy about this is that authorities found the dead lying neatly in their own bunk beds, faces and torsos covered by a square, purple cloth. Each member carried a five-dollar bill and three quarters in their pockets– said to be for interplanetary toll. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic shoes, and armband patches reading “Heaven’s Gate Away Team”. Just…what? I think what terrifies me most about these two shockumentaries is that people in this world actually believe such things and were willing to take their lives in the name of their beliefs.
Okay so this film isn’t exactly terrifying, but the concept certainly is. If you consider the baby boom in China, and the issues they’ve had regarding limiting every family to one child, that makes this film all the more real. Not to mention that even if someone were to survive the battle, they would have to deal with the guilt of either having to kill their friends, or watching them die. It’s a lose/lose situation, and it’s horrific.
I probably find this the scariest film of all the aforementioned. Not a well-known film, but to those horror fanatics out there, it’s definitely a must see. This film is presented as a documentary, and it definitely feels really fucking real. This film isn’t portrayed as a horror, even though it is first and foremost. But due to the phenomenal acting and the sporadic yet very well done scares throughout, this film will definitely keep you up at night. Also it’s a film on how the family deals with grief and it’s very moving. I think due to the uncommon style of the film, the connection the audience feels with the characters and the abnormal circumstances that take place, this film is a standalone wonder, and you need to see it now.
Creepy children and even creepier music. I dunno man. This film got to me. The soundtrack is freaking phenomenal, Christopher Young who composed it is notorious for his horror soundtracks but this one was in an entirely different league. Plus these children are scary but are also still kind of…children. It’s hard to explain, most kids in films are pale dark haired girls with big eyes who usually creep about, but in this the children are more lively, and a little more real. I will warn you though, you won’t want to procreate after you watch it.
I started with Lynch, I ended with Lynch. This film is over quarter of a century old and it’s still one of the creepiest known films to this day. It’s supposedly meant to be a film about Lynch’s fear of fatherhood, and he made it when his wife first got pregnant. Imagine being his kid and growing up knowing that this film was inspired by you. Like…cheers dad. I don’t want to go into attempting to explain it, because it’s a kind of ‘see it for yourself’ kind of film. But I can tell you there is a woman who lives in the radiator who sings and has ovaries attached to her face. Or maybe they are ball sacks…I can’t tell.