October 27, 2016

Scare me, thrill me, trick me

Halloween is upon us presenting the perfect motivation to prank, dress as any character and express yourself any way you see fit. The contemporary version of this Christian holiday has become an international day of celebrating the strange, the magical and spooky ways of the world. This is a list of movies to get you in the mood to enjoy, be inspired and relish the wicked.

5. Vincent (1982)

Tim Burton’s first short is the perfect start to get in the Halloween mood. The brilliant director gives birth to his first outcast character – little Vincent from suburbia. He is charmingly melodramatic when diving into his darkest fantasies. He craves the long lost love and possibility of after life. He imagines dipping his aunt in wax and wishes the world a tad more romantic and gothic than you would expect from a 7-year-old boy.

Burton shares his inspirations came straight from his childhood:

” The films of Vincent Price spoke to me specifically for some reason. Growing up in suburbia, in an atmosphere that was perceived as nice and normal (but which I had other feelings about), those movies were a way to certain feelings, and I related them to the place I was growing up in. I think that’s why I related so much to Edgar Allen Poe…

Vincent Price was somebody I could identify with … and those movies … just the poetry of them, and this larger-than-life character who goes through a lot of torment -mostly imagined -just spoke to me in the way Gary Cooper or John Wayne might have to somebody else.”

So this is the beginning of an animator-turned-director, who’s inspired my desire to express and scribble whatever creatures come to my imagination. Burton gives the word ‘strange’ a cool, independent and unapologetic significance.

His unique manner couldn’t fit Disney’s dogmatic style and thank God! As the world clearly needed a Beetlejuice, an Edward and the only Catwoman character brought to life on the big screen the purrrrfect way.

At least my world did.

hocus pocus

4. Hocus Pocus (1993)

A trio of witches comes back to life on Halloween and wreaks havoc in a small and “not” particularly well-known town called Salem. These deliciously evil sisters, portrayed by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, have one sole purpose – suck the life out of little innocent children. This is the price of beauty and eternal life. Of course! While iPhones do not exist yet, it is still fun to watch the wicked sisters trying to adopt the new ways of the world and delivering a glorious version of I Put a Spell on You. One thing I always wished to get my hands on – Winnie’s book of spells that comes alive when called by its owner. But of course to get your copy you have to know your way around Hell, as it is a personal gift from the Devil himself. Stack up on salt and press play whenever it gets dark enough outside.


3. Halloween (1978)

A classic! Every time I watch this movie pre-Halloween I have to switch some lights on around the house and stop myself from jumping whenever the phone rings. This eerie countdown to the most famous babysitting job in cinema history is a must to watch. For the movie geeks out there – cinematographer Dean Cundey (Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Apollo 13) is among the first to introduce here the Panaglide (a then competitor to the Steadicam). And that is how the audience steps in the killer’s shoes right from the start. The movie has all necessary ingredients to concoct the perfect indie cult horror – killer’s hidden face (always wearing a mask), his heavy breathing (when stalking his victims), the great score (written by the director himself), pretty innocent victims, eerie sound design and a “happy” ending.

the exorcist2. The Exorcist (1973)

Now this is hardcore. I actually read the book when I was 12. It seemed like a great adventure. Reminded me of an Indiana Jones (in this case Father Merrin’s character) with an edge. Then one night I caught the movie on TV… I was never the same. It is often referred to as “the scariest film of all time”. This is a true test to any horror movie lover. A friendly advice: DO NOT watch it alone!

the frighteners

  1. The Frighteners (1996)

This horror comedy, starring Michael J. Fox, is like a sweet sour dessert in this countdown for Halloween. It is not for every taste but has gained a cult following by the true connoisseurs of the horror genre. Produced by Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future) and directed by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) this gem is a mean mix of funny, scary and very very odd. There are some great ideas for costumes if you want to stick to the idea that scary and dark is the way to dress on this particular night. To be enjoyed with Tabasco drizzled popcorn.

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