Horror Films. I was raised on Poltergeist, that brilliant 1982 all-American Spielberg special. I first saw it when I was aged around 14, and was riveted from the first few seconds in. The kitchen scene, where Diane turns in a split second to find the dining chairs arranged onto the table, will stay with me forever.
Poltergeist spawned my love-hate relationship with scary flicks. Jaws still rates as one of my all time favourite films, but it’s a different kind of horror. Poltergeist introduced me to the supernatural, the paranormal. As a young teenager living in a suspiciously spooky house, my mind ran riot about the unseen and the unknown. I had many creepy encounters in that place and so any films featuring spooks, ghouls, ghosts and poltergeists, just impressed in my own young mind that those experiences were real. With the benefit of hindsight, however, I dare say that my 14 year old adolescent self may have been more than a little prone to a bit of self-perpetuating spooky drama.
BUT – here I am many years later, still feeling the thrill of anticipation that this is scary movie season. There will be more horror on the telly. There will be a timely horror release at the cinema. I still rate The Sixth Sense as one of the best ever scary films first seen at the cinema. Oh how I love a film that makes me watch through my fingers! I swear that as I get older, I’m more of a scaredy-cat.
Gory films don’t really appeal – I can do without the blood and guts. However one of the other films which I grew up with is Halloween, the original of course. I remember watching some of that from behind the sofa…grisly, gruesome, blood thirsty, freaky, terrifying, head-fuck…..how I love it though.
No, most definitely the films which get me a-shivering and a-shaking are the ones which feature stories about ghosts and the supernatural. I’ve already mentioned a couple but there are more which also stand out for me; The Omen, The Others, The Ring, The Orphanage, The Woman in Black, The Shining……oh dear God, The Shining……freaks me out every time I watch it, and I know exactly what’s coming. Freaks. Me. Out.
On 29th October, Backyard Cinemas are hosting an outside screening of The Blair Witch Project – in a Bristol cemetery. Am I tempted? You bet. Not sure if the atmosphere will be lost or heightened by the five hundred or so other spectators but it would be an interesting experience.
Have you got any recommendations for scary films? I’d love to know.
By the way, I didn’t want to mention it but I think you should know………………
There’s something standing behind you