In early September, I'm going to temporarily
be freed from tyranny and oppression
have the house to myself, while my
platonic domestic life partner is out of town. For four glorious days, I will be free to watch all the things I never get to watch when she's home. Please help me scare the pants off myself. Extensive, detailed recipe for appropriate levels of terror inside.
posted by kythuen to Media & Arts (53 answers total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
I love my housemate, but she is burdened with two untreatable personality disorders that make joint movie-watching difficult: 1) She doesn't like horror, and 2) she has a vicious, hair-trigger second-hand embarrassment squick. We hang out a lot most evenings and weekends, and I don't have a TV in my room anyway, so watching stuff on our own is pretty rare. We generally agree on tv shows, but movies are harder. (Probably someday she will post looking for recommendations of satirical cartoons with squeaky-voiced characters or anime series' she can watch when I'm out of town.)
Things I like that make her flee the living room:
- Romantic comedy
- Scenes that involve characters expressing human emotions in words (I think that may be taboo on her home planet)
For the purposes of this post, I'm looking for recent horror movies that are actually scary. I've been a horror fan since childhood, so my bar is set pretty high. Anything that can be referred to as a classic of the genre, I've probably already seen.
I was going to list the movies I've really enjoyed in the past, but I think it might be more useful to describe a few scenes that I've found memorably spooky or terrifying:
1) That final bit of The Blair Witch Project, with the guy just standing still in the corner. I think what got to me about that was that he was a character, one of the protagonists, who got taken over and incorporated into the horror in just the brief few moments when he was off camera. While I really wish this had been a better movie, I like the way it managed to scare me with the stuff I didn't see as much as the stuff I did.
2) In the Paranormal Activity movies, there are these occasional camera shots of something like... a pot on a pot rack that just starts swinging, independently, when either no one is in the room, or the person in the room is looking in another direction. Also the bits where someone on camera just stands, slowly swaying, next to the bed of someone who's sleeping for hours, clearly possessed or entranced or SOMETHING. There's a lot about these movies I didn't really like, but those bits scared me. Subtle, but CREEPY.
3) In Aliens, I really liked the way every piece of the puzzle revealed just a bit more wrongness, so by the time the team realized the thing that had happened was still happening, you were already at a crescendo of YIKES.
4) Pretty much every iota of the atmosphere in Pulse (the original. Actually, the original and the remake. It's the background of grey, quiet, rising dread and the increasing lack of sense in the world. "A gradual decrease in people until one day the streets are desolate and empty," according to slantmagazine.com.
5) I kind of class disaster movies in with horror movies sometimes. I really like apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic horror - World War Z (the movie) was a lot of fun. Things going catastrophically wrong really fast is a cool horror/disaster movie theme for me. I'm going to see Into the Storm this weekend, because: Killer tornadoes! What is not to love?
I could go on for a really long time. But basically, I like creepy things that wig me out. I don't mind gore, but it's not a priority. I like monster movies, but I prefer the kind that try really hard not to show you the zipper on the back of the monster costume. I prefer late 20th-early 21st century production values, even though a lot of my favorite movies are much older. I want some element of either paranormal or sci-fi in my horror; for the evil that regular human men (and women) do, I can just watch the news.
Bonus points for interesting, fun, or memorable characters who do more than just raising the body count at the end.
Some things I don't want:
1) Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, or Michael Myers type movies. I've seen them all, and they don't scare me anymore
2) Stephen King movies, which somehow seem to universally suck (with a few notable exceptions like The Shining).
3) Torture-porn/body horror like Saw (etc.)
4) The Cabin in the Woods, which I've already seen, and which was too meta to scare me.
5) Serial killers. My housemate actually watches those with me, so I'm up to date.
6) Animal attack horror like Cujo, or like Jaws (which was a perfect movie in ever way, but which I have seen forty billion times)
7) Horror/disaster movies that don't take themselves seriously. (I've seen, and loved, Shaun of the Dead and its cohort, but that's not what I'm looking for right now.)
I know I've been really specific here, but these are all guidelines - if there's something you really loved that doesn't seem to fit, I'd still be happy to hear about it, just in case. I have FOUR GLORIOUS DAYS AND NIGHTS to fill. Thanks in advance, AskMefites!