Mary Cheung, Head Illustrator
Looking for a scare on Halloween weekend and not sure what to watch? Here are some recommendations.
Stephen King’s novel based movies are classics. If you feel the itch to watch some Stephen King films, I recommend watching “Carrie” (1976) which is about a girl with special telekinetic powers, who gets bullied by her peers and has an overprotective religious mother. It stars Sissy Spacek and features John Travolta.
“The Shining” (1980), another Stephen King written film, is directed by Stanley Kubrick. “The Shining” stars Jack Nicholson, whose character goes crazy psychotic from either supernatural forces or plain cabin fever. Either way, this film has a lot of great imagery. “Ju-on” (2002) is the original Japanese film of the 2004 American remake, “The Grudge,” both directed by Takashi Shimizu. The Japanese screenplay was written by Shimizu, which can affect the way the director intended to tell the story. Though the same creepy cat-meowing boy is in both movies, “Ju-on” is a better version that portrays Japanese house culture and what happens when the house is haunted.
“REC” (2007), a Spanish foreign film, is worth watching with a friend or two. A group of tenants, a news reporter and her cameraman are locked in the building where one old lady spreads an aggressive disease by biting people. The reporter investigates where the source of the disease is coming from, meanwhile trying to run away from infected and possessed victims.
Another house-haunted movie is “Poltergeist” (1982) written by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper. “Poltergeist” could make you squeamish about seeing static on your TV screen or bright lights from your closet door. Hooper also directed the 1974 version of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and a Stephen King miniseries called “Salem’s Lot” in 1979 about a young writer investigating the invasion of vampires in New England town.
“Evil Dead” (1981), directed by Sam Raimi, is a story about five college students who experience a horrifying vacation in the woods where the demonic undead try to kill all of them. “Evil Dead” stars B-actor, Bruce Campbell, who is portrayed to be no less scared than the viewer is at horrifying and violent creatures coming at him. Certainly it’s the film’s makeup and special effects that make this film an excellent watch.
In the spirit of Halloween, watch the young Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween” (1978) which was written and directed by John Carpenter. This thriller revolves around a murderer who stalks teenage girls as they babysit.
If you’re not into the dramatization of killing, then “Hocus Pocus” (1993) is also a good Halloween flick to watch, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as sister witches terrorizing the town of Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night.