HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! In the spirit of all things ghoulish and scary I thought I’d talk about my favorite scary movie. I don’t like the torture porn that is the Saw franchise. I like ghost stories. A good scary movie has you hiding under your covers and sleeping with the light on. A good scary movie shouldn’t make you want to vomit. A good scary movie is the kind of movie that creeps into your brain and convinces you that there really is a spirit living under your bed about to grab your ankles.
Now, before I reveal my two favorite ghost movies I would like to add a disclaimer. I know a lot of you will probably site some foreign or never heard of ghost story that far surpasses the chill factor of my top two. I don’t care. You can be a cinema snob and write a ten page comment about why The Orphanage is the best ghost story ever told. Here’s the thing, sub-titles aren’t scary. I will never be scared if I have to read a translated version of what the actors are saying. Go ahead and pirate all the indie and French speaking horror flicks you want, but on this blog, if they don’t speak English, they ain’t getting recognized. Got it?
My number two favorite ghost movie is The House on Haunted Hill, the 1999 version, not that lame piece of crap they tried to pass off as scary in 1959. The movie is about a rich couple who are trying their damnedest to kill each other. Why don’t they get a divorce? Duh, money. So the wife wants to have her birthday party at an old sanitarium, because really, what socialite doesn’t dream of one day scaring the bejeezus out of her friends in a place where twisted medical experiments were once performed. She writes up a guest list but the looney bin, I can say looney bin because I’ve been a guest before, alters the list. They get to the house, the house locks them in, and the ghosts start messing with everybody. You see, when the sanitarium was a place to house the criminally insane and not a birthday palace, the patients revolted and killed the medical staff because they took offense at being tortured. I know, some people just don’t know how to have fun. So the ghosts, and a few scheming guests, kill off all but two of the party goers. It is brilliant. It is scary. And I nearly peed my pants when I saw it in theaters.
The best ghost story ever translated to celluloid is The Others. How many of you expected that ending? If you claim to have seen that coming, you are a liar. A ghost story told from the perspective of the ghosts, BRILLIANT. I had one problem with it. What’s up with the dad? Is the dad alive or dead? I think he’s dead, but his spirit is lost after finding out his wife killed herself and their children. Those books filled with pictures of dead people were creepy on a whole new level of creep. I know that was a tradition and all back in the day, but I can’t be the only one who thought that was seriously twisted. And the three people who come to work at the house, what the hell was their deal? They weren’t sent by someone to ease the Nicole Kidman and kids ghosts to the afterlife. They were just there to clean up after the ghosts? Or were they there to assert their claim on the house? I don’t know, but The Others is the best ghost movie ever made. End of story.
Now, feel free to leave your comments. I need some new ghost movies to make me afraid to close my eyes tonight. It is Halloween after all and no Halloween is complete without a closet and under bed search before climbing in for the night. Yes, I am 32 and yes, I’m afraid of the dark. You would be too if you knew lunatic asylum ghosts were trying to kick you out of your home.