“WE ALL GO A LITTLE MAD SOMETIMES,” “YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT” AND “COME PLAY WITH US” are some of the most memorable one liners in cinematic history and they come from arguably the best horror films ever made. They also happen to come from three of the genre’s we at WKF love the most. For the movie buffs, reading the punchlines, you already know which we are referring to. For the rest of you and in the spirit of All Hallows’ Eve, here’s a trip down nightmare lane and a hope this will put you, as it has for us countless times now, in the mood to revisit these classic pics.

Considered as both the best suspense and horror film of all time and always part of the top listers, Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock was our first real encounter with the genre way back when we were teens stuck at home alone on a saturday night watching cable tv. The slow-paced, often wordless scenes, the tension, the awkward, uncomfortable everyone-is-suspect convos and the twisted mother-of-all plot makes for a truly enjoyable viewing time and time again. Most of all though, for us, it is the masterful handling of the camera by Hitch that makes this movie our all-time favorite.

Not unlike Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller Jaws brings something visually brilliant to almost every shot of this widely popular movie. For us though, it is the fact that we’re watching a movie about a killer shark, which appears only 81 minutes into this 124 minute flick. This is actually due to the prop shark’s problematic breakdowns. But for the young Spielberg and his crew, they reworked the script and improvised camera tricks where the conjugation of the music and only glimpses and parts of the shark would be shown onto the screen, utilizing these unfortunate filming circumstances and making this picture much more nail-bittingly tense than excepted. We also love the overlapping oft-funny conversations in many of this film’s scenes which can only be enjoyed and caught by the repetitive and concentrated viewing of this classic American chiller. 

The Shining is probably the most talk about, wildly debated, parodied and hat-tipping horror movie of them all. Heck, they even made a documentary, Room 237, which gathers many of the incredible theories surrounding the film and more specifically, the notoriously harsh, brilliant and perfectionist filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s (who happens to be our favorite director, obvi) intentions. This is the movie loathed by Stephen King, the famous author behind the story as well as practically all the cast and crew and more specifically Shelley Duvall, the actress playing Wendy, the wife of the maniac, but we digress… In this haunted house meets slasher meets family drama movie anything can happen. Nothing is linear or makes any, actual, narrative sense. Yet it isn’t a Lynchian fantasy. We love the indelible images that only a true master could envision, such as large sweeping mountain views together with a surreal hedge maze, cascading blood out of elevator doors, twin eerie child sisters, a room number, the sound of a big-wheel on carpet vs. on hard floors and the now classic “wednesday” on a black screen…

Oh and did we mention that these movies happen to have the most memorable scores you’ve ever heard, immediately recognizable from the very first notes? You know they do.

Here are three that we give a “special mention” to given their top notch credentials and influence on our collective minds and the film industry:

William Friedkin’s 1973′s The Exorcist, still considered the most frightening movie of all time and certainly the best about satanism.

John Carpenter’s 1978′s Halloween defined the slasher sub-genre which flooded the industry including this movie’s bad sequels and  franchise. Yet in this classic baby-sitter’s nightmare, only 4 persons die.

George A. Romero’s 1967′s Night of the Living Dead is a bleak, feverishly efficient flick about the lack of humanity in Man and a chilling metaphorical tale of revenge for the downtrodden and oppressed. Also, at the origin of all things zombies as we know them.

Below, are some stills and scenes from our three favs for you to be enticed or reminisce with a smile.

May your day be an artsy, spooky one.

psycho

jaws

theshining

 


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