My Top 5 Halloween Flicks and Treat Pairings
As the 2011 Halloween weekend commences, here are my Top 5 Halloween movie picks, along with these sweet treat pairings.
1) Wait Until Dark (1967)
This stage-to-film picture is one of the greatest suspense films I’ve ever seen, starring Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin, and directed by Terence Young. A trio of menacing crooks devise a series of machinations to retrieve a heroin-filled doll from the apartment of a blind Audrey Hepburn. What unfolds is a meticulous, tension-building thriller leading up to the brilliant final eight minutes – a climax so shocking, Stephen King heralded it the most terrifying screen moment of all time. This role earned Hepburn her 5th Academy Award nomination.
2) Audition (1999)
One of the most viscerally and psychologically unsettling movies I’ve ever sat through, helmed by Takashi Miike. A lonely, middle-aged, TV-producing widower fabricates an audition for a “film”, in the hopes of finding a new love interest. This simple plot reads like your typical romcom, starting off very slowly and very sweetly, but as the narrative progresses, the budding romance takes a lingering turn into obscurity. Miike introduces us to one of the most harrowing scenes of violence captured on film (by my barometer). Much has been said about the feminist revenge fantasy within the film’s subtext – making the movie quite an assault on the human condition.
3) Scream (1996)
The first movie to seamlessly blend equal parts horror and comedy, masterminded by Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson. When the fictional California town of Woodsboro becomes a cesspool for teenage slayings, courtesy of the “Ghostface” serial killer, Sidney Prescott and her chums ponder the “rules” of the horror movie genre as they navigate their way to survival through the real-life horror they’re suddenly living. Satirizing the clichés of the genre, it’s so delightfully meta and pop culture-laden, it’ll have you screaming from terror and hysterics.
4) Casper (1995)
A 90’s childhood gem if you’re waxing nostalgic, and your Halloween plans consist of hanging with a younger crowd. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, a greedy heiress inherits the haunted Whipstaff Manor and discovers the house holds fabled treasures guarded by three mischievous ghosts. Afterlife therapist, Dr. James Harvey, and his daughter Kat, move into the mansion to exorcise the supernatural. But the plan is thrown off course when Kat befriends the not-so-scary, ghostly nephew of the snarky trio. The film offers a touching perspective on the experience of loss, flipping the “ghost story” genre on its head.
5) Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Sinister and unnerving, one of the best horror films of all time. Influenced by the true story of serial killer, Ed Gein, director Tobe Hooper crafted a menacing and disturbing film experience. Five friends road trip through the backwaters of rural Texas, and fall prey to a terrorizing, chainsaw-wielding “Leatherface” and his family of grave-robbing cannibals. The grainy, low-budget cinematography produces a guerilla, documentary-style atmosphere – making the film feel inherently real. It will coax you to the edge of all your deepest, primal fears. Agonizing up until the final frame, this indie classic was hard-pressed to find a distributer because of its gruesome savagery.
What are some of your favorite scary movies?