10 Best Horror Movies

Whether it’s a psychological thriller or a blood-splashed slasher-fest, we love a good horror movie. We’ve chosen our favourite horror movies for a frightfully fun night in.

Wolf Creek
Australians have nailed the horror genre, with most based on true events including Picnic at Hanging Rock and Snowtown. Wolf Creek is a true classic, contrasting stunning landscapes with gruesome horror – John Jarratt is brilliant as the backpacker killer with a hauntingly evil laugh.

The Exorcist
As if the book wasn’t scary enough, the vision of Linda Blair levitating over her bed, spewing pea soup and turning her head 360 degrees remains a classic horror moment. This 1973 film followed a tormented priest forced to face his own demons as he tried to exorcise the devil from a 12-year-old girl.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Teen-scream films couldn’t get any respect until Wes Craven introduced us to the dream man of our worst nightmares—Freddy Krueger. One of the most memorable images from this 1984 thriller was seeing a young Johnny Depp sucked through his bed straight to hell.

Which is more horrifying — the shower scene or being introduced to Mama Bates? Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 psychological thriller changed the genre forever and spawned dozens of imitators. Even when you know what’s going to happen, the acting is top notch and confirms Hitchcock is the master of suspense.

The Silence of the Lambs
This 1991 thriller stills has us on the edge of our seats – just try and watch those Buffalo Bill scenes alone in a dark room. Incarcerated serial killer Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) makes the FBI agent played by Jodie Foster his subject and we can’t stop watching.

Rosemary’s Baby
There are no witches — or are there? This stylish 1967 film directed by Roman Polanski kept audiences guessing right to the end about which characters were the good guys and which had gone to the devil. The ensemble cast delivers solid acting and the plot will keep you interested to the devilish end. Plus Mia Farrow’s pixie cut was the original crop.

The Shining
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film about an unhinged man who terrorises his snowbound family still makes for a scary fun-fest. Jack Nicholson’s unhinged performance is one of his best.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Yes, there’s a more recent version, but the scene in the 1956 original where Dana Wynter falls asleep for a few seconds and awakens as one of the pod people sticks in your brain, especially if you’ve ever worked in an office where you felt like the last body left un-snatched.

Friday the 13th
The teen scream slasher flick that launched way too many sequels was pretty darn scary back in 1980 and can still send a chill up your spine—especially when you drive past a lonely lake.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
If being chased all over Texas by a lunatic in a mask made of human skin wielding a chainsaw can’t scare you, what can? This 1974 cheapie launched dozens of imitators—and millions of nightmares.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

August 11, 2013

The Descendants Movie Review

It has George Clooney in it. It’s getting huge Oscar buzz. Everyone is loving The Descendants. Except me…

Expectations are a terrible thing.

I thought I would love The Descendants. After all, Sideways is one of my favourite movies, and this is director Alexander Payne’s first movie since that love-it-or-hate-it buddy road trip flick.

And George Clooney is great. He does fantastic work, most recently in The Ides of March just months ago. I’m a fan. Even if he does look like a real dad here (complete with slip-on shoes) and not his usual stylish self.

But, The Descendants fell flat on me. The premise – an absent father forced to look after his two daughters after his wife suffers an accident – had so much promise. Especially (and I’m not giving away anything that isn’t in the trailer), when you throw in the discovery that the wife has been cheating on him. How does a man deal with all of this?

It may be a dramatic comedy, but the drama was weak and the laughs weren’t there. George running around looking for his wife’s lover felt slapstick and not heartbreaking. I found most of the characters unlikeable, especially the brattish daughters and the tag-along friend (was his character even necessary?). Clooney’s performance as the father, Matt King, is fine, if not bland.

I have to say, one of the final scenes completely broke me down. It’s extremely touching and well played, and almost redeemed the film for me. Plus it’s set in luscious Hawaii – it’s hard not to be swept away by the gorgeous cinematography, if not by the rest of the movie.

Have you seen The Descendants? What did you think?

January 12, 2012