Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday the 13th

What a powerful, hideous Moon waxes over Edmonton tonight, its eerie glow casting malevolent shadows.

Some of my favourite horror films, in no particular order:

Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931 and 1935)
Even after nearly a century, these Gothic tragedies remain as creepy and chilling as ever:

"For the love of God, for the love of God, now I know what it is to BE God!"

"We belong dead."

Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1978)
Civilization dies, and its decaying corpse is a shopping mall offering false hope of luxuriant survival. If the living were more deserving, they might yet survive the dawn of the dead--but this is not that kind of world, and this is not that kind of film.

Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
More than any other film, Freaks forces us to confront our own deep-seated prejudices against souls who inhabit forms that repulse. The horror comes when we realize that any of us could one day become..."One of us...one of us...one of us..."

Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter, 1987)
What if science could prove that the devil is real? We laugh at the raw panic induced in the frantic victims battling to survive, but does that laughter carry just a touch of hysteria..?

The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2011)
Brilliantly deconstructs the genre while still terrifying you, delivering some genuine laughs, and having the dramatic integrity to follow through on its premise in a way that promises nightmares for years to come.

Five Million Years to Earth (Roy Ward Baker, 1967)
AKA Quatermass and the Pit, it's horror in science fiction drag, with telekinetic Martians playing the role of our ancient devils. Skin-crawling in its deliberate, daylit horrors, insidious and cold; the film that sent me running from the theatre in Leaf Rapids, unable to bear the demonic conclusion. I didn't see the film in its entirety for another two decades.


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