I considered making one of those suck-ass “scariest movies ever” lists for Halloween. Then I slapped myself on the forehead and said, “Dale, you dummy – your time would be better spent listening to the ‘Suspiria’ soundtrack and eating free candy you found around the office. Perhaps taking a small nap.” And also, there are five zillion of those “scariest movies” lists, and they all have the exact same stuff on them.
But just in case you felt like reading another one, Andrew O’Hehir at Salon has a decent one for you. He limits himself to ten popular favorites and ten offbeat, more obscure choices. I have to say, I’ve seen all but three of these twenty movies, and I fully endorse all of them. In particular, “The Haunting” (from his second list) is an unalloyed classic – the best ghost/haunted house movie ever made – and “The Brood” is Cronenberg’s creepiest movie, which is REALLY saying something.
If you are like me and have seen all the classics, and need a few additional left-field choices, might I recommend:
“Session 9” – an imperfect movie but you won’t soon forget the setting, which is an abandoned and decaying mental asylum that inspired the entire film.
“The Creeping Flesh” – somehow not a Hammer Horror picture, but may as well be. And the premise is completely bizarre and disturbing. Let me summarize it thusly: Evil is personified as a giant-sized, humanoid skeleton that grows flesh when it gets wet.
“Eyes Without a Face” – the kind of bothersome old movie that crawls under your skin and stays there. And in a few places it’s surprisingly gross.
There – I’m off to enjoy my Halloween.