Popcorn+Halloween=Candy Corn!

Popcorn+Halloween=Candy Corn!

We are in the midst of Halloween weekend and what’s a better way to spend that time than by relaxing with your friends and having a horror movie marathon?

Ah, horror movies. It is a genre of wonderful potential that at its best will leave you speechless and eternally traumatized when the credits start rolling. If you’re tired of obvious choices such as the “Saw” or “Paranormal Activity” movies and are looking for recommendations to spice up your movie list, you’re in luck. We at the Clog, with our impeccable taste, have compiled a  list of well-received horror movies that will appeal to various horror moods. Without further ado, here are our Halloween movie recommendations:

REC (2007)

REC” is a fantastic Spanish zombie flick directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza. The movie revolves around Angela Vidal (a TV reporter) and her cameraman, Pablo, who follow a squad of firemen to film their rescue of an old woman who is trapped in her apartment. Of course, the woman is not what she seems and she attacks the firemen. Soon after the incident,  the TV crew, the fireman and the rest of the apartment tenants discover that they are trapped within the apartment complex and have to find a way to escape.

“REC” is an excellent movie for thrills. The actual plot and the characterization aren’t the best, but the movie excels in drawing out long, tense moments and frightening you when you least expect it. It also perfects the camera style popularized by “The Blair Witch Project” in which we view the movie through the “lost footage” of Pablo’s camera.

Let the Right One In (2008)

Let the Right One In” is a Swedish vampire film directed by Tomas Alfredson. It is an adaptation of the novel (by the same name) written by John Ajvide Lindqvist. The movie follows Oskar, a 12-year-old boy who befriends Eli, a young girl who recently moved into his neighborhood. However, Oskar soon realizes that Eli is a vampire who is responsible for multiple murders that have been taking place in the town.

If “REC” is an adrenaline rush, then “Let the Right One In” is the opposite type of horror movie. There aren’t many “ jump out your chair” scares; instead the movie slowly builds up a sense of dread from the somber ambience that surrounds the town of Blackeberg and the careful, but depressing character studies of Oskar and Eli.

There is also an American remake of “Let the Right One In” called “Let Me In” directed by Matt Reeves. It’s a pretty solid remake, but we personally thought that the original had an incredible atmosphere particular to the setting of Blackeberg that was somewhat lost in translation.

The Thing (1982)

If you missed out on watching John Carpenter’s classic in theaters (shame on you), no worries. The movie is still incredible even if you watch it on a small laptop. The film takes place in an American research outpost in Antarctica where a team of twelve men discover a Siberian Husky being chased by a Norwegian helicopter. The helicopter ends up being destroyed (a Norwegian soldier accidentally drops a grenade near the helicopter in panic) and two of the research team, MacReady and Copper travel to the near-by Norwegian outpost to seek information about the mysterious incident. MacReady and Copper find the base destroyed, with signs that a large creature has escaped from the site. Meanwhile, the Siberian Husky remains on the American base with a hidden secret.

The movie is similar to Alien” in how successfully it manages to achieve a sense of isolation and the constant impending danger of a creature that seems impossible to destroy. Carpenter develops the growing sense of paranoia between the members of the research team wonderfully and the special effects are still impressive today.

Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Jacob’s Ladder” is a woefully underrated horror film directed by Adrian Lyne. The movie follows Jacob Singer, a Vietnam War veteran who begins to have strange hallucinations that confuse his sense of reality. His hallucinations begin to get worse over time and force him to recall troubled memories of the war as well as of his son who died at a young age. Eventually, Jacob seeks to find the cause of his hallucinations with the aid of fellow soldiers who fought with him during the war.

“Jacob’s Ladder” is an incredibly emotional and powerful film. Roger Ebert eloquently describes the appeal of the film in his excellent review. As a fun aside, Bruce Joel Rubin (writer of the charming “Ghost,” starring Patrick Swayze) was in charge of scripting this film. We guess authors really do have multiple sides to them …

So that’s our list! If you’re looking for a place to rent movies, Blockbuster on 2352 Shattuck Avenue is a good choice. Prices are cheap ($0.99 for most movies) and on Sundays, $0.99 rentals can be discounted to $0.49. Stock up on those horror movies! Rent five copies of “The Thing.” Grab a few bags of candy corn and get spooked!

Image source: Juushika Redgrave under Creative Commons

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