Monday, October 02, 2006

Scary Movie Month

Call it Samhain, All Hallows' Eve, or Halloween, the time is coming when day bows to night, growth wilts to decay. But while the balance lasts, before the cold closes over us, the two worlds mix, and fear, regret, and memory are close. I like to embrace that fear and listen to its lessons. I like to walk in its shadow and re-emerge knowing you've conquered it.

To get you in the mood for the season, I thought I'd share a couple clips from one of my favorite dark psychological movies, The Shining. Stanley Kubrick evokes such an amazing sense of foreboding by combining strange camera angles and powerful, disturbing music. Take a ride with Danny on his Big Wheel.



Since you enjoyed that one so much, I thought I give you a little extra. In this scene, Jack Torrance realizes he is speaking with Delbert Grady, the former hotel caretaker who murdered his daughters (featured in the prior scene), then committed suicide. The Overlook Hotel itself begins to speak through Delbert Grady, insisting that Jack's misbehaving wife and son need "a good talking to. Perhaps a bit more...." The understatement of the scene and the overlay of formality are what makes it so unsettling. (Sorry for the racial slur in there.)



Feel free to share some of your favorite movies of the Halloween season!

17 comments:

anne said...

Shelley Duvall ruined that movie for me...

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely my favorite time of year!

Off the top of my head, the first Halloween movie that comes to mind is actually one I loved as a kid (and likely not going to scare anyone). It's The Worst Witch with Fairuza Balk as Mildred Hubble and Tim Curry as The Grand Wizard. We're talking pre-Harry-Potter here, oh yes.

Oh, how I LOVED that movie when I was a kid. I'm sure to watch it now we'd all have a serious laugh over the 80's cheese oozing from every song! I'd still watch it again if I had an old beta-max. :)

beadinggalinMS said...

My favorite movies for Halloween is the old black and white ones. Creature from the Black Lagoon is my all time favorite. I put it on my netflix list cause I want the kiddos to see it.

Joni said...

Hmm, I don't really watch scary movies because they make me feel, well, scared, and I don't like it.

My brother made me watch The Shining when I was fourteen. I had horrible dreams for months. The lady in the bathtub. Dreadful.
My friend used to say "REDRUM" over and over until I would tell her to stop.

The scariest we get on Halloween is Ghostbusters. Ha

jason evans said...

Anne, yeah, she was definitely a distraction. And not in a good way.

JLB, my wife tells me that our local library has that movie on VHS! Maybe you'd be able to find a copy in yours. :)

Beady, oh yeah, I remember that one well. There was also a version of The Haunting of Hill House done in the 1960's. That is a classic.

Joni, sorry, this flashback wasn't a good one for you. That's mean that they tortured you with The Shining. I work with a person who comes unhinged at the mention of The Ring. I never bring it up, because it really did mess with her head.

normiekins said...

i cannot watch ANY scary movie....the music alone sends me over the edge.....after the movie Halloween....that was it.....i slept with lights on for months....but a psychological thriller like Silence of the Lambs is different ......that's mind altering.....i like that stuff!!!

Reel Fanatic said...

Kubrick was indeed a master at setting and sustaining a mood, and that shines through brightest in "The Shining." .. The one movie that still just creeps me out is Rosemary's Baby

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

I LOVE Halloween, but I hated The Shining only because it scared me so much I couldn't sleep for months. And even to this day, I just can't watch anything with Jack Nicholson in it - not even Lakers games!

jason evans said...

Normiekins, I sure hope you didn't pull up the first video. That music is exceptional. Exceptionally spooky, that is. Silence of the Lambs is a great movie!

Reel Fanatic, thanks for the visit! Yes, Kubrick's skill with mood in The Shining was exceptional. It began immediately with the extreme wide angle photography of the Torrence's car traveling through the Colorado mountains.

Dana, wow, I certainly seem to have struck a nerve with The Shining! I never knew it scarred so many people.

briliantdonkey said...

EXCELLENT topic! I LOVED scarey movies as a kid. I still WOULD if I could find any good ones. I am not sure if they just aren't done nearly as well anymore, or if Me growing up just effects my enjoyment of em. About the only ones recently that I enjoyed at all, were saw I and II. Other than that I can't say Ive seen a good one much less great one in YEARS!

BD

Jaye Wells said...

I liked The Shining even those I typically shy away from scary stuff. The movies I can't handle involve demon possession or ghosts. I've never seen The Amityville Horror but the music alone can give me nightmares. I guess it's the Catholic upbringing--always scared something's going to steal my soul and use it for nefarious deeds.

fringes said...

I'll have to rent this one again. I'd read the book before seeing the movie, but I was really too young to be watching it. I still remember REDRUM.

Bit of trivia: after this movie, Jack Nicholson said he planned on never working that hard again for a film. He's fulfilled that prophecy for better or for worse. Something's Gotta Give? Dreck.

Jeff said...

I think I've mentioned this before, but The Exorcist is the scariest movie I have even seen!

anne frasier said...

jason, i think that's my favorite kubrick movie. so beautifully shot. and i have to agree with reel about rosemary's baby. another great one!

Eileen said...

The Shining Scared the snot out of me when I was younger. So did the Omen movies.

Shesawriter said...

I have to echo The Shining. That movie still scares the crap out of me. Also, there's this Spanish flick titled, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE. I watch it every October. It's a classic ghost story that scares me every time.

jason evans said...

BD, as for modern ones, I really like The Ring. It did have a few hokey moments, but the cinematography was outstanding and the story was well done.

Jaye, that "la, la, la" music in The Amityville Horror was really creepy, I agree. When I was 11 or so, my cousin told me stories from the novel in an effort to scare the crap out of me. I ended up reading it myself a year later.

Fringes, I didn't know that about Nicholson! Very cool. He did such a good job, I'm surprised he wouldn't want to keep himself at that level.

Jeff, The Exorcist is another fine one! (Although I'm sure Jaye wouldn't like it.) I especially like the period in the film when the possession is just starting. Very creepy!

Anne, it's amazing what Kubrick did with bending the images. It just all seems wrong somehow. Something bad is going to happen.

Eileen, I remember when Poltergeist came out. I was around 13, I think. I knew several people who got messed up by that movie.

Tanya, I've never seen The Devil's Backbone! I'll have to look it up. I have a soft spot for traditional ghost stories.