Good Scary Movies

Friday, November 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Today is Friday the 13th, so I thought I would treat our readers to a list of good scary movies for their viewing enjoyment.  Yes, I realize that I posted “Good Horror Movies” a few days ago, but can you ever really get enough of slashers, zombies, and things that go bump in the night?  You may also notice a number of selection which feature our ‘ol pal Jason Voorhees, but I figured it was only appropriate considering the date.

And as an extra bonus, here’s a little date-specific trivia for you.  The fear of Friday the 13th is known as paraskevidekatriaphobia.  Assuming you can figure out how to pronounce it, maybe it’ll win you a bar bet or something.

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Now on to the list of good scary movies

Friday the 13th (1980) – The film that launched a franchise, Friday the 13th was shot on a budget of $550,000 and directed by Sean S. Cunningham.  The tale of a mother on a revenge-fueled killing spree, it would go on to make over $59 million around the globe.  The Harry Menfredini score would become instantly recognizable, and cast member Kevin Bacon would later become a star.  Countless sequels would follow.

Evil Dead Trap (1988) – When a Japanese television host urges viewers to send in home movies, she receives what appears to be a snuff film shot in an abandoned warehouse.  So what does she do?  Get her television pals together and head to investigate, of course.  Predictably, they start getting murdered one by one.  One scene is especially memorable, involving a tied up woman, a tripwire, a crossbow, and one big-ass blade.  In true Japanese fashion, the film only gets weirder as it goes along.  And wait until you get a load of the killer.

Friday the 13th Part III (1982) – This film is notable for three things.  Firstly, it’s the sequel where Jason dons his iconic hockey mask.  Secondly, it was shown at theaters in 3D, and those cheesy straight-at-the-camera moments remain intact on DVD.  And finally, it features what I consider to be the greatest death in slasher history, as Jason and his trusty machete encounter a guy walking upside down on his hands.  Yikes!

The First Power (1990) – I ended up ditching my senior prom and going to see this supernatural horror flick instead.  Sure, I didn’t get laid that night, but I did get to bask in the glory of Lou Diamond Phillips, and that’s something you can’t put a price tag on.  He plays a cop who sends a serial killer (Jeff Kober) to the death chamber, but the Satanic madman (known as The Pentagram Killer) is given a second chance by Lucifer for services rendered.  Back from the dead, the psycho goes on an unholy rampage, with revenge against the cop a top priority.  Look for genre favorite Bill Moseley in the role of “Bartender.”

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) – Corey Feldman appears as Tommy Jarvis, a character who would return in several sequels to do battle with Jason Voorhees.  This time around, he’s a cute kid who loves horror movies and special effects.  When he and his family (not to mention the teens renting the lake house next door) run afoul of Jason, it’s up to little Tommy to save the day by shaving his head and looking really creepy.  The best Friday the 13th film in my opinion, as the script is solid, the kills are top-notch, and Crispin Glover stars as one of the victims.

Jeepers Creepers (2001) – Justin Long and Gina Phillips star as a brother/sister duo who run afoul of a supernatural creature while driving home from college.  The 30’s-era song “Jeepers Creepers” is used to great effect throughout the film, and the killer’s hulking rustbucket of a truck is especially menacing.  A solid outing from director Victor Salva, and Justin Long brings his usual amount of charm to the role of the doomed Darry Jenner.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) – Tommy Jarvis returns to once again battle Jason, but this time he’s all grown up.  After accidentally resurrecting the killer (with a little help from Mother Nature), Tommy teams up with the sexy daughter of a local sheriff to save a summer camp filled with kids and put Jason to rest once and for all…or at least until the next sequel.  Alice Cooper provides a song for the soundtrack, and Jason gets to square off with a number of pistol-wielding cops.  Yeah, like those gun will do them any good.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) – There’s nothing supernatural about the pitiful madman portrayed by Michael Rooker (an OGM favorite), but that doesn’t diminish the sheer terror of his actions.  He and his pal Otis (Tom Towles) rape and murder anyone unfortunate to catch them in the mood, and even Otis’s teenage sister isn’t entirely safe.  Highly controversial upon its release, the film is loosely based on the life of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.  Not for the easily disturbed.

Jason X (2002) – After being frozen in the present, Jason and one of his would-be victims are thawed out in the year 2455 by a group of space students on a field trip to the polluted and abandoned Earth.  Taking them back to their ship, Jason thaws out in no time and picks up right where he left off.  A novel twist on the genre, and it’s not nearly as cheesy as it sounds.  Cool kills and hot women – what else could you want from a Friday the 13th film?

The House of the Devil (2009) – As of this writing, The House of the Devil is still playing in select theaters across the country, so you’ve got some options if you’re looking for a good scary movie (including The Box, Paranormal Activity, and Saw VI.)  On the eve of a lunar eclipse, a young woman answers a babysitting ad.  Turns out there’s no baby to watch over, and the couple who placed the ad are definitely up to something.

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Just in case you’ve already seen all the good scary movies listed above, I’ve also included a few links to other OGM posts involving horror movie recommendations.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 13th, 2009 at 12:37 pm and is filed under Good Movies, Thoughts on Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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