So recently I watched two “horror” films that were allegedly scary according to critics. The Rite and Insidious. The Rite, quite frankly, was laughable. It started out promising (even if it did move a bit slow) and then it went flaccid just before climax. That happens a great deal with movies these days. Paranormal Activity was another one that fizzled at the end. Sadly, Insidious was another one. First, the opening and ending were cheesy, campy, whatever. Second — I was enjoying the movie until they brought in the old lady and she explained “The Further”. At that point it was Poltergeist all over again. Except instead of a mother rescuing her daughter, a father has to rescue his son from “the other side”. The Demon was laughable. Cloven hooves, really? And a friend described the demon as Darth Maul on crack. Yep – that’s about it.
What the hell happened? Does Hollywood not know how to tell a good story anymore? There is no suspension of disbelief – just nonsense that makes no sense. I suppose that in order for some of these films to be scary fun you have to subscribe to the standard worldview i.e. Demons are evil beasties with red skin, horns and cloven hooves and want to mess with humans and make them cry and scream and die. When you don’t subscribe to said viewpoint – these movies just aren’t scary. I found The Ninth Gate intriguing. A lot of people hated that movie. But that’s more along the lines of my worldview. I can relate to Ninth Gate.
For scary try Baby’s Room. For occult-horror fun (notice I didn’t say accuracy since trying to find “occult” accuracy in Hollywood is like trying to find a man who can give birth) try Spellbinder or Susperia. If you want Horror/Sci-Fi Occult Bizarre, try The Eighteenth Angel. I also thought Stigmata was a fun religious thriller. Sorry, I don’t do slasher films or blood and gore. That crap turns me off.
So what are your favorite occult/paranormal horror/thriller movies?