Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Special: The Top 20 Horror Films ... According to The Bru

It's Halloween (though personally I'd rather listen to Helloween). Pumpkins are to be carved, silly costumes are to be worn, and horror films are to be watched this weekend.

To get into the spirit of all things Samhain (and because EVERYONE loves lists), here is the list of the Top 20 Horror Films According to The Bru.

First things first: what constitutes a horror film? For some it is the killer slashing his way through horny teens, for other it's a young girl crawling down the stairs ... upside down. Some would even consider Mariah Carey's acting to be horror. For fear of putting too many restrictions, I have decided to go with the approach of "if it's scary or terrorising in any way, it shall be up for consideration".

Perusing through MacWallace (the new rendition of my long-running film database), it took me about 5 minutes to come up with these titles. That pretty much guarantees that I will regret one or two choices down the line. All in all I am pretty confident that it reflects what I consider to be a good horror film. Some will call me a softie, a mainstream-lover, or too obscure. If for nothing else, this list will achieve its main purpose: to start meaningful conversations about life in general. Oh, and it may give you a couple of ideas for what to see on Halloween ... or in days to come.

Without further ado, here is The Top 20 Horror Films ... According to The Bru (in alphabetical order). Be scarin'!

WARNING! There be spoilers!

ALIEN (1979)
It's Halloween and you decide to have a little get together with your friends. You decide to take it easy this year - you know the money is tight and it's been a loooong year. Besides, one of your best buddies has been sick and just got out of the hospital. So, it was a sensible idea to just have some dinner with a plethora of pumpkin-infused food and a few beverages. Unfortunately, your recently-healed friend is having some stomach issues and starts having seizures right there on the table. Oh, dude ... you have spent  whole day preparing the food, laying the table. But you're so worried that you even call your best friend by his real name - no one has called him that for ages. He is getting worse. This is serious. Hold on, he must be inhaling a huge amount of air, because his chest is rising in an alarming rate. He seems to be in pain. Can somebody call an ambulance, already? Wait ... is that ketchup on his white shirt ... there was no ketchup on the table, besides ... is that a penis?

It's Halloween and you have decided to have a romantic night in. Life has been tough on you - your career has been on the rise and you have developed a nice bit of rapport with your teenage son. It's hard to be a single father, but you made sure that you provided him with a comfortable life. He adores you. With all the pressure at work and at home (also the issue of your pathetic penis), it has always been hard to have a relationship with a woman. But your friend's ingenious little scam worked wonders and the young woman that you met is sensual, pretty, and above all, she wants you all to herself. And tonight is special. Things you have found out about her past bothers you a little bit, but hey no one's perfect. You're not really worried about that at all. Tonight will be special. But, you just keep asking yourself: why did she ask me to buy ultra-sharp wire and accupuncture needles?

CARRIE (1976)
It's Halloween and your school decided to have an early prom - your headmaster has a weird sense of humour and he can't stand the sight of menstrual blood. But who cares? The hottest guy in the whole school asked you out! Yay!! And you got chosen the prom queen! How awesome is that? Yet, those cheerleader whores had to do it again - pig's blood. Don't they know how much you care about your dress and your hair? And they started laughing at you, but all you could hear was your mother's voice. Well, it had to be done - the whole telekinesis thing you've been reading about, it was time to put that to test. Good news is, it may come in handy in future situations. So you walk home, drained in blood, your ears ringing from the sirens of the fire engines. Finally, you're home. Wait a second ... what's with the candles?

It's Halloween and you have been running around the city for hours now. Jesus, how big is Venice? How many canals could they have dug, for crying out loud? And where the hell is your wife? I bet those two British ladies took her to perform some sort of Satanic ritual. You knew something was fishy about them. They have probably made her forget about you already. Or why else wouldn't she answer when you saw her on the boat? Why was she wearing that bleak outfit anyway? It's like somebody died. Oh well, you've both had a rough year. What with your little girl drowning in a pond in the woods. Maybe you should have paid more attention to her - but you did give her some good lovin'. Remember the time before you went out and you did it like rabbits? There was real passion there. But where the hell is she now? Surely she must be in the city somewhere - I've been to every little alley, bridge ... wait a second? Is that the Red Riding Hood?

THE FLY (1986)
It's Halloween and you've just the best sex of your life. Holy crap, this guy knows how to please a woman. He is so agile, so muscular ... so perfect. You like his naivite - he is so passionate about his work and that is reflected in everything he does in life. Remeber the time he showed you the teleporation device? What a load of rubbish, you thought. How can one person be transferred from one part of the room to another? You can't just disappear in thin air and then materialise like nothing happened. But he convinced you that it would work ... and work it did. Holy shit! That was a revelation. Surely your editor will love this story. But, you're really feeling for this guy (I mean who wouldn't. Right, ladies? Multiple o's, hellllooooo). You need to figure out a new editorial angle to actually praise his genius. Oh well, you'll figure a way out. You need reassurance that he feels the same for you. You embrace him fully ... but wait, what is that sticking up from his back?

It's Halloween and the weather is getting really chilly lately. They will wind the clocks back soon - hello darkness, my old friend. So you decided to take the family out to the countryside. The drive was pretty unevenful - you played "Guess the Classical Music Piece" with your wife. Seriously, your life is AWESOME. You unloaded your Range Rover and your wife began making steak - you don't want it to go bad. You sent your kid to grab the kitchen knife while you were unloading the sailboat, it may come in handy. But you have a nagging feeling that it will be completely useful in a death/death situation. In the back of your head you're thinking about those two young man who were with your neighbours. What was up with them? Something fishy, for sure. But then, isn't that one of those boys just outside the kitchen? And why is he wearing a pair of white gloves?

It's Halloween and you are horny. You can't wait to shag your shaggy boyfriend. You have been waiting for this all week. You were incessantly talking to your friends about your fantasies and what you were going to do to him. He has no idea what's about to hit him. You're getting cosy in bed and he leaves to grab something from the kitchen. "Can't we just do it already?" your frustrated inner voice yells. Oh well, you won't do that to him when he comes back. Wait, I think he's coming back. What the hell?! Are your for real, boyfriend? Seriously, you've just put a bedsheet over your head and you still have your glasses on. Classy! What a dork! You hope he will be worth it, so to entice him you show him a little bit of chesticles. Still no movement - seriously, boyfriend, what is wrong with you? Hold on ... is that William fucking Shatner?


It's Halloween and Colombia was much better. Here I am freezing my ballz off in a non-descript Paris banlieu. And nobody told me about how much the boobs cost here?! Jesus! I could have stayed in Bogota and do my business there. Sure, it's not easy to stand around on the streets and sell your body easily, with all the police brutality, but at least I wouldn't have to deal with the likes of Tenia and the Albanian brothers. Shit, that was a close call today. If I don't make some money, Tenia will surely bust my ballz. He was ape-shit in the tunnel. Thank god for that high-class hooker, though! She saved my ass. Maybe I should have raised an alarm, but I can't deal with the police right now. With all my visa issues. Oh, here's a taxi - maybe they'll want to have some fun. Oh crap - it's the Albanian brothers and two skinny white boys. I'll just stand on this side and let them do their thing. I don't want anything to do with people like that. 

It's Halloween and we're strolling through the park in freezing cold - we, Swedes, are a funny lot. Who does that, really? I can't feel my toes and my nipular areas are piercing through 5 layers of protection. Oh well, at least I'm with my best friend. We can talk about how my cousin once opened a can of rotten herring at my grandma's and the poor woman thought she died and woke up in hell. The fact that Uncle Stieg was there for the first time for, oh I don't know, 200 years certainly helped her to come to that conclusion. But, no. I'm more interested in what my best friend wants to say. She told me on the phone that there was this man living on her street who called the police after he found a ... what the ... is that a man hanging upside down from a tree? And what's with the bucket?

It's Halloween and I'm still butt-ugly. I try different looks: I had long hair for a while, but because we haven't invented shampoo yet it was very difficult to maintain it. Well, in a few decades or so I should definitely invest in that shit. The new thing I'm trying is long nails and here's my point: why do we have to cut our nails? They grow naturally and we cut them to ensure that they won't hinder our daily chores. But, come to think if it, my daily (or should I say nightly?) chores can use some long nails. Do you know how hard the Germans' skins can be? Whoa ... you wouln't believe. So yeah, methinks this new look will defiitely help me in my sustenance. I also do not have a, how do I say it, attractive face anyway. So, whatever I do, it will be an improvement. You know what? I'm ravished. Maybe I'll just take a ride in my stagecoach.

It's Halloween and here's a conundrum: I love food, but I can't handle it. I'm not one of those who constantly attaches fatty tissue to his body - one look and you will see I'm literally just skin and bones. My problem is not about weight, it's about handling food in other ways. See, I love children: boiled, roasted, sliced. diced ... I don't care. I have been eating them for centuries. However, lately there has been some shortage. I think it's time I got fed again. But, then again, it's not that I'm short on food ... I just can't handle it. Seeing the food but not being able to handle it is painful. Can you imagine? You're looking at it, but as soon as you want to touch it, your eyes hurt. Pain, I'm telling you. And .. hold on ... something got into my right eye.

PSYCHO (1960)
It's Haloween and I should have been exercising more. What did I do all year? Got into my car, traveled thousands of miles and investigated murders and rapes and disappearances ... seriously, what's wrong with you people? Can't we just get along and occasionally meet at hotel rooms and do stuff we wouldn't dare do to our better halves? This is another disappearance, which I don't think will be resolved so easily. Although, I'm fairly certain that the receptionist guy seemed a little suspicious. Maybe I just want this case to be resolved, so that I can go back to Phoenix and be with my family for Halloween. This must be the house - kinda creepy looking. Maybe the mother will have some interesting tidbits to say. It's a big house. She's probably upstairs. Man, I should have worked out - it will be embarrassing now going up the stairs to her room, out of breath like a d-bag. She'll think I'm a fatty for being out of breath from climbing up those stairs that she easily does everyday. I'll just come down them briskly - it''l be good exercise. Damn, how many steps are there?

It's Halloween and, well ... that was interesting. Guy has always been good in bed - that's what I liked about him. Our sex life is not spectacular, but I don't think one can keep up what Doris describes what she does with her boy-toy for a long time. It is satisfying and whenever I want to I can tell Guy that I want to make love - it's a good feeling to be the instigator in the act. I like that about him. Funny thing is, having been married to him for some time now, I still have wet dreams involving him - the things that I can't still ask him to do. Poor thing, little he has no idea what a vixen I am inside. Having said that last night's dream was a little ... how do I describe it ... unothodox. There were other people, which is not unusual for me, because I tend to fantasise kinky stuff a lot. But before, I had no idea who the others were - they were just faceless people. But last night I saw our creepy neighbours and their friends. Bunch of naked old people is a little too kinky even for me. But the strange thing was, Guy (who doesn't have a lick of hair on his body) felt hairy and too rough. I wonder why?

SE7EN (1995)
It's Halloween and I shouldn't have opened the door. I had already given the last bit of candy to those creepy kids from downstairs. What's wrong with the people in the city? I don't get it. I definietely don't want to bring my kid to life here - we need to go back to our idyllic country life. It's too rough out. And it rains every ... single ... goddamn ... day! Oh well, Det. Somerset looks like a fine man. I think it will be very good for David to have him around, even for a brief period. Who knows? Maybe David can convince him to delay his retirement. I'd like that - we can make our meeting over an omelette in that corner cafe a routine thing. Weekly, perhaps. But, then again, none of that matters. Why is it so dark here? And why can't I feel my toes?

It's Halloween and, holy shit, we have a customer! I've been standing behind this bar, making cocktails and serving drinks to customers that aren't there. I usually hear faint elevator music in the background, but nobody bothers to take a break and taste my tasty drinks. I have worn the same suit, donned the same smirk on my face ... yet all the love I'm getting is an illusion of expectation that someday a new caretaker will arrive. What was the last one's name? The one who murdered his all family? Now, he was a fine fellow - a little high on coke, I may add. His crazy eyes always gave me the creeps. But he was a nice guy to have a drink with. But, forget all of that. Things will change from now on - Lloyd will be serving drinks as before. The thing is though, this new dude ... he kinda looks like the old caretaker, doesn't he?

It's Halloween and I would rather have some sexy time with a lady. I've been stuck in this dingy cell forever, it feels like. It stinks in here, man. Hey guard! Can't you just mop this place up occasionally? I know you guys have a hard-on for that smooth-talking nutso in the next cell over, but c'mon! This is 'Merica, man! Even psychos have rights. And how about sending a little lady here once in a while while you're at it? It's Bodymore, Murderland - I'm sure it won't be hard to find a fine-looking lady willing to please a convict - shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Well, sometimes a man needs to take the matters in his own hands. And in this instance, I think that maxim should be applied literally. OK ... what was her name? Who cares? I remember what she looks like. Here we go - this is me having a little fun. Aw shit, the door ... dude can't a psycho jack off without interruption? I know what I'll do. As soon as you walk over, you will have a little bit of me on your face.

It's Halloween and as far back as you can remember, you have always wanted to be a ballet dancer. Perusing through the brochures of all the elite ballet schools around Europe, this one really caught your attention. Perhaps it was the idyllic setting? Or the school's reputation for churning out amazing talents year after year? No, it wasn't that. See, the brochure had the faces of all the staff - and they looked really friendly. The small copy below their profile pics suggested that they would do their utmost best to ensure that you fulfill your full potential ... and beyond. So you decided to take that long trip and you are about to arrive at the school. Man, it's dark. You're here now. OK, the place looks a little spooky, but hey! Crazy Europeans, right? I'm sure the people will be really nice to me.

TESIS (1996)
Dude, it's Halloween and you've got to see this shit! I mean, this is crazy! On the Fail-Win spectrum, this doubles up on the Win. Just put the tape on and enjoy. A professor gave it to me after class - he said it would help me in my thesis paper. But, man ... this shit is crazy! The special effects, the tension, the acting ... you won't see a better film with minimal budget. What happens? Well, let's watch it, shall we? I haven't seen the ending yet. Here we go. ..... I know she looks familiar - yeah, that's her! I was trying to figure it out who it was. Yeah, she's a good actress isn's she? Here we go. Oh, man look at the acting, the sound effects - it's like he is really cutting through her. Yeah ... wow that's a lot of karo syrup with red dye - how many bottles have they used, do you think? Hmmm ... well, yeah ... hold on ... ummm ... I'll call the police.

THE THING (1982)
It's Halloween and in dog years, by the end of the day I would have already celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Valentine's Day. But does anyone rememebers to give me new treats? No, sir. Here I cam stuck in fricking Antacrtica with a bunch of Norwegian scientists. Are they aware that I have needs! I'm not talking sexual needs, but you know ... being able to run around and stuff. And here I am, being chased by a crazy bunch of them with guns ... on a helicopter! And they are shooting at me! What have I done? I just sniffed around that thing they dug out from underneath the ice cap. Just sniffing my way around it. Sure, I did feel a little pinch and yes I am going through a small existential crisis, but every dog goes through that once in their lifetimes. It's not like I'm carrying a shape-shifting alien parasite inside me, right? ... Right?

It's Halloween and I love my family. We live an idyllic, very white-middle-class existence. I drive my boring Citroen to work and my family loves me. They keep saying I need to take more risks. But, why do I need to do that? It's not like I have anything to prove. I mean, doing something just for the sake of doing it, doesn't that smell of cheap narcissisim? Why should I be judged to do what the society deems "interesting"? Aren't we really here for survival? I like surviving - and I love my family to survive with me. But, this pressure ... just so that I can actually get that out of my head, I'm going to do something crazy. Let's just pull over in that gas station - I'm sure I can think of something. 


JMoCrow said...

Just watched Carrie for the first time on Halloween and WOW...what a letdown!!!! I thought it was beyond bizarre, absolutely disgusting on so many levels and the directing was god-awful. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this is a classic. While viewing this with the other half of Cinewise, plus another film-savvy guy, all three of us bounced between disgust, hysterical laughing, and even boredom. 2 minutes of clapping when she's named Prom Queen? Really? How about that dizzying camera work when Carrie and Tommy are dancing together, going around and around them for a good 5 minutes? By far, the best thing about this movie are the funny lines that later inspired Sir Adam Sandler: "They're all gonna laugh at you!" And you can't forget: "They're going to see your dirty pillows!" HAHA!

The Bru said...

I hear you, JMo (and you too, the other half of Cinewise). I remeber watching this a while back at a horror film festival and there were a group of people laughing all the way through. And I'm pretty sure they were laughing at the same things that you are pointing out. But then, in the last scene, they all jumped up from their seats in unison. That made my day.

All in all, I think I love how naive it is. Some of the metaphors are too obvious, but it is a very subtle film about an abused girl. I find it very touching. Also, has there been a more damning film about women's physiology than this?

As for Brian de Palma ... well, he's always been quite shit. And yes, he's milking as much Hitchcock as he can out of the prom scene, but even for the pure brilliance of split-screen mayhem, it deserves to be in this list.

Finally, I agree with your points to s certain extent and I can't dispute how amateurish it looks. And how cheap. But think about how things may have ended up: apparently De Palma and George Lucas were casting for this and Star Wars at the same time ... with the actors reading for both films. How about John Travolta as Han Solo and Sissy Spacek as Princess Leia? Or Carrie Fisher as Carrie (which kinda makes sense, expect that my right elbow is a better actor than her).

Either way, thanks for the comment. You know how much we love comments. More of them please, it wakes my brain up in the morning!!


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