Evolving from Slasher Thrills to Sublime Thrillers ~ Part 2

By | Begun 03/14/2009 | Updated Jan 2013
Posted in Cross Cuts


Happy Friday the 13th! Today we pick up where we left off in Part One. If you’re coming in late, I’m recounting the list I provided the friend of a friend: he’s a grandfather who’s 16-yr-old granddaughter loves to watch “scary movies” with him. To his distaste, however, she defines these exclusively as being the type of slasher flick being celebrated this very night, and he sought suggestions for more substantial ~ though equally thrilling ~ fare.

We’ve already discussed Bound, Frailty, Fire in the Sky, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Shining (King’s miniseries remake), and Runaway Train (see part one for details).

Let me restate: The girl scout in me remains dismayed that minors nowadays seem to see such R-Rated films as a matter of course ~ but that’s me, and it’s a different world than when I was 16. Nevertheless, I implore any guardian to see any film before granting access. Some of these films are, intrestingly, PG or PG-13, but be sure to check the ratings. And in any case, these films are generally not for any degree of delicate, kapish?

That said, let’s see the rest of the list to date!

Se7en ~ Okay, here we go. Off the charts grisly, absolutely vicious, but it’s all after the fact. The only thing we actually see happen is a shooting common to Gunsmoke. And totally worth it for the message ~ especially, I could argue, with a young adult, as in this case. Just presents the unadulterated expression of each deadly sin ~ it’s not pretty, but neither are they. Could actually produce some excellent drive-time conversation…

The Mist ~ Stephen King creature feature, low budget but well done. And it has Toby Jones, so you can’t go wrong there. 🙂 My friend Travis called it “a horror movie for grownups”; he was right. I was thinking, “This isn’t all that scary…??” until I looked down at my needlework and instead of seeing the word “green,” I’d spent ten minutes stitching the word “gren.” I put the project down, which turned out to have been a wise move…

Alien and Aliens ~ The first is suspense’ll-kill-you all the way, the second is feelin’-faint-overwhelming-fear shoot-em-up. No sex, just scary monster gore.

The Thing ~ John Carpenter’s 1982 remake. Watched it alone at 2am, scarred for life. Just kidding ~ only eight years. 😉 The creature really is first-class gross, but nothing worse than a slasher flick.

Predator ~ Nothing traumatic to kids these days, I’d imagine, regarding the violence ~ some gross after-the-fact evidence, tough-guys hollering offscreen when their number’s up ~ but the suspense and the adversary are utterly delicious. I nearly fainted when I heard the splash…

Invasion of the Body Snatchers ~ I’m partial to the 1980 version (oh look, there’s Veronica Cartwright from Alien again…), but the original (’56) is great, too, for pure suspense. Skip the Kidman/Craig variation (The Invasion), but the Tilly/Whitaker iteration (Body Snatchers) actually wasn’t bad at all.

And of course The Ring, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, The Blair Witch Project, and The Fly (Goldblum version ’86). The Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon are wonderful, of course, but they’re more psychological and don’t bring the sense of personal jeopardy to the heights we’re trying to reach today.

Sleep well!

 Update 2013: Mama. That is all. >shudder<

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