You want to know true fear? The blackest depths of terror and despair? Try having to move to your fifth apartment in less than two years. No cinematic experience can top it, we promise you.
But anyway, happy Halloween and all that. We had this wicked variation on a "Clockwork Orange" costume that somehow involved cool stockings planned, but we’re ankling that in favor of a hot night of once again unpacking all of our worldly goods.
Anyway, some Halloween lists:
â€¢ RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson picks his 10 most shocking movie moments for MSN â€” quite a bit of crossover with Premiere magazine’s "25 Most Shocking Moments in Movie History," though we suppose quite a few of those picks are just obvious and inarguable. Nice call with Altman’s "The Long Goodbye," though â€” we’d forgotten about the Coke-bottle incident, but it was definitely incredibly jarring.
â€¢ Entertainment Weekly, gradually working their way up to being all lists, all the time, offers Marc Vera summing up all of the "of the Dead" movies for you, the magazine staff picking the "20 Scariest Movies of All Time" and Gillian Flynn running down the six frightening, forgotten horror flicks (half behind a subscription wall, but you can see the picks in the right-hand column).
Elsewhere, we never thought of "The Night of the Hunter" as a horror film, per se, but it makes a damn great film for the season. It’s playing at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, and Roger Ebert pulls up his "Great Movie" essay for the occasion.
Charles Purcell at the Sydney Morning Herald takes in the various critical and audience reactions to Greg McLean‘s "Wolf Creek," which just opened in Australia and the UK but which won’t get here until early next year. "Wolf Creek," another goresploitation type, generated enough buzz going into Sundance to get picked up by the Weinsteins, if we’re remembering correctly, before the festival even started. Based on a true story, the film has proudly prompted walkouts:
Unlike many Hollywood films, which use sound and special effects to sweeten it, there’s something shockingly real about the carnage in "Wolf Creek." Unlike films where the killers are Martians or robots, it realistically evokes the terror of being hunted by a fellow human, the shivering fear of the victims, the brutal practicality of the hunter.
The horror sourced from real events – such as being turned into "a head on a stick" – is just as sinister.
On the topic of extreme gore done on the cheap, the LA Times‘ Patrick Goldstein devotes this week’s "Big Picture" to how Lions Gate, coming out of a gangbusters weekend with "Saw II," is currently the coolest kid on the block (Lions Gate, oddly enough, is also distributing "Three…Extremes," which had a quieter opening on 19 screens). The New York Times‘ Dave Kehr liked Park Chan-wook‘s "Cut" sequence from "Three…Extremes" enough to use it as a focus for the socio-political aspects of the "Asian extreme" cinema (we do wish someone would come up with a catchier name for the movement that doesn’t belong to Tartan Films, but we’ve got nothin’). Dave White at MSNBC laments the current state of horror, particularly the recent rash of dire remakes like "The Fog," and Noel Murray at the Onion AV Club interviews John Carpenter, who obviously isn’t feeling so fussy about who remakes his films, but who has some good things to say about the genre:
AVC: It’s odd that the basic visual grammar of horror still works. After a hundred years of cinema, people still get frightened when something jumps out of from the side of the frame, and audiences know to be tense when they see a tight shot of a human head with a little space over the shoulder where something might appear.
JC: I don’t know what it is, but you know, horror stories have always worked on film. It’s where they work. That’s where vampires and ghosts and UFOs are real. They’re not particularly real in life, but they’re real on the screen. It’s the communal aspect of movie-watching. Sitting in the dark. It goes back to sitting around a campfire when we had just come out of the trees.
+ Nothing’s Shocking? (MSN)
+ The 25 Most Shocking Moments in Movie History (Premiere)
+ Beating a ‘Dead’ Horse (Entertainment Weekly)
+ The 20 Scariest Movies of All Time (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Scary Movies (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Six vampire movies with bite (MSNBC)
+ 31 Days of Horror (Not Coming to a Theater Near You)
+ The Night of the Hunter (Not rated) (RogerEbert.com)
+ Up the creek (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ Lions Gate trÃ¨s shriek (LA Times)
+ De-finger the Piano Player (NY Times)
+ I spit on your horror movie remakes, sequels (MSNBC)
+ John Carpenter (Onion AV Club)