When someone recently asked ‘Katherine, can I send you some candy and a book?’, what on earth do you think I possibly replied?
There was a teeny catch - well, actually a few (and yes, luckily I knew the sender); there were some rules to this 'Wicked Reads' Halloween campaign...
I won't tell you the books but I WILL tell you the candies: they were TWIZZLERS, SOUR PATCH KIDS, SNICKERS, JOLLY RANCHERS, & SWEDISH FISH.
Which would have you have chosen?
I was hoping for a gory, bloody read, and my guessing wasn't too bad (I nearly matched the book to the candy I wanted!). I did get one of the books I hoped for though - 'There's Someone Inside Your House', by Stephanie Perkins - because I wanted to write a creative post about my favorite slasher/horror movies.
'There's Someone Inside Your House' is a YA thriller-horror of the slasher variety; someone is killing teens at the high school, so naturally the list is where my head went to...
I used to work in film production (I have a BA in film) and I had the devilish delight of working on a whole slew of 'highly-rated' and so-much-fun-to-make horror movies during my illustrious film-making career.
This is my favorite movie-watching season so this just had to be done!
*MY ULTIMATE MUST-SEE HORROR-SLASHER MOVIE LIST*
*I do give some details about the movies away but not too much; you may know some of these, yes?! Click on the titles to take you to the movie links on IMDb after you have read my blurbs:
HALLOWEEN (1978) - This really is the penultimate classic teen slasher movie, and it stars The Scream Queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis. Michael Myers has escaped a mental institution and is on the loose in Haddonfield on Halloween night. Jamie Lee plays Laurie, and this movie made her a star. You won't forget that ominous soundtrack, and you won't get that masked face out of your mind.
*Subsequent 'Halloween' movies (not talking about the recent installment) weren't quite as good, but do watch the second one right after the first for full effect.
FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) - This started yet another horror movie franchise (and again didn't expect to), but this time the star wasn't even in the original/first installment. Everyone seems to know about Jason Voorhees terrorizing the campers who come to Camp Crystal Lake, but this 'campy' debut in the series is one to watch because of how it's a little different from the ones that follow. The deaths are gory, there's lots of blood, and you will probably recognize only Kevin Bacon as one of the actors who went on to anything after this.
*Again, the second installment is alright too, as is the third; the Jason character has a metamorphosis in the films, but after that, the killings get to the point where they are laughable or gratuitous. The actor who plays Jason believes he has the highest body count of any horror actor, and takes great pride in doing his role.
SCREAM (1996) - A movie that turned the entire horror genre on its head, coming from the horror-movie making legend Wes Craven (of 'A Nightmare of Elm Street' fame), 'Scream' has its costumed killer targeting a group of teens by using the 'rules' of horror movies as his 'code'. Like Hitchcock's 'Psycho', when its star is killed off very early on, Drew Barrymore is the first to go, which totally threw the audience through a loop. This movie really is genius, and because it comes from one of the horror masters, there are gems in here (humor, pacing, the script, references to other movies), that would otherwise fall flat with another filmmaker.
*Inspired one of the most recognizable Halloween costumes (the 'Scream' mask) I can think of.
PROM NIGHT (1980) - Hot off her 'Halloween' success, Jamie Lee Curtis decided to take on another horror, shedding the veneer of being the vulnerable screamer. This time she's prom queen, and one of a small group of teens who covered up the accidental death of a friend six years ago. Naturally it's the night of the high school senior prom and what better occasion than this for a masked killer to knock off these teenagers who need to pay for what they allowed to happen to their friend all those years ago.
*Features some excellent disco tracks, rad dance moves and fashion.
THE SHINING (1980) - This film upped the ante when it came to horror because of all the perfect ingredients. First of all, its A-list director, Stanley Kubrick, was a master filmmaker, and he employed a brilliant cast, including Jack Nicholson in one of his most unforgettable roles. Based on the haunting book by one of the most profilic horror writers of our time, Stephen King, ‘Jack Torrance’, his wife and child, head to the deserted Overlook Hotel (could there ever be a more memorable movie setting too?!) to be ‘caretakers’ in the off-season and so Jack can write. But his descent into madness, played so well by Nicholson, directed perfectly by Kubrick, is captured on film and it’s movie perfection.
*Stephen King wasn’t too impressed with the adaptation, despite this being regarded as one of the best movies of all time, and one of the best of his book adaptations.
**Considered a ‘slasher’ movie because of the famous axe swinging (that axe lives here in Seattle at the ‘MoPop’ at the Horror Exhibit).
SHREDDER (2001) - Last but not least, I thought I’d include this straight-to-DVD slasher-horror movie that I worked on, quite a few moons ago now. It’s not great, it’s actually funny in parts, and it’s aimed at a teen audience, but I would have to say it was one of the craziest movie-making experiences I ever had. We filmed it up at Silver Mountain, Idaho, and the majority of it was filmed at night; standing in the snow for hours in the middle of the night making movies is a cold business (and we made a bloody mess wherever we went). I took the gig because I had friends working on it, and I wanted the challenge of working on a movie in the snow and on a mountain, and I was pretty stoked at myself.
Movie-making is fun, but it’s HARD! I worked on movies for about 10+ years.
*There’s nothing quite as funny as taking breaks with actors with ice picks in their backs...
I hope you enjoyed my list; are any of these new to you? What’s your favorite?
I’ll be finishing off my book right now; thank you to Penguin and the Wicked Reads campaign for the goodies and my signed copy of the pretty book you see below!