Recently, fellow indie author and dark fantasy maven, Vashti Quiroz-Vega (@VashtiQV) tagged me on Twitter to list my 5 favorite horror films or my top 5 scary movies. I was excited to list them as it’s not only close to Halloween, but I also love horror films, love spooks and haunts, and I’m all about the supernatural and paranormal. The only problem I found was that, as I started to spool up the hundreds upon thousands of movie titles that could fall into this category, picking became a daunting task. Staring at the screen, my finger hovering over the keyboard, it hit me. It was and would be nearly impossible to list only 5, I love them all in their own special ways!
I thought about certain titles while watching numerous people respond to the tagged tweet with their own, envious of their ability to quickly choose. How could I possibly narrow down such a wide field with a measly five choices? I mean seriously, how do you tell certain ones that don’t cut the mustard and grant others a top spot. Are we basing our decision on anything special or just random picks? See where I’m going with this? If not, hang on.
See, when it comes to scary and horror films I do enjoy my fair share. The only problem is, I factor in so many variables. I could choose “The Fog” as Stevie Wayne’s husky voice urges me to flee to the church on the hill or I could go with the original “Night of the Living Dead” as it remains on loop every Halloween. I could say it’s “Poltergeist” as spirits and kids getting attacked are always good fun, but then again maybe it’s the lonely night and bloodshed of “An American Werewolf in London” or the original “Halloween“.
I noticed as the list grew and grew it would never get done. See, movies for me stir emotions, stir thoughts and ideas. They take me back to my younger days, they remind me of times spent through the years and the people that came along for the ride. I can’t narrow down a single film, but give me a title and I can weave you a tale of when I watched it, who was with me, how I felt at the time, and the snacks that were enjoyed during it. Through the years, favorites have changed, feelings have shifted, and the top five have been reordered.
I can say that “Nightmare on Elm Street” was a personal fav, or that “Friday the 13th” scared me so bad after watching Kevin Bacon take one for the team I refused to sleep in my bed for a week. I can recall “The Thing” made me almost stroke out when a late night HBO airing and watching by my brother with the volume turned up to the max during the stomach/teeth spider/head gimmick was going on nearly ended my TV watching days and nights forever. I remember in art school how “Suspiria” made me rethink art and horror while “Evil Dead 2” made me chuckle through the gore.
I have to thank and scold my parents. Lovers of horror classics, thrill, and chills themselves, they shared that love at an early age. We grew up watching Erin Moran become victim to an alien force in “Galaxy of Terror” at the drive-in and giggled like idiots when Chucky decided to partake in some “Child’s Play” all the while watching “Ghoulies” and “Critters” until we were old enough to understand and enjoy “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death” the always fun “The Amityville Horror” and “The Exorcist” which, to this day, is still not allowed in my mother’s home. :O
I can’t pick a favorite five, I never could. Each one a memory, each one a cherished feeling of loved ones, friends, relatives, and snacks. Years of VHS tapes, gallons of soda and stale pizza, days of replays at odd hours during long summer months and even chillier falls. Now, as an adult, I watch the older ones as they are replayed throughout the year. Sometimes, with full interest. Other times, as background noise but everytime hoping for a return, hoping for the faintest whiff of younger days, innocent days, and non-stop thrills and chills with those that just know exactly how it feels to be scared.
Photo Credit: Edward Honaker, Sept. 2015. Website at http://www.edwardhonaker.com/