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Sunday, October 25, 2009


Halloween(a.k.a All Hallows' Eve) celebrated on the 31st of October, is around the corner. Countries who practice this ancient Celtic-originated ceremony would no doubt do so the usual way; home-made Jack O' Lanterns outside houses or perched on windows,  children dressing in costumes and going trick or treating, children/adults attending
 Halloween parties and organised bonfires and of course, watching horror movies and Halloween TV specials. Just as some  movies are made for Christmas- THE SANTA CLAUSE, SANTA WHO?, HOME ALONE, FRED CLAUS, JINGLE ALL THE WAY, DECK THE HALLS- Hollywood has a long history of making horror movies most people would put aside for Halloween night. Now that our Nija people have adopted Halloween, I plan on 'marking it ' by watching a few horror movies myself (and hopefully get some sleep after I'm done) and read a few ghost stories as well- frankly I feel reading horror is far scarier than actually WATCHING it. For those who are into horror films , I recommend the following to watch on Halloween. In no particular order...

John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN featuring a much younger Jamie Lee Curtis, who played a very unfortuante girl being stalked by a mysterious killer credited as 'The Shape' but later known to be her terribly demented older brother Michael Myers who'd killed their sister on Halloween night when he was a mere boy of 6 (by the way, it was NO accident)

Then we have Alfred Hitchock's PSYCHO, the main character played by Jamie Lee Curtis' mumsie, the late Janet Leigh, who stole money from her boss and ran away. During a stormy night, she stopped by a Motel and is welcomed by the handsome but rather weird owner, Norman Bates. While taking a shower, something very terrible happened...

CARRIE based on Stephen King's first published novel, about a cruelly treated girl, Carrie White, who got her revenge on her tormentors, including her sadistic mother, through telekinesis. The main character was played by Sissy Spacek(one of the very few actresses to be nominated for an Oscar for performing in a horror movie) and it also featured a young John Travolta in his first big role.

Wes Craven's A NIGTMARE ON ELMSTREET as well as its  7 sequels. Robert Englund (who also played a lecturer in Urban Legend) played the terrifying Freddy Krueger, a killer who returned from the dead as an undead dreammaster to get revenge on the people of Elm Street by killing their children in their sleep i.e he occurred in their nightmares, if caught in the dream before sleeper work up, the person was history. It was in this film that Johnny Depp made his debut.

THE FOG, also by John Carpenter, starring Adrienne Barbeau and  featuring  mother and daughter Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis , is  about the revengeful ghosts of a leper colony(who were wrongfully robbed and murdered by Antoinio Bay's 6 founding fathers) who appear  out of a mysterious onimous fog that sweeps through  the town, during its 100th anniversary. Their mission? Take the lives of 6 townspeople- substitutes of the 6 conspirators who had actually founded the town using the stolen gold. A remake was made in 2005.

THE AMTYVILLE HORROR is a must watch because it is based on true events recorded in a novel of the same name. It is the first of  the Amityville Horror saga  and starred James Brolin, husband of  Barbara Streisand.  Becuase of the terrible events  associated with the house in this weird story, the movie was shot in another house similar in appearance as the Amityville authorities denied permission( i read somewhere that the real reason was because they were scared to use the actual house, besides that, the house's address was later changed to discourage sightseers from visiting it). The house's creepy quarter round front windows were also removed, making it look less eerie at night.
The story began several years back after a crazy man executed his entire family in the same house. 13 months  later, the Lutz family moved in but never got any peace in their new home because of an apparent evil presence in the house. After 28 days of terror, they fled the house, leaving all their personal things behind and moved to San Diego. It brought about a lot of controvesy to date.
Trivia: George Lutz passed away on May 16th, 2006 and Katy Lutz(who's marriage with George ended  in the mid 80s) died in 2004.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, the first story under Anne Rice's VAMPIRE CHRONICLES was actually the first time I ever saw  Brad Pitt. He played a vampire who (I think unwisely) narrated his life story to a  journalist. While coping with the death of his wife and child, Louis made an aquaintance with a vampire, Lestat played by Tom Cruise  who offered him eternal life by bitting him and turning Louis into a vampire. It also featured Kirsten Dunst as Louis and Lestat's companion and Antonio Banderas as the vampire, Armand. This movie was followed by the  adaptation of the third vampire chronicle, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (Aaliyah's final film, released after her untimely death).

THE SIXTH SENSE, about a psychologist(Bruce Willis) who has to treat a nine year old boy who claimed he could see dead people. First sceptical, Dr. Crowe later realised the child was telling the truth...

And last but not least,  Don Mancini's CHILD'S PLAY and its sequels,  featuring Brad Dourif as the voice of the demonic doll, Chucky and Charles Lee Ray, the killer who transferred his soul into the doll in the first place- after a police officer shot him, using it as a means to escape and then hunt for another human body to be reborn in. His unfortunate first target in 3 of  the films is Andy- whose mother had bought the doll from a peddler for his birthday. What a BIG MISTAKE!


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