The fabulous Kirsten Weiss of ParaYourNormal is hosting a Hoodoo Halloween blog hop this weekend and you can join in!
Visit here to meet writers all over the country share their creepiest ghost stories and spookiest Halloween tales. We’re blogging about New Orleans history and ghost lore and Halloween!
I recently sat at a table where everyone was talking about the first movie that ever scared the crap out of them. And the answers were abundant.
There was Child’s Play, the Chucky movie, which scared one woman’s mother so much she turned all the dolls in her home to face backward.
*That would actually scare me MORE.
Psycho, the original Hitchcock version, made one woman terrified she’d be stabbed to death whenever she showered.
IT, that creepy clown movie/miniseries, was one we all nodded our head to. We were scared of clowns, public bathrooms, sink drains, sewer systems, you name it!
Then there’s my list. It’s a long one. Because I’m a chicken sh*t when it comes to scary movies.
When I was growing up, here are the things that scared me about…
E.T. – Yah, not even a scary movie, but his fingers looked like sausages and they creeped me out and I was convinced he lived in our basement so I would only go down there if someone else was down there.
P.S. This movie is also frightening in Spanish. We watched it in my high school Spanish class and I had bad dreams with E.T. yelling “E.T. telefono a mi casa!!!” in them. It’s just scarier for some reason.
Scream (1, 2, & 3) – While this series is not very scary now, it was in middle school. And creepers wearing masks was all the rage. Not cool, bro. Not cool at all.
Sixth Sense – What a mind f*ck this movie was. Creepiest scene? I think it’s when the little boy is sitting in his tent and all the walls start shaking and he’s looking up, then when he looks forward again – there’s a dead girl in front of him, and she pukes!
The Ring – This movie came out when I was in high school. It’s about a dead girl who kills people by crawling out of their television sets and their bodies are found all mutilated and twisted. Now, I had a TV in my bedroom at this time. So I behaved in a normal fashion and slept with it on for a week straight because I was more terrified of waking up in the middle of the night and hearing the click of the dial on my TV and see the dead girl coming after me.
P.P.S. My TV was SO OLD. It actually did have dials. Two of them. And I could only get two channels to come in, so I watched a lot of Antiques Roadshow and Ricki Lake talk shows.
Joy Ride – What? No! The fact that Paul Walker is coming to save me does not make this better? Don’t feckin mess with late night truck drivers, ok?!
Halloween – Who would agree to ever babysit again after this???
The Exorcist – Um, that scene where the girl crab walks all crazy down the stairs. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiightmares!
Village of the Damned – Well hello angelic looking blonde child, please don’t kill me.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – NO! No I will not go out to your grandpa’s cabin in the country! Just NO!
I Am Legend – Circles of heaving zombies lurking in the dark? Nope. I’ma karate chop all the doors down in my house first.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose – Well that’s just great. I’m now terrified whenever I wake up in the vicinity of 3:33 am.
Paranormal Activity – Hell, even the previews for this were horrifying! I believe too much in ghosts and this movie made me think every house I ever lived in was haunted.
Evil Dead – Waaaay too much self inflicted torture in this one for me. If anyone needs me I’ll be curled up in a fetal position, clutching my teddy bear for the next several hours.
I could go on, but I think the ghosts are listening.
I need to go hide under the covers now.
What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?
Have you seen the film Hitchcock? The movie stars Anthony Hopkins in the lead role with Helen Mirren playing his wife, Alma. It’s the love story between Alfred and his wife during the tumultuous filming of his epic movie, Psycho.
I had no idea that Hollywood refused to back Hitchcock on the release of Psycho. They wouldn’t even finance it. Hitch and his wife put their own house on the line to produce the funds needed to make Psycho. The producers wanted another North by Northwest, and who could blame them? It’s my favorite Hitchcock movie too. Or didn’t you know I’m obsessed with Cary Grant?
Already in his 60’s, Alfred Hitchcock became obsessed with telling the story of Psycho after reading the book by Robert Bloch. The book and film are based on the real life of Wisconsin psychopath, Ed Gein. He is also the basis for the killer, Buffalo Bill, in Silence of the Lambs. A real creepy guy. My friend Catie Rhodes wrote a blog about Ed Gein a year ago. You can read it here.
When everyone else thought Psycho would flop, when the censorship bureau was breathing down Hitch’s neck, and when his marriage was brought to the breaking point, Hitch didn’t stop. He made his movie and he made it his way. Psycho pushed boundaries at its 1960 release. It hinted nudity and it showed pretty graphic violence for its day. It was also the biggest film of Alfred Hitchcock’s career.
What was so inspiring to me about this film is realizing how brave Alfred Hitchcock was. He believed in his story and he believed in his ability to create it. Just because someone told him no, he didn’t stop. And he was an incredible marketer.
Do you know they thought Psycho would only run one show and be done in the theaters? Well, Mr. Hitchcock wrote and distributed a pamphlet on how to promote Psycho. In it, he advised theater management to bring in security to hold back rowdy crowds. He demanded strict time management upon movie goers allowing no late admittance and warning security that some may run out of the theater due to disturbing images. His self created uprising over the film ensured NO ONE would miss it! Audiences fled to the theaters and the rest is history!
So whether you’re a New York Times Bestselling Author or your writing the first draft of your novel in your crappy apartment above a fertilizer plant, I don’t care what anyone says, you just TELL YOUR STORY! Who knows, you could be the next big thing!
Hitchcock Movie Trailer
Psycho Movie Trailer
What Hitchcock movie is your favorite? Do you remember the first time you saw Psycho? I know I freaked out at the ending! Have you read Bloch’s book? It’s also uber creepy!
How do you stay motivated when someone tells you no?
Are you like me? Do you show off how much you love scary movies like you’re so
badass brave? But then when it comes time to watch them, you’re the one who’s like “Guys, let’s keep the light on. Somebody might need to get up and use the restroom, and I don’t want anyone to stub a toe!”
I admit I do this a lot. And then I spend the next week sleeping with the TV on and maybe a lamp (or two) to convince my overactive imagination the characters in the movie won’t suddenly show up in my bedroom. he he.
Last night I begged my boyfriend to watch the movie Sinister. The movie stars Ethan Hawke (Before Sunrise, Training Day) as a true crime writer who moves his family into the crime scene home of his current work. Finding a box of 8mm home movies, he uncovers a series a murders that may be too close to home – literally.
This. Movie. Freaked. Me. Out.
But – the plot was amazing!
Early in the film we learn what our protagonist’s normal world is like. The Oswalts are moving into their new home when the Sheriff pulls up to the house. Ellison (Hawke) walks out to meet him, as his wife berates him to act nice. With just a few lines of dialogue we learn that Ellison’s previous books have caused quite a stir, and most people are reluctant to help the family. A fact that is even more difficult for their children, who have been getting picked on at school for their father’s subject matter.
Ellison’s wife: “Just promise me we didn’t move in two houses down from a crime scene.”
Ellison: “I promise.”
They moved in to the EXACT house where the crime took place.
Right from the get go, the viewer knows the family is stressed out and uncomfortable with the move. We know Ellison lied to his wife and kids about the history of their new home. And we know the police are not going to help them. They are on their own.
The next day at breakfast the Oswalts establish their house rules. Dad’s office must be kept locked at all times. They don’t want their young children wandering in where he could have photos of the deceased laying out. We now know that the kids cannot get in that room.
What Ellison finds next is the box of home movies that’s been left in the attic. As he watches each film, he witnesses the murder of the families in each video. And in every instance, one of the children is missing. As he rewatches them, he sees a gory looking man in the reflections or background of the film.
We meet our villain.
As the movie unfolds, Ellison gets closer and closer to piecing together what links these gruesome murders. But our villain and the missing children get closer to Ellison as well.
Every night, Ellison is waking up to the sound of the projector running in his office. The office that remains locked. He hears noises in the attic and footsteps around the house, but he never can find what’s there.
Are you creeped out yet?
At this point I was cowering behind my boyfriend’s body and periodically checking behind me.
Our rising action occurs as the paranormal activity heightens. Ellison’s son is having night terrors. They find him screaming from inside a cardboard box, and later outside in the bushes. Ellison’s daughter is painting pictures of one of the missing children. And Ellison thinks he saw the bad guy in his yard.
Every good main character needs a wise friend. A teacher, a best friend, a voice of reason. Frodo had Sam. Sherlock had Watson. Sandy had Frenchie. 🙂
For Ellison, he connects with Jonas, a professor of the occult, who helps him discover the meaning of the symbol that appears in every video. What he learns will only add to his fears.
I don’t want to create spoilers for anyone who wants to watch the movie, but I’m telling you this was a great film for illustrating conflict and high risk in the plot!
And I loved the premise. What could be a better set up than a true crime author moving into a crime scene and thinking it would not affect his family. Of course it will! You’re living, eating, breathing, sleeping in your body of work. There is no escape. And as Ellison dives further into his research, the world around him becomes too real and much too close for comfort.
There is a great little twist in the end as well, but you’ll have to see it to believe it!
Are you putting this movie on your must see list? Do you need to borrow my night light? You can have it sometime next week when I’m sleeping again.
Sunday night was the series premiere of Season 2 The Walking Dead. A small group of campy citizens has survived Season 1, and is fleeing the area under attack from the zombie apocalypse. With Emmy Award winning prosthetic make-up, Walking Dead made no disappointments in its premiere. *spoiler alert*
The episode opened with the group on the move. Almost instantly there is conflict. The roadway is bogged down with abandoned vehicles and dead bodies inside. With the quick decision to scavenge for supplies, everybody files out of their cars and begins searching the road on foot. Enter zombie mob.
Interestingly enough, the show never refers to the undead as ‘zombies,’ but rather “walkers.” Minutes onscreen can equate to hours of make-up application for the actors playing the walkers. Our travelers know a few rules that apply to the undead:
- No loud noises. Conserve your bullets, they can attract more walkers.
- The smellier the better. Masking your ‘live’ odor with eau de zombie helps protect you should a mass of undead come stumbling after you.
- Don’t get bitten.
The heroic leader of the ragtag gang is Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln), a Sheriff in normal world, who woke up in the hospital in Season 1 and fought his way to his family and the few other survivors. One intriguing dynamic is Rick’s relationship with Shane (played by Jon Bernthal), his old partner and another natural leader in the group. What Rick doesn’t know is that Shane had an affair with Rick’s wife while they thought he was dead (back in Season 1 – Who knew a zombie show could be so melodramatic?!)
So, we have an army of zombies headed straight for our survivor renegades, and their response to such oncoming doom…hide underneath the cars. Minutes slowly tic by without commercial interception as you see foot after bony, rotting flesh foot pass them. In fact, I think you can smell their flesh while you’re waiting.
Once they think the coast is clear, they start to crawl out from under the vehicles, but a child is noticed by the walkers and flees into the woods to escape. Rick runs after and diverts their attention from the child, saving her, and yet losing her at the same time. So that creates problem number one.
Problem number two is that the group is starting to lose morale. Especially Andrea (played by Laurie Holden). She was caught up in the zombie apocalypse while on a road trip with her younger sister Amy, who didn’t survive season 1. Andrea already tried to kill herself once, but was saved by Dale (played by Jeffrey Demunn), however she as of yet feels no gratitude for that kindness.
And problem number three is that Shane isn’t handling Rick’s reunion with his wife very well. His plan is now to slip quietly away from the group and face the odds on his own. Can he abandon his longtime friend, Rick, and leave things unspoken with Lori, Rick’s wife?
I won’t give away the final cliffhanger of the season premiere, but trust me, it was a “C’mon! You’re seriously ending it here!” kind of moment. We do know from the season 2 buzz that the group makes contact with more survivors on an abandoned farmhouse, but we have no idea what kind of dynamic these new people will bring.
Sunday’s premiere of Walking Dead also kicked off AMC’s Fear Fest this Halloween season! Sixteen days of your favorite Halloween movies! I know I’m pumped! See the listing of films by clicking the link above. Much to my surprise, I got a voicemail message from my local video store reminding me I hadn’t been in for awhile and offering me a free rental plus 14 days of 1/2 price movies. SC”ORE! Another opportunity for me to stock up on my favorite thrillers and gory flicks. I’ve already watched such classics as Carrie and The Shining this past week. And if you’re into the FREE route, you better tune in to AMC’s Fear Fest or visit your local library, which I’ve done and reserved many more spooky films.
For more zombie goodness, check out Sonia Medeiros’ zombielicious post The Zombies are Coming! Did I mention her post is about zombies?! Go check it out, there’s games and links and a vote for your favorite and least favorite zombie flick. She thinks of everything!
Your turn! Did you tune in for The Walking Dead premiere? What did you think? Were you totally on edge or what? Do you enjoy the zombie craze we’re seeing in the media (even Jane Austen has gone all Zombie Slayer)? What is your favorite Zombie movie? Tell me, and then vote on Sonia’s blog!