FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 11, 2010

SHOCKtober: My GD Top 20

I received numerous- and I do mean numerous as in "consisting of great numbers", from the Latin "numerosus"- lite complaints about how got-danged difficult it was to come up with a Top 20 favorites list. 20 seems like a large enough number, but you're talking about your favorite genre, 20 ain't nothin'. It was part of my plan all along to include a list of my Top 20 and let me tell you, my friends- I feel your pain. I wrote down a whole bunch of titles without thinking much about it- basically, whatever favorites popped into my head immediately- and found that I had written over 30 of them. Then came the culling and was tough.

I didn't want to put any parameters on my selections; I didn't want to leave a movie out because it's a typical Top 20 choice. I didn't want to include something simply because it's a "classic" and it's "good". If my list consisted of 11 Friday the 13th films and 9 Nightmare on Elm Streets, so be it (it doesn't). When narrowing it down, I eventually took to comparing titles in pairs in a head-to-head cage match for a place on the list- which do I like better, this...or that? The winner made the list, the loser stuck in runner-up land. It really was not easy, and on paper my list is a mess of scribbles and crossings-outs and writes and re-writes. I look at it here and I feel pretty good about it, but then I can hear Let the Right One in banging on my door, crying "Let Me In!"...SEE WHAT I DID THERE.

These aren't in any particular order. I've written about most of these movies before- some so many times I really don't have anything groundbreaking to say about them here. Click the links if you want to know more, whether it's a review or my willies list or scenes I love or some such.

The Exorcist (1973, William Friedkin)

This is one of those "Well, it's such a typical list choice, I shouldn't choose to list it" movies, but you know...fuck that. It's a masterful study of religion and man's place in the universe as well as a parable about puberty.

Oh yeah...and it's terrifying.

For me, it remains one of the very few movies I'd rather not watch alone with the lights off. It still gets under my skin, after all these years; I never seem to get desensitized to it, and that's a very good thing.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974, Tobe Hooper)

This move is so damn powerful and so damn important to the genre that it's still regularly ripped-off more than 30 years since it was made (seriously, if I never see another "crazy family dinner scene" again, I'll be happy).

It was made with little money under excruciating circumstances for the cast...and it's in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, which...I don't know. Proves something or other, I'm sure. The low budget quality gives the film its infamous verité feel- countless people have wondered if what they're watching is real. Yes, those people are gullible to the point of stupidity, perhaps, but there's no denying the snuff-like, almost forbidden quality of TCM. Leatherface remains one of the scariest, most fucked-up movie monsters ever to grace the screen, and Sally Hardesty remains one of the most resolute final girls. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre remains a slice of cinematic perfection.

The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick)

For me, The Shining is a gift that keeps on giving. When I was but a wee bonny lass, the more obvious hallmarks were the things that kept me up at night: the Grady sisters, the axe through the door, the water-logged dead woman. Over the years, those scenes and images remain some of my favorites, sure, but every time I watch the film I have a new favorite thing, a new favorite scene or moment- why, right now, I'm all about the symmetry and Shelley Duvall. Oh, and the poster above Dick Halloran's bed. And the score. And Danny's sweaters. And...

Friday the 13th: Part II (1981, Steve Miner)

Even among horror fans, the Friday the 13th films have the reputation of being a bit scuzzy, a little sleazy, and the generally the least that the genre has to offer. They're pretty stupid, the characters are paper-thin at best, and they amount to little more than teenagers and assorted weirdos getting butchered in increasingly ludicrous ways by a maniac who shouldn't even exist. You know, I can't really disagree with any of that, but it doesn't prevent me from having a Friday the 13th-shaped place in my heart. Perhaps it's largely due to nostalgia, having grown up with a few years' worth of Fridays; perhaps I don't care. Part II, wherein a sack-wearing Jason Voorhees takes up the machete to avenge his mother's death is, to my mind, a quintessential slasher flick.

Martyrs (2008, Pascal Laugier)

I know- I keep talking about this film without ever really saying anything substantial. One of these days I swear I'll give Martyrs the write-up it deserves (or, I suppose I should say: the best write-up I can give it), but now is not the time. Thought-provoking, horrifying, moving, astounding- this movie knocked me on my ass the first time I saw it and while I was sure I'd never want to watch it again, I couldn't stop thinking about it. The next thing I know, I was watching it again. The second time around, it knocked me on my ass again for reasons far beyond the violence and brutality...but that's all for some future post. Ha!

The Descent (2005, Neil Marshall)

Lawdamighty, how I've gone on and on about this movie. What else is left for me to say? I fucking love it, so here it is in my Top 20 favorites. End of story.

The Blair Witch Project (1999, Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez)

From my review: "All my gushing isn't to say the film is perfect- it's far from it. There are "plot holes", if you will, that you can fly a broomstick through (hi, the map incident, anyone?). But ultimately, I'm a big fat scaredy baby when it comes to things that go bump in the night- and in The Blair Witch Project, they're making noise right outside your door. And I don't care what you say- you know the last 10 minutes of this movie...the 10 minutes in the fucking house- rock your face off."

Yup. Still feel that way.

Day of the Dead (1985, George Romero)

Wait...what? I'm listing Day? Day of the Dead, when Dawn and Night are out there? Yes. That's exactly what I'm doing. Of Romero's original undead trilogy, Day gets the least amount of love from fans and dammit...I think it deserves more. It's got humor, but it never really sinks into outright silliness the way Dawn does. Sarah makes for an interesting- if not always likable- heroine. There are the director's patented Bigger Ideas at Play going on, of course, with all those "who are the real monsters here?" Army a-holes. The film predates CGI core and features some of Tom Savini's best FX work- of particular note is the shot of a gut full of guts sliding out and falling to the ground with a nauseating splash. Then there's Bub, and the shot of all the zombies descending on that massive cargo elevator- bitchin'. Yeah, everyone yells a lot and that's irritating, but big deal! Maybe I love Day so much because it was the first zombie movie I was really allowed to see. Big deal! This is my list, not yours, so choke on 'em! Wow, why am I getting so touchy about this? Must be all that yelling. It...affects a person.

The Evil Dead (1981, Sam Raimi)

I don't worship at the altar of Bruce Campbell and I've never even seen Army of Darkness- but goldurnit, I fucking love The Evil Dead. I originally saw it Once Upon a Time, and let me tell you- the absurdity and humor of it were completely lost on me. None of it was funny to me, not one bit, and it scared the hell out of me. A possessed Cheryl trying to break out of the cellar, pencils stabbed through ankles, the dead not staying dead, claymation faces melting away...what's not to love? Well, maybe the raped-by-a-tree scene, but still.

Halloween (1978, John Carpenter)

Halloween is also a quintessential slasher flick, if not THE quintessential slasher flick. It rises so far above all of its subgenre siblings, though, thanks to the sublime direction of John Carpenter, the entirely believable performance by Jamie Lee Curtis, the timeless, terrifying score, the faceless evil of Michael Myers, the--eh, I could go on and on, but why bother? If you've never seen Halloween, I'm not sure what you're doing here. I mean, welcome and all, but you've never seen Halloween? Really?

The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Jonathan Demme)

Plenty of people say this is not a horror movie. I think it is, and it's also one of my favorites, so voila. You know, I'm totally the type of person who says the Academy Awards are worthless when I find they're not bestowed on the films or actors I think they should be in a given year (I'll never stop bitching about Ellen Burstyn losing to Julia Roberts- never! I'll be complaining about that on my deathbed)...but man, Silence sweeping the Oscars was so very, very right. So right. In every respect, this film is a masterpiece- and I'll be damned if you can find a more feminist piece of filmmaking in all of horrorland. In related news, I've seen this movie a zillion times, but it wasn't until my most recent viewing that I noticed George Romero in his cameo role.

The Thing (1982, John Carpenter)

THE monster movie. THE. THEEEEE. Seriously, the creature FX work of Rob Bottin blew my little mind and continue to do such to my larger mind. Let's face it, it's gross. The horror goes deeper than that, however, as The Thing becomes less about The Thing and more about isolation and paranoia. And beards. The minimal cast is impeccable, the locations stark, the humor black, and the hero undeniably cool and oh-so-Carpenter. There's a prequel in the works and while I'll reserve judgment until I see it, at night the wind whispers "C...G...I...creeeeaaaturessssss" and I cry.

The Haunting (1963, Robert Wise)

There are many, many fantastic ghost stories out there, but The Haunting is simply my favorite. I summed it up as such in my review: "Four people, each in their own way wanting desperately to be accepted and to belong, staying in one very, very bad house." That's it. The film taps into that primal fear of childhood- the fear of the dark, of the things you can't see that go bump in the night. Besides being a terrific pull the covers up to your chin kind of movie, The Haunting is also a compelling character study of loneliness. Heartstopping and heartbreaking. I love love love this movie.

Salem's Lot (1979, Tobe Hooper)

THIS WAS MADE FOR TV. That statement, once and for all, proves that the old days were better. Seriously. Social networking, hybrid cars, iPods, microwaveable macaroni and cheese...fuck 'em. There were horror movies made for TV 30 years ago that are leagues better than theatrically-released horror movies of The Now. What's going on in made for TV horror today? Syfy bullshit. Yes, we all get a chuckle, perhaps, out of Sharktoface vs Octosaurus, but come on. In the old days, we had Salem's Lot. The end.

I love the melodrama and the slo-oo-ooow build of Salem's Lot. I love that Mr. Barlow descends upon the town like a plague, infecting it long before we ever see him. I love how GD scary it all is, for vampires are so very often not scary at all- from Mrs. Glick's resurrection in the morgue to Ralphie floating and scratching in the fog outside the window to Barlow himself (only Nosferatu looks more horrifying), it's simply a big pile of fang-riddled greatness.

[REC] (2007, Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza)

I was not expecting [REC] to come out of nowhere like that and punch me in the face with two big fists of awesome. I was not expecting a film to come along 10 years after The Blair Witch Project and make P.O.V. horror fresh again- fresh, and maybe better than it ever was. It's fast and bloody and startling and a relentless, extended jump-scare...then Balaguero and Plaza slam on the brakes with a finale that had me holding my breath and gave me nightmares. Yup, unexpected. Yup, awesome. Yup, a favorite.

28 Days Later (2002, Danny Boyle)

This Romero-zombie-trilogy-in-1 film has more heart, really, than all three Romero zombie flicks combined. Yes, 28 Days Later revitalized the zombie genre (it did, whether you think the rage-infected folk are actually "zombies" or not); it sparked the "running zombies" controversy that continues even to this day in the hearts, minds, and mouths of horror fans everywhere (it did, whether you think the rage-infected folk are actually "zombies" or not); it's a top-notch scary movie, straight-up. What sets it apart, though, is, as I mentioned, the heart of it all. There are countless touches throughout that put some meat on the bones of this thriller- from the goodbye note left by Jim's parents to the echoes of 9/11 in the countless "LOST" postings to the first time Selena smiles to Frank blowing a kiss to the horses running free, the movie draws you in and you suddenly find yourself invested and caring without knowing much about anybody.

Here's something, though- whenever a list of "kick-ass horror chicks" or something equally inane comes along, why is it that Selena is so often overlooked? Hmm? What a great character. Remember her, won't you, and put her alongside your Ripleys and your Ginnys.

The Fog (1980, John Carpenter)

Fog is scary. The Fog is scary. Now that the deep, philosophical ruminations are out of the way...

I heart this movie so much that I hearted it in the I Heart...series. The list of reasons why I love is too long to go into here, so you'll have to click if you want to read 'em. Or maybe the fact that it's here is good enough for you and you don't want or need to read more. I don't know. I don't live your life.

Creepshow (1982, George Romero)

Hey remember when I was just talking about Creepshow recently? Uh huh. I talk about Creepshow quite often. I can't help it. I want to be buried with a copy of Creepshow. Then I want to claw my way out of the ground, clutching it. Then I want to watch it again.

Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins in the same movie. All the other awesomeness of Creepshow aside, those two people guarantee it a place on my favorites list.

Session 9 (2001, Brad Anderson)

This movie about the evil that lurks within all of us is also a damn scary psychological haunted house flick. Chilling and atmospheric, Session 9 seems spare on the surface but rewards repeat viewings.

Candyman (1992, Bernard Rose)

This movie is just so damn good. It's gory. It's terrifying. And, as I said in my review, "More than sheer visceral thrills, however, Candyman works so well because it's a film that's got something to say: it's a meditation on racism, classism, fame, inner city economics, crime, and the power of myth. It's a very smart movie." So there.

PHEW! There they are, my GD top 20. No one in the history of ever has struggled as greatly as I struggled to produce this list. EVER. As I said (and as you'd expect), this list came out with scars. Some dear movies were lost along the way, and I'd like to pay tribute to those casualties right now- those movies that I love but crossed out, those that bubbled under the surface, begging me to make a list of 21 or 31 or any number greater than 20 so they could stand up here alongside their GD brethren. Let's take a moment, shall we?Geez, I really love John Carpenter movies. Let's face it, from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, the dude couldn't be touched.


Anonymous said...

We crossed paths quite a bit (at least 9 by my count).

Totally agree on Carpenter. I am thinking I will do a "My Five Favorite Carpenter Films?" the week before Halloween.

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

I hear ya, sister! Day of the Dead has always been my favorite of the series (franchise? I don't know the right word) and I hardly ever see it mentioned. So overlooked.

But I loathe Blair Witch. With every part of my being. Sorry. :(

Anonymous said...

We're all matchy-matchy on six o' twenty....

Martin said...

You've never seen Army of Darkness? What a strange person you are. :)

Verdant Earl said...

We have 6-7 of the same films, and you have a bunch that I wish, in retrospect, that I had included. I left out The Fog? What was I thinking.

I'm still not sure where Martyrs ranks on my all-time list. I've probably thought about it more than most of the ones I did list as my favorites. And it certainly disturbed me more than just about any of them. I guess I need to watch it again (I'm already freaked out) just to put it in perspective. But goddamn...powerful flick. Powerful.

spazmo said...

Our lists are just divergent enough to safely make out at a family reunion, but far too similar to get down and dirty without producing some slack-jawed offspring...

The last couple of days, I've been watching "Lambs" frame-by-frame and mapping out Buffalo Bill's dungeon for my Sims game. I even modded a sweet little swastika-patterned blanky!

Who doesn't love a good Halloween project?

dementia13 said...

I'm not surprised that we matched on several, although I picked different a different Romero and Halloween than you. I think I forgot 28 Days Later, I would have made room for that somehow. Julia Roberts over Ellen Burstyn: wasn't that also the same year that Naomi Watts was up for Mulholland Drive? To me, it's a tough call between Burstyn and Watts, and Roberts was fine in her movie, but she shouldn't have even been in the conversation.

dementia13 said...

Oh, yeah, and Selena in 28 Days Later is super-tough. I'd take her over Ripley any day, especially considering that Ripley's toughest moves were in Aliens, which in my book is a straight-up action film, Rambo in space. I can't see Ripley hacking up her companion to keep him from getting infected.

kindertrauma said...

Super Great top 20 list. Love to see Candyman there!-Unk

Anonymous said...

Ah, Day of the Dead.Growing up in central Florida, I can remember hearing about Romero asking locals to come and be zombie extras over at Fort Myers. Me and my cousin Matt were all ready to go with our torn clothes, streaked with burnt cork, and zombie teeth made out of starbursts. For some reason, our Moms said no. Dammit, we coulda seen that tounge zombie!

David Robson, Proprietor, House of Sparrows said...

I'd intended a more thoughtful analysis of CREEPSHOW when I wrote it up this weekend, but goshdarnit I could do little else but gush about how awesome it is. It's here - - if you feel like giving it eyes.

David Robson, Proprietor, House of Sparrows said...

Plus: 'SALEM'S LOT is in fact awesome.

So's THE SHINING - knowing how meticulous Kubrick always was, I can't help but wonder what the conversations with the art department were like when they were figuring out the poster on Halloran's wall.

math said...

I didn't submit my Top 20, because after the first three hours I just gave up trying to choose, but I was falling into the pitfall of trying to pick lesser-known stuff. It's kind of automatic just to go "well, everyone knows Exorcist already." Your list is a fine reminder that some of these flicks get mentioned in every Best Of Horror list because they're just miles beyond so much other stuff in quality, and not just influence.

michael said...

It's a great list Stacie. I especially like that there are very new movies on it. No one seems to believe there are exceptional movies coming out during the recent past.

Ron said...

THE FOG is a good pick, as is DAY OF THE DEAD, which might not be my favorite of the trilogy, but is preferable to DAWN. It just moves better.

Totally agree about not letting popularity influence your choices, as I've got a few popular and obvious picks on my own list. Some movies are popular for a reason, and they stand the test of time.

One thing that might make putting together lists like these a little easier is listing perhaps a handful from each decade, going as far back as you can. The lists would be long, but definitely fascinating.

Anonymous said...

I think about half my list was the same as yours.
I love that you included Day of the Dead on the list. I included the two Dawn of the Deads on mine because they're the fun zombie movies I always put on but I think that Day of the Dead is better. It's just more painful for me to watch. I swear, if I'm ever being ripped in half by zombies I want to have the guts to scream "Choke on it."
And as someone slowly learning to knit, I swear that I will one day knit myself grown-up replicas of Danny Torrance's sweaters.

Stacie Ponder said...

Oh my gawd, you SHOULD! They'd sell on etsy for sure.

takashi said...

You offer no credible insight about horror films. Spouting cliches and borrowing ideas from other more talented writers just shows what an embarrassment you are.

Your two dozen readers will adamantly defend you but you'll always be a hack.

Stacie Ponder said...

Takashi, you are totally right. I'm an embarrassment to...well, to everything. To the more talented writers I steal from, to the horror genre in general, to my parents, to the internet, to the universe itself and everything within it.

That said, I wonder why you come to my site so often and read what I write. Why do you waste your time? I'm not getting better here, no matter how man times you insult me or my writing- your incisive criticisms go right over my head and I blather on here day by day, wallowing in my own patheticness.

That you continue to return though you hate my writing makes me wonder- are you FORCED to come here? Is there someone out there MAKING YOU read my site in some sort of twisted Clockwork Orange-style experiment? Because if that's the case, cry out for help, Takashi! You don't need t suffer a minute longer! Let us know that you're in danger and we will do our very best to get you help. You shouldn't have to suffer through the shittiness of Final Girl unless it's not by choice.

Because, I mean, if you hate my site and my writing so much it would be stupid of you to keep coming back here, yeah? And spending the time to leave a comment? Why, you could help several old ladies across the street in that time, or perhaps rescue a kitten from a tree. Returning repeatedly to a site you loathe would be a colossal waste of time and would make me wonder about your mental faculties.

takashi said...

I'm refering to the garbage you've written in magzines like Rue Morgue. It's a shame a once quality magazine resorts to publishing epic turds like your Exorcist article.

Sarah said...

This is a pretty solid list. Even if I don't think The Blair Witch Project holds up to multiple viewings, the ending is terrifying and totally worth it when you do re-watch it. [REC]'s ending is scary as well. And I remember the ending of Session 9 scaring me, but I haven't re-watched it since seeing it in 2001 or 2002.

What bugged some people I know about Selena in 28 Days Later is that she goes from a tough chick to falling in love with Jim. I never understood that reasoning, and this was coming from Buffy fans. The idea that tough chicks aren't allowed to love or fall in love bothers me.

Stacie Ponder said...

"I'm refering to the garbage you've written in magzines like Rue Morgue. It's a shame a once quality magazine resorts to publishing epic turds like your Exorcist article."

I guess you mean my review of The Last Exorcist? Yeah, I can't believe they paid me to write that. Some publications have no standards at all! You should start writing for them and turn it around. Horror- nay, the publishing world at large- needs you! Still wonder why you're here, though, and if you're in distress.

And with that, I won't be publishing anymore of your comments. Not because I'm embarrassed by or put to shame by your scathing commentary (even though I TOTALLY am), but because I'd rather keep the comments at Final Girl shit-free.

Oh, and I don't mean to imply that YOUR writing is the "shit" in "shit-free", I mean mine is. I don't want to soil the world any more than I already have.

Have a super day!

Jeffrey said...

Takashi may be a troll.

Very nice list, I have 6 of the same ones on my list. My only big complaint is MAN how much I hate Martyrs. It's an interesting film, but I think it's also a bad film and not in a good way.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure he is trussed up in some Jigsaw style trap. Go to Stacie's site every ten minutes-or this nail gun pointed at your gut will fire!!!!

timothy grant said...

Your shout-out to "Pieces" just made my little horror geek heart skip a beat. BASTARD!

J. Harris Speed said...

You handled Takashi well. Its hard not to get into a battle with someone like that. In the past I have disagreed with someone's writing so I figured the most intelligent thing was to stop reading the blog. I'm working on a top 10 horror movies now. Great blog keep it up.

Stars said...

Stacie,,love the list!
Let the right one in....! I love that film.

dementia13 said...

That was a lot better than I would have handled that. Hey, Kim Morgan is a damn insightful writer, and if she's among your "two dozen" readers, you're not a hack. I wonder if she'd give Takashi, or anything he's written (if anything), the time of day?

Anonymous said...

Takashi's comments are ridiculous. I just got into horror movies recently, and your tireless research and analysis have been very helpful for finding more movies to enjoy now that I've seen most of the really famous ones. And Shocktober has been fun. So, thank you, and let's all hope that Takashi gets it like the director in Stage Fright (1987).

Unknown said...

Totally solid list Stacie. You're absolutely right why these films make the list over and over and over again.

I have but one question for you. I got the impression that you liked "28 Weeks Later" more than "28 Days Later" by your review. I know you loved both so it isn't "how could THAT make the list". This isn't a "GOTCHA!!" moment but more or an actual curiosity on how it got selected...

I gotta say you're spot on with "Silence of the Lambs". A great film and a great horror film. I've heard many arguments on why it isn't a horror film. Yes, tracking a killer that cuts up women to make the perfect cocktail dress by using a killer that eats people and skins their face for his escape isn't scary in the least. I almost get the feeling it's the Hollywood system that doesn't want to admit it's a horror film because horror is only a genre, and a lowbrow one at that. To label it horror would class up the joint too much. Hogwash I say!! Hell, I'd love to see a Ang Lee horror film or some other "important" filmmaker take on scaring the crap out of us. Kubrick did and look what that gave us...

Bryce Wilson said...

"I want to be buried with a copy of Creepshow. Then I want to claw my way out of the ground, clutching it. Then I want to watch it again."

You're the best Stacie don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

And um... I guess that includes Takashi. Who given that he can't tell the difference between the number 12 and 713 (dedicated alone) has more serious issues then can be solved with a simple internet Beatdown. Not that that last part isn't fun. But stupid can't be cured.

Anyway, I second your Friday The 13th Part 2 love myself. That movie is everything good about the slasher genre in a brisk eighty minutes.

Amy Steel till I die! (in a wheelchair!)


CashBailey said...

How DARE you fucking leave off...

I'm just kidding. That's a pretty definitive list, right there.

Can't say I disagree with any of it.

Stacie Ponder said...

You know, I've only seen Weeks the one time, but I did love it. Is it a favorite? I don't know. I watched Days again fairly recently, though, and I thought...DAMN this is a good movie. The scenes with the Army are still a bit tired and problematic for me, but the rest is so good I don't care!

If I make a Top 20 a year from now, though...who knows, maybe it'll be Weeks instead of Days. :D

Thanks, guys! You two dozen readers are the best!

andrew said...

Great list! I think I had 8 or 9 of the same movies on mine! I like the approach you took on building yours. So what if the Exorcist is on every single "best of" list ever...maybe it's because it deserves it.

Also, I can't believe you've never seen Army of Darkness! Craziness! Although, I've never seen Martyrs, so I guess there's that.

Oh, also! Nice work putting the Blair Witch Project on your list! Eff the haters, that movie straight messed my shit up. I only saw it one time, in the theater when it was released...and it still made my top 20. That's an effective horror movie.

gord said...

I could go on and on about your inclusion of movie 'x' on this list, but what I really want to thank you for is the inclusion of 'wee bonny lass'. I use this term more frequently than I care to admit, and it's a shame others don't give it the respect it deserves.

Kirk Hazen said...

Stacie, Takashi is is wrong as wrong can be, and that's pretty damn WRONG if you asks me: I LOVE your blog and your RUE articles and think that you not only bring FUN with a capital F (and U and N) to genre film journalism, but you also balance that with sharp insightful observations that don't smack of the head-up-the-ass pretension that Takashi likely enjoys to excess. I read a great deal of genre writers on a regular basis (Tim Lucas is a longtime fave) and I think you have brought a much needed sense of fun into the mix, along with an intellegent wit. Gosh bless ye!

Cody said...

Stacie, I feel the need to tell you how amazing you are and give you a hug and ask if you want to play vampire Barbies with me. You are awesome beyond measure and your site makes me happy. Having said that...

I just watched Salem's Lot, the Tobe version. I don't know why I haven't seen it before. I love Tobe, the novel is one of my favorite of Stephen's... but somehow until I saw it on your list and took the time to read your reviews about it I wasn't really interested. Oh, boy, was it good. When Mr. Barlow pops up in that jail I had to pull out my headphones and huddle in the corner for five minutes. Wow. I will be having nightmares.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Wow, great list! :) 8 out of these 20 are in my top list as well.
So happy to see that "[REC]" is part of your list - it's my all time favorite horror movie! The last ten minutes were so terrifying and tense, I was literally shaking.

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed that you've included "Session 9"... I thought it was mediocre at best and extremely overrated.

Otherwise, this is a really, really great list, FGirl!
You rock :)

dementia13 said...

@Nebular: give Session 9 another chance; it's full of detail and deepens with repeated viewings.

danielrsilveira said...

Great, great list! Little Ralphie floating and scratching the window in Salem's Lot still scares the shit out of me!

Missy Y. said...

Yo, Ponder.

I don't know if you've seen Pascal Laugier's other film House of Voices, but if you haven't, you should. It's very different from Martyrs, but it's pretty amazing in its own way. Plus, Catriona MacColl is in it, and that's worth... something, right?

Ulrich said...

I really like Martyrs as well. The scene where she shoots the entire family scared the shit outta me (then again, the whole freaking movie did). and of course Halloween is always a winner as well, not to mention Jason Potatosackhead in the Friday sequel. But I could go on & on to be totally honest with you.

ClevelandPoet said...

You have no idea how happy seeing you give so much love to Salem's Lot made me.

Probably scarily so.

Anyways I am entertained awesomely by the syfy stuff but in reality it is nothing in comparison to the likes Salem's Lot and I often forget that Lot was even a made for tv movie. Perhaps some day there will be a return to this...

well done list.