With Halloween approaching, I figured writing about horror movies would be appropriate. I could write about horror movies any time of the year, so it’s not completely limited to just now. I’ve talked about some movies to creep you out before, specifically a couple of my favorite silent movies. This time I chose four, each from a different decade. There were so many I could have chosen, but as I said this time there are four, the numerous other options will have to wait until future posts. And while my intention is not to reveal any spoilers below, something may come out that I don’t even think of as a spoiler. I’ve seen all the movies so many times, I may not even realize I’m revealing something groundbreaking to someone who hasn’t seen it. I apologize ahead of time if I do so.
House on Haunted Hill (1959), starring Vincent Price, isn’t necessarily the most chilling movie, but it sure is fun. By today’s standards it’s quite campy, but that’s precisely one of the reasons I love it. I think I remember reading somewhere that when the movie was originally in theatres, a skeleton would fly out over the audience. How fun is that? I can only imagine audiences of the time, not jaded by CGI or heaps of blood in their movies, being startled and screaming at the sight of the skeleton suddenly appearing. What a grand time!
Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?
Someone call the Flintstones’ real estate agent.
Attention spans are wonderful things. Too bad they are noticeably lacking in society today. I would appreciate even a small attention span, going to dinner with someone or walking along having a conversation without them looking at their cell phone, sitting down to watch a movie in its entirety without needing to log on to the Internet, and so on. So I’m reaching here when I suggest watching silent films. An activity that not only requires one to read (how dare I suggest such a thing), but paying attention to body language, facial expressions, and a story entirely dependent upon the viewer actually grasping it. Plus, there are no explosions to distract you and no computer generated creatures to stifle your own creative insights. Forgive me for wanting you to use basic reasoning skills, an imagination, and an awareness while viewing a film.
I thought I would start with a couple of my favorite horror films. (With other installments for other genres to come.) If you are of the minority (as I am) and love silent films, then you most definitely know about Nosferatu (1922) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). If you are of the other or some how think silent movies are “dumb” or “too old”, then you are greatly missing out (and mistaken).
For those who haven’t seen Nosferatu, it is the story of Dracula. Pretty simple. Although it is a German expressionist film, it doesn’t carry heavy signs of it. That fact makes it no less beautiful in it’s scenery and lighting, nor it’s artistry. The use of shadows, sweeping shots of the sea, and towering buildings all speak to an expressionist subtlety.
He’s coming for you.