10/28/15 by Rennie Detore
With Halloween right around the corner, you have to assume that plenty of people will spend that night watching some of their favorite scary movies.
But what exactly is scary? How do you define that sort of movie? For some, scary is blood, gore and everything else that leaves your TV screen splattered from the inside. Others define scary as creepy, unnerving or tapping into your fear of the afterlife, ghosts, goblins and other mythic creatures.
The real definition of scary, in the classic sense, are the movies that don't have to rely on some sort of supernatural figure who can't be killed (i.e Friday the 13th,; Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street) or talk of spirits shaking down real people in a haunted house style cinema (i.e. Paranormal Activity). And they certainly don't center on movies that are nothing more than lots of blood that borders on gratuitous rather than essential to the plot point (i.e Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and other of that ilk).
The true movies are the ones that tell a story, make it a point through writing, camera work, and good acting to shock and scare viewers without having to dip into the ever present shock value that permeates through movies that are deemed slashers, scary or just plain sick.
Here are the three that stand the tallest.
The Shining - Jack Nicholson is priceless in this tale of a man sent to write and watch over a place that plays with the inner workings of your mind. From his slow, steady decline throughout the movie to the transformation of his son, Danny, and what he ends up seeing at the hotel the family is staying at, this movie is story telling at its finest, mixed with terrifying music that only sets the scene that much more for a decisively decadent payoff.
Psycho - Classic on all levels. The Alfred Hitchcock thriller doesn't try to do anything more than scare you. Period. And it succeeds in doing that without much effort other than just being plain creepy for all parties involved.
Blair Witch Project - OK, so maybe in 2015 this movie is a dud with all that is offered that is so called "scary." The Blair Witch Project, for its day in 1999, was scary, no matter what anyone will say 16 years after it was made. The movie seemed so realistic with the one camera vantage point, and you actually felt scared that something big was about to happen, even though the ending was unnerving for some and lacked a payoff for others. In any event, for its day, the BWP scored with viewers and scared its fair share of movie goers.
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