When a young couple, Katie and Micah, sense a strange presence in their home in San Diego, California, they try to trap it by setting up a video camera to record what is going on at night while they are sleeping. Katie has the feeling that the ghostly presence that has haunted her since she was a child is behind the supernatural experiences. They consult a psychic, who believes a demon might be to blame, and that the demon may be attached to Katie rather than the environment. He suggests they consult a demonologist.
What one person calls scary another may think of as simply being silly. These differences in opinion make it very difficult to correctly rank the scariest movies of all time. To be fair to all contenders each movie was considered in the time it was originally released. Another criteria was the effect, if any, the film had on society. A movie such as Jaws had an economic impact on ocean side vacation spots as people were scared to go into the water.
Films can be scary for several different reasons. Some films use suspense for their scares others rely on psychological terror to elicit fear. Regardless of the methods a film utilizes it’s no secret that, as a society, fear is intriguing. If this wasn’t a fact the horror genre would be nonexistent. People like to be scared. Although what scares certain people is not universal there are some films that are more terrifying than others.
The horror antagonists in scary movies – the source of the danger and fear – are some of the most memorable and enduring characters on the screen. Not only do individual figures achieve fame and fandom such as Jason, Freddy, Eli and Sadako, but horror archetypes have developed the who, what and why of our fear in horror movies…
There are plenty of scary tricks-of-the-trade to frighten us in horror movies, but the fear and anxiety also stem from environment and space. Often the location of the danger taps into other kinds of fears, or our unconscious unease about liminality. A liminal space is somewhere that transcends or transgresses boundaries: it’s neither one thing or another, but exists somewhere in between. In supernatural horror, this can be evil portals or doors to hell, but everyday liminal spaces still make for scary hiding places for all the eeriest bad guys…
Unlike today’s scary movies, the horror films from the 1950’s and 60’s actually leave something to the imagination. These five black and white thrillers can still hold their own when it comes to giving goosebumps.
As the spirit of Halloween creeps upon us, we would be remiss not to mention a few of the terrifying classics which dominated our twisted hearts and left many a whimpering, quivering jellyfish in their wake while still managing to be fairly accessible to younger members of household clans everywhere. While parents should use their own judgment surrounding whether or not they feel their offspring are ready for such an entertaining endeavor, here’s the first in a series of demonic films that can keep your little meatlings twisting (and squirming) the night away. First up in the Scary Family Movies series is Tobe Hooper’s ever-popular Poltergeist.