PAT'S CLASSIC COMPARISONS FOR HALLOWEEN

Welcome to the fifth in a series of Classic Comparisions features. This month being October, we have our first themed selection which have been chosen by our newest Site Assistants, Pat. As always, to access comparisons for any of the films, just click on the cover art.

HALLOWEEN 1. HALLOWEEN
What would be a Halloween list without this classic? It boosted both star Jamie Lee Curtis and director John Carpenter into stardom. This is arguably the slasher flick that inspired countless others, which, to many, only pale in comparison. The scene with Jamie Lee Curtis only being protected from the inhuman Michael Myers by a few closet slats still gets my heart pounding, even after countless viewings. A must for this night of all nights!
SCREAM 2. SCREAM
After the classic, comes this one, which rejuvenated the slasher genre, which had been lagging for pretty much a decade. Kevin Williamson's intelligently self-referencial script made the movie a delight for genre buffs, while Wes Craven's tight direction scared newcomers to no end. The humour and scares combined for something that hit the right nerve, spawned 2 sequels and a bunch of jokes and spoofs. The movies is highly enjoyable, no matter how many times you've seen it. There are enough references to other movies to keep anybody happy.
HELLRAISER 3. HELLRAISER
By Adrian - I realised while watching this one again recently that itís actually very sadistic in places and I would certainly be cautious of recommending it to those who shy away from violent gore! Forever a sucker for great packaging, this one was released many years ago by Anchor Bay (US) in a collectorís metal tin. However, itís the wonderful Lament Box packaging from Anchor Bay UK that takes greater pride of place on my DVD shelves.
THE DESCENT 4. THE DESCENT
The group thought they were in trouble when one of them fell and hurt herself. How short-sighted these girls are. Even without the creepers, this movie would have been a taut, exciting movie about human survival. Combine this with the scary creatures, and you have a taut, exciting movie about the survival instinct. Director Neil Marshall keeps the pace going and the tension high, the group of girls being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
One, two, Freddy's coming for you... Horrormeister Wes Craven's nightmarish slasher flick scared people by hitting people in the one place they couldn't defend themselves: in their sleep. Freddy Krueger is now part of pop culture and that goes to show the influence of this movie. The atmosphere and the tension are high and the scares are chilling. New Line's Platinum series is full of great extras and great quality picture and sound.
AUDITION 6. AUDITION
An hour into this movie I was wondering why it was considered a horror movie. About five minutes later, I got my answer. The plot centers around a man faking movie auditions for girls to try to find a wife. He, as we see in graphic detail, became infatuated with the wrong woman. Not for the faint of heart, this movie was my introduction to Takashi Miike and I'm happy for it. It's a movie that can never be forgotten.
DORM 7. DORM
Little-known Thai movie which will hopefully get the recognition it deserves. This very unassuming movie starts out innocently enough, but ends up sucking the viewer, thanks to some scary moments, but mostly thanks to the very good story and assured acting by the young cast. A new student in an elementary school tries to adjust to life there, only to find out things aren't what they seem. The visuals are incredible, giving the movie some genuinely scary moments. The only release now available is the incredible Thai release, which unfortunately doesn't have English subs.
BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE 8. BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE
A short but sweet piece of animation. A vampire Vietnam story? Yes, that's true. It's got great animation to support a nice, albeit slight, story. The mood is quite nice, with a haunting atmosphere that supports the characters and plot perfectly. At under an hour, it's nice to watch if you don't have a lot of time between tricking and treating. The big 3-disc LE box (available in Japan, Korea and Australia) is the version to get for this semi-obscure anime.
DARK WATER 9. DARK WATER
Absolutely drenched in creepiness, Hideo Nakata's movie is one of the best horror movies in the past 10 years. Arguably his best film, the movie grabs your attention from the beginning and doesn't let go until the last, damp frame. The music and direction create the perfect atmosphere to chill you to the bone. Just looking at this movie made me shiver.
PHANTASM 10. PHANTASM
By Adrian - whatís that shiny spherical object sat on my shelf. Oh yes, itís another special packaging affair. Guilty yet again. The film is a real oddity. It was a while ago that I last watched it but I just remember it being a bit strange. The special effects are often laughable by today's standards but the drilling ball is still an interesting and unique concept.
SUSPIRIA 11. SUSPIRIA
Dario Argento's best and often considered as one of the best horror movies of all time, this classic has a girl going to a new school, which turns out to be a coven of witches. If the first murder scene doens't get your attention, the barbed-wire scene will stay in your mind forever. Goblin's score sets the mood and Argento's great direction perfects it. The R1 Anchor Bay LE has great picture and sound, and a nice assortment of extras, including the amazing soundtrack.
ARMY OF DARKNESS 12. ARMY OF DARKNESS
Two days (count em!) after the events of the original movie, Ash finds himself in some medieval kingdom where he has to get a book and get back to shopping S-mart. Bruce Campbell's zany character is either an incompetent loser or a heroic anti-hero. Whatever he is, it's impossible not to enjoy this wacky horror/comedy from the mind of Sam Raimi. The best version of this highly enjoyable movie is the R3 HK release, which has the best picture and sound quality, as well as the longest available cut of the movie.
RINGU 13. RINGU
This movie has been spoofed by everybody from Takashi Miike to David Zucker. The American remake may have had a bigger budget, but there's something unnerving about the understated storytelling here. The scene with the girl and the TV set still sends chills up my spine and try to get that scene out of your head once you see it! With this one movie, Hideo Nakata established himself as a horrormeister to watch.
THE OTHERS 14. THE OTHERS
Alejandro AmenŠbar's first English-language film and follow-up to 'Open Your Eyes' is a nice, atmospheric movie. With great cinematography and haunting music, the creepiness starts to seep through. The twist ending may not be much of a twist if you use your head but if you don't know it, it's quite a head-spinner. Nicole Kidman's performance is also another notch in the plus side.
THE SIXTH SENSE 15. THE SIXTH SENSE
Is anybody in this movie even alive? M. Night Shayamalan's breakout movie took everybody by storm, with its minimalist plot and twist ending. Nobody knew what to expect and this tale of a young boy who can, well, see people who aren't alive became an instant classic. The creepy cinematography and whispered lines make for a scary experience. The R1 Vista Series release is arguably the best release, with a nice DTS track and more extras.
EYES WITHOUT A FACE 16. EYES WITHOUT A FACE
A delightfully creepy gem about a scientist trying to help her disfigured daughter. A major strongpoint of the movie is the mysterious, haunting, yet lyrical score, by master composer Maurice Jarre, which speaks more than any character. The direction is likewise lyrical, evident in the scene with the daughter taking a walk around the house. The Criterion DVD has a tremendous transfer and a nice scattering of extras.
A TALE OF TWO SISTERS 17. A TALE OF TWO SISTERS
Two sisters, their father and their stepmother move into a new house after a tragic event occurs. The great cinematography and incredible sound design make this movie endlessly creepy. In the hands of director Kim Ji-woon, this movie is elevated into a creepy, visual marvel. The atmosphere just about oozes out of your television set.
THE EYE 18. THE EYE
Directors the Pang Brothers created this movie and it cuts to the bone. Imagine the first time you're able to see, you can see things others can't. This journey is taken by singer-turned-really-good-actress Angelica Lee. The CGI isn't the best but it's used to tremendous effect, creating a taught, scary journey where you never know if you should trust what you see.
MEMENTO MORI 19. MEMENTO MORI
A brilliant movie combining scares and a great, though unorthodox love story, all taking place in a girl's high school. It's well-directed and well-acted. The movie is the best in the 4-part series, adding to the tiny list of sequels that are better than their predecessors. Every second will leave you stuck to your screen, right up until the great climax. The Korean UE is one of the best and most exhaustive ever made for a single movie!
POLTERGEIST 20. POLTERGEIST
The little girl turns from the TV set and says 'They're HEEeere'. That's when the fun starts. 'Directed' by Tobe Hooper, this is quite possibly the scariest PG-movie ever made. The story of a family terrorised by a house with a nasty ghost inside will make you jump out of your lay-z-boy. It's well-made, well-paced and has great direction. Something about Steven Spielberg's 'executive producer' credit doesn't seem quite right, but no matter. The fans are grateful!
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