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Halloween is Coming: The ABCs of Horror, part 5

[ Edited ]

I know that you've been very afraid that something horrifying happened to me since there hasn't been a new installment of the ABCs of Horror for a bit. Sorry about that. I was just dead for a while. Er, dead tired.

 

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J is for Ju-on

The worst kind of grudges

I think it's creepy

But you be the judges

 

Funny story: a friend of mine invited me out to see a matinee one day and suggested The Grudge. For some reason I thought that it was a romantic comedy or something. Imagine my surprise to discover -- after a fairly innocuous and romantic beginning -- it was one of the most terrifying films I'd ever seen. Needless to say, I no longer go to the theater without having looked at a trailer first! Ju-on is the original Japanese film on which the American version that I saw was based. I'm not brave enough to watch it.

 

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K is for Keep

That most ancient place

Where Nazis are squatting

And Titans lay waste

 

When critics discuss the atmospheric quality of a film, The Keep defines that quality of otherworldliness and ethereality. With incredible performances by Scott Glenn and Ian McKellan, a phenominal score by Tangerine Dream, and beautiful and mesmerizing cinematography, Michael Mann's 1983 film about a haunted caslte occupied by Nazis in a quaint Slavic village and the great forces doing battle there is one of my favorite horror films of all time. Alas, I cannot give you a link to it; it has been woefully out of print for decades.

 

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L is for Lost Boys

All fashion and bite

Killing and posing

All through the night

 

I admit that I wasn't overly fond of the much ballyhooed vampire film The Lost Boys when it first debuted. That's because I'd seen another vampire film that came out around the same time called Near Dark (also apparently out of print, dang it), which treated vampires as hateful, hedonistic beings who murdered for the sheer fun of it. The Lost Boys vampires were New Wave club kids in comparison. Now, my feelings have mellowed since 1987, and I like the movie much more these days. I think that these two films would make a great drive-in double feature.

 

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M is for Mist

Where monsters do hide

You cannot go out

Because everyone died

 

"This is what happened," is the first line of possibly the best story Stephen King ever wrote (in my opinion, of course). I wanted for years for a film to be made and The Mist did not disappoint me in any way. The film evokes all of the prime fears in a human being: unseen monsters bent on the utter consumption of human beings along with all of the horrible things that human being do to each other out of unbounded terror. There only a few movies that I do not dare watch alone at night. This is one of them.

 

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N is for Nightmares

Of so many kinds

Freddie and Jack

Leap into my mind

 

I'm not a big fan of the splatter film genre as a whole, but there are certain movies that stand out for their inventiveness. A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of them. I haven't seen it in decades, but I remember being genuinely terrified by Freddie Kruger and his fistful of knives. A serial killer who murders in dreams is horrible indeed. Of course, the other main film involving a bad dream -- well, not so much bad as psychedelic -- is The Nightmare Before Christmas. Not really horror I suppose, but Jack Skellington is one of my heroes, so honorable mention.

 

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John|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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Re: Halloween is Coming: The ABCs of Horror, part 5

The Keep is one of my all time favorites as well.  I think I rented it at least once every couple of weeks from our local video rental store back when they existed. 

Bill|Senior Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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