1. The Shining: This was originally a book by Stephen King and was released at the movie theater in 1980. The main character, played by Jack Nicholson, brings his family to a remote hotel in the Rockies to act as the caretaker during the long, snow bound winter season. As the mother and son try to navigitate life in an abandoned hotel, the father slowly slips deeper and deeper into a dark forces induced schizophrenia. He has daily conversations with the deceased former inhabitants of the hotel who try to convince him to murder his family. This movie is a true classic and still brings, “Redrum, Redrum” to the lips of horror fans worldwide. To this day, when I see twin girls, I always flash to the hallway scene in The Shining.
Click on the following website to watch the trailer for The Shining. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081505/
2. The Amityville Horror: The movie was originally released in 1979 but was re-done in 2005 and I personally prefer the second version much better mainly because of the special effects. This movie begins with a happy little family moving into, what appears to be, a charming little country cottage. In time,however, they see that you can’t always judge a book by it’s, seemingly innocent, cover. Underlying the scary apparitions and malevolent hauntings in this movie is the premise that every family,every marriage, has it’s dirty little secrets.
Click to watch the trailer. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384806/
3. Poltergeist: This is one of my favorite scary movies of all time! As in many 80’s horror films, it begins with a family making a change, in this case, moving into a new home in a new town. The father, in the film, takes a new job as a land developer and moves his family into the “model” home of their dreams, complete with the backyard pool. The youngest and main character of the movie, Carol Ann, is played by Heather O’Rourke who does an excellent job of making us believe there are ghosts living in the family TV. The phrase ,”They’re Here!”, made famous in Poltergeist, was Carol Ann’s way of letting her family know when the evil spirits returned. When the family first notices something is amiss in their new home, it’ a novelty. The mother even thinks it’s great how her kitchen chairs can rearrange themselves overnight. Things change, however, when her daughter dissapears into another reality, via her closet, and steaks begin crawling across the countertops.
Click to watch the original 1982 trailer. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084516/
4. Pet Cemetary: Another of my favorites from Stephen King and a movie that resonates with us all, especially parents. Again, this movie begins with a family, the Creeds, moving to a new home. The only problem with the home is that it’s near an interstate and it has a creepy cemetary in the woods behind the house. The movie is only into it’s first few minutes when a horrific scene plays out as the Creed’s toddler son chases a ball out into the interstate and is killed by a semi. The grief stricken father learns that he can bring his son back to life if he buries him in the pet cemetary out back. At first things seems great, until the little boy begins murdering people. The movie tests how deep a father’s love can go and how unwilling, we as a society, are to believe in the inheritant malice we are all, even children, capable of.
See the trailer at this website. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098084/
5. Paranormal Activity 1: Released in 2007,this is the most recently released movie of my 5 but its style is reminiscent of, what I like to call, a mental, rather than a physical horror movie. When I say mental, I’m speaking of the style of many of the 70’s and 80’s horror movies that relied on suspence and build-up as scare tactics rather than the blatant or physical gore that many of today’s horror movies employ. You won’t see one drop of blood in this movie but you will, I promise, be on the edge of your seat the entire time. This movie is about a young couple who set up a video camera in their bedroom at night to get to the bottom of strange yet, to them, novel occurrences that keep happening in their home. As the video taping continues, night after night, you begin to realize that something is very wrong in this house and with one of it’s occupants. The movie feels so real; that’s how it’s so scary. The use of the video taping gives Paranormal Activity an air of reality, almost like you’re not watching a horror flick, but rather a home movie. The suspence builds so slowly and believably in this movie than when the clincher finally hits, it’s almost stroke-worthy.
Click on this website to see the trailer. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179904/