Category Archives: Top Horror Lists

How to Enjoy a Horror Movie

If you don’t like horror movies, I don’t understand you.  I just don’t.  Are you scared?  Squeamish?  Do you just think they’re stupid?  What’s your problem?

I have always – ALWAYS – loved horror movies, so not enjoying/watching them has never occurred to me.  They’ve just been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Maybe you have a significant other that really loves them, or maybe you’ve been called a wuss for whatever reason.  The point is, now you want to try them out.

Well, let me help you.

I recently watched The Bye Bye Man, a movie that just came out earlier this year and was universally not-so-loved by people who watched it.  Just check out the reviews.  Rotten Tomatoes currently scores it as 24% rotten.  It’s got a 37% on Metacritic, 0.5 stars out of 4 from Roger Ebert, and a 4.2 on Imdb.

So yeah.  Not a great movie.

But guess what?  I enjoyed it.  I’m not saying it’s a good movie by any means.  I just know how to enjoy a horror movie, so that’s what I did.

So how do you do it even if it’s terrible?

  1. Know thyself and pick accordingly.

Not every movie is meant for every person, and that can definitely be said for the many variations in the horror genre.  If you can’t stand gore, it’s probably not a good idea to jump right in to Saw.  If ghosts are too much for you, stay away from The Conjuring.  Oh, you run screaming and hyperventilate at the thought of possession?  How about you avoid The Exorcist?

Maybe you want a little comedy in your horror.  Maybe  you want something critically acclaimed (few and far between for horror movies).  The point is this: pick something that you might like, not something you know you’re going to hate.

I don’t watch sappy romance movies for exactly that reason.

2.   Know the rules.

If you’ve seen Scream or just have a working knowledge of pop culture, you know that horror movies have rules.  Don’t have sex. Don’t drink and/or do drugs. Don’t say “I’ll be right back.”  And so on, and so on, and so on.  These rules don’t apply to real life, but there is a formula to a lot of scary movies, especially slashers.

And if you know the rules, you can probably catch when something’s about to happen.  That’s part of the fun.  It doesn’t work for every horror movie, of course, but you can have a pretty good time catching these little clues as they come.

3.   Turn off your brain.

Yes.   I know they should be going down the stairs and out the door instead of straight to the killer’s loving arms, but this is a horror movie.  People make dumb decisions in a horror movie.  It’s okay. You don’t have to make these same mistakes when you have a homicidal masked crazy person slowly following you.  These are not instructional videos, and on that note…

4.  Don’t be “that guy.”

Everybody loves to hear a know-it-all, right?  WRONG.  Trust me.  Absolutely no one cares that you could have totally gotten out of whatever horror movie situation you’re currently watching.  It doesn’t make you cool; it makes you annoying.

Also, if you just plain don’t like the movie, don’t be an ass about it.  Not scary to you?  Don’t bitch about it.  Everyone is scared of different things.  I, for instance, have never been actually scared by a movie, but I still love them.

5.  Don’t give up.

There are as many different types of horror movies as there are stars in the sky.  Well, not really, but you get the point.  If you pick a movie you’re not really pleased with, try something new.  If you decide ghosts aren’t for you, try a slasher.  Slashers out?  Try a zombie movie.  There’s also psychological horror, possession, splatter, survival, found footage, paranormal, and various types of monster movies to try out.  There’s bound to be one you’ll like somewhere in the mix.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: TFO’s 5 Scariest Scenes

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my all-time favorite horror movies.  The original movie had Freddy Krueger in all his terrifying glory, before he became a murderous comedian in later sequels.  I love psychotic, funny Freddy just as much as the next person, but scary Freddy is my favorite.  Well, as much as a burned-to-death child molester can be.

These are my top 5 scariest scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street:

5.  The Takedown

Nancy was the original Kevin McAllister, Home-Alone-ing the bad guy way before little Kevin even knew the word ‘booby-trap.’  She comes up with a plan to intentionally fall asleep and set an alarm to wake herself up so that she can grab Freddy to bring him to her world.  At first, it seems like her plan didn’t work, but Freddy pops up behind her in jump-scare fashion and then chases her through her booby-trapped home.

4.  Nancy’s School Dream

Nancy falls asleep in school while a classmate recites a scene from Hamlet.  This nightmare starts off slowly but so creepily as the classmate quotes in a whisper, “O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.”  Nancy walks outside and sees Tina’s bloody corpse wrapped in a sheet and being dragged down the hallway.

3.  Bathtub Hand

Yeesh!  Nancy falls asleep in her bathtub while reciting the famous Nightmare rhyme, and of course, Freddy makes an appearance.  Knees spread to either side of the tub, Nancy passes out, and Freddy’s knife hand slowly emerges.  The sight of those sharp fingers close to such a tender area always made me cringe.  And it still does.

2.  Glen’s Death

Poor, poor Glen.  Cute, baby-faced Johnny Depp.  He just didn’t take this whole thing seriously enough.  I don’t know what exactly happened to him when he was pulled into and under his bed, but it certainly wasn’t pretty and it left his parents with a hell of a mess to clean up in his room.  Even when I just have this movie playing in the background while I’m doing something else, I always take a second to watch this scene.  His mother just walks in to a fountain of blood exploding from her son’s bed.  So much blood, so much gore.  Always a fan.

1.  Tina’s Death (and Long-Armed Freddy)

Poor Tina. You just had to do it with your boyfriend, didn’t you?  Don’t you know that’s forbidden in a horror movie?

After she and Rod have some (unnecessarily loud) sex in her mother’s bedroom, Tina falls asleep and has one of the creepiest nightmares of the whole series in my humble opinion.  I don’t know what it is about Freddy with his long-ass arms scraping down the alleyway, but it’s the scene that has stuck with me ever since I was a little kid.  Creepy. As. Hell.

Tina’s death is also arguably one of the most iconic scenes of the series when she’s dragged screaming and bloody from her post-coital bed, up the wall, and across the ceiling.

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Bonus Scary Scene:  The End. What was up with that damn mommy mannequin?

What about you?  What do you think was the scariest scene?

TFO’s Top 3 Favorite Supernatural Series

Do you love to read?  I do.  I love curling up with a good book, a nice cup of tea, and a blanket and just getting lost in my imagination.  And, of course, being who I am, my favorite books are scary or related to the supernatural.  Also, I really enjoy getting to know certain characters and revisiting my “friends” from time to time, so finding a good series is very important to me.

Here are my top 3 favorite supernatural series

3.  Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series

You might already be pretty familiar with this series from its TV adaptation, True Blood, starring Anna Paquin.  The show is good, but it really strayed from the source material.  So if you have already seen the show, don’t worry.  You can still enjoy the books.

They’re so much fun, and Sookie is such an endearing heroine.  Vampires take center stage in this series, and her interactions with the various vampires around her, as well as with other supernatural creatures, are sexy, harrowing, and sometimes hilarious.

2. Kim Harrison’s Hollows series

Rachel Morgan is the star of this series.  She’s a sassy witch in the post-Turn U.S. where vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, fairies, and other supernatural creatures have come out of hiding after a semi-apocalyptic event takes out much of the human race.

Rachel and her partners Ivy (a vampire) and Jenks (a pixy) tackle many obstacles in their quest to make their own place in the world.

1. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series

Anita Blake is a badass.  I met her in high school after stumbling upon “The Laughing Corpse,” the second book of the series, in the public library.  After wearing out the library’s copy, I found out that the series was still going on, and that’s all she wrote (except obviously not).

Anita is an animator, or zombie raiser, that interacts frequently with other supernatural creatures, including vampires and werewolves.  I say “interacts,” but it’s so much more than that.  Just read them. You’ll be glad you did.

TFO’s Top 10 Favorite Scary TV Shows

I don’t know about you, but it is too damn hot outside for me to enjoy much of anything.  Put me in a  pool, and I’ll be fine, but I do not get how anyone can just sit outside in this kind of weather for fun/relaxation.

Aw hell no.

That’s why when summer rears its ugly head, I retreat to my nice, dark, air-conditioned house to watch TV, nap, and…nap some more.

What can I say?  My bed is super comfortable.

But I don’t write about beds or naps here.  I write about skeery things.  So for this Top Tuesday post, I thought I’d count down my top ten favorite scary tv shows.  What else are you going to do to avoid the heat?

TFO’s Top 10 Favorite Scary TV Shows

10. Scream Queens

Oh man.  This show cracks me up.  If you’re looking for a still-gory, kinda-creepy, but still funny horror show, this one is a safe bet.  Emma Roberts is hilariously bitchy in this as the diva Chanel Oberlin.  Watch this. It’s worth it.

9. Penny Dreadful

This show just ended unceremoniously, but I guess with only three seasons, it’s not a long watch.  Old-school horror icons are re-vamped (see what I did there?) and star in a macabre vision of Victorian London.  It’s really fun and really creepy.

8. Ash vs. Evil Dead

Another funny one.  If you’re a fan of the Evil Dead trilogy, you’ll love this show. It totally remains faithful to the over-the-top insanity of the movies.  So weird. So gory. So funny.  And it’s got Lucy Lawless in it, which is always a plus.

7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy, Buffy, Buffy.  You were the OG.  She was a complete badass, and this show had so much going for it.  Vampires, witches, laughter, sadness, a musical episode – why wouldn’t you watch this one?

6. Tales from the Crypt

I’ve already talked a bit about this one in a previous post.  I love it.  You’ll love it.  Just watch it.

5. Supernatural

I’m going out on a limb here and putting this in my top 5 even though I haven’t actually seen all of it. *Gasp!* I know.  It’s sad.  I’ve only seen the first season (when it first premiered on TV) and a few random episodes here and there, but I’m about to remedy that.  Even if I haven’t seen all of it, I know enough about Sam and Dean to know that I can recommend this one highly.

4. The Walking Dead

I’d be surprised if you aren’t already watching this show.  I mean, who doesn’t watch The Walking Dead?  Nazis and commies, that’s who.

3. American Horror Story

If you’re attention-span isn’t too long, this show is for you since the story changes with each season.  Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates – there are so many great actors that have starred in this fun series.

2. Hannibal

This show is beautiful.  While some may find it a bit pretentious, I freakin’ loved every minute of the precious few seasons it was on.  Hopefully, it will come back in a few years (hope never dies), and we’ll be able to continue our journey with Hannibal as he eats his way through life.

1. The X-Files

An oldie but a goodie.  This show will always have a special place in my heart.  I spent many a weekend night watching agents Mulder and Scully do their thang.

 

TFO’s Top 5 Favorite Shark Movies (That Aren’t Jaws)

Who doesn’t love a good shark movie?  After Jaws made everyone scared to go into the water in 1975, movies featuring our fearsome finned friends popped up everywhere.  And after SyFy entered the picture with its seemingly endless supply of shark-themed craziness, we certainly have enough movies to satisfy our bloody cravings.

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To coincide with both Shark Week and the newly released “The Shallows” starring Blake Lively, I thought it would be quite appropriate to list my top 5 favorite shark movies that aren’t Jaws…because what shark movie list wouldn’t have the most famous shark at number 1?

And, for the record, I’m not saying these are good movies; I’m saying they’re my favorites.

Here it goes:

5. Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Oh? Did you not expect me to have SyFy shark movies on this list?  Yes, they might be over-the-top, terribly-acted pieces of junk with horrible special effects, but damnit, they’re fun.

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Yeah. Pretty sure these effects beat good ol’ SyFy.

SyFy has crafted a very big guilty pleasure for a lot of people.  From giant crocodiles to weird mashups of creepy-crawlies, there’s no creature that’s safe.  And sharks are one of their favorite subjects.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark is terrible – just terrible.  But in a good way.  There are some “unforeseen” complications when a shark-shaped submarine is sent to kill a huge shark that’s terrorizing people. Yep.  They fight. People die. It’s awesome.

4. Open Water

Two divers get left behind by their tour boat and have to fend for themselves against the terrors of the ocean…including some – you guessed it – hungry sharks.  This movie is intense.  It’s not one I can rewatch over and over, but it’s a good one.

3. Ghost Shark

Another SyFy masterpiece.  There’s a ghost shark haunting a small coastal town, and it’s just spectacular.  The deaths in this movie crack me up (don’t judge me).  A guy gets eaten on a slip-n-slide and one guy gets split completely in half after he drinks – yes, drinks – some ghost shark-infected water.

2. Deep Blue Sea

Oh, man, I loved this movie when it came out, and I still think it definitely has some rewatch value.  Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, and LL Cool J feature in this movie about super sharks genetically engineered at a science station in the middle of the ocean.  The point is to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, but things don’t exactly work out as planned.  And (SPOILER ALERT) Samuel L. Jackson’s death scene is one of my favorite surprises of any horror movie.

1. The Sharknado Series

I. Freaking. Love. These. Movies.

They are so stupid.  They are so crazy.  They are so awesome.  If you like shark movies, how can you not watch the triple-threat that is the Sharknado series.  The last movie, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No, was fantastically terrible.  They resorted to space travel to vanquish the Sharknado.  Space!  And the fourth movie in the series, Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (LOVE IT!) premiers on July 31!

So. Effing. Excited.

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Anyone disagree with this list?  Or maybe you agree and just want to add an observation?  Let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you.

10 Horror Movies to Get You Ready for Summer

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but it is hot as HELL outside.  The first day of summer is rapidly approaching, and if you want to know what horror movies to watch to get you in the mood, let’s count down the top 10 best horror movies to get you ready for summer.  Whether they take place at a summer camp, a beach, or just a dusty, hot locale, these movies will get you in the right mindset.

10. The Ruins (2008): A group of friends on a trek through Mexico happen upon some ruins that hold a terrifying secret.  You can practically feel the heat coming out of the television.

9. Sleepaway Camp (1983): This cult-favorite slasher takes place at a  summer camp.

8. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997):  Recent graduates celebrating after the summer pageant victory of one of their own accidentally mow down an innocent pedestrian.

7. Piranha 3D (2010): Beachgoers are terrorized by bloodthirsty piranhas and try to survive.  Makes me want to go for a dip right now…

6. The Final Girls (2015): A girl and her friends are sucked into a crappy slasher movie and have to fight to survive.  This is another one that takes place (at least the movie within the movie) at a summer camp.  If you want to survive a horror movie, don’t go to a summer camp.

5. The Cabin in the Woods (2012): College friends on vacation are manipulated into playing out every horror movie ever made – ever.

4. The Hills Have Eyes (1977): A family gets stranded in the desert on summer vacation and get attacked by crazy, desert-dwelling mutants.  Summer fun?  Not so much.

3. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974): A group of friends go on a summer road trip and get stuck in a nasty, dusty, hot town in Texas.  This one makes me sweat just watching it, and I’m not about from fear.

1.  Jaws (1975) and Friday the 13th (1980): Well, I just couldn’t decide between the two of these for the top position, so I let them share the title.  Beach vs. summer camp.  It’s really hard to pick.  And both are classics, so…yeah.  I’m not up for that kind of decision-making at the moment.

So what movies get you in the mood for summer?

Top 20 Horror Movies to Make You Laugh

Not everyone loves horror movies.  Shocking. I know.  But there are people out there that just don’t like to be scared, at least not completely.  That’s why so many horror movies throw in comic relief from time to time.

So for those people who need a little more laughs than shivers, here’s the Fright Owl’s Top 20 Horror Movies to Make You Laugh.

Warning: Here be spoilers.

20) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994): Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zelwegger both star in this TCM sequel.  It’s got a terrible rating on IMDB, but I recommend it just for the absurdity of it all.  Plus, Renee Zelwegger bellows a menacing “You sit the fuck down!” at a rising Leatherface.  Instant classic moment.

19) House (1986): The monsters in this remind me of a Looney Tunes episode.  Just a bunch of craziness and some classic 80s sweaters.

18) Lake Placid (1999): Betty White plays an old lady who has been feeding alligators along with her husband in her lake for years.  Who cares that one got so big it started eating people?  You leave her babies alone.

17) Gremlins 2 (1990): This was so entertaining to me when I was a kid, and it still has some good value today.  The gremlins dress up in all sorts of fun little costumes, and remember the theater scene?  Love it.

16) American Werewolf in London (1981):  This one’s a little scarier than some on the list, but it’s got some comedic value, mostly in the form of David’s deceased buddy, Jack.

15) Slither (2006): Gross and funny, this one stars fan-favorite Nathan Fillion and boasts some great laughs and many nasty moments to make you cringe.

14) The Lost Boys (1987): Corey Haim and Corey Feldman team up to take down the vampire menace plaguing their town, and while there are some serious moments, there are a ton of laughs.

13) Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2007):  This innovative horror film cracked me up when I first saw it.  It’s a very different take on the genre, taken from the point of view of a documentary film crew who interviews an up-and-coming slasher.

12) Jennifer’s Body (2009): This movie was dogged when it first came out, maybe because it starred Megan Fox.  But believe me when I say that this one is crazy entertaining.

11) Zombieland (2009):  Just give Woody Harrelson some twinkies!  I’m not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg, but this horror comedy had a lot of great moments and some great laughs.  And I, of course, have to mention THE cameo from Bill Murray.  I mean, how great was that?

10) Young Frankenstein (1974): Such a classic movie starring the late, great Gene Wilder.  The ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ dance is a classic movie moment, and although I’ve seen it over and over, I laugh every time.

9) The ‘Burbs (1989): Tom Hanks just wants to have a quiet vacation at his home, but his neighbor isn’t having it and wants him to help investigate the creepy newcomers who just moved next door.  So many shenanigans.  And another one with Corey Feldman.

8) Ghostbusters (1984):  I don’t think I need to go into any description of this one, a classic comedy with ghosts aplenty.

7) Seed of Chucky (2004): The Child’s Play movies started off scary, but Chucky went full funny in this one.

6) Tremors (1990): Kevin Bacon has to deal with crazy creatures under the dirt in his desert home, but no worries, Reba McEntire is there to help.

5) Cabin in the Woods (2012): Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard made a classic when they made this one.  It’s a different take on the origin of scary movies, and it delivers laugh after laugh along with the scary moments.

4) Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (2010):  Just a big misunderstanding leads to some hilarious situations in this movie starring Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine.

3) Evil Dead II (1987) & Army of Darkness (1992): I let these two share a number because I just couldn’t decide which one to put on top.  Bruce Campbell is amazing in both.

2) Beetlejuice (1988): This movie delivers a ghost story with some hilarity and a fantastic I performance from Michael Keaton.

1) Shaun of the Dead (2004): I LOVE THIS MOVIE.  This is the first of the Cornetto Trilogy from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, and it’s a crazy-fun ride through the zombie apocalypse.

So are there any that should have been on this list that I missed?

Throwback: Bloody Mary and Other Deadly Games

I remember watching Candyman at a sleepover I hosted when I was little.  My friends and I decided to test the movie’s premise by speaking the name ‘Candyman’ 5 times in the mirror in the bathroom.  (Spoiler Alert: He didn’t show.)

My aunt came over when we were in the middle of it, and being an inquisitive individual, she asked, “What the hell are you doing?!  What were you going to do if he showed up? Die?”

I guess we hadn’t thought that far ahead.

But being idgit kids, we played these games over and over and over.  And being an idgit adult, I decided to play a few tonight, just for the sense of nostalgia.  Here are my favorite deadly games from yesteryear:

Bloody Mary

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Not this.

I really don’t think I need to explain this one, but just in case you’re a mole person that just escaped your hatch, you basically speak the name “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a bathroom mirror in the dark and she appears to kill you, or hurt you, or read you a scary story or something.

So I went to my bathroom, turned the lights off, and said the magic words.  She was a no-show.  But then I decided to pee while I was in there and found out I had started my period. Success?

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

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This one probably needs very little explanation.  A group of kids surround a kid who is lying on the floor.  Each kid puts two fingers under the lucky kid on the floor and chants “light as a feather, stiff as a board” repeatedly until the kid magically floats off the floor.  Just good old-fashioned witchcraft at its finest, folks.

Well, as you can tell from the description above, you need more than a few people to do this one, but I improvised by getting my husband and dog involved.  Since my dog doesn’t have fingers, she got to be the lucky one on the floor.

And she was not having it.

We attempted to do the chanting and the lifting, but she just wiggled around until we gave up.  I mean, we were able to lift her, but it wasn’t really in the spirit of the game.

Concentrate

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We’d do this one while waiting in lines in elementary school.  Two people play.  One pounds lightly on the other’s back while chanting “Concentrate. Concentrate. Concentrate on what I’m saying. People are dying. Children are crying. Concentrate. Concentrate.”  Not awkward at all.

Anyway, creepy verses follow that have corresponding hand movements for effect.  You can check out this link for the full thing.  Afterward, the kid not chanting is supposed to open her eyes and find out how she’s going to die according to whatever colored door she sees.  Makes sense, right?

My husband took a bit of convincing because, for some reason, he didn’t want to know how he was going to die.  Go figure.  He didn’t really have to worry about anything.  I couldn’t get through it.  It’s actually really weird to chant something to someone’s back, even  if that person is your spouse.

Ouija Board

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Um…no.  Not touching this one.  The closest I’m getting to these is this tin of mints I bought at Spirit Halloween last year.

If you want to play around with this one again, be my guest.  But fair warning:

Do you want demons?  ‘Cause that’s how you get demons.

Well, it was fun walking down memory lane, but it really made me realize how little boundaries children have…and how dumb they can be.  Like, what were we going to do with Candyman if he showed up?

Top 5 Most Disappointing Movie Monsters

We’ve all been there.  You’re watching a horror movie.  Strange, scary things are happening, and you just know whatever is the cause has got to be equal parts creepy and awesome.

Then, it shows up.  And it kinda sucks.  Why did it have to suck?

So in honor of our shared disappointment, this Top Tuesday post is dedicated to the Top 5 Most Disappointing Movie Monsters.

Quick disclaimer: I will not be including any SyFy movies in this list or else it would’ve been too damn long.  And it would have been redundant.  Most of them are supposed to be stupid, right?

5.  Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

I was pretty excited for this movie when it was advertised. I only saw the trailers that didn’t show the creatures (I try to limit my views of horror movie trailers so they aren’t ruined), so I had no idea that the BIG BAD THINGS were cute, little fairy-like creatures. I mean, I wouldn’t mind having one of these little guys as a pet. I’d dress it up, take it to the park, feed it nice things. One thing I wouldn’t do is be terrified of it.

4.  Cloverfield

I can’t say so much that I was disappointed in what this monster looked like; I was just disappointed they showed it all. It wasn’t that bad or anything. In my opinion, the movie just went downhill after they fully showed the big guy. I liked the glimpses, just not the whole enchilada. It was too much enchilada. Like when you think you can eat three at a Mexican restaurant, but you really should have only tackled two. You don’t hate the enchiladas. You just know you had too much.

3.  Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

I’ve said before that I love the Paranormal Activity movies. I just do. I enjoy the subtle effects and the storyline.  Toby, little Kristie’s best friend, is the malevolent force behind all the chaos in the movies, and I think Toby, in his invisible form, was pretty cool.

And then they gave us the sixth installment, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.

It wasn’t exactly terrible.  It just sorta ruined the air of mystery surrounding Toby.  I admit I was pretty excited to find out that they were going to “show the activity” in this one, but I was pretty disappointed to see Toby as just another CGI ghost.  Oh well.  It didn’t ruin the series for me. I just wasn’t a fan of visible Toby.

2.  Stephen King’s The Langoliers

This one’s a little obscure if you aren’t a fan of 90s-era Stephen King TV movies, but it makes the list because it annoyed me soooooo much as a kid. I was so excited about The Langoliers when it was advertised.  I remember even asking one of my teachers in fifth grade if he knew what they were at recess.  Surprise, surprise. He didn’t.

So I watched this movie.  If you don’t know, it’s about a group of people on a plane that flies through the aurora borealis.  Everyone who was awake when that happens disappears, and those that were asleep awake to find themselves wondering why the hell all these people left without their clothes, wigs, pacemakers, and dentalwork.

Thankfully, one of the sleepy passengers just so happens to be a pilot who is able to land the plane at a deserted airport.  After some quick sleuthing and leaps of logic, they figure out they went back in time, proving what middle schoolers already know – history is boring.

One of the passengers, an annoying businessman expertly played by Bronson Pinchot, tells a story about the Langoliers, monsters his dad used to tell him would come and eat him alive if he was bad.  They end up hearing a buzzing noise off in the distance and decide they should get out of there before the source makes it to them.   When the source finally shows up – the titular Langoliers – they are nothing but flying cannonballs with teeth, eating the landscape and devouring time as we know it. WTF, guys?

1.  Stephen King’s IT (*Not Pennywise. He’s Cool.*)

Yep.  Another King entry.  It makes me a little sad to add this one to the list, but as much as I love Stephen King’s It and as much as it holds a very special place in my heart, even I can admit the monster reveal at the end was a let-down.  Maybe it was because Pennywise was so awesome.  There just wasn’t anything they could do to top him, so I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Guy 1: “Okay, we need something to be the actual monster at the end, so what could be scarier than this clown guy?”

Guy 2: “Giant spider?”

Guy 3: “…Yeah. Giant spider.”

Guy 1: “I guess. Let’s tell the effects team.”

Fin.

So those are the top 5 monsters that disappointed me.  Are there any that I missed that made you a little sad?

Motherly Love: The Lessons We’ve Learned

Happy Mother’s Day!

Okay, I know Mother’s Day was yesterday, but we should really be celebrating our mothers every day.  Shouldn’t we?  Moms are so important.  I know that I’ve been so lucky to have such a loving mother in my life.  She’s funny, loving, smart – the whole package, really.

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But this isn’t the place to talk about all that mushy stuff.  So let’s stick with the status quo and discuss what horror movie moms have taught us:

Lesson:  It’s important to have a moral compass.

Mother: Margaret White (Carrie)

Carrie’s mom just wanted her daughter to follow the righteous path.  Maybe Carrie’s telekinetic powers came naturally to her.  But maybe – just maybe – they came from Satan.  Not Margaret White’s baby!  She was ready to do anything and everything to keep her daughter from landing in the fiery pits of hell, including straight-up murdering Carrie to save her soul.  It’s tough to have to make those kinds of decisions.

Lesson: It’s important to be polite. (Also, don’t wear white after Labor Day.)

Mother: Beverly Sutphin (Serial Mom)

Social niceties are important.  You don’t just steal parking spaces or stand someone’s daughter up for a date in a civilized society – not without consequences.  Beverly Sutphin knew this and tried her darndest to teach impolite people why they needed to die for their slights.  And for wearing white after Labor Day.

Lesson: Explore your talents.  If you’re good at something, it’ll pay.

Mother: Norman Bates/Mother (Psycho)

Ms. Bates was a little domineering.  We all know that.  But she was only looking out for the best interests of her child.  Would Norman have gotten as far in life without Mother’s support?  Telling him when to change the bed sheets, when to turn on the ‘Vacancy’ light, which guests to kill, how to cultivate his skill in taxidermy so that she could “live on” after death?  I’ll tell you where he’d be.  He’d be just another boring guy working at a failing motel.  Listen to your mom.  Mother knows best.

Lesson: Cleanliness is next to godliness.

Mother: Woman (The People Under the Stairs)

Little Alice was bad.  She was friends with Roach, who spoke against her “parents.”  Sometimes children need discipline for going against their parents’ wishes, and sometimes that discipline needs to be a scalding hot bath to wash away their sins.

Lesson:  If anyone hurts my baby, there’ll be hell to pay.

Mother: Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th)

A good mother loves her child unconditionally and will go to terrifying lengths to protect/avenge him.  Oh, so Jason drowned while you were having unprotected sex and getting high on all kinds of drugs?  No problem. Ms. Voorhees will slice-and-dice you and every counselor there ever was.  Don’t come between a mother and her child, or you might just end up dead.

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These are just some of the important lessons we’ve learned from the horror movie mommies in our lives.  And those are some pretty good lessons.  They might be a little more violent than necessary, but well, no mother is perfect.

I mean, my mom is, but that’s beside the point.