So Halloween is tomorrow, and Hurricane Sandy has got a grudge against it the size of the East Coast… rather literally. Presumably he had himself too many razor-apples when he was a kid, and is now taking out on the entire Atlantic shoreline.
I have to admit I’ve never seen a hurricane. There’s a lot you can say about the place where I live — most of it unflattering — but, for what it’s worth, it is shielded from all sorts of natural disasters. The most we ever have is severe floods and blackouts during bad thunderstorms, but those are mostly due to poor infrastructure than anything else.
That doesn’t mean there ain’t no rain around here, though, so I at least have an idea of what it’s like to be cooped up inside the house waiting out the weather, enough to know that a nice ole movie can be your best pal in these situations. So in keeping with the theme of Halloween, here’s are three great spooky films for East Coasters to stave off cabin fever during the turbulent days they’re about to have, Enjoy and stay safe!
1. The Host
The Host is not only one of the best Korean movies out there, it’s also one of the best monster flicks of the last decade or two, if not the best. Director Bong Joon-Ho is a prodigy I make a point of keeping up with, and in this he delivers a swirling mix of family drama, slapstick comedy, creeping horror and ass-kicking action that rivals anything Hollywood can give you.
The younglings may not believe this, but there was a time when M. Night “Huge Disappointment” Shyamalan wasn’t a huge disappointment. That was very, very long ago, so long in fact that some things that are diamonds now weren’t diamonds then.
Back in those days, Mr. Nighty Night packed a punch like George Foreman packs low-fat grills, and after releasing two very bold takes on familiar genres with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable (Ghost stories and Superhero films, respectively), he tackled the subject of alien invasions in Signs. This movie is not only scary (a lot of people had to pay an extra visit to the Laundromat after the pantry scene), it’s also inspiring and emotional, with a nice message about hope and whatnot.
3. The Birds
A lot of people will argue that Signs is somewhat of a ripoff of The Birds, Hitchcock’s seminal masterpiece, and these people are absolutely correct. That’s no reason to dismiss the more modern film, because succeeding in ripping Hitchcock is a feat in and of itself that most directors today couldn’t accomplish if their cocaine depended on it, but it does mean that you’ll probably have lots more scares during the classic.
On a side note, as a fan of Crime Stories, I should also point out that this movie was also written by one of my favorite authors, Ed McBain (pseudonym of Evan Hunter), one of the pioneers of the police procedural genre. Without him, we wouldn’t have Law & Order. We also wouldn’t have The Birds.
Because he wrote it.