Thursday, October 20, 2016


You ever find one of those people on social media who constantly posts cool stuff that you always agree with and is a hell of a good writer to boot? Yea, that's Albert Muller aka @aj_macready on Twitter. He's a contributor to Horror View and now Daily Grindhouse (this link will take you directly to Albert's fantastic piece on 2002'S FRAILTY starring Bill Paxton and Mathew McConaughey.)

So continuing with our series of Top 3 Favorite horror films (scroll down for previous lists from Jeffery X Martin and Ghoulish Gary Poulin) I asked this 'writer and pop culture addict' for his...

John Carpenter's THE THING is the answer you give when someone says "all remakes suck." Not only does Carpenter honor the original film and the story that it's based on (WHO GOES THERE by John W Campbell) but he creates something wholly original and unique and constructs an experience very few movies can match for it's inventiveness and visual delights. A lone sled dog is chased by a helicopter into an American research camp in Antarctica. The crew take the dog in, but nothing is as it seems. It's not long before the seemingly innocent dog unleashes a Lovecraftian horror unlike anything we'd ever seen on screen before! Rick Botin's special FX work is fucking incredible-consider that it was made in 1982 with no CGI and almost every shot is a work of art. (Carpenter wisely set aside five months just for creating the special FX). THE THING delivers on being both scary and gory, but also on creating fully developed characters we can relate to and become emotionally entangled in their struggle for survival. It is as much a standard bearer for great horror films as '86's THE FLY or '78's HALLOWEEN.

Speaking of...

Let's face it, John Carpenter absolutely earned the title Horror Master. As a writer, director, and composer even when he's not at his best, he's still better than a lot of the competition! Halloween (1978) wasn't the first slasher film, but it sure as hell launched the slasher craze of the 1980s. Telling the story of Michael Myers aka The Shape who returns home after escaping from an insane asylum fifteen years after killing his older sister. He is pursued by his therapist, Doctor Loomis (Donald Pleasence). Michael unleashes terror on the town of Haddonfield as he slashes through some babysitters, working his way to Laurie Strode (the legendary top scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis-daughter of another great scream queen, Janet Leigh of PSYCO). Carpenter's score on it's own can strike fear in the hearts of adults. The slow burn, high tension masked killer flick is still scary almost forty years later and spawned a slew of sequels and remakes, not to mention an endless parade of imitators.

The Exorcist has a reputation for being one of the most frightening films ever made. It's not hype. Not
only is William Friedkin's amazing classic scary, but it is a shocking and nerve wracking experience. A girl named Regan plays with a ouija board and unwittingly opens herself up to demon possession. From there THE EXORCIST spirals into a dual with the Devil unlike anything captured on film before and rarely-and even then hardly reaching these dizzying heights-since. THE EXORCIST is an integral part of the birth of the modern horror film, which likely starts with Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in 1969, where the horror film 'grew up' and started catering to a more mature, even adult crowd. Where the rubber monster suit was put away and the monsters came from within or were our neighbors. In the case of the supernatural/paranormal films like THE EXORCIST, CARRIE, or the AMITYVILLE HORROR the old haunted house moved to the suburbs and reflected the skyrocketing divorce rates and the general decay of the traditional family unit. THE EXORCIST, based on William Peter Blatty's novel is as much a timeless film as it is a film that wormed it's way straight to the fears of the 1970's audience.

I don't know what else there is to say about these picks, I mean everyone has a different top three, but you can't disregard THE THING, HALLOWEEN, or THE EXORCIST. These are films that have survived and will continue to survive trends, generational tastes, and the highs and lows of the genre itself. Thanks, Albert for sharing your top 3 favorite horror films! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me! You easily summed up why those are my Top 3 horror flicks, man. Great job!