It’s that time again, time for tricks and treats, time for all things scary. Each week here on CultureSmash we will be featuring a new selection for your weekend viewing pleasure to help you get in the holiday….spirit! Some horror movies are cotton candy roller coaster rides full of silly dialogue and jump scares while others can be deeper and more disturbing. The world of the horror movie is vast and full of more variants than non-fans might think. So we’ll be avoiding those classics, the must views such as Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween (originals only please) and instead trying to bring you some options you may not have seen before.
We are another day closer to Halloween and thus another great reason to treat yourself to a trick or two. Horror movies can be the best trick; they can be suspenseful, gory, campy, and/or straight up twisted. So we watch them to invoke the emotions of fear and to experience the chills and bumps of our subconscious dark sides. Whether it be mythical or realistic in plot, we find a place to escape and test our courage.
I find that the best films are those based off true stories, but there are some films that make you manipulate things into reality. Have you ever been swimming in a lake or at a beach and find yourself in fear of what might be beneath you, or even walking to your car at night and you catch yourself looking around for what may suddenly appear? Why? It is because of those scary movies that you have watched and have let take hold of your mind. One movie that has left a lasting effect on me and is a must watch for Halloween is…
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
Directed by: John Landis
Staring: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne
I remember first seeing this when I was 15 and ever since then, I always find myself needing to be in some sort of light while walking at night. The first fifteen minutes of the movie had the most impact on me. Two young American men are backpacking through Europe, casual and sharing normal conversation as night approaches. They seek shelter at a pub where they are not met with welcome by the European residents. Felt unwelcome or wanted, they are sent back on the road and warned by the townspeople to stay to the pavement. Somehow a heated conversation distracts them and sends them into the meadows of the European land. Struck by fear of one being lost and eerie howls being heard, the two men know they are not alone. A full moon appears from the clouds and then it happens… you are sent a mythical ride which feels so real that the belief carries into your actual life. The remainder of the movie follows the aftermath of the previous events, while still adding fear but humor as well. Werewolves, ghosts, and mysterious visuals make this a Halloween staple movie. This film also sparked a sequel 16 years later called American Werewolf in Paris. but this first movie has more of an affect on your mind.
This movie is unlike most horror films you will experience, it combines fear with campy humor. It is super relate-able, through the character portrayal and situation aspects. Although made with 1980’s graphics, this film still holds a sense of fear with me today. Visually the transformation from man to beast is done in such a way that you can actually see it happening to you, unlike today’s computerized effects. Belief makes a horror movie, and American Werewolf in London will make you believe. You have to see this film, I guarantee your mind will change!