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The Fearfodder Hit List

Well, another Halloween has come and gone. You probably watched a handful of horror movies in celebration of the season, but that leaves out an awful lot of titles. You'll want to get started on next year's lineup right away, and to help you out with that, I give you the Fearfodder List of Great, Over-Hyped, and God-Awful Horror Films!

(I apologize in advance for countless omissions in all three categories. Films are listed in no particular order.)

    The Great
  • "Halloween"--It may draw laughter at a gathering, but try watching it alone in the dark. Who's laughing now?
  • "The Exorcist"--Dare to become a devout Catholic for the duration of this classic spiritual thriller.
  • "The Shining"--Stephen King is entitled to his own opinion, of course, but Kubrick's original film version kicks ass.
  • "The Omen"--Ah, that spooky little bastard, Damien. There's nothing quite like being scared out of your wits by a wee lad.
  • "Rosemary's Baby"--The cloying atmosphere of this one gets me every time. Truly scary.
  • "Hellraiser"--Nothing short of revolutionary.
  • "Duel"/"Jaws"--Two sides of the same coin and perennially appealing.
  • "The Hitcher"--A peerless spine-tingler.
  • "The Brood"--There's only one director who could have pulled this off. Luckily he's the one who directed it: David Cronenberg.
  • "Frenzy"--Hitchcock's best film.

[Honorable Mention: "Dagon"--It would have been easy for the fish folk that populate this film to become utterly laughable, but Stuart Gordon turns them into some of the scariest supernatural creatures ever to grace a horror flick; "The Legend of Hell House"--Scary as hell.]

    The Over-Hyped
  • "The Sixth Sense"--Good but overly pat.
  • "The Blair Witch Project"--Great for what it is but not great period.
  • "Scream"--A decent parody but like much of Wes Craven's work, overrated.
  • "Dog Soldiers"--Good acting keeps it afloat, but the damn thing never sails.
  • "High Tension"--When it stops being an unauthorized adaptation of Dean Koontz's "Intensity," it falls apart.
  • "Jeepers Creepers"--A strong intro gives way to a disappointing wrap-up.
  • "The Ring"--This remake sickened me with its lameness. It was not easy deciding whether to include it here or below.
  • "The Exorcism of Emily Rose"--A little young to be on any list, this dud is nonetheless worthy of mention. Jennifer Carpenter's committed performance isn't nearly enough to save this thing from a hopeless fate.
  • "Cabin Fever"--My hopes were dashed.
  • "Manhunter"--Some folks actually prefer this early Hannibal Lecter film to the infinitely more nail-biting "Red Dragon" remake. I'm not one of them.
    The God-Awful
  • "Frailty"--Holy crap, this movie sucks!
  • "Stigmata"--Or, as I like to call it, "Stinkmata."
  • "Halloween II"--The only good thing about this sequel is that it was a rung on the ladder that led to "H2O."
  • "Exorcist II: The Heretic"--Perhaps the worst sequel on record, and that's no mean feat, considering the bevy of talent involved. What the hell went wrong with this movie, anyway?
  • "What Lies Beneath"--Oops! Someone mistook boredom for suspense.
  • "Exorcist: The Beginning"--What a poorly paced disappointment.
  • "Thir13een Ghosts"--Despite the clever spelling of the title (and the inexplicable presence of F. Murray Abraham), this remake fails to mark an improvement over the original, which wasn't very good either.
  • "Freddy Vs. Jason"--Though technically not any worse than "Jason X," this one doesn't even sport a cameo by David Cronenberg.
  • "Darkness Falls"--Not soon enough.
  • "The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting"--When potential meets with indifference.

--Pete Mesling

Posted by Pete on November 1, 2005 6:45 AM
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