Some of English horror memorable movies
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic story about spilt personality. Frankly I had heard so much about the movie but I had not seen it for a long time. I even saw “Sholay” very late in my life. Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is not basically a horror movie because it has no ghost but at the same time it’s chilling scary. Watch the movie at night and you know what I mean. The story is of a woman who steals $400,000 from her employer to help her lover and leaves town to escape with the money. She heads of to meet her boyfriend in another city. Tired of driving, she stops at the “Bates Motel” and there she meets the owner of the motel, Norman Bates. Norman Bates stays with her mother who is on a wheel chair. The woman is brutually murdered in the night. When Norman Bates sees her dead body, he dumps her body in the swamp. If there is nobody else in the motel, who killed the woman? The movie is slow but engrossing. Some of the scenes are too good and ofcourse it has the famous Shower scene. The climax where Mrs Bates is shown was very scary for me. Gus Van Sant remade Psycho in a scene by scene copy in 1998.
The famous Shower scene from Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock’s classic tale about dual personality
A girl is possessed by a spirit and a priest is called to exorcise or remove the spirit. The simple storyline still makes a chilling movie. The movie starts in Iraq and then moves to modern America where ghost and myths are considered just that, myths. A normal 12-year old girls turns to a violent, abusive, vulgar possessed individual. The rest of the movie is how the priests exorcise the evil spirit. It also traces the realization of faith of the priest who must first come with terms with their own spirituality before fighting evil. It’s not such a scary movie but the story also has its moment. Like the girl puking, or talking with a different voice and the most memorable scene coming down the stairs on her hands and feet upside down.
The Omen (1976)
A child born at 6 AM on the 6th day of the 6th month turns out to be the son of the Satan. He is born to lead a wave of Anti-Christ. I saw this movie long time ago. Gregory Peck played an American diplomat who’s son dies soon after birth. To hide this fact from his wife, he adopts another boy who was also born on the same day. This is the son of the devil himself. Named Damien, the boy undergoes changes, which reveals his evil side. People start dying. His father realizes that he is no ordinary child and needs to be stopped. The climax left chances for a sequel and there were two. But not as scary as the first one. The Omen had some shocking moment. The horror was in the concept and not in the scenes, a devil taking over the world. 666 became a very unlucky number. A must watch for horror fan
Damein from Omen
Halloween Series (1978 and later)
The movie directed by John Carpenter is of the Jason and Freddy type. A boy of 6, Michael Myers kills his sister on Halloween day. He is kept in an Asylum after that. 15 years later, he returns to haunt the same town again. Popular as slasher movie where the villain kills everybody for no apparent reason.
A writer takes a job as a caretaker of a scheduled hotel on the mountains during the winter. He takes his wife and son along. Adapted from Stephen King’s novel, this is considered one of Stanley Kubrick best movie. The writer played by Jack Nicholson starts to loose his mind and his wife and son are in danger. Although adapted from Stephen King’s novel, it was not a loyal adaptation of the novel. Stephen King was reportedly unhappy with the movie. Hence its called Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shinning”. The film opens with a car traveling up the mountain with the reflection of the mountains in a lake. (the same opening sequence can be seen in Vivek-Aiswarya-Amitabh starrer “Kyon.. Ho Gaya na”). The movie takes place in the hotel on the mountain in the winter. The place is isolated and only has the three family members as the occupant. The previous caretaker had murdered his family along with his two girls. The movie successfully manages to capture the isolation of the family from the rest of the world. Jack’s son Danny moves alone in the hotel in his tricycle. (Again copied in Vasthu Shastra). He starts to see disturbing images of the haunting hotel through special force called shining. The isolations and the haunting forces have a negative effect on Jack who turns violent and tries to kill his wife and son. The rest of the story is how the wife saves herself and her son. The climax of the movie is left for the audience to interpret. It does not offer any answer to Jack’s behavior or does not directly give out the secret of the hotel. Stanley Kubrick has left the audience to understand and interpret the story. The movie is scary. Each and every scene and object symbolizes the story or part of the story. The tricycle, the maze in front of the hotel, the room where the previous caretaker stayed, and the typewriter show and help in explaining the story. Classic scenes the boy moving along the hallway of the hotel in his tricycle, the woman in the bathtub and Jack Nicholson’s face appearing through the broken door. Find out what “Redrum” means.
Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”
Friday the 13th Series (1980 and later)
A killer running loose in a camp and kills on everybody in the camp. This is the central idea of all the Friday the 13th movies. The killer known as Jason is a boy who drowned in the lake next to the camp. The movie is all gore and blood and eventually the killer turns out to be the mother of the boy who is taking revenge of the counselors in the camp. The identity of the killer was established in the first movie itself. However the first movie was followed by 10 more sequels. Jason remains the famous slasher guy.
The story of a normal housewife who is raped by an invisible entity and how she fights the entity. Supposedly based on a true story, the movie is laced with sexual violence. The movie’s heroine tries to take the help of psychologist. The movie tries to bank on the rapes rather than find out the entity or the ghost. The movie almost becomes a cheap skin-flick. The movie was copied to a large extent to be remade in Hindi as “Hawa” starring Tabu. The Hindi movie changed the heroine to a single mom and her teenage son changed to her brother. Could have been made into a better movie.
The Entity was remade in hindi as “Hawa” with Tabu playing the heroine.
Evil Dead (1981) and the sequels.
Long before Sam Raimi made Spiderman, he had made “Evil Dead” and its main sequels. The story is quite simple. Five friends spent their weekend in a forest cabin where they find a book containing scriptures to awaken the zombies. They find a tape which plays the scripts and the dead are awakened. One by one the people start becoming zombies to kill those left alive. A lot like our own Ramsay, this movie had a lot of cutting, killing, blood, gore and slime thrown around. Even though made on a very low budget, the movie was a hit and since achieved cult status. I think it was the movie where the hero cuts his own hand and then chases it because his hand has turned into a zombie. Mindless crap but scary too.
“Evil Dead” was one of Sam Raimi’s earlier movies. He made Spiderman.
To Be continued……..