October Friday Movie Night: Psycho

It’s the very first Friday Move Night of October, and throughout the month I’ll be featuring my favorite Halloween movies starring the creepiest, freakiest, scariest, kookiest, and spookiest characters around! Tonight’s movie is a classic slasher by the Master of Suspense himself, Mr. Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho!

Yikes! That picture gives me the willies.

While technically a slasher film, Psycho goes so much deeper into psychological horror than the genre is known for thanks to Hitchcock’s direction and Anthony Perkins performance as the mild-mannered Norman Bates.  When Marion Crane (played by Janet Leigh, mother of Jamie Lee Curtis from Halloween) pulls into the Bates Motel for the night, she encounters its owner and manager, Norman, who lives in the big creepy house up the hill.  He seems like a sweet guy, maybe a little nervous, but overall he kind of just needs a hug.  Right?  Without spoiling anything, we as the audience join Marion as she descends into the movie’s spiral of darkness and madness as we try to unravel the mystery of Norman and his enigmatic mother and it’s absolutely chilling.

All of the movie’s performances are incredible, but it’s hard to not place Anthony Perkins performance as Norman Bates among the greatest of all time.  He takes on many different shades as the movie progresses, and you can’t help but be spooked by his peculiar stuttering and way of speaking.

Scary movies aren’t particularly scary when they’re stupid, and Psycho is among the most intelligent that I’ve ever seen.  It blends straight-up slasher terror with psychological intrigue and three-dimensional characters that never fall into the tired horror cliches.  Psycho has few scenes of actual violence, but instead presents its scares through dialogue and its representation of madness, which is scary because it’s not far from reality.

In conclusion, Psycho is a movie that demands to be thought over after its powerful conclusion and leaves a lasting impression.  You won’t easily shake off the terror of the story…especially when you’re in the shower.

– Julia

Friday Movie Night: Poltergeist

The Daily Suck

Since today is Friday the 13th, I picked a scary movie to feature on this week’s Friday Movie Night: Poltergeist!

Poltergeist!!

They just don’t make posters like that anymore.  Anyway, Poltergeist was pretty much my first scary movie and man, did it deliver! The movie tells the story of the Freelings, your average, suburban family, who must deal with an evil spirit that possesses their home and kidnaps their daughter, Carol Anne.  Even though that particular narrative is now pretty much the benchmark for every horror movie ever, Poltergeist stands out from all the other wannabes.  I admire how the love and strength of the family is portrayed in the face of all the terrible things that they go through without sacrificing the scare factor.  Cuz Poltergeist is scary.

      

That’s just creepy stuff right there.  Especially the scene when Carol Anne starts to answer questions from the tv set, even though all we hear is static (“Hello? What do you look like?…I can’t hear you! Five.  Yes.  Yes.  I don’t know.  I don’t know”).  Or, more famously, the part when *spoiler* one of the parapsychologists hired by the Freelings goes into the restroom AND PEELS OFF HIS FACE.  It turns out to be just a hallucination, but you’re pretty much already scarred for life by that point.  My favorite scene in the whole movie is towards the end, though, when Mrs. Freeling is sprinting down the hallway towards Carol Anne’s room to save the kids from the poltergeist — and the hallway s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s out farther and farther until the door seems miles away.  It’s a great effect and totally creepy.  So, yeah, Poltergeist tells a great story filled with chilling scares and touching family moments, and is one of the greatest scary movies of all time.  But who am I kidding? We all know who the real star of the movie is.

Forget the Ghostbusters.  The person I want on my side in the event of a poltergeist haunting is psychic Tangina Barrons for sure.  Who can forget her treasury of quotes, ranging from “Ya’ll mind hanging back? You’re jammin’ the frequencies” to “Now, clear your minds.  It knows what scares you.  It has from the very beginning.  Don’t give it any help, it knows too much already”? Um, hello? Gosh, Tangina, save some awesome for the rest of the cast.

This movie is definitely one of my all-time favorites.  If you haven’t seen it already, go watch Poltergeist and let me know what you thought in the comments!

P.S. Don’t go into the light!

– Julia