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The best horror movie ever made is The Skeleton Key

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  • The best horror movie ever made is The Skeleton Key

    I thought I was getting old and jaded (and I probably am), but I was very surprised to see that I can still get more scared, surprised, and impressed than I was by "Vertigo", "Frankenstein", or any of their pretentious succesors.

    But "The Skeleton Key" did it all, and more. Not least because of incredibly superior performances by the actors -- John Hurt as the paralyzed man in the wheel-chair could have improved any spook from The Exorcist to The Wicker Man (not that it'd take all that much to improve The Exorcist, I'll grant you). But way beyond John Hurt's impeccable and inspired performance was Gena Davis as his scary wife, the old hag in the mysterious old house.

    Oh, I don't know how to tell you without performing some bad spoilers. But it starts with a nurse from New Orleans (presumably before the big storm) going out to an old house in the swamps nearby. She comes to an old house with mysteries... and all the mysteries are revealed in the end, making everything add up in a way that's even more terryfying than those movies that think it's more scary to have a confused and noncoherent plot.

    Everything's beautiful for those liking a spook. Put on candles and turn off the electrics before you watch this masterpiece!
    "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

  • #2
    I saw this... didn't really do it for me. Rather predictable PG-13 horror movie IMO.

    Angel Heart, with Mickey Rourke is a comparable (better) movie.

    Still I find The Shining particularly disturbing, not from anything in the actual story itself but just from the way it is filmed.
    Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

    Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jagged
      ...not that it'd take all that much to improve The Exorcist, I'll grant you...
      Sorry, are you referring to the (frankly quite wonderful) 1974 "Exorcist" by William Friedkin or one of the dreary sequels*?

      * 'Though "Exorcist III" wasn't that bad.
      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

      Comment


      • #4
        The only time I tried to watch the Exorcist was quite a while back, and it was in a theater. I passed out. To this day I don't know if it was the movie or altitude sickness (La Paz, Bolivia).

        Haven't attempted to watch it again since.
        Not good with that genre, at any rate.
        Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.
        -Yousuf Karsh

        Comment


        • #5
          I never really liked The Exorcist. Bearing in mind it was banned in the UK for many years - I only saw it for the first time in 1999 when it first came out on DVD. Have to say it didn't do a lot for me - a couple of scenes were quite creepy but I didn't see anything in it that justifies the cult acclaim.

          Part of the problem with horror movies is that they rarely create an atmosphere of sustained menace - I always remember specific scenes from horror movies rather than the narrative as a whole.

          In The Omen (1976) (which incidentally I think is far superior to The Exorcist), the scene where Billie Whitelaw goes into the hospital to kill Gregory Peck's wife always sends a chill up my spine. Her face just looks so evil and malevolent.

          I find the same true with The Shining, which I always find uncomfortable to watch. Never really liked Stanley Kubrick all that much, but that movie really fit his style I thought. Does a really good job of making you feel psychologically uneasy, something about that silent footage of the elevator opening and a river of blood pouring out always disturbed me.
          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

          Comment


          • #6
            The Skeleton Key was a little better than most of the horror movies that were made in the last few years.


            The Shining was always an interesting movie.


            I don't know what my favourite horror movie is, if it is not a vampire movie, I don't watch that many horror. Peter Cushing andChristopher Lee ones are good.

            I like the original Dawn of he Dead,haha, but that might be for the campy elements.

            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by devilchicken
              I never really liked The Exorcist. Bearing in mind it was banned in the UK for many years - I only saw it for the first time in 1999 when it first came out on DVD.
              The Exorcist was never banned in the UK. Perhaps you're confusing it with A Clockwork Orange (which wasn't banned either, just that Kubrick withdrew it from circulation)? It was passed uncut as an "X" certificate in 1974, then recertified as an "18" in 1990. As I recall it used to play every Friday night at a London cinema (in Baker Street?) throughout the mid-80s - at least I seem to recall seeing listings for it in Time Out, which I was buying regularly between mid-'80s and early '90s.

              The Exorcist was released on uncertified on video in 1981 but then fell victim to the Video Recordings Act 1984, which forced it to be re-submitted for viewing in private homes and the BBFC refused to grant a video certification. That still doesn't amount to a 'ban' as such because the film was still eligible for screening in cinemas during this time. Relaxations at the BBFC meant it was eventually passed uncut for home video in 1999, which is when you and I would have seen it.*

              Originally posted by devilchicken
              Have to say it didn't do a lot for me - a couple of scenes were quite creepy but I didn't see anything in it that justifies the cult acclaim.
              Fair dos. Some people claim that The Empire Strikes Back is the Best. Star Wars Movie. Ever but I can't see it myself.

              *Actually, I tell a lie. I got a (pirate) video copy of The Exorcist when I was working for the Royal Mail in 1992/3. 1999 was when I bought the video though. I also bought the DVD (with Mark Kermode's 'Fear of God' documantary) and then the 'the version you've never seen before' DVD some years later. :)
              Last edited by David Mosley; 07-10-2006, 02:01 AM.
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm still waiting for someone to put together a high-budget Lovecraft movie.

                The majority of horror movies coming out of Hollywood these days are, unfortunately tailored for teenagers, they don't even attempt anything approaching an 'adult' theme anymore - the limits of terror are apparently defined as anything that can kill in you a messy or unpleasant way.

                The whole genre has become loaded with cliches - essentially following the same model set down by the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which is *yawn* getting the prequel treatment courteousy of Michael Bay) and Halloween.

                We don't really get movies like "The last house on the left" anymore - unless you count Rob Zombies movies.

                Even so I find it very difficult to watch one of those movies and not think that I'm watching some sort of twisted pornography.
                Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have an H.P.Lovecraft movie on DVD.It is called "Die Monster Die".
                  It was filmed in 1965 and stars Boris Karloff.Lovecrafts title for the story was " The Color Out Of Space".I watched this movie with my younger brothers back in the early seventies and they refused to go into the basement alone until they hit their teens.HAhaha..It was produced by Nicholson/Arkoff in color for American international.I find it to be a masterpiece, but maybe Im just a nostalgic fool.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There's a low budget adapation of The Shadow Over Innsmouth - by the guy who directed Reanimator. Not half bad really...

                    There's a suggestion the Guillermo Del Toro is wanting to do At the Mountains of Madness - if so, it would be the first time we'd see a Shoggoth on film.
                    Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                    Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [quote=devilchicken]I'm still waiting for someone to put together a high-budget Lovecraft movie.

                      God I wish. Soemthing like The Call of Cthulhu, or The Mountains of Madness.
                      The Dunwich horror was pretty bad, as was The Unnamable. PT 1 and 2
                      Dagon was ok though, IMHO I liked Re-animator, but not Bride of Re-animator.
                      It would be nice to see Cthulhu rise up out of the sea, and not have him look like something out of a Godzilla movie, or a power rangers episode.
                      The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath would be especially nice.
                      I am going to have to look for Die monster die, and The Shadow over Innsmouth
                      And I did enjoy The Skeleton Key. One of the most suspensful horror movies in recent years.
                      And I Love the Excorcist.
                      And has anybody seen Silent Hill? I used to love the game, but the movie was quite a dissappointment to me, despite the great special effects, and Radah Mitchell.
                      Last edited by Thiassi; 07-10-2006, 12:32 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I saw Silent Hill - it wasn't scary so much as downright nasty. Although I did like the rather bleak ending.
                        Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                        Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness has some Lovecraftian ideas in it without actually going wholehog and doing Chthulu or any of the Elder Gods per se, so I'm not sure it qualifies. But I do like it.
                          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by David Mosley
                            John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness has some Lovecraftian ideas in it without actually going wholehog and doing Chthulu or any of the Elder Gods per se, so I'm not sure it qualifies. But I do like it.
                            I enjoyed that movie a lot. Sam Neil is one of my favorite actors.
                            I also enjoyed Cast a Deadly Spell, with Fred Ward. Pretty good for a B movie. Very Lovecraftian. I think Wards character's name was Lovecraft, for that matter. Dont know if it is based on an actual Lovecraft story or not. It did have a large puppet of Yog-Sothoth though, so maybe.
                            There was another movie, called "Something wicked this way comes" that I always felt had a lot of Lovecraftian undertones. Decent movie, set in mid 1800s old west about a traveling carnival that is more than it appears.
                            Worth seeing.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by devilchicken
                              I saw Silent Hill - it wasn't scary so much as downright nasty. Although I did like the rather bleak ending.
                              Yeah it was a good one.
                              Speaking of bleak endings, did anyone see "Darkness" with Anna Paquin?
                              I LOVED the ending of that movie.
                              But then, my freinds tell me that I am kind of twisted, so...............

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