The best scary movies are the old classics

Life Moments column
By Christine Bryant

There’s something about me that drives my husband nuts.

I hate scary movies. Actually, I hate today’s scary movies – the types where the goal is to get you to jump across the room and be grossed out by more blood and implausible plot lines than you can imagine.

There’s a few modern day scary flicks I’ve enjoyed – such as “The Sixth Sense” and “The Others” – but that’s because these movies have left more to the imagination and have relied more on the creepiness factor to keep you up at night.

It’s not that I hate scary movies – I just don’t enjoy watching ones where the most creative aspect of the movie is how many ways the killer can torture and dismember a body.

Instead, in October, you’ll find me huddled in a blanket in front of the TV watching the classics – the ones that get horror right.

I still remember the first time I saw “The Exorcist.” I was at a friend’s house, and it was just the two of us. It was dark and little did we know a storm was on its way. Hollywood couldn’t have written it any better.

Just before the part of the movie where Linda Blair’s head begins spinning, lightning lit up the windows, a boom of thunder shook the house and the electricity shut off.

It was terrifying, and awesome.

Few of today’s horror movies even compare to the classics – “The Shining,” “Poltergeist” and my favorite, “The Amityville Horror.”

Then there’s “It,” which forever tarnished my view of clowns. Though to be fair, the children’s show “Bozo” didn’t help.

Classic horror movies helped build the foundation for the modern horror movies of today, and it’s the classics that I suspect will continue to have a lasting impact for decades to come.

Think about it – they all have one thing in common. It’s not what’s on screen that is scary. It’s what’s in our imagination.

Movies like “Psycho” and “House on Haunted Hill” allow us to imagine the worst possible scenario based on the screams we hear down the hall or the creepy music that accompanies each twist and turn in the film.

Suspense builds throughout, and your mind leads you to darker places than the film ever could.
While there certainly are exceptions, today’s horror genre is all about gore and jump scares. In general, they really aren’t that scary. It’s almost as if Hollywood has forgotten what scares us the most – our own mind.

So in October when it’s time to pull out the horror flicks in celebration of Halloween, remember the classics. Though your dreams may not thank you.

Christine Bryant is a Messenger staff writer.

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