I'm struggling to maintain my Friday Friendliness here. Let's go from music to movies while I try to keep a lid on my urge to rant. Some Brit scientists have come up with a formula for determining the scariest horror movie:
(es+u+cs+t) squared +s+ (tl+f)/2 + (a+dr+fs)/n + sin x - 1. Where: es = escalating music u = the unknown cs = chase scenes t = sense of being trapped s = shock tl = true life f = fantasy a = character is alone dr = in the dark fs = film setting n = number of people sin = blood and guts 1 = stereotypesTheir winner? The Shining. On which I call BS. The Shining had its moments, but Shelley Duval and that little kid were so annoying it was hard to be sympathetic towards them. Plus, I read the book and was sorely disappointed that there was no topiary scene in the movie. I'd been having a conversation with Allah in which I bemoaned the fact that there are no good horror movies anymore. Even the latest crop - 28 Days, the remake of Dawn of the Dead, Jeepers Creepers - none of them succeeded in scaring me. And what more does one want from a purported scary movie than to be....scared. While I am a big fan of cheesy slasher flicks (see, Prom Night) and general gore (see, Dead Alive), those things don't scare me as much as entertain me. When it comes to being frightened, I prefer my scares to be psychological. I find movies are also scarier if the fear is subtle or unnerving, as opposed to making you jump out of your seat on cue with the scary music. Which is why movies like Friday the 13th are fun and movies like Session 9 are scary, and movies like Last House on the Left can leave you feeling creeped out for days on end. Using the formula above, I went over a few of my own favorite horror/scary movies. Now, math just isn't my thing, especially alegbra, so I'm sure some mistakes were made in the computations. Regardless, I was able to come up with a list of movies that scored well. And The Shinging nor Blair Witch (which I thought was heinous) are nowhere to be found. Also: Before anyone opens up the discussion, The Wickerman was NOT scary. It was horrid. Bad. Laughably bad. * The Exorcist. Probably the last movie that frightened the bejesus out of me. * Candyman. I found this movie to be both evil and frightening. Not only could I not look in the mirror for days after (I know I wouldn't be able to help myself from saying the dreaded words), but it's one of the few movies I have not been able to watch a second time. It comes on the tv, I go running from the room. * Magic. Anyone remember this? Anthony Hopkins is a ventriloquist with an evil dummy. Probably frightened me more than most people because I always thought dummies were evil to begin with. See, also: evil monkeys. * Evil Dead. Most of you know that the Evil Dead trilogy rank as three of my favorite movies ever. ED2 and AoD weren't so much scary as they were fun, the first, Evil Dead, was truly creepy. * Lady in White. One of those psychologically creepy movies. * The Entity. Ok, this wasn't really a great movie. But I will never, ever in all of my life forget the image of those invisible fingers pressed into Barbara Hershey's breasts. That's what I put through the calculator for now. I'm sure you'll come up with dozens of your own, and several arguments as to why my choices are wrong. But, as always, I welcome dissent.