Features

Scariest Movies

Writer: Naseem Randhawa


"I Scream, you Scream, we all Scream for no more "Scream"!".


The Exorcist ("1973")

As the only horror film to date that has grabbed 10 Academy Award nominations, "The Exorcist" was released at a height where demonic possession films like "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Omen" was at its peak. When the movie was first released in US cinemas, moviegoers ran out screaming and some even fainted in the cinema. The movie followed a young girl who gets possessed by an ancient demon, as her single mother along with the help of her local priests try to rid the demon as it takes over the young girl. The movie features a lot of scary scenes (remember that staircase crawling and glowing eyes in the dark?) that remain etched in the minds of horror fans everywhere. As the movie is based on a real life exorcism case, it is rumoured to have also contributed to the various mishaps and tragedies faced by the cast and crew who believe the movie is cursed.


Ju-On: The Grudge ("2003")

No, we're not talking about the crappy Sarah Michelle Gellar remake, but the original Japanese movie that managed to scare even the bravest of horror movie fans with its simplicity and mute suspense. "Ju-on" tells a tale of a cursed house where its original occupants died in extreme rage and sorrow therefore rendering an implicating darkness upon whoever that steps into the house. The minimalist approach to the story, cinematography and effects, made the movie that much scarier and realistic as director Takashi Shimizu slowly showed his ghosts appear on screen allowing them to linger or just stay in the shot for an added effect. Although the series has 6 movies to its name, this particular story follows the fate of a social worker who steps in the house where she discovers the deaths that occurred in the house through being cursed.

The Shining ("1980")

When Stanley Kubrick of "2001: A Space Odyssey" wanted to adapt a horror novel from the horror master himself, Stephen King, Kubrick picked "The Shining" and got Jack Nicholson to play the lead as a unemployed father and husband, who brings his wife and young son along to play caretakers to an abandoned hotel in the Winter. While the family tries to get comfortable in the colossal yet gothic place, strange things start to occur and his young son starts seeing mysterious people wandering around the hotel. However, the scary parts do not lie on the ghosts and whatnots of the hotel, but the psychological state of mind Nicholson goes into as his son slowly deciphers the hotel's cunning secrets.

Blair Witch Project ("1999")

The movie that spawned the 'found-footage' genre ("Paranormal Activity", "Cloverfield" and "Apollo 18") managed to fool audiences when it first made its debut in 1999. It plays out as an amateur footage that's been pieced together to chronicle the lives of three student filmmakers who travel in the woods of Black Hills, Maryland to do a documentary on an urban legend known as the Blair Witch. The start of this 'mockumentary' shows a disclaimer that the footage of the actual incident was found in the woods, but the whereabouts of the trio are unknown, and with the 'permission' of the parents of the 'victims', this footage is made available to the public. Being the first of its kind at a time where the 'found-footage' genre was new to us, the movie certainly seemed real at first as the ending managed to invoke nightmares and a definite fear of the woods.

Shutter ("2004")

After watching this film, it's almost impossible to look at cameras the same way again as we now can't help but to quickly scan our camera shots and sigh in relief upon not discovering 'anything' in the shots. Also unlike its crappy American remake, this Thai original follows a photographer (Tun) who after a drunken night out with his girlfriend, hits a mysterious girl on the road and run off, leaving the girl to lay on the road dying. It's not long until Tun starts noticing that all his photographs have a white silhouette in them and discovers that the dead girl is out for vengeance, killing his friends one by making them commit suicide. Apart from the American remake with the same title in 2008, this film also has a Telegu remake title "Photo" (2006), a Tamil remake "Sivi" (2007) and a Hindi remake "Click" (2010).

IT ("1990")

Originally regarded as a 2 part TV-miniseries, fans often refer to this film as an extra long movie of 3 hours and 35 minutes that contributed to their childhood fears of clowns. The movie follows a bunch of friends who stumble across a demon/predator or simply, It - Pennywise the Dancing Clown, who feeds on little children and their fears. Again, based on the popular Stephen King novel, the demon clown lurks in the sewers and tempts its prey (children) with friendship and gifts, only to reveal its monstrous face, sharp teeth and long nails to devour them. A remake is planned for the movie set with an US 'R' rating and produced by Warner Bros.
Cinema Online, 11 October 2011


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