A film major’s list of movies that will keep you at the edge of your seat
By Patrick Linehan | Contributor
Halloween’s on a Monday this year, and if the simple fact that the best holiday is on the worst day of the week doesn’t scare you, then maybe these movies will help get you into the spirit!
“Alien”: Scare Factor – 4 (Rated R)
Alien is a gem. The director, Ridley Scott, captured the intensity of the plot incredibly well. You’re instantly attached to the group of characters in this 1979film. The moral dilemmas will leave you wondering what you would do in the situation, and the antagonist is terrifying. Sure, you’ve probably seen a picture of the Xenomorph, but nothing will ever prepare you for your first full-bodied encounter with the beast in the film. My favorite part about “Alien,” though, is how Ridley Scott gave you, as the viewer, information and glimpses before he did the characters. If you watch this movie with friends (horror is best enjoyed in a group), you will all be screaming at the TV, warning characters of danger and saying “I told you so.”
“The Babadook”: Scare Factor – 4.5 (Not Rated)
“The Babadook” currently holds the No. 7 slot of my top 10 all-time favorite movies. This Australian film is available on Netflix, so you have absolutely no reason not to watch it. “The Babadook’s” strengths lie in it’s continuously ominous and eerie feeling as well as its symbolism. Be ready to do a bit more thinking rather than just hiding behind your blankets and friends; “The Babadook” puts you in the middle of the action. Unlike a lot of horror films, the character development and the viewer’s bond with the protagonist drive the story. Multiple instances place you in Amelia’s, the main character, shoes with either a point-of-view or an over-the-shoulder shot. I don’t want to give away too much, but if you watch this film, I would beg you to pay attention to subtleties and start forming your own ideas about what’s happening. A great deal of this film is open to interpretation.
“Silence of the Lambs”: Scare Factor – 3.5 (Rated R)
In all of cinema and all of literature, I’m not sure if I can think of a better villain than Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He’s not even the primary antagonist of the story. “Silence of the Lambs” is an excellent bargain sale of two incredible villains for the price of one. While it may have a few themes that are a little more dark than others stated here, it’s a phenomenal movie where the acting shines. Jodie Foster plays the perfectly innocent FBI Academy student who gets into something way over her head. Her portrayal of the character is simply amazing; in fact, it earned her character the No. 6 slot in the American Film Institute (AFI)’s greatest protagonists of all time. If that’s not enough evidence that the acting in this film is stellar, Sir Anthony Hopkins won the No. 1slot in AFI’s top villains list for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. I was skeptical of this film for a long time, but after finally seeing it, it quickly became one of my favorites.
“Hush”: Scare Factor – 4.5 (Rated R)
If you fear someone invading your home, don’t watch this film. The home invasion is terrifyingly real. I was ready to watch “Hush” knowing that I was going to walk away thinking it was either complete garbage or it was utterly brilliant. Utterly brilliant is not high enough praise. “Hush” is the story of a deaf woman who lives alone and someone, who can only be described as a psychopath, targets her house. He doesn’t want to steal from her. He doesn’t have any sort of vendetta against her. He just wants to kill for kicks and giggles. The movie quickly descends into what can only be described as a macabre game of cat and mouse: an R-rated “Tom & Jerry.” The movie can be slightly predictable, but that still won’t stop you from gripping the edge of your seat.