Nolen Kelly, Editor
Well here we are with the Halloween episode of the Collegian and it’s time to talk the terror. There really is no feeling quite like watching a horror movie. I may not be the biggest frequenter of the genre, but when a movie manages to dig under your skin, personally attack your senses and leave your walk to your car, bathroom or bedroom the scariest journey you have embarked on then that is truly something special. I put out a poll on my social media in search of what movies left my followers fearful or filled with discomfort, masochistic joy or true horror and the results are truly fascinating. Everything in this article is a horror movie and may contain content that is upsetting, disturbing or inappropriate content so to be safe, I am throwing up a discretion warning for any movie title featured as well as a small spoiler warning.
Nolen Kelly: “Twin Peaks: FWWM”
My favorite horror movie is “Twin Peaks; Fire Walk with Me.” I am a big fan of the show, as all stable and normal humans should be, but for some reason it seemed like the fanbase was torn on whether the movie pre-dating the events of the series was good or bad. After giving it a go for the first time this year, I understand. I later saw David Lynch’s industrial horror insanity, “Eraserhead,” and even that couldn’t match the visceral discomfort, genuine sadness and sheer horror that “Fire Walk with Me ” left on my innocent and pure soul. Maybe not everyone’s brand of spook, but if a movie has Kyle MacLachlan, a Nine Inch Nails-esque club scene, and David Bowie then it is destined to stick in my annoying Letterboxd top four for months after watching it. There’s not much more for me to say without spoiling anything but the entire second half of this movie is some of the most wildly uncomfortable and soul crushing stuff I have seen so far. Just to rattle off a few more of my favorites, I am really big on “The Lighthouse,” “Ghostbusters,” (1984), “Carnival of Souls” and the actual greatest of all time, “The Silence of the Lambs.”
Hey, look at that you survived my opinion, congratulations. This will be a bit of a long article but bare with me, this is the part I really wanted to focus on. I asked my friends to write a few short sentences about their favorite horror movies and why that one because just saying a movie you like is fine but talking about it is always better.
Francesca Knoll: “Train to Busan” – “Picture this: the perfect zombie movie with great acting, phenomenal makeup and an ending that will have you crying your heart out. Folks, ‘Train to Busan’ has all of that and more. I enjoy this movie so much because of the fact that it is not simply a zombie movie. While the zombies are terrifying, the story tends to focus on how people may lose their moral values in life or death situations, and also a bit of commentary on the social classes in South Korea. While I wouldn’t call this specifically a horror movie, Editor’s Note: it is I definitely felt my stomach churning seeing how fast the zombie apocalypse spread and how an entire country essentially collapses. If you feel like watching a movie that makes you laugh cry, and fear for your life: go watch ‘Train to Busan.’”
James LeVan: “Insidious” – “‘Insidious’ terrifies me because there are some eerily uncomfortable scenes. Most horror movies I have seen were either slashers or relied heavily on jump scares, but ‘Insidious’ scares you by setting you up with some uncomfortable tension building. Even when you know something is going to happen, you’re not quite sure what exactly will happen and every time it succeeds in being scary.
Jakob Eiseman: ‘Hereditary” – “My favorite horror movie is ‘Hereditary.’ It’s not the scariest movie I’ve seen or even the best horror flick I’ve watched, but it is by far the most terrifying. From start to finish ‘Hereditary’ gave me an extreme sense of anxiety and dread that made me feel like I was about to get my head ripped off or burnt alive by the villains of the film. I was told to go in blind, but I knew the film was A24 so I knew to expect being uncomfortable. Nothing prepared me, though, for how the filmmakers manipulated my expectations to make me watch my back every time I left the house for months. I still haven’t fully recovered from how utterly scared I felt on the walk from St. Basil’s to Theresa Court the night I watched it.”
Greg Shannon: “The Lighthouse” – “I think when it comes to a movie like ‘The Lighthouse’ it handles horror in a unique way. Normally horror movies are typically about jump scare and adrenaline rushes, but ‘The Lighthouse’ is slow and methodical. It forces you to let your guard down and leaves you disturbed by the end of it.
Izzy Hill: “The Conjuring 2” – “‘The Conjuring 2’ is so much more than a spooky movie about the paranormal. It’s got a beautiful love story that brought tears to my eyes, a coming-of-age story that didn’t make me hate children or British people for a moment and a spooktacular horror plot. This movie is fantastic as a standalone, but if you’re like me and my roommates, who watched all of the ‘Conjuring’ universe movies in chronological order, it pulls everything together leaving you truly stunned.
Kai Espinosa: “Coraline” – “I should start this off by saying that ‘Coraline’ is my favorite film of all time. Since I was a kid, I was drawn to smooth claymation and silly characters and now that I’m (seemingly) an adult, I love ‘Coraline’ for different reasons, mainly the story of family and all the dysfunction with it. ‘Coraline’ is based on the novel by Neil Gaiman about the adventurous preteen Coraline Jones. While exploring her new house, Coraline finds a small door that leads to a house similar to hers, only this house is full of bright colors, mouth-watering feasts, and clones of her parents who cater to her every want and need. Coraline’s other mother and other father offer for Coraline to live with them forever in this utopia on one condition: they sew buttons into her eyes, terrifying stuff. This movie combines stellar stop motion with themes of family and betrayal. In what is essentially a horror movie for kids, ‘Coraline’ is a chilling film that is sure to stay with you during the spooky season.”
On my Instagram page I put out a question on my story simply asking “What is your favorite Horror movie?” It almost seems like people actually like horror movies, weirdos, and here are some of my followers’ favorites. Fellow Archbishop Ryan survivor Tori Sciarra rocks with “The Lighthouse,”as well as “Scream” (1996), which is also the favorite of my A&E co-editor, Jeri Tripodi. Lee Hungerford and Aidan Degnan are classic monster enjoyers with the blandly titled but eternally bonkers “It” (2017) and “The Thing” (1982) respectively. Malachi Cason is a big fan of “Child’s Play” (1988) and Raymond Thompson digs “Halloween”(1978) just like Soraya Kelly.
With all of the serious answers I got, there had to be some real “funny guys” who thought saying “The Santa Clause” (1998), Matt Keller, and “Star Wars” (1977- present), Ryan Donaghy, would make me laugh and guess what? You did. Are you happy now? Do you enjoy making me laugh you sickos? Sorry, I digress. Martin Redenaur is a big proponent of “The Wailing” (2016) but not as big as Audrey Walker — they both fought loudly for who loves it more and it was a stressful time. We were so generously gifted the favorites of her majesties Maria Hernandez, Vice President of Personnel of the Masque of La Salle, with “Horsemen” (2008), Liz McLaughlin, editor of the Business section, with the Jack Nicholson documentary “The Shining” (1980), and Kylie McGovern, editor of the Sports section with her favorite, “The Sixth Sense” (1999). My roommate and fellow Timothy Olyphant fan, Sam Da Silva is bit of a modern guy in a modern time and was left in a broken state after experiencing Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” (2017) and Chase Hildebrandt submits “The Passion of the Christ” (2004). It is scary, yes it is, this is my article, you have no power here, shut up. Finally, some other normal humans, Jen Schnakenberg and Mary Wierzbicki decided that no horror movie is a good horror movie and that sits perfectly well with me.
As you can see, people seem to like horror movies. Weirdos. But if there is one thing to take away it is that horror movies kind of rock even if you are not a horror fan. Horror can be anything that makes you uncomfortable or plants a seed of scary in your soul.
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