Friday, November 22, 2013

The Post-Halloween Hangover: Non-Horror Horror

We had such a blast in the run-up to Halloween. Not only did we watch a mess of horror movies (as one does), but we made the acquaintance of a number of horror-happy cinephiles on Twitter.Great times ensued, and many recommendations were made. So many, in fact, that the passing of Halloween left us, once again, wanting more.

And yet the monsters and mayhem of Halloween are a weird fit with the deepening autumn. But though such movies may not suit in November, one still craves a creepy thrill, if maybe a quieter one. So, seeking a compromise, we asked the question: What's your favorite scary, but specifically non-horror movie?

This whole thing was kicked off by David Robson (an occasional guest contributor here, who mainly blogs at the House of Sparrows). Though his pick sounds like non-horror to us, he's insistent about Sunset Blvd.: "Yes, I still argue, it's a horror movie. Gloria Swanson is so utterly unhinged, and William Holden so uncomfortably, inescapably trapped by her, plus there's enough sheer weirdness (the poor dead chimp, the broken organ) to nudge it far enough into Uncanny Valley that yes, indeed, it's a horror. And it still genuinely unnerves me. If Wilder had had the foresight to make the film explode in the projector during her big close-up at the climax it would be my favorite movie ever, but you can't have everything."

Some other friends & acquaintances weighed in: frequent guest reviewer Rohan Morbey mentioned the creepy crawly comedy Arachnophobia; and filmmaker Bryan Enk took a second from the making of The Passion of Paul Ross to tell us that Zodiac & Prisoners made him "uneasy".

Over on Twitter @newsgal27 sounded off in favor of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. @lauren1randall went into some depth about her choice, Requiem for a Dream: "It's just so brutal. I'd class it as one of the best films I've seen but it's relentless" Relentless it is.

Finally, @BeautifulGdbye makes an interesting case for The Others as a psychological thriller. Though we remembered it as more of a straight up horror film, this interpretation is at least just as valid (though we refrain from getting into specifics - the movie's well worth seeing.)

Perhaps non-horror, like horror, is in the eye of the beholder. There's certainly plenty to see in either case, which is just as well considering the longer nights that come with autumn. If you find something spooky and season-appropriate, we hope you'll tell us about it!

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