CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Quartet of Horror Classics

As the Halloween approaches, Hollywood has been
releasing a series of horror movie remakes of
exploitation flicks from the 1970s. Recently,
Nicholas Cage produced and starred in "The Wicker
Man," a remake of a cult flick from thirty five years ago.
Suffice to say, the politically correct remake lacks
the soul, the intelligence and therefore the dread of
the original motion picture.

To preserve the impact of pity and fear,
it is best not to know much about "The Wicker Man"
before seeing it. It is safe to say that the film
stars Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento,
Ingrid Pitt and Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle,
a charming baritone in love with his culture. The
late Paul Giovani provided a musical score gleaned
from the wicca oral traditions. The butcher, the
baker and the candlestick maker put in appearances
and give the film a satirical and stereotypical tone,
much like Pinnochio join the circus and watching
his playmates become donkeys – you can party all you want,
but sometimes there are dues to pay in the morning.

I have a list of four horror movies that creeped me
out as an adult. Two of these four movies are "Night of
the Living Dead" and the original "The Wicker Man."
My buddy Loree told me one day how funny she found
"Night of the Living Dead" and I offered her my DVD of
"The Wicker Man." When she gave the DVD back, she
would not talk about the film with me. She had a
stunned look and all Loree kept saying to me was,

Directed by Brian de Palma from Stephen King's first
book, "Carrie" kept me awake until three in the
morning one Friday night. Oscar nominated Sissy Spacek
portrayed the victimized Carrie White, a repressed
daughter of a religious fanatic mother (Piper Laurie, also Oscar nominated)
and social punching bag to the student body of her high
school. After an embarrassing incident in the girl's
shower, a guidance counselor (Betty Buckley) attempts
to make things better for crazy Carrie. The
counseling by bureaucratic decree goes awry and
actually empowers classroom bullies (John Travolta,
Nancy Allen) to torment poor Carrie even further.
Unknown to her tormentors, Carrie White has
telekinesis and can move objects with her mind. Like
any meek animal that is cornered, Carrie's primal
defense mechanism explodes with Sodom and Gommorah
fury upon her environment.

Upon retrospect, "Night of the Living Dead" "The
Wicker Man" and "Carrie" features individuals who
are trapped in a situation in which they can not get
out. Many of these people attempt to pursue nobler
motives, which painfully leads to their doom. The one
common element that the actors Sissy Spacek, Edward
Woodward and Duane Jones have in common is their empathetic
performances that lures their audience to their
perspective of the drama. Bruce Willis did this so well in "The Sixth Sense,"
even though Haley Joel Osment earned most of the kudos. "The Sixth Sense"
completes my quartet of memorable horror movies.

There are iconic monsters who are just fun; "Frankenstein Monster," "The Wolf Man,"
"Freddy Krueger," and "Jason Voorhees" spring to mind. However the horror quartet
of "Night of the Living Dead," "The Wicker Man," "Carrie" and "The Sixth Sense"
are pure horror movies that dig deeper into one's psychological nightmare.

Why did "Night of the Living Dead," "The Wicker Man," "Carrie" and "The Sixth Sense"
creep me out so much? One common factor when viewing these four movies,
I saw each of these movies late at night and I was alone.
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