Halloween is the time of the year where people unite to remember the dead while partaking in a number of recreational activities. While the English ritual of souling and Irish tradition of guising has transformed into trick-or-treating and costume parties, #Halloween has also become a popular topic in cinema. So, when Twitter user Nathan Lawrence asked James Gunn about his favorite frame from a horror movie, the Guardians of the Galaxy director decided to share a few recommendations.
For those who're unfamiliar with Gunn's recommendation, House is a Japanese horror comedy that tells the story of a schoolgirl named Gorgeous (Yes, you read that right), who goes to visit her ailing aunt with six friends from her school. However, Gorgeous and her friends soon begin to realize that they aren't residing in a normal home, as they experience horrifyingly surreal events that are inflicted upon them by furnishings of the house.
By citing House, Gunn has given horror fans a great choice from the fantastical body-horror sub genre. However, as Nobuhiko Obayashi's nightmare-inducing visuals may not be to everyone's tastes, fans can also opt for the director's alternative suggestions.
'The Masque of the Red Death'
This 1964 adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's short story of the same name was directed by Richard Corman and starred horror icon, Vincent Price. It was part of a series of eight cinematic adaptations by Corman that was based on Poe's works and was shot on a shoe-string budget. However, that didn't stop the movie from visualizing the famous Satanic dream sequence and drawing parallels to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Corman manages to mix drama and fantasy with horror, making The Masque of the Red Death a must-watch for fans of the genre.
'House Of Frankenstein'
The 21st Century entertainment industry has been engulfed by cinematic universes, but it was Universal Pictures who first experimented with the concept, resulting in the crossover film, House of Frankenstein. Directed by Erle C. Kenton, this movie was a sequel to Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man and boasts a plethora of famous horror characters such as Count Dracula, The Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster.
Guillermo del Toro's visual masterpiece tells the story of Ofelia – who's also the princess of the underworld – during the Spanish Civil War. Although the movie doesn't serve as a traditional horror movie, del Toro manages to induce scares through his use of practical effects, amazing visuals and the bone-chilling consequences of war.
David Cronenberg has always been associated with the body-horror sub-genre due to movies like The Fly, Scanners and Videodrome. Despite under-performing at the box-office, the film starring James Woods eventually received cult-classic status and is often referenced in entertainment. The legendary director focused on the negative effects of technology, making Videodrome famous not only for its hallucinatory practical effects, but also because of the philosophical questions that Cronenberg presents.
Based on the 1967 novel by Ira Levin, Roman Polanski's adaptation tells the story of newlyweds (Guy and Rosemary) who move into a New York City apartment, only to find strange activities plaguing their surroundings. While most modern single-location horror movies like Paranormal Activity or REC have relied on jump-scares, Polanski taps into the most realistic fears provided by society. From loss of control over one's life to the unrelenting sense of patriarchy, Rosemary's Baby achieves a perfect balance between supernatural horror and urban paranoia.
This Steven Spielberg blockbuster tells the story of Amity Island, a fictional town suffering from a slew of shark attacks. What makes this simplistic premise an all-time classic is Spielberg's creativity behind the camera, John Williams's ominous score and the film's well-rounded characters.
If watching Jaws resulted in widespread hydrophobia, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds should be attributed for gifting ornithophobia to its audience. This adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novella was inspired by the 1961 attacks, resulting in Hitchcock's realistic portrayal. Although The Birds hinges on a simple plot, it marvels in the area of haunting sound design and complex visuals that still hold up 54 years later.
James Gunn has shown his love for horror movies with Slither and has become one of the most sought after directors in the industry due to his exhibition of visual storytelling in the Guardians of the Galaxy duology. Now, he has provided horror fans with a list of films that'll terrify us this Halloween.
What's your go-to Halloween movie? Let me know in the comment section.
(Source: James Gunn Facebook)