On Halloween in 1999, my father and I headed to our old Regal Cinemas that was transformed into a church. This was the first year of viewing a new horror film on Halloween every year. This was a couple of weeks after we viewed the remake of The Haunting (1963). Both films were good film choices, but ultimately House on Haunted Hill won for our Halloween viewing. This is not to say the remake of The Haunting is awful, but House on Haunted Hill has always been my favorite of the two films.
Oh how the rating system has changed. While most of the ratings are on films to give a parent guidance as to what their children can watch sometimes those films deserve a viewing beforehand all the same. The reason I say this is because Poltergeist (1982). The feature garnered a PG rating. Yes, PG. So when it came on HBO one day when I was home sick from school, my mother thought it would be okay for me to watch. She knew that watching a horror film would keep me entertained and take my mind away from the fact I was sick.
During my Freshman year in high school, I viewed The Birds (1963) through my English/literature class. This was after reading various excerpts from Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire semester. Most people were more excited that semester by the Romeo and Juliet assignment which allowed to watch Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. While I love Baz Luhrmann’s work, I was more excited about The Birds.
When the original Final Desintation (2000) arrived in theaters, I remember hearing my first review from Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass. They revealed their feelings during a MTV special to promote their launch of the No Strings Attached album. The two were adamant that if someone was already afraid of flying this film would amplify their fears. Despite never the fact I have never flown I ventured to the movie theater one late afternoon. I quickly developed more of a fear of omens instead of flying instead. However, I cannot say that my first ambition was not to book a flight to Hawaii after viewing the feature.
A couple of years after Candyman (1992) was released, some kids in my class were talking about the film. For some reason or another most of the kids I knew started watching horror films before I did. This meant that most of my friends started watching them before they were nine years old. A little too young? Probably so, but we still found ourselves enamored in this culture that probably could have waited until we were teenagers.
When one of my college professors told our class that we were going to be watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), I found my nose crinkling. Of course when I realized he planned on showing the 1956 version I was a happy camper. For some reason or another, I have never truly enjoyed the 1978 remake of the film. The only remake I have enjoyed of this film is 2007’s The Invasion with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.
I must confess despite the fact Tina Fey penned the screenplay my desire to see the adaptation from book to the silver screen version in Mean Girls (2004) was minimal at best. Mean Girls was not even one of my rentals! My parents rented the film and while working on a project for school, I found myself distracted. Mean Girls was hilarious! Why did I ever doubt Miss Fey to begin with? If anyone could give us a great adaptation its her. Who knows why I did, but I can admit that this feature is one of my favorite high school related films. Mean Girls deserves a watch or five all the same.
Not too long after Haute Tension (2003) came out, the film’s name was translated to High Tension for its American festival circuit run. Some even know the film as Switchblade Romance, but it is most commonly known as High Tension. I believe that the DVD did not make it to video stores until around 2005 in the USA. I remember finding the film one weekend and renting the feature. Around this time a good friend of mine, who also loved horror films, encouraged me to watch it the evening I rented it. Not many films that he was extremely passionate about one watching, but after viewing High Tension this writer knew why this was one of those films.
When I started exploring the horror film genre, a family friend introduced to me to Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988). By the title alone, the film automatically gives away the cheesiness that lies within the film. Despite the cheesiness Killer Klowns from Outer Space is still one of my absolute favorite films and I always want to show the feature to my friends. Upon finding this on DVD for cheap the day after Christmas one year at Best Buy, I was beyond overjoyed! This was a film until then I had only known to be on VHS. I even remember running up to my father and bouncing up and down about my friend from pure excitement I had coursing through my veins at the time.