My wife and I have just started a fun new project- watching as many of the classic old horror movies as we can find on Netflix. “Classic,” in this case, is not particularly a mark of quality. My mother always used to tell me that the old horror movies were “far better” than the newer ones. She was not right about this, I'm afraid. Horror cinema has unquestionably improved a lot on every level- screenwriting, special effects and acting are all much better even in mediocre horror movies now than in the very best horror movies then.
“Brain Dead,” also known as “Dead Alive,” is possibly the single bloodiest gore-fest ever created for the big screen. It's also one of the funniest slapstick comedies ever made. Long before Peter Jackson turned his formidable talents to “The Lord of the Rings,” he was making this movie on a shoestring budget, relying on his own skills in homemade special effects along with buckets of imagination. I mean guts.
“Event Horizon” is an odd little movie. If you judge it as a piece of cinema, it's not very good, and most critics have judged it to not be very good. It's a cheesy piece of sci-fi fantasy with some hilariously overwritten dialogue- more on that in a moment.
Some call it the scariest movie ever made, and it's definitely a contender. “The Exorcist” starts out relatively slowly but then turns the tension up degree by degree, until it reaches an almost intolerable level.
Just about any horror fan will have seen this one already, but it always pays to see the great ones again. What makes The Exorcist such a successful movie is a combination of factors. One is that the writers took the trouble to set the horrific possession of a little girl in the context of otherwise believable events and people. The movie has texture, and there's a sense of a real and “normal” world that is being invaded from outside.