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Monday, July 15, 2013

Best Scary (Suspenseful) Movies

Count Dracula - Bela Lugosi

I have always been a very big fan of scary movies.  I don't believe that I am part of a small group.  If you are anything like me you don't approve of gore for gore's sake.  I appreciate a quality production effort, great script and even better acting.  I know it sound like an oxymoron scary and quality all in the same sentence.  However, because we spend our hard earned money, we have the right to demand or at least support the few quality projects that come along.

 My memory on scary movies go back to Béla Lugosi, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and others from the era.  I would gladly admit to attending to the premieres releases of their magnificent work, unfortunately like many of you I only know of their work, long after the fact.  As an example; I enjoyed the camera work and production on the remake of "The Fly," with Jeff Goldblum, but it didn't really come close to improving on the classic first effort.  
The Masters:
Borris Karloff

·       Béla Lugosi (10/20/1982 – 8/16/1956): In 1927, he appeared as Count Dracula in a Broadway adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, where he was talent-spotted as a character actor for the new Hollywood talkies, appearing in the first Dracula film with sound. Through the 1930s, he occupied an important niche in popular horror films, with their East European setting, but his Hungarian accent limited his repertoire, and he tried unsuccessfully to avoid typecasting. Meanwhile, he was often paired with Boris Karloff, who was able to demand top billing.

·       William Henry Pratt (23 November 1887 – 2 February 1969), better known by his stage name Boris Karloff: was an English actor. Karloff is best remembered for his roles in horror films and his portrayal of Frankenstein's monster inFrankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939). His popularity following Frankensteinwas such that for a brief time he was billed simply as "Karloff" or "Karloff the Uncanny." His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!(1966).

·       Vincent Price (5/27/1911 – 10/25/1993): Price's first venture into the horror genre was in the 1939 Boris Karloff filmTower of London. The following year he portrayed the title character in the film The Invisible Man Returns (a role he reprised in a vocal cameo at the end of the 1948 horror-comedy spoof Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein).  In the 1950s, he moved into horror films, with a role in House of Wax (1953), the first 3-D film to land in the year's top ten at the North American box office, then The Mad Magician (1954), and then the monster movie The Fly (1958) and its sequel Return of the Fly (1959). Price also starred in the original House on Haunted Hill (1959) as the eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren. He played Dr. Warren Chapin, in The Tingler, a 1959 horror-thriller film by the American producer and director William Castle.

Vincent Price
I have seen my share of bombs to name a few:  The Thing, The Blob, The killer Tomatoes, The Monster from the Black Lagoon, and Godzilla to name a few mediocre efforts.  Some movies are considered cult worthy because of the laughable and almost amusing effort. 

Amongst my favorites (and I reserve my right to add to the list at a later date): The Fog, Halloween. Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Shinning, House on Haunted Hill, and Carrie.  I am sure that I missed a few, but you get the idea. 

Two reasons why I have distanced myself from the horror genre of movies:

  1. The Horror movie industry has gone to great lengths to become about slash, and gore (which I don’t care about),
  2. My wife doesn’t care to feel scared especially if it’s not necessary (I am beginning to agree with her), I do enjoy suspense.  

The best is yet to come….

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