Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ranking Scary Movies

I've love horror movies. I always have, ever since I was a little kid. Not sure why, there's just something primal in them that appeals to me.

In my house, we have movie night every Saturday. We cycle so that my son picks the movie one week, my daughter the next, and my wife or I on the third week. However, in October I take over the movie decision-making for a selection of age-appropriate scary movies. I even make up a flyer and everything! Here's this year's:

As we've done with the James Bond movies and the comic book movies, let's rank the horror movies. As this blog topic continues in coming weeks, we'll do the ones I'm watching with my family this year, as well as last year's. In addition, we'll do some other ones I've seen in the past few years.

As with the James Bond movies, we'll come up with a little rubric so this is scientific. Let's score it out of ten points.

Story/Plot/Characters--Is it coherent and logical? Are the characters realistic? Acting, directing? (4 points)

Special Effects--This will be on something of a curve, so that movies from, say, the 1930s will be graded against other movies from the same era. (2 points)

Scariness--Duh, a horror movie should be scary. (2 points)

Atmosphere/Freakiness--This seems separate from sheer scariness to me. A lot of movies might not be that scary but are appealing as horror movies because of the atmosphere. (2 points)

Let's start off with Jaws, a movie I watched with my kids during October last year, and which my daughter asked to watch again on her movie night just a few weeks ago. She's six years old, by the way, so already her taste in horror is impeccable. I suppose my judgment as a parent might be more questionable, but that's another topic....

Story/Plot/Characters--Characters are right out of real life, plot is plausible and flows naturally, directing and acting are superb. (4 points)
Special Effects--Steven Spielberg famously limited the amount of time Jaws is on screen because the robotic shark he had made up looked too fake. It was a good decision, because you can hardly tell, and mixed with real shark footage this is totally believable. (1.5 points)
Scariness--Medium scary. (1 point)
Atmosphere/Freakiness--Not especially atmospheric, but it has its moments, especially in the scene when Chief Brody and oceanographer Hooper are out on Hooper's research boat in the middle of the night. Certain moments on board Quint's boat, the Orca, at the end, also count. (.5 points)
Total=7 points

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