In this month’s edition of The Total 5, writers Kerry Craig, Brad Drewes, Drew Bauer, and Josh Beard discuss some of their favorite movies and video games to binge during Halloween.
1. What is your favorite “Halloween” movie?
Kerry Craig, Total Bro’s Friendly Curmudgeon: The Others. I don’t care about monsters, serial killers, or jump scares. It takes tension to actually build a decent Halloween movie. The Others has the perfect formula for me. You have an empty mansion with an OCD parent and strange employees. There’s no blood-soaked walls, no god awful creatures with their heads turned upside down; just an overprotective mother. But the scariest thing about this movie is it’s excellent use of the most horrifying aspect of life: BRITISH CHILDREN.
Brad Drewes, Music Lover Extraordinaire: I think my favorite Halloween movie would have to be Sleepy Hollow. I remember seeing it in the theater and loving every second of it. Being that it was released in the fall, it became tied to this time of year, as well. The period setting, the cinematography, the acting, the color schemes, and especially the classic story of the Headless Horseman, all wrap up to make a memorable movie I can watch over and over. Plus now I’m a parent and got my step-daughter hooked on it, so it means that much more to me. Also, Christopher Walken as the mad Hessian/Headless Horseman?? Hell yeah.
Drew Bauer, The Movie & Comic King: My pick is anything but The Nightmare Before Christmas because it is overrated as fuuuuuuck!
Josh Beard, Lord Commander of The Total Bro: I definitely have to pick Hocus Pocus. I’ve been obsessed with the antics of the 3 most iconic witches since the movie came out when I was 7 years old. I’ve yelled, “Boooook,” and sung “I Put A Spell On You” ,Bette Midler style, for over two decades and I’ve passed the tradition on to my kids. It’s wonderful. I so badly wanted to say that The Nightmare Before Christmas is my favorite Halloween movie. Partly to spite Drew and his irrational hatred for it, but also because I’ve been obsessed with “Nightmare” since I was a kid. Alas, I can not choose it because, to me, it’s more of a Christmas movie. Get back to me in a couple of months.
2. What is the best Horror movie ever?
Brad: The Conjuring. I felt like this one took out some of the cliche/cheesy parts that popped up in Insidious, and left a dark, twisted storyline with the cinematography to drive it home. I don’t care so much about Ed and Lorraine Warren, and whether or not they’re full of shit (they most likely are), so I just toss that element of the film out of my head…what I cannot get out of my head, however, is the image of that witch on top of the wardrobe. Faaaaack that.
Josh: I’m a sucker for old school horror flicks so I have to say The Nightmare on Elm Street. That movie screwed me up when I was a kid and it’s still the most terrifying horror movie experience I’ve ever had to date. It might actually be the reason I don’t like sleeping. Thanks a lot Mom and Dad.
Kerry: Paranormal Activity. I know, I know, fuck this series, but the first one is actually really good. It’s minimalist approach made it easier to stomach, and it brings that weird sense of voyeurism when you watch terrible things happen to people. My wife is also haunted by a demon, so it hits closer to home. His name is Herbert and he’s not so bad.
Drew: Alien. Much like Jaws, the movie was built on anticipation. It was what you don’t see. The reveal of the chest pop, the close up of the xenomorph getting in Sigourney’s face…classic cinema that transcends the genre. I don’t care much for horror but sci-fi horror I seem to dig. I’d take this one, or Sunshine.
3. What is the best Horror movie monster of all time?
Drew: Leatherface. I mean…right? Like, it’s cool to be Michael Myers or Jason for Halloween, but if someone took up Leatherface? You would never talk to that person again.
Kerry: Jared Leto
Josh: “The Creeper” from Jeepers Creepers is a pretty horrifying monster. Who here wants to be chased by an ancient creature that pops up every 23 springs to chow down on human body parts? Oh, by the way he can smell your fear, is the most relentless/unkillable being of all time, and he can fly. “The Creeper” is a massive pile of NOPE for me.
Brad: Jaws. That asshole completely ruined any body of water for me, even swimming pools, from a young age.
4. What’s your favorite Horror video game?
Josh: If I’m being completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of horror games. It’s mostly because I’m a scared little crybaby who can’t handle intense amounts of fear and suspense from games. It took me almost 2 hours to get past the first 30 minutes of Resident Evil 7. I’m still convinced Silent Hill 2 actually stopped my heart and almost killed me when I was in high school. BUT, I absolutely LOVE multiplayer horror games. Games like Left for Dead and Dead Before Daylight are my bread and butter, at least when it comes to the horror genre. I don’t mind playing as a survivor, but a game that gives me the ability to be the monster, hunt people down, and bring them to a verge of a mental breakdown with the fear mongering mind games I can play with them? Yeah… sign me up for that.
Drew: I don’t play these games but…Phantasmagoria? Member that shit?
Brad: Silent Hill was a significant one for me, especially since we opted to play it in a pitch black basement…until Condemned came out. That game had me on the edge of my seat constantly, made me jump out of my skin multiple times, and found me taking breaks from it every now and then just to get my damn heart rate back down.
Kerry: Silent Hill. The first time I played this game, I was with a group of friends who decided it would be a GREAT idea to pitch a tent in the woods, run a string of electrical cords to the house, and hook up a TV and Playstation. So we were playing this having no idea what to expect…in the middle of the night….in the dark woods…then played hide and seek. God we were stupid.
5. What is the funniest modern Horror movie?
Kerry: Tucker and Dale vs Evil. I don’t know if it’s technically a horror movie, but it has teenagers in a wooded cabin being chopped to bits, so I’m counting it. This movie is absolutely hilarious on its own, but put Alan Tudyk as one of the confused rednecks, and it gets even better. I almost put Cabin In The Woods in this spot, but Tucker and Dale is by far the funniest satire of a movie.
Brad: For me it’s definitely Cabin in the Woods. It starts off with a kitschy, cheesy feel that leaves you wondering how long it’ll be before you decide to turn the TV off. But once you start to see the grander scale of the film, and they begin rolling in the humor with the ridiculous gore and deaths, the hook is in. Without delving into a bunch of spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched this masterpiece for its blending suspense, classic horror, gore, and hilarity, I have to say the true capping off in this one is the descent into the nightmare lab; THAT had me rolling, while my eyes stayed glued to the screen, punctuated with one “YES!!!” after another.
Drew: They’re all funny to me because they’re ridiculous. As far as a film that’s SUPPOSED to be funny, Cabin in the Woods. I loved it. Hit all the tropes and was genuinely creepy.
Josh: I mean there’s only one, GLARINGLY OBVIOUS choice in this category, ThanksKilling. How in the hell can you top an evil, murderous turkey who starts off the first Thanksgiving by slaughtering a topless pilgrim woman and leads the movie with the catchphrase, “Nice tits, bitch.” The campiness is palpable and amazing. It’s 66 minutes of sheer entertainment while a bunch of poorly written, unsuspecting college students are slaughtered by a demon turkey created by a vengeful shaman via necromantic powers. Also, his name is “Turkie”… THE CREATIVITY OF THIS MOVIE KNOWS NO BOUNDS!!!
Gobble, Gobble, Motherfucker!