We have reached the first of the three "Friday the 13th" dates that are marked across the calendar for the year. While the second one arrives in March, the last one is set for November. Let the superstitions pour out now!
It doesn't matter whether you believe in it or not, Fridays with a date marked as 13 of any month is automatically bad news for most of the superstitious folks out there. And for years now, Hollywood has worked upon the concept to bring some of the greatest horror masterpieces of all time.
While it's almost repetitive to say at this point that perhaps Friday the 13th is the single, most dreaded date in the entire Gregorian calendar, the date has actually been used as a symbol of bad luck, with several imaginative folks bringing out their own share of stories related to the date.
Keeping everything else related to the date aside, most of us are planning to make the most out of the scariest day in the year to re-live a few of the horror classics that have released over time. Here are 13 classics that you absolutely have to check out tonight to compliment the evil all around. Note: Don't watch alone!
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
We hit off the list with a name that single-handedly leveraged the entire horror mockumentary genre into limelight. When the movie first released, we were left successfully shocked to the end. The movie was also a reminder of how you don't always need vampires and ghouls to get you scared.
Of all things, viewers weren't really accustomed to the kind of movie-making skills we saw for "The Blair Witch Project", and hence it was too much for most to handle at the first go. Although the fear quotient was always prominent in the movie, it was never on your face. Instead, you get to feel the fear through the way the camera is positioned or in the eyes and voices of the characters on screen. This one is sure to keep you awake tonight, with all the lights on in every room.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The genius that George A Romero is, can be easily fathomed by the one of the most classic zombies movies ever made. "Night of the Living Dead" came around much before the likes of "Resident Evil" or "28 Days Later", with much lesser graphical additions to work with. But what he pulled out of the hat was nothing less than a masterpiece, combining gore, anxiety and suspense all the way. The film centres around a young couple forced to fend off a massive zombie attack at a Pennsylvania farm and stimulated quite the controversy due to scenes of graphic violence. If you like zombie movies, know that this is where it all started.
A long time ago, one night, I caught up on my parents watching "Poltergeist". And as adamant a kid as I was, I made sure I sit alongside them and check out the entire thing. Needless to say, I lost sleep that night and for many days after, serving as a sort of karma for being a problem child.
In a nutshell, if you haven't already seen this movie, then you need to add it to your watch list. "Poltergeist" begins with a pleasing American family living untroubled in the suburbs. Everything seems fine and until outwardly benign ghosts begin taking over their house. Just for the added kicks, try watching this one alone. After a while even you surrounding environment will start feeling a bit outwardly.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Some movies have an essence that are forever captured inside the first time they come around. And although we could easily recommend you to try out the re-master version "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", you would do yourself a major good (or bad) if you check out the original 1974 version of the movie. As expected, the title of the movie tells you, more or less, whatever you need to know.
Breaking it down, it's in Texas. There's a symbolic chainsaw. And there's lot of bloodshed and massacre. For the record, we still can't do away with the scene where a woman has been impaled on a meathook from our minds. The movie actually got banned in several countries because it was deemed so sickening. But if you have a hunger for slasher movies and lot of blood, this one should suffice your needs.
The Shining (1980)
What's a 'Friday the 13th' without a healthy dose of psychological horror into your system. For starters, though, let the immensely talented Stanley Kubrick show you the way. Kubrick had the habit of handpicking his cast for movies, the result of which is Jack Nicholson's terrifying image in this coming-of-age slasher fest.
Released in 1980, "The Shining" is based on a Stephen King novel. You must know the movie already by the image of Nicholson's disturbed face poking through a hole that he's hacked in the door with an axe. Personally though, there are parts of the movie that are designed to shock the audience. But they may not be half as scary as Jack's slow tumble into madness. If you are planning on watching this tonight, might as well forget about falling asleep until daybreak.
The Ring (1998 in Japan)
Although "The Ring" debuted in Hollywood in 2002, the movie, by then, was already making rounds in Japan, starting way back in 1998. If you haven't watched Ring until now, we suggest you kick off your Friday the 13th movie marathon with the Ring. While the 2002 version will do, try getting the original version of it for added scare.
You need not learn much beforehand, but the film is responsible for one of the most petrifying scenes ever captured on film when the figure of a young girl, imprisoned in a well, climbs out of the television screen. Added with bits of gore sequences, the movie revolves around a short film that promises to bring death to all who see it. We won't reveal much at this point. Check it out yourself and prepared to be scarred for life.
The Other (1972)
Here's one of those flicks where you have a set of twins, one of whom is genuinely evil. Holland and Niles experience their father's death early in life. Holland is the more mischievous of the two, while Niles is shy and quiet. This classic from Robert Mulligan, adopted from a bestselling novel by Tom Tryon, sees the kids' grandmother, Ada teaching Niles how to project himself into other people and animals as a harmless game. But soon the game converts into something sinister. For example, a pitchfork left hidden in some straw in the floor of the hayloft that takes the life of their disrespectful cousin. You don't want to miss this one.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
"I feel it. I feel it breathing on me." That's the quote the left many a people shaken up after they mustered up the courage to watch the movie. The first of the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, sadly, none of the later additions to the series lived up to the expectations. This one, on the other hand, was the first one in the series and created quite a stir when it first released. Low-budget, single-camera movies had often struck wonders for directors in the past, with the likes of "The Blair Witch Project" also being a product of that, and the first "Paranormal Activity" lived up to that style of movie-making. No one will ever forget the scene where the girl is dragged out of her bed by an invisible force with gruesome speed while her helpless voice keeps calling out to Micah for help.
Stephen King novels serve up quite the buffet, as far as horror movies are concerned. We saw the heights of it via "The Shining", and we got to see it once more when "It" came around. The movie is based on a creepy clown who lures children away from safety, and might be the sole reason why many people still suffer from fear towards clowns. For all the movie buffs, "It" was originally aired as a horror miniseries, hence the almost three hour-long running time. And the fact that the demented clown in preying on all the kids of the town makes the deal even more disturbing. Face up to the scariness that so well embedded in the movie, and you might forever change the way you look at horror movies.
The People Under the Stairs (1991)
This movie is for all the naughty people who think burglarising somebody's house is fun. When you get through the movie, we are sure that fun will easily change into demented, horrific images playing around in your mind. The movie also features the efficient use of a "gimp suit" from "Pulp Fiction". When you are done with the movie, we are sure you won't ask the question of what she's been "feeding that thing between the walls again." Wes Craven, you genius!
The Grudge (2004)
There's a thing going on with the Japanese whenever they plan on making a horror movie. Every movie is more than perfect, apart from a hard lesson to all the budding horror directors out there in Hollywood as to how a horror movie is actually meant to be made. "The Grudge", needless to say, was something out of the ordinary for most of us. And that slow grumbling voice of the entities made the situation only worse.
As far as the American version of it is concerned, features a nurse, played by Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar, who witnesses a horrifying ghostly attack while attending a patient with dementia. As the movie unfolds, you will know as to why these ghosts hold such an unending grudge against the living. The film is based on a theory that when a person dies in violent circumstances, a curse befalls them that transfers to another living person and then causes their untimely death.
The Omen (1976)
If you have, by now, already taken the entire concept of Friday the 13th and the bad luck surrounding it to your head, you should top it off with "The Omen". The movie is a hard reminder of how you should never secretly adopt someone else's child without meeting the kid's parents first. In case you are anyway creeped out by creepy kids in your neighbourhood, you haven't seen the likes of little Damien. For starters, you will love the decapitation scene. Best of luck, tonight!
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist is one of those movies that we need not remind you about. This is as classic as horror movies usually come, and tells the story of an innocent little girl possessed by an evil demon is something that has been appealing to the audiences since the movie's release in 1973. That being said, you won't easily forget the child's possessed face, her unnatural body positions, and even the famous revolving head scene.
"The Exorcist" is based on the scary novel by William Peter Blatty that has produced a total of five movies. Our personal favourite is the scene where the little girl comes down the stairs in the posture of a spider. Creepy!