Ask me to pick a few choice scary movies, and you know — if you read World-Herald movie coverage — that I'm not going to pick the usual suspects. “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th,” “The Ring,” “Saw” and “Blair Witch Project” aren't even on my radar. And the biggest moneymaking scary movies of all time seem a bit obvious: “Jurassic Park,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Jaws,” “I Am Legend” and “War of the Worlds.”
Here's hoping one of these eclectic picks will raise the hairs on the back of your neck this Halloween.
“The Conjuring,” 2013
One of the top 10 box office champs of the summer season stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators helping Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor cope with a haunted farmhouse. Classic setup, new twist.
“Let the Right One In,” 2008
Yes, subtitled. Get over it. The Swedish version is vastly superior to the American remake. An outcast 12-year-old boy befriends a vampire girl stuck at the same age. You never see the fangs, but there's plenty of blood along with adolescent angst.
“Shaun of the Dead,” 2004
Just what I like: a zombie movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. In fact, Simon Pegg is hilarious as he wins back his girlfriend, reconciles with his mother and fends off an entire community of walking dead who are starved for human flesh.
“An American Werewolf in London,” 1981
Poor David Naughton. A walking tour of England turns dark when a werewolf attacks him and kills his pal. Then his dead friend reappears with unreasonable demands. Plus he's plagued with four-footed hunting nightmares.
“The Birds,” 1963
Alfred Hitchcock rules. You've probably already seen “Psycho,” but have you checked out this nightmare of nature starring Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor? It will have you scanning the skies for diving attackers the next time you walk outdoors.
“Bride of Frankenstein,” 1935
Just had to include a classic from the black-and-white beginnings of the genre at Universal. Boris Karloff dons the monster makeup, and Elsa Lanchester's brief performance as the reluctant bride is a masterpiece.