If you know me, you’ll probably know that I’m a huge scaredy-cat when it comes to horror films, anything involving ghosts, demons or harmful entities that you can’t see, I am terrified of, even low budget films that everyone claims “aren’t scary” like Paranormal Activity, scare me so much! it’s mostly due to the jump scares, I’m a pretty nervous person generally so any loud noise will make me jump, but add that to a tense scene in a film where you know that something is going to jump out at you but you aren’t exactly sure when and I am gone, I cannot stand that in films! I also believe that I may have a pretty active imagination meaning if I watch a film with a scary demon creature, you bet I’ll see that creature in the corner of my eye for the next few weeks, it makes life just that little bit more unnerving, so I tend to stay away from horror films most of the time.
There are however some horror/thriller films which don’t bother me, I actually enjoy watching them! These films usually give me enough goosebumps whilst watching them, however don’t keep me up at night. So I wanted to highlight these films 1) to prove that I’m not a total baby and 2) because I recently bought a box set of The Ring and it’s inspired me to make this list.
Disclaimer: A lot of people are probably going to read this list and mock how low my scare tolerance is but remember; everyone has different tolerances, no need to judge me on that! also light spoiler warning for the films ahead.
One Last Note: My best friend has recently started her own blog where she discusses the paranormal and unexplained, so far she has posts covering ghosts, precognitive dreams and astral projection. So if you’re a fan of all things spooky, head over to littlespooky.wordpress.com and encourage her to write more!
Now, in no particular order…
As mentioned at the start of this blog, I recently got hold of The Ring boxset containing The Ring (2002), The Ring Two (2005) and Rings (2017), So I’ve been working my way through all 3 this week. The Ring is actually an adaptation of the Japanese film Ringu (1998) which has a pretty similar plot, For those of you who don’t know; A new urban legend begins to circulate of a tape containing vague, unsettling images that if you watch will trigger a call from an unknown source telling you that you will die in 7 days. When her niece mysteriously dies; journalist Rachel Keller begins to investigate the tape and ends up watching it, she then has 7 days to figure out the mystery and save herself and the others who have watched the tape.
I think I first saw The Ring a couple of years ago and I was expecting the worse but it really wasn’t that bad! I found myself really interested in the story and wanting to find out more, I also watched The Ring Two a few months later and Rings today for the first time. All of them were similar, expecting the worst but not being that scared watching it, don’t get me wrong Samara is a creepy girl but if you watch all the films, you realise that she’s actually hurting others due to being hurt so bad herself, I almost sympathise with her! Also the fact the actress that plays Samara has also voiced Lilo in Lilo & Stitch and Chihiro in Spirited Away makes me like her more. It’s one of those horror films that I want to dig into deeper rather than being too scared to ever watch again, definitely one that any movie/horror fan should see at least once, even if it’s just The Ring and none of the sequels.
The Blair Witch Project
Yet another cult classic, I think I first saw The Blair Witch Project around 5 years ago (pretty late seeing as this film came out in 1999) as I was really interested to see what it was about, I don’t remember there being many horror films I knew about that were based on something other than a ghost/curse/demon/serial killer type of thing, an evil witch was something new to me. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a witch with a broom stick and a pointy hat, this is again an urban legend that a group of teenagers want to investigate. The found footage film goes as follows; presented in a documentary style, filmed by head of the expedition Heather, 3 teenagers travel to the town of Burkittsville, Maryland where the Blair Witch is rumoured to be found, the 3 are making a student film documenting the urban legend, they interview residents of the town asking them if they know or have ever seen the Blair Witch to which some disregard the legend and others believe. The 3 then head into the woods in search of the witch, over the next few days the 3 get lost, fall out and begin to be haunted by an unknown source, resulting in them being kidnapped one by one.
I know a lot of people don’t like this film due to “nothing happening” which you know, I guess is true! other than a lot of shouting, a few tents being ruffled up and random twigs and rocks being found in weird formations, not a lot happens in this film, you never actually see the witch and there’s a very vague ending. You never really know what happens to the 3 students, you mostly see a shaky camera and blurred shots of feet running until the camera cuts out and the credits roll. I love this film however for a few reasons 1) as I mentioned earlier, I hadn’t seen a film before about scary witches (unless you count Scooby-Doo and the Witches Ghost?… No, okay) and I believe (with exceptions, I don’t have all the film knowledge in the world just yet) that The Blair Witch was one of the first found footage films to really find success, the people behind this film did an excellent job at making it’s audience believe that it was a real found footage tape! I remember reading once that after the film came out, members of the public wrote to the parents of the teenagers in the film with condolences and sent flowers when they were all just not well known actors! The promotion for this film didn’t help either with missing posters of the 3 students floating around upon release. The Blair Witch Project came at a time where this was totally believable! Nowadays if this were to happen, the first thing everyone would do is google if it was real or not! There are actually a couple of Blair Witch Project sequels, I believe there was a sequel in 2000 however I haven’t seen it and it wasn’t received well by critics, in 2016 another sequel was released which I was pretty excited for! I watched it however and other than there being a few more witch interactions, it was pretty much the same and who wants to see not a lot happen twice? I just didn’t get on with the sequel. Similar to The Ring, I loved the mystery behind The Blair Witch Project and trying to work it out, it also didn’t scare me senseless so I can watch it multiple times and try and piece it together.
Okay hear me out, this film isn’t exactly a horror film but I needed more entries for this list, surprisingly I don’t like a lot of horror films. I think I first saw Final Destination when I was around 14/15? Maybe younger, there’s actually 5 films in the Final Destination franchise and I believe I’ve seen them all? However it was quite a long time ago so I may have forgotten one, my favourite film is Final Destination 3 which is one that a lot of people like the most. The basic premise that runs through all 5 films is; you can’t cheat death, each film usually has a group of people, one of which has premonitions of deaths. So lets focus on the first film for now; a group of students are going on a trip to Paris however right before they board the plane, one student has a premonition that the plane is going to crash, killing everybody on it, he then panics and this turns into a fight between this student and another student due on the same flight, this then causes 7 students to stay in the airport and not board the plane, moments later the plane takes off and explodes in mid-air, meaning those 7; cheated death, days after each student that didn’t board the plane begins to die due to extremely strange circumstances, one by one. This basic premise continues throughout the next 5 films with one person in a group of people predicting death.
I know, that this film is a little cheesy, the deaths in this are ridiculously gory and so unbelievably unbelievable. You know when you watch a Final Destination film that you’re going to see some extreme accidents like one person falling over onto a nail gun and accidentally getting shot repeatedly in the head, pretty extreme and pretty unlikely. I wish I could say more about this film but like I mentioned before, I haven’t seen these films in a long time, I just know that they’ve never scared me… made me question my own mortality sure but never scared me.
Evil Dead (2013 Remake)
From one kind of gory to the next, I won’t lie I was a little afraid watching this film the first time, but I’ve been able to watch it 2 or 3 times now without too much psychological damage. I know this is a remake and honestly, I haven’t seen the original, I know, I’m an awful film student blah blah blah, but listen, I’ve never had any intention on watching this film until my cousin decided to show it to me last year. The film goes like this; a group of young adults/teenagers? meet up in a literal cabin in the woods in order to help their friend who is going through a drug issue, the idea was to isolate her somewhere where she wouldn’t be able to relapse so the middle of the woods with no emergency services close by was a great idea! So anyway, the group are staying in a creepy cabin when one of the friends finds a book made of LITERAL SKIN in the basement, he then so stupidly reads out the incantation written inside, unleashing some kind of demon into the world. Mia; the girl with the drug problem then runs off into the woods when she can’t take withdrawal anymore, she is then attacked by an unknown source and is then possessed, she is found later in the woods and taken back to the cabin, she begins acting strange and her friends begin to suspect whats going on, Mia (who is still possessed) attempts to possess everyone else too. I won’t reveal anymore due to spoilers but let me just say, this film is not for the light hearted, I’m not bad when it comes to gore but even I was struggling, as you can see in the photo above in one scene it literally rains blood, there’s lots of chopping, hacking, slicing and squishing not to mention Mia’s incredibly frightening face when she is possessed, she is literally nightmare fuel in this film. However, I wasn’t too badly affected by it! Sure it was intense but not so intense that I couldn’t watch it again, which I did! Give this a go at your own risk, that’s all I’ll say.
I’m sure I’m not alone when it comes to not finding this film scary, it’s a slasher type of horror film, which don’t really scare me! it also has comedy elements so it’s not that scary. There’s 4 Scream films I think? and a TV series based on the movies and I think I’ve seen all of them, I’ve definitely seen Scream 4 the most, around 2 or 3 times now so that one is fresh in mind, the sequels just expand the story of the first Scream film, I could explain the plot but with fear of spoilers, I’ll just say this; a number of murders take place in a small town by a undercover murderer known as Ghostface, Ghostface calls up his victims and makes them answer questions about scary movies before finding them and attacking them. I know that’s a poor excuse for a plot explanation but honestly, I don’t remember a lot about Scream, if you don’t know the plot, you just have to know that it’s a little silly and there’s a lot of slashing and narrow escapes.
This is more of a fantasy/thriller kind of film but I needed more entries so here’s The Craft! I know I said in the Blair Witch Project part of this blog that I hadn’t really seen scary witch films before but I saw The Craft years after I saw The Blair Witch, just putting that out there. The Craft is about a group of young girls who practice witch craft in the hope of becoming witches, when new girl Robin joins their school who just so happens to have telekinesis, the 3 wannabe witches try to recruit Robin for use in rituals, witch craft mixed with the troubles of being a teenager however leads them to some dangerous consequences. It’s kind of like Clueless meets The Addams’ Family. Fans of horror movies will notice a similarity from the last entry in this list and this one; Neve Campbell appears in both! I’ve only seen this film once around a year ago so I can’t say I remember every detail, but I know that it was a fun watch but also kind of creepy, there were moments especially near the end where main witch Nancy goes a little nutty, that definitely put me on edge! I didn’t actually know about this film until later in life and I wish I knew about it earlier! It’s definitely a film I would have enjoyed when I was around 14/15 so if you’ve never heard about this film before, look into it right now! Watch a trailer! I think I originally watched it on Netflix so it might still be on there.
Yet another thriller/sci-fi more than a horror film and another found footage film; Cloverfield, I know there are many mixed reviews about this film, however I am a real fan. Cloverfield is the story of a group of New Yorker’s enjoying a going away party for a friend and filming the highlights when suddenly; New York is thrown into chaos when a monster the size of a skyscraper attacks the city, the film is basically the group of friends trying to survive. This film is spooky on a number of levels; similar to The Blair Witch Project, I believe you never fully see the monster, just glimpses of it through a shaky camera making the whole thing unnerving, you never quite know what they’re running from. There’s also swarms of smaller parasite types of monster/alien which are around the size of a large dog that have a nasty bite, which infect the victim with a toxin that eventually causes the victim to literally explode, no exaggeration. This film is more stressful than scary but it’s a fun film to watch none the less.
Poltergeist (2015 Remake)
Like the Evil Dead, I’ve seen the remake but not the original (I’m sorry) but I watched the 2015 remake and it didn’t scare me! There were of course jump scares but this film was almost aimed at a younger audience, believe it or not! it was kind of similar to The Hole (2009) The remake of Poltergeist is (i’m guessing) the same as the original, the plot goes like this; A family moves into a new home in the suburbs when their daughter begins to speak to her new imaginary friend and sinister things begin to happen in their home. The spirits haunting their house then take their daughter captive and the family are forced to consult parapsychologists in order to get their daughter back. Like I mentioned at the start, this film really isn’t that bad, there isn’t that much that’s scary! It’s just the anticipation that gets you the first time you watch it!
And so ends my (short) list of horror type films that didn’t keep me awake for days on end after watching them, I had others but I couldn’t remember enough about them to talk about them like Carrie or Silence of The Lambs for example. I know this list is a little unconventional to my usual posts on here but hopefully some people enjoy it none the less.