October 28, 2008

Movies That Are Actually Scary

Because far too many people falsely believe bloody=scary.

And, frankly, there's a difference between thrilling (i.e. 28 Days Later) and frightening.

I'm talking about the stuff of nightmares, here.

So, in honor of All Hallow's Eve, here are some films that legitimately made me afraid to turn off the lights at one point or another, in no particular order.

Anyone out there want to suggest any additions to my list?

Three Strikes

Christopher Nolan on 'Dark Knight' and its box-office billion: 'It's mystifying to me' | Hero Complex | Los Angeles Times

Reading this great interview with Christopher Nolan as he contemplates the possibility of doing a third "Batman" film really does raise the question: Has there EVER been a third film in a trilogy that's as good or better than the first two?

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was quite good, and definitely better than The Temple of Doom.

Revenge of the Sith? Well, it's the best of the three, but the whole trilogy is so suspect, I don't really want to count it.

Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a very good 80's horror film, definitely better than part 2, but not as freakishly scary as the first film.

Matrix Revolutions contains elements of a brilliant film, but there spliced in with nearly an hour of a really terrible mecha war movie, so, no.

Rocky III? Not a particularly artistic or emotionally honest film like the first, but MAN, that movie is good clean fun! Mr. T and Hulk Hogan? What's there not to love?

Die Hard With A Vengeance? I enjoyed it, but it's not nearly as tight or well written as the first film, and the ending is kinda random, so, no.

Batman Forever? Again, I enjoyed it, but it was not nearly as rich as either of Burton's two films (of which, I think Batman Returns is the best).

The Bourne Ultimatum is an exceptional action movie, but, without the Marie character, it really lacks emotional resonance and, in the end, it's about very little.

Return of the King is, in my mind, the only one that surpasses the other two films in the series. And that's only because the entire series was conceived as one complete story beforehand, where Act Three is the big payoff.

Most other part threes are commissioned largely for commercial purposes, with people trying to find a story to justify a reason to capitalize on the success of the first two films.

In short, I would LOVE to see Nolan find a reason to do a 3rd Batman.

(My recommendation? Cast Daniel Day Lewis as Dr. Hugo Strange for the main villain. "Who the Hell is Hugo Strange?" you ask? Who cares? Outside of comic fanboys, who the Hell ever heard of Ra's Al Ghul before "Batman Begins"?)

But I hope it's for the right reasons. Story reasons.