Thursday, October 27, 2005
THE TWO GREATEST HORROR FILMS OF ALL TIME.
I can honestly say the two most powerful horror movies I have ever seen are The Exorcist (1973) and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). By most standards, they are considered among the top ten best of the genre.
Both these films are raw and scary due to very different circumstances.
That there could be spiritual evil invading a person's body and soul is one of the most frightening aspects about The Exorcist, the loss of personal identity and control. I first saw this film about ten years after it was made, at home on TV and I was only about nine years old. To this day I kinda regret having watched it at such a young age, for I think it rather traumatized me for a good while. The acting is phenomenal, the special effects incredibly convincing, and that voice, DEAR GOD, that voice! UGH! Many today will say the film has lost most of its initial impact, which is probably true, but even now, many of the scenes still can be quite unsettling.
When I was much older, I ran into a television airing of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (the original please, the remake is a joke) and this film is pretty disturbing. Made on a minimal budget with unknown actors and in a very grainy documentary style, this movie is effective on all levels. We are perturbed to see the crazy family that inhabits that house in the middle of nowhere, the cannibalism, Leatherface and his arts and crafts, and probably the scene that will always stay on my mind: the first victim, a cute young whiteboy who goes into the house unsuspectingly and is conked on the head with a mallet, his body convulsing and seizuring on the floor until a second blow kills him for good. YIKES! F**KIN' TWISTED!
Both films have hardly any gore or blood, yet on a psychological level work extremely well. If you can tolerate this kind of trauma, these are excellent masterpieces for this time of year.