After reading my paranormal dark fantasy, The Shadow Soul, you may wonder what kind of horror movies I enjoy watching. If you think the Exorcist is at the top of my list, you’d be wrong. The Trailokya Trilogy makes use of Christian-Judaeo myths and figures, but I’m interested in a more spiritualistic look at the ideas. That’s where the fantasy really takes flight, although you could argue that the whole thing is seriously all the material of utter fantasy.
Although the Exorcist is based on real events, something that totally aligns with my jive on these books, it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Instead, and despite the camp and patina on the film, there’s a little number form the 1980s that will start out the list.
5. Hellraiser (1987)
When I was younger, this one really got my hair on end. Imagine if you found a box that opened a gate into another dimension, and that other dimension housed demonic forces who wanted to enjoy your pain… Yikes!
Not quite torture porn, the film examines the appetites and taboos of humanity (because nothing says taboo like wearing the skin of your dead step mom). It suggests, in alignment with scripture, that sins will bring this punishment onto you, should you find the box and open it. Cenobites are demons created from former people who pushed the envelope and won a spot in hell. Later episodes introduce you to their back story, as a means to making them more sympathetic. I prefer the first three, as the series got out of control (even for a busy fantasy such as this).
But, being out of control isn’t always a bad thing…
4. The Evil Dead (1981)
I was just a wee thing when this one hit, but I’ve been a Bruce Campbell fan since I can remember (Buckaroo Bonzai, Ash Vs. The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Burn Notice). The first film in the series is an annual watch at Halloween. It doesn’t matter to me how old it gets, and how bad the special effects are. It’s total cheek.
I recommend watching the second, as well as Army of Darkness to get the full affect of the films. The remake wasn’t that great, despite the bigger budget and Bruce showing up. Perhaps they should have billed it as a fourth in the franchise. However, we did get the Ash series out of this, so not all things turned out badly from it.
Interestingly enough, this flick also deals with opening a path into another world where evil can touch you in the flesh. (Is this a bad time to mention that i have the special edition Necronomicon version?)
3. Poltergeist (1982)
How can you not love this film? It has ghosts and giant evil crouchy demons swallowing up children. The 80s produced many epic horror films, and they rate high on my list still. The most horrific part of this was growing up with Heather O’Rourke on television and then hearing of her untimely passing. We were born in the same year, so it was rather jarring to find out that someone my age had passed. She was only twelve.
Watching these films touches on the subjects of hauntings and demons, but the history of the film also lends a depth of eeriness .
Speaking of being fraught with historical significance…
2. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The director of this film deserves no attention. I’m disgusted that I find his work compelling, as he’s a child rapist. To add to the layers it would be a year later that his wife Sharon Tate was murdered by an infamous serial killer. Speaking of Miss Tate, have you seen The Fearless Vampire Killers? Unfortunately, this too is the child rapist’s work.
The main layer of the work focuses on the ironic sexual abuse of a young, new wife. You’re left wondering by the end of it if she manifested the story you’re told in order to come to terms with her husband’s abuse. The literal translation is that the devil raped her, and she bore him a son from that attack. It’s a common fear during pregnancy, to think you are having something unnatural.
This type of threat comes up in The Trailokya Trilogy for Maiel via Morgentus. The books were inspired by dreams I’ve had over the years, which may have been a coping mechanism out of my experiences. In addition, a couple of the above films speak to the bond between demons and children, or how they are used by demons to access adults they’d like to sink their claws into.
Number one asks us to examine a parent’s worst nightmare, a dearly sick child, and to go back and examine the sinister things from our pasts.
1. Insidious (2009)
I can’t say enough about this film. If I had to chose what films reflect the mood or flavor of my books, I’d pick Insidious, Inception (2010), and What Dreams May Come (1998). You’re probably wondering how those movies all fit together, but then I’d have to say, read The Shadow Soul and find out. Let’s just say, between the further and the dreamscapes of inception, you have the setting, while WDMC rounds out the imagery.
But, really, this film is a very fun ride in the horror genre. I like the jumpy moments. The scene with the demon sharpening his nails to Tiny Tim’s Tip Toe ThruThe Tulips is so spot on. Let’s not forget the choppy way the ghosts move. Ever have a nightmare where you’re looking at something and it suddenly changes, nothing bad or anything, but it’s left you with a deep sense of dread. Yeah. Exactly.
It doesn’t matter if any of it can or cannot happen in real life. Horror is about the slight change in our reality to something that fills us with a deep sense of dread, if not the outright screams.
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