Looking for a slasher, gore-fest, torture or zombie flick to watch this Halloween? Look elsewhere!
My taste in scary movies runs more to the Southern gothic, suspense, supernatural, whodunit, twist-a-minute genre. The “thinking man’s” scary movie, if you will. Give one a try and tell me what you think.
What are you, afraid?
This film has pedigree to spare!
Directed by: Sam Raimi (A Simple Plan, Evil Dead 2)
Written by: Billy Bob Thornton (Yes, Angelina Jolie’s I wear his blood in a vile around my neck ex-husband)
Starring: Katie Holmes (who has a nude scene), Keanu Reeves (looking amazing), Cate Blanchette (pre-Queen Elizabeth), Giovanni Ribisi (seriously disturbing), Hilary Swank, Greg Kinnear
Blanchett stars as Annie Wilson, a young widow with a psychic “gift” who lives with her 3 children in the bayou near Savannah. Wilson uses her gift by reading cards and telling people their future to earn money to support her family. When the daughter (Holmes) of the town’s wealthiest man disappears, Annie is asked to assist the police in finding her. She succeeds in leading them to the lake where the girl’s body is found and the police arrest her white trash/abusive boyfriend Donnie Barksdale (Reeves). Annie continues to receive clues that lead her to believe that someone else is responsible for the girl’s murder.
The Lady in White
Written and directed by: Frank LaLoggia
Starring: Lukas Haas (Witness, Mars Attacks)
The story is told as a flashback of Frankie’s (Lukas Haas) life and the ghost he met as a child. When he was 9, he was accidentally locked in a grade-school cloakroom on Halloween night of 1962 and sees the ghostly image of a little girl and her murder that took place years ago. Later that night he is almost strangled to death by an unknown assailant. He soon begins seeing the ghost. Later he learns the ghost was a little girl named Melissa Montgomery who was murdered years ago. Since that time more children have died. As Frankie begins to solve the mystery of the murders, a black janitor is accused of the crimes (very similar to “To Kill a Mockingbird”). Frankie believes the janitor is innocent and that the murderer was someone else, someone very close to him. He soon finds himself stalked by the killer and is also drawn to an old house where a mysterious lady in white lives. As he discovers the secret of the woman, he discovers the identity of the killer.
Stir of Echoes
Directed and written by: David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible)
Starring: Kevin Bacon
From the very beginning Stir of Echoes is “edge of your seat” entertainment. Kevin Bacon stars as Tom, a father who is hypnotized by his sister-in-law. This results in the opening of his mind to the spirit of a girl who was murdered in his house. His son already had the powers to speak to dead people, and together they try to figure out why the girl keeps contacting them. In a grippingly intense performance, Bacon portrays the frenetic torment of a man driven to extremes by supernatural forces he doesn’t yet understand. But however spookily and expertly this tale begins, it becomes more and more earthbound as we come closer to understanding what the ghost is trying to tell us.
Directed by: Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings)
Starring: Michael J. Fox and Jake Busey
Offbeat comedic thriller equipped with the big gothic house, crazy old lady and a scarily insane serial killer. We soon learn that a horrible car accident has left Frank (Michael J. Fox) widowed and with the ability to see the spirit world, which he now uses to earn his living. “Persistent residue of the departed,” he tells one client whose house he’s about to ghost-proof. Soon his ghostbuster services are needed in Fairwater, a cute little town experiencing a lot of strange and mysterious deaths. Frank learns Fairwater was once terrorized by a teen-age thrill-killer, whose onetime sweetheart is now a strange recluse living with her mother.
• El Orfanato (The Orphanage)
• Picnic at Hanging Rock
• The Mothman Prophecies