Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Horror Hot List of Chris R. Notarile (Methodic)

Chris R. Notarile, writer/director of the film Methodic has agreed to help me kick off a new feature here at Midnite Media, in which I give a member of the indie horror community the spotlight and allow them to shine it in the direction of their favorite horror films.  What follows is Chris's Top Ten, and the reasoning behind his choices.

When you're done reading, please visit the official website of his production company, Blinky Productions; Read more about Methodic at the IMDB, read my review of it here, and then buy the damn thing already!

1. Halloween (1978) This is by far the best horror film ever made. It is classic, still relevant in this day and age and has withstood the test of time and can still hold its own among current horror heavyweights as well as outshines its own horrid remake.

2. Psycho (1960) This is not only the defining piece in Hitchcock's body of work, but was also a milestone in horror as well as general cinema. Psycho was suspenseful, shocking for its time and the blue print for a perfect film. It has withstood the test of time, but unfortunately has trouble holding its own among the modern horror heavyweights and therefore is not my number one.

3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) Quite possibly the first horror movie EVER made. This silent German expressionist film has influenced generations of filmmakers as well as introduced audiences at the time to something never before seen. At nearly 100 years old, this horror classic cannot be ignored and like Halloween and Psycho deserves to be shared with generations to come.

4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) TCM was also a milestone for its time because of its documentary style of story telling, its unrelenting brutality and the simple fact that there weren't really any movies as horrific or as shocking as this. It left audiences stunned and truly horrified.

5. Saw II (2005) Never before had I seen a horror sequel where the killer was presented in such a meek and harmless manner, yet still managed to be so foreboding. Jigsaw truly became a horror icon in Saw II. He was in your face the whole time and despite presenting no physical threat, he was as dangerous as can be.

6. Silence of the Lambs (1990) I cannot honor Jigsaw without paying tribute to the brilliant monster that is Hannibal Lector. Silence of the Lambs was yet another milestone in horror as our antagonist, Hannibal Lector was not only in your face but was quite possibly the deadliest opponent anyone could ever face. With a vicious mind, a killer wit and an ability to detach himself from some of the most brutal acts a human being can ever engage in, Hannibal Lector is by far, one of the most famous names in horror, as well as one of the most quotable. The only reason why I rank Saw II over this film is because of Hannibal's inconsistencies throughout the years in his sequels and prequels. As scary as they are, Jigsaw's tone has remained a constant.

7. Maniac Cop (1989) It is obvious this film has major flaws, plot holes, an undeniable cheese factor, but you can't help but love it. It's a zombie cop! And believe it or not, Maniac Cop was ahead of it's time in my opinion. It had such potential and was the making of a massive horror classic, but due to some unforeseen circumstance, the film fell into horror cult status. Be that as it may, the idea of corrupting the image of a police man and making him into a horrifically disfigured psychopath is just fascinating to me. So yeah, props to the Maniac Cop.

8. Halloween 4 (1988) Probably the best sequel in the series, Halloween 4 truly was a fresh start. It had such wonderful potential in the way it was headed in, the production value and direction were on par with the first film and it captured the spirit of the season. Had it not been for the horrible sequels that followed, Halloween 4 would have been the new beginning Michael Myers needed.

9. The Strangers (2007) You show me one movie made that doesn't predate 1980 where the major theme of the film is pure suspense. Quite possibly one of the most nerve racking film of the year, The Strangers was such a relief from all the torture films that had been coming out. The concept was simple yet complex and the editing, lighting and camera work were excellent. The Strangers makes my top ten because it was an ode to all things classic in horror.

10. House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Though I utterly despise Rob Zombie for his massacre of Halloween, I must give credit where it's due. House of 1000 Corpses was one of those few movies where I actually paid to see it again. It was definitely a rollercoaster ride for me. It was colorful, funny, twisted and very well shot. Sure there were a few things that made no sense whatsoever and should have probably been edited out, but on the overall, it was a film I just really enjoyed watching. I think the best part about it, was that it didn't take itself too seriously. It was a horror popcorn movie. And I appreciated it for what it was.

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