Brothers Nathan and Robert Olsen, quickly gaining fame for their online horror-themed comic strip Haiku Comics, have agreed to jump into the bloody pit that is Midnite Media's 'Horror Hotlist', and give us not just their ten favorite horror films...but their eleven favorite! Because they're so badass, they get a freebie! (Plus, there's two of them...so in all actuality, there could have been twenty.)
When you're done reading this list, make with the clickity-click and check out their website. Tell 'em Jonny Metro sent ya'!
Nathan: In 1982, playground discussions at my elementary school revolved around three subjects: E.T., Thriller, and Poltergeist. To this day, I still think about Carol Anne's toy clown, perched ominously in that white chair. The moment that Robbie notices that the clown has vanished is one of the most chilling moments I've ever seen on film.
Robert: What made this movie so scary for me was how it took everyday items and turned them into nightmares. Clowns, trees, televisions, pools, everything was normal until the ghosts got a hold of it. Scared the crap out of me at that age.
2. Halloween (1978):
Robert: Really? I have to explain this one? Michael Myers, five year olds killing their sisters while wearing a clown outfit (see a pattern here?), a guy who walks, not runs to kill his victims. I still remember sneaking this one into the VCR at a friends house and watching this without telling my parents. Of course they found out as I huddled in their bed that night yelling that Michael was coming to get me. And of course, Jamie Lee Curtis, the scream queen herself.
3. The Shining (1980)
Nathan: For me, a truly horrific film moment isn't about shock, it's about cognitive dissonance — and Stanley Kubrick used that feeling to great effect in The Shining. Twin girls standing in a hallway that should be empty; a nearly finished novel made up of one sentence; a boy's finger that knows too much about the world. As a visual artist, it is hard for me not to love this film -- every shot is a thing of beauty, from the elevator full of blood to the impossible crane shot of the hedge maze.
4. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Robert: Is it wrong to put up a movie that made me laugh? Sure, it's campy, but it was obviously done with love. Bruce Campbell plays his role perfectly. From his gut wrenching fear, to his maniacal laughter as he cuts off his own hand, I always felt that the next step was exactly what his character would do in that situation.
5. 28 Days Later
Nathan: This may come as a a surprise to fans of Haiku Comics, but I was never really of a fan of zombies until I saw 28 Days Later. I know that many purists prefer the classic, supernaturally reanimated zombie, but I was thoroughly won over by the infected. I absolutely love Danny Boyle's barren, post-apocalyptic vision of London.
6. C.H.U.D. (1984)
Robert: Sewers are dirty, dark, and scary. Oh sure, turtles live in them enjoying life while ordering pizza, but that's only in the posh part of the sewer. Down in the sewer ghetto live Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers and they aren't happy unless they are eating you. I really don't remember much about this movie except that I couldn't walk next to a sewer drain or man-hole cover for years and that is good enough for me to put it on this list.
7. Let The Right One In
Nathan: I think Let The Right One In is a brilliant little vampire film. The sensual, aristocratic predator invented by Bram Stoker and refined by Anne Rice is completely stripped away, allowing the filmmakers to explore other aspects of the vampire archetype. The underwater shot near the end of the film is one I'll never forget.
8. The Thing (1982)
Robert: Stranded? Check. Monster that can change shape? Check. Complete and total paranoia? Check. This movie works by never letting you know who is the next person to be infected. Watching the civilization break down due to insecurities and mistrust is a mini look into our world today. I won't give it away, but really, the end of this movie is the only way that it could possibly end and stay true to itself.
9. The Blair Witch Project
Nathan: Since it's release ten years ago, I have been unable to stop thinking about this film, which is rather remarkable considering that I just watched it for the first time earlier this year. When it was originally released, I didn't have much interest in the movie, so my understanding of the film was constructed from shot-by-shot retellings of the story by my friends. Even before I actually saw the movie, I thought that The Blair Witch Project had one of the best horror movie endings of all time.
10. Stephen King's IT (1990)
Robert: OK, so I'm cheating on this one. While this is a mini series and not a movie, I am still putting it here. Pennywise the Clown (yeah, yeah, I have issues) hides in the sewers (more issues) and terrorizes a town. Told in two time frames, you know Pennywise is a bad ass when one of the characters just flat out shoots himself instead of going back to rid the town of evil as an adult. Part a coming of age story, part a you can't go home again story, it is all horror story.
Nathan: It was hard for me to admit this to myself, but I love this film. Of all the horror films on this list, it's the only one of which I own a copy. Yes, it's cheesy and ridiculous. But werewolves with machine guns? Samurai sword-wielding vampires? The effects are great, the story is adequate and watching Viktor's head slide open? Priceless.