JWM SPOOKATHON 2020: The Sixth Sense (1999)

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (IMDb)
Less a suspenseful thriller than a delicate drama that captures in whispers and patient takes all the agonizing horror and supernatural spookiness of loss, loneliness, grief, and fear. Great turns by the main four players make for many memorable scenes of dialogue (see Lynn and Cole in traffic; Malcolm and Anna at the end) that anchor a satisfying plot and a twist ending that makes sense in the best possible way. The chilly and transitional season of fall makes for a perfect setting for it all.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
CREEPY QUOTE: “I see dead people.” – Cole Sear
SPOOKY STILL:

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

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There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt the remain safe from these flesh eating monsters. (IMDb)
Painful dialogue and performances and unlikable characters (see the hysterical Barbra and brash Ben who punches her out) amidst dumb drama (see the repetitive cellar debate) and lazy exposition (see the lengthy news reports) are redeemed to a remarkable extent by the delightfully deadly climax (featuring a grotesque zombie feast over a grating soundtrack) and despairing denouement marked by a poignantly unassuming note of dramatic irony dragged out in the unique still-shots ending credits.
6.5/10 (Alright)

It Follows (2014)

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A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter. (IMDb)
The style is more memorable than the substance (despite the uniquely discomforting premise rooted in teenage sexuality), but this speaks mostly to the incredible atmosphere created by the former through a simply superb spooky-synth score (listen especially to the walk to the pool) and a vaguely retro adult-less Americana suburb setting, gorgeously captured in striking colour, with plenty of creeper zooms and mesmerizing tracking shots that help craft the film’s brand of (literally) slow horror.
8/10 (Great)

Scream (1996)

Happy Halloween, dear readers! Go pour yourself a mug of hot apple cider, grab some candy, and watch a scary movie. This one is highly recommended by me! 🙂

 

Attempting to cope with her mother’s murder, Sydney and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by a murderer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go. (IMDb)
A top notch scary movie featuring an entertaining combination of tense slasher-violence, unnerving murder mystery, and loads of jump scares to go along with dashes of dark teen comedy and meta, self-parodying horror movie satire. It’s well acted (the supporting Lillard and Kennedy are especially delightful) and cleverly written (“Look behind you, Jamie!”), and its whodunit plot is packed full of great twists and red herrings that keep you guessing right up until the absolutely killer climax.
8/10 (Great)