‘Tis the time of year when scary movies come to mind. Before I met my husband, the number of horror movies I’d seen hovered in the single digits. As a movie buff, I’d seen a lot of movies, but I tried to steer clear of the scarier ones. You see, I’m what’s known in the parlance of our times as a “weenie.” On one of our first dates, DH and I talked about our mutual love of Hitchcock movies:
DH: I love Psycho!
Me: I’ve never seen that, but I love To Catch a Thief.
DH: Oh. Well, I’ve never seen that one, but The Birds is an amazing movie.
Me: Huh. Never seen it. I loved Notorious, though. One of my favorite movies of all time.
DH: Nope, never seen that . . . [conversation stalls] Rear Window?
Me: Yes!!!! I love Rear Window!
Relieved chatter ensued, and somehow we found enough common ground to see each other again, and again, and then to get married. (We’ve been married for fourteen years, as of Oct. 10th.) DH loves the scary stuff. I loved many of Hitchcock’s crime capers and Gothic romances, but I’d steered clear of his true horror films.
Well, marriage to my husband has changed all that. I’ve now seen Psycho and The Birds, but I have to confess, I still like the crime capers and Gothic romances better. My husband insisted I just had to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre on an early date, but when he realized I really, really wasn’t enjoying it, he made dumb jokes all the way through to take my mind off of it, so it wasn’t too bad.
Texas Chainsaw aside, he has introduced me to some great scary movies. We rewatched one of them this weekend. The Changeling (1980) is a fantastic good old-fashioned haunted house story starring George C. Scott as a bereaved widower who moves into an old house, only to quickly discover that the house has a presence that is trying to tell him something. He sets out to find out what it is.
I would post a link to the trailer, but it’s horribly cheesy and doesn’t give you a good sense of the movie at all. Instead, here’s a link to a scary scene from the movie itself. The ball in this scene is normally stored in Scott’s work desk. It belonged to his late daughter, who was struck and killed by a truck, along with Scott’s wife, at the beginning of the movie:
Such a simple scene, but in the context of the movie, so effective. No gore, little violence, just a great story, a brooding atmosphere, real chills, and wonderful characters. That’s the kind of horror movie even a weenie like me can love.
Weenies or not, what are some of your favorite horror films? Tell me in the comments, and add a link to a scene if you like!