Monday, April 30, 2007

THE CHANGELING



Scary movie of the week:
THE CHANGELING

What is the scariest movie you've ever seen?

Now, don't answer right away. Think about it for a while. And for goodness sake, don't say The Exorcist! Everybody always says "The Exorcist".

………..well?

If you have to think about it that long, then you can’t think of a scarier movie than “The Exorcist”. Well, here are some other possible choices you could have come up with.

  1. Alien: not bad.
  2. Psycho: good choice.
  3. Audition: more “disturbing” than scary.
  4. The Exorcist: I told you not to pick The Exorcist! I mean, c’mon – it was alright, but as a scariest movie - forgetaboutit
  5. Frankenstein: scary when you’re 10 maybe.
  6. Dracula: ditto.
  7. The Mummy: (with Boris Karloff, not the new one) When I was a kid, this movie scared the crap out of me. When I saw it again as an adult, I laughed at it. TIP: If the mummy is chasing you, simply, and casually walk away. With his slow lurch, he’ll have a hard time keeping up.
  8. Night of the Living Dead: sure, the first time around.
  9. The Ring: an awfully long movie to sit through for one scary moment at the end.
  10. Halloween: known for ushering in a whole new genre of bad “psycho on the loose” movies – scare intensity doesn’t build fast enough to sustain you through the whole movie.
  11. The Fog: couldn’t have been too good, I can’t remember a damn thing about it.
  12. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: - pure brute force - I've seen bloodier stuff on the Discovery Channel.
  13. Friday the 13th: don’t make me laugh.
  14. A Nightmare on Elm St.: hahahahahahahahaha.
  15. Basket Case: Basket Case???? Where’d that come from.

For my money, one of the scariest, creepiest movies of all time is the 1980 ghost story, THE CHANGLING, starring George C Scott. It has all the requisite elements for a fun time: an old creepy house, a restless spirit who has been horribly wronged, a mysterious mystery, a séance, and a horde of demons who rise from the depths of hell, snatching the souls of any unfortunates within reach, making rivers boil, blood running in the streets and generally wreaking havoc on all of mankind.

Ok, I may have gotten a little carried away with the demons. 86 the demons.

This is a smart and atmospheric film. Instead of relying on monsters, or ax-wielding murderers, ……….or Satan, the film employs effective use of sound and shadow to create a creepy ominous ambiance. When was the last time that a sound scared the beejesus out of you? This film is a good example of the FranksFilms principle of Less Is More. This is the simple, if paradoxical, concept which states that “one scary thing is much scarier than a lot of scary things”. For example, the one alien in Alien was much scarier than a whole planet of aliens in Aliens. The one ghost in THE CHANGELING is much much scarier than the thirteen ghosts in the ridiculous film, Thir13en Ghosts. One Godzilla – scarier than two Godzilla’s (or a Godzilla and a MechaGodzilla). …..and so on – you get the picture.

This is not just a case of the resident ghost terrorizing the living. The ghost doesn’t give a lick about the living resident of the house. The ghost wants something, and won’t be denied. What is it? Who knows – that’s the mystery that has to be solved.

It doesn’t rely on shock moments. There aren’t things that jump out of the shadows and make you scream. Instead, there is intense suspense, and creepy sounds and images that linger with you long after the movie is over. How scary is it? It gave my teenage children nightmares, ………and I sleep with a night light to this very day.

Enjoy. …………and pleasant dreams.

2 Comments:

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you liked the Changeling, I bet you also liked/would like "Ghost Story". It's another of this kind of scare and it gets my vote for the scariest movie. (I've seen both-it's a toss up)

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger FranksFilms said...

I've also seen both of them and I agree. They're very close, they both create the spooky gothic atmosphere. But I give a couple extra "creepy" points to The Changeling because the victim was a child.

 

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