It’s time for Matthew McBride to get out his chainsaw and DSD's own Steve Weddle to dress poor Gumbo in a silly costume. Yes, holiday fans – today is Halloween. Growing up, Halloween was always special. Mom started working on making costumes for my brother and I long before the big occasion. Halloween was and still is her favorite holiday to dress up and have a scary good time. I come by my love of the holiday honestly.
Not surprisingly, Halloween brings out my love of haunted houses and horror movies. Walking through darkened hallways waiting for people with chainsaws to jump out at you is always a good time. (Yes, I realize I am completely twisted. I’ve come to terms with that part of my personality. Honest.) Haunted houses and horror movies are sheer fun to me because they aren’t real. The zombies, vampires and other worldly creatures are enjoyable to watch, but I have no tangible fear of them. Freddy Krueger and his ilk give me an adrenaline rush without any negative, truly fearful emotions murkying up the waters.
Cinematic thrillers are a different story.
I have a love/hate relationship with big screen thrillers. I love to watch them, but the best of the genre always leave my heart pounding long after the credits roll. The characters feel real. Their motivations to do terrible things ring true. The need to catch the bad guy before he kills the kids at camp make me lean forward in my chair and gnaw my fingernails down to nothing. These movies capture what I love best about the crime fiction genre: the realness. (Is realness actually a word? It sounds totally made up, but it fits what I am talking about so I’m going with it.)
We talk about this kind of thing all the time on DSD. Crime fiction takes ordinary people and plunges them into extraordinary circumstances. As the reader, we immediately identify with the characters and hope to God they make it out alive by the end. And the stories stay with us long after the final page is closed and the story has played out.
My favorite scary cinematic thrillers are ones that fit this mold. The first of the Friday the 13th movies, the original Psycho, The Hitcher are all movies that scare he crap out of me in the best possible way. So – help me out. Today is Halloween and I want to celebrate by scaring myself silly. Which scary movies would you recommend that I try? What are you favorites?