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October 27, 2010

My 3 Favorite Scary Movies Of All Time: James West Edition

Ever since that scene in Scream where Ghostface asks Ms Barrymore that same question people have been asking each other it with regularity. Actually, I'm pretty sure they have been asking each other that since the beginning of film itself. Scary movies are just so easy to talk about... and so easy to form an opinion of. For many reasons they are the genre of movies that you can point to and say "Yup, these are the ones I LOVE!!!" In honor of CCD's 1st annual All Horror Week, we decided to highlight some of our contributors and friends 3 favorite scary/horror movies of all time. These may not be the best, but they are each person's FAVORITE, so these lists should be quite fun. Here we go!

So, what does resident comic geek and all around great guy Cousin James West have to say when it comes to the scary movie debate? This kid got some solid ass picks. Who says the youngsters don't know whats really quality... no torture porn or mindless horror here. On another note, you might have stolen my thunder with one of your picks... Damn, I hate going last! With no further ado, I give you James West's 3 favorite scary movies:

Evil Dead 2 (1987) – It’s over the top without being cringe worthy, it’s a send-up without being a parody, it doesn’t hold back for a second, it’s gory, it’s funny, it has action, and it made Bruce Campbell into Bruce Campbell. What’s there not to love? Pretty groovy (had to do it!).

 John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) - The movie pits excellent characters against a legendary villain. Mike Myers is realistic while still having a supernatural air about him…this movie just has an atmosphere of what Halloween should be like.  (Editors note: I removed a video James posted here to make it its own post. It was to good to put n the middle of another post. Sorry kid... you just got jacked!!!)

John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) - This movie just attacks you on all levels. It’s got some of the most realistic, disgusting effects in any movie ever. It creates an atmosphere of paranoia that’s almost unparalleled. On top of that, it makes you connect the dots afterwards and ask yourself questions about what really happened.

Honorable mention: An American Werewolf in London!


  1. Mr. James West, you are one cool dude. Dig all three picks.

  2. Thank you, thank you...I dug your picks, too!

  3. Ahh, 'The Thing'! Good choice, Little Jimmy!

  4. Great Choices. I think 'Halloween' may just wind up being the Number 1 horror film always makes everyone's list!

    Once again...I love being the one not knowin' since, I have to admit, I still haven't gotten a chance to see 'The Thing'

    I wasn't allowed to watch a lot of this stuff in my house when I was younger, and when I became of age finally, I mostly looked forward and viewed new films as they came out. it wasn't until about the mid 90s when I started developing an actual preference and taste (as poor as some of you might think that taste is) and I've been scrambling to catch up on all the classics that I think I might enjoy.

    This is already on my Netflix que I'll just have to wait patiently for it to arrive.

  5. Thanks Tommy! It was on like HBO or Showtime or something today...still freaky even at 1:30 in the afternoon.

    And I agree Jeff...Halloween is probably THE horror movie. I feel like it's the standard that all others are compared to, or at least, should be. The "slasher"-genre of horror is a bit tired and ultimately seems to be frowned upon, and with good reason (Jason X...I rest my case). It's unfortunate that many people (my generation) just don't find that type of horror scary anymore, but it seems that most of these people haven't really given it a chance. The fact of the matter is, Halloween is just an amazing movie on top of being an amazing, and probably the best, horror movie. Carpenter really kind of went against the grain in terms of what people think of when they think of horror movies: gore, crap writing, crap directing, crap acting, and more gore. Halloween is so great because it really doesn't have much of any of these. The lighting used is much more effective than any axe to the face ever will be. I mean, the scene where Laurie is leaning against the wall and Mike's face very, very slowly comes into focus in the doorway next to her...*shudder*. Plus, the characterization is just phenomenal! Laurie's the unwitting victimized babysitter, but instead of being killed like, oh, pretty much every other teenage girl in every other horror movie, she stands her ground, saves the kids, and hold Mike off until Doc Loomis comes in and unloads on him. Loomis, another great character, also goes against the psychologist archetype of the "Nonono, we just don't understand him, don't kill him!" and understands that Michael Myers is just a completely inhumane killer. No motivation, no reason, no logic, and I think it's up to our imagination whether he even thinks about things or not. This kind of cold blooded mystery is much better than Rob Zombie's daddy-issues remake version, IMO.

    Well, sorry for that rant. I just can't think of a better Halloween movie than, well, Halloween.

    And I think I'm the opposite when it comes to horror at a young age...I used to watch the Predator and Alien movies all the time, albeit with my Dad covering my eyes at the "scary" parts, lol.

  6. Thanks, Tommy! It was actually on TV today...freaky even at 1:30 in the afternoon.

    And I agree, Jeff. Halloween is THE horror movie. It's a shame that so many people (my generation) don't appreciate it, and opt instead for Saw 5 or something. The slasher movie genre has a bit of a bad rap...not without reason, course (*cough* Jason X *cough*), but Halloween is just so different than what people think of when they picture a "slasher" movie. First of all, calling Halloween a slasher movie is a bit of a misnomer in the first place, since it really transcends that (can't say the same for most of it's sequels...most). Ultimately, the movie actually means something (though that may just be me projecting), but I see so many different dichotomies at work, whether it be good vs. evil, corruption vs. innocence, etc. Not to mention, while most slasher (there's that word again) movies rely on gore and shoddy writing/acting/directing, Halloween doesn't. There's not much gore in the movie, at least by today's standards. Carpenter and his crew's use of lighting, music, angles and atmosphere are really leaps and bounds away from goriness in terms of instilling fear. That scene where Laurie's leaning against the wall and Michaels face slowly comes into focus in the doorway...*shudder*.The characterization is phenomenal, too. Laurie is the victim who refused to be victimized, stood her ground despite everything, and saved the kids. Loomis is such a great character as well, who is different from the usual "Nonono, we just don't understand him, don't kill him!" movie psychologist. He knows the threat that Michael is. Mike is, of course, one of movie history's finest villains: completely cold blooded, not feeling, not talking, not stopping...sometimes I wonder if he even thinks about anything. It's this type of distance that I find much more chilling than Rob Zombie's uninspired Daddy-issues take on the character.

    Well, sorry for that rant...I just can't think of a better Halloween movie than, well, Halloween!

  7. Well, I thought the first comment didn't take, so I had to retype a whole new one...and it turns out the first one worked. Ah, well. Now I just look stupid.

  8. James & gang, here is something to remember about your beloved Halloween: The film came out in 1978 (probably filmed in 1977), which is a few years before Freddy & Jason started really goring up the place. And to be truthful, neither one of those franchises were overly bloody until later. I feel like it all kinda turned around 1986... when the sequels started. Halloween may be pretty gore free (like 5 people die... hardly any blood) yet the many Halloween sequels are very high on gore... it followed suit with the rest of the genre.

    Its hard to compare Halloween against Friday & Nghtmare for that reason... people were not ready for that kind of blood in 1978. I usually bunch Halloween in with Texas Chainsaw Massacre & The Shining because they are much more cerebral movies that can scare you shitless. Thats just my opinion.

    Oh, and by the way, I kinda liked Zombies take on Halloween... His second one, not so much. But the first one was kinda cool.

  9. It's on cable all the time, James! Hahaha.

  10. True Mike...but I still say Halloween was the master in terms of what it did. I would agree to classify it with The Shining and Chainsaw though, as opposed to the Freddy and Jason movies. And when I say Halloween, I mean the original...not so much the franchise. lol.

    And Zombie made a pretty good horror movie, it just didn't feel like a Halloween movie to me...but, it is a remake, and it's not like it's existence lowers the quality of the original, so c'est la vie.

  11. They all seem to be pretty horrible. And, I really do not see such scary movies often. But, from your description, they are all worth trying.
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