Willow Creek (2014) Review

Media-assault.com’s Top 10 Horror Films of All Time

It’s Halloween time and that’s the perfect excuse to post a list of what I feel are the top 10 horror films of all time.

What makes a horror film great?  In my opinion, it’s a combination of scares, imagination, and special effects.  So, feel free to share your own on our Facebook page.

Night of the Living Dead10.) Night of the Living Dead (1968) – This is the movie that started the zombie phenomenon that’s since taken over not only movies but video games, books, and TV as well.  Made for a small budget by independent filmmaker George A. Romero near Pittsburgh, PA, Night of the Living Dead was released on an unsuspecting public in October, 1968.  Audiences had seen nothing like it before.  It still manages to be quite unsettling.

 

The Changeling9.) The Changeling (1980) – Not to be confused with the 2008 Angelina Jolie movie with a similar name, The Changeling is a top notch ghost story that slowly builds to an effective and satisfying climax.  Featuring George C. Scott as John Russell, a grief stricken composer trying to recover from the death of his family.  When John buys a mansion, he finds that he’s not the only one living in the house.  The other is the spirit of a murdered boy.  This movie isn’t fast-paced but it does manage to be quite creepy.

The Mist8.) The Mist (2007) – One of the better Stephen King adaptations to hit the big screen, The Mist tells the story of a mysterious fog that settles over a small town in Maine.  Unlike 1980’s The Fog, which told a similar story, this cloud of terror contains something far more sinister than just dead people. The Mist also does a commendable job exploring how humans react when faced with such a dire situation.  The ending just might be the most unsettling and, dare I say, depressing endings ever seen in a horror film.

The Thing7.) The Thing (1982) – Although this is a remake of a 1951’s The Thing from Another World, John Carpenter’s version takes the horror to an entirely new level.  Where the original alien was a man (James Arness, in fact) in some make-up, the alien being in the 80’s version is a shape shifting enigma that can mimic the appearance of any living creature.  This adds a layer of suspense that the original lacked as the viewer never knows who is who or what is what.  Add in some spectacular practical effects by Rob Bottin and his crew and you’ve got a masterpiece of modern horror.

A Nightmare on Elm Street6.) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – Although the movie spawned a slew of sequels and eventually reduced the evil Freddy Krueger into something resembling a cartoon character, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street was a truly revolutionary and scary movie.  Combining nightmarish dream imagery with the fear of falling asleep, writer/director Wes Craven was able to ratchet up the suspense and then deliver shocking scenes of razor-fingered Krueger slashing his victims apart.  With a dash of dark humor added, it was a nearly perfect recipe for horror.

Phantasm5.) Phantasm (1979) – The fact that Don Coscarelli’s film was made for a limited budget actually gives it some of its creepiness factor.  Since everything looks a bit odd and out of place, this tale of a sinister funeral home and the mysterious tall man that seems to be its otherworldly guardian can play with your expectations of what’s real and what isn’t somewhat more subtly than you might otherwise expect.  Phantasm continues to be imitated, even by its sequels, but it’s never been duplicated.

Alien4.) Alien (1979) – Some may argue that Alien is a science fiction film but I beg to differ.  This is a classic horror movie in a sci-fi setting.  (Later films would edge closer to science fiction for sure.)  The pacing is deliberate and the scares effective as the crew of the USS Nostromo respond to a distress call that leads them to their eventual doom.  There are so many vintage horror moments that I will resist trying to pick a favorite.  Icing on the cake:  H.R. Giger’s creature designs are simply mind-blowing.

Hellraiser3.) Hellraiser (1987) – Hellraiser introduced us to a character who would later become known as Pinhead.  (In this first Hellraiser film, he is credited as simply “Lead Cenobite.”)  Clive Barker, who wrote and directed, presents a tale where an affair takes a brutally supernatural turn for the worse as a dead lover is resurrected by the blood of his former mistress’ victims.  This is all thanks to a little puzzle box called the Lament Configuration and it’s keepers: the Cenobites, creepy demons in leather and chains.  It’s graphic, bloody, and damn scary.

2.) The Exorcist (1973) – A young girl begins a relationship with an imaginary playmate named Captain Howdy, who turns out to be a demon that ends up possessing her body. Her mother turns to a priest for help and one of the blood chilling horror experiences ever filmed ensues. Linda Blair turns in a disarmingly menacing performance as Regan, the girl at the heart of the film’s spiritual confrontation. Seeing this cute child turn into a filthy-mouthed agent of Satan is an experience that you’ll never forget.

1.) Halloween (1978) – John Carpenter’s original slasher movie is probably responsible for more splatter-filled knock-offs than Star Wars spawned low-budget space operas, but this is a smart and effective little film. Although it was followed by increasingly less effective and intelligent sequels, it’s best to think of Halloween as a self-contained film. Michael Myers, the “boogeyman”, as evil personified terrifies a small town in Illinois and, without a motive, he’s completely unpredictable. Evil without limits is the ultimate horror.

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Dementia 13 (1963) Review

A Tribute to Adam West

Review: Homefront: The Revolution (Xbox One)

Homefront was one of the most-anticipated games of 2011. The idea of playing what amounted to a videogame version of Red Dawn struck a chord with many gamers. The plot, which centered around a North Korean invasion of the United States, seemed just plausable enough to make the game’s central idea work. Unfortunately, the game’s release in March, 2011 revealed a mediocre first-person shooter with dated mechanics and a very linear playthrough. The game sold well enough, however, that a sequel was announced by publisher, THQ. THQ hit financial troubles later in 2011 and eventually closed in 2012. Deep Silver picked up the rights to the Homefront franchise and, after numerous delays, the sequel, Homefront: The Revolution, was released in May, 2016.

Homefront: The Revolution is actually more of a reboot than a sequel. The original game’s invasion story is replaced with a newer, alternative history scenario. This time around, the North Koreans use a combination of economic pressure and home electronics to sabotage the United States infrastructure and disable the military. The North Koreans (nicknamed the Norks by the resistance fighters in the game) military now occupies the United States, with prison-like structures in the cities.

Read the rest of the review here

PlayStation 4 (PS4) Pickups – June, 2016 to February, 2017

Xbox One Pickups – June, 2016 to February, 2017