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Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of eleven T L Spencer turned to writing as a way to cope with her condition. Her vivid imagination and love of all things paranormal influenced her writing. T L Spencer enjoys all forms of literature and is currently studying at university, hoping to become a teacher.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Top 10: Oh the Horror...

Goosebumps prickle your skin.A cold draft slithers down your spin. You shiver. Something, or someone is watching. The hairs stand up on the back of your neck as your breathing becomes shallow. You look for an implement; you can't find one. You're all alone. No one can help you. It's here... He's here... He has a knife... You run to the door but it's locked. You can't hide...

You can't go anywhere...

Everyone loves a good scare; especially when it comes to the movies. Who hasn't had a film day where they've crashed on the sofa, turned off the lights, drawn the curtains, grabbed the comfort food and said, 'Let's watch a horror film!' and then proceeded to pick up every cushion in sight as a means of protection? It is a tradition that will most likely continue for many years.

So, with respect for tradition, here are my Top 10 horror films. The movies that made my heart race, made me reach for a pillow, made me scream, made me jump; maybe even a mixture of all of the above...

Ten:

At number ten in my horror count down is Ghost Ship. I love this film; it has some clever filming techniques and with a lot more psychological horror going on, it can be quite creepy. The concept that a ship is sailing around like that is just freaky... However, I loced the characterisation within this film; there were no awkward crappy sex scenes (thank God) and the sexual tension that was there fit quite nicely. The ending was brilliant; I loved that twist. An excellent way of saying: You can't beat Death.

Nine:


An American Haunting. This is quite disturbing is some ways. Starting off in the present, we see a girl running through the woods, terrified for her life. She wakes up and is scolded by her mother for digging around in the attic, finding an old journal. Skip to the past, where said journal is being written and where chaos (creepy, by the way) is then taking place. All about actions having consequences (and more besides), this film is jumpy. It's also easy on the eye (James D'Arcy). Not that I'm shallow or anything...

Eight:

Nightmare on Elm Street. Okay, so it's an old film. But I don't care. Sometimes, old is good. Old grants you perspective. And this film is actually very good. Again, the concept is really rather creepy. That nightmares can kill you? Ouch.
 
Seven:



This is perhaps one of the oddest films I have seen. Yet, I love it. Everyone loves the tooth fairy, right? Well, not in Darkness Falls. This tooth fairy was once human, a caring old lady who collected children's teeth, exchanging them for coins. After a fire burned her home, she wore a mask to hide her features as they were sensitive to light. When two children went missing, she was blamed and killed. Though later they discovered her innocent of the crime, it was already too late; she had cursed the town.
Years later: young boy loses his last baby tooth and looks upon the fairy. His parents are murdered and he is blamed, Present day: his old flame is having trouble with her little brotehr who hates the dark. Oh, dear. The fairy has returned.
This story is well planned and kind of creepy. It's jumpy in unexpected places and has a lot of story in it, which is usually the down fall of many horrors. Again, it's the psychological element which is strong here. And it works.

Six:

This is one scary film. The Ring has this feeling of silence throughout and the whole 'seven days' thing, though corny is actually what makes it scary. Imgine knowing when you were going to die? That mental torture... Shivers. The symbolism is what worked for me in this film; the bad luck signs throughout the movie and the iconogrophy of death was all used extremely well.


Five:

Though our westernised version of The Grudge is nothing compared to the original, the film is nevertheless, unbeleivably cool. Sarah Michelle Gellar arrives in a what Japanese culture views as a cursed house. And from there all hell breaks loose.
What fascinates me about this film is its use of non-linear time. It starts at the end, then sort of works its way through time, changing when it suits. It leaves you with this disconcerted feeling and when combined with the off-balance filming techniques and the lack of sound, it is very effective.
The film iotself is jumpy and for this, on first viewing, I did have to have a pillow. The little boy was frankly just freaky.

Four:

Why do bad things happen to good people? This is what The Haunting in Connecticut asks us. I have actually seen the documentary and I can tell you, both are very creepy. The movie is excellently filmed and the soundtrack is amazing.
This movie touches on some very sensitive topics, as it would, being based on a true story. The idea that the closer one is to death, the more of it one can see, is disconcerting. The very thought of it has you uncomfortable. As most of the film is told from the parent's perspective, fighting an opponent she can't see (two, technically) gives the film a sense of hopelessness and isolation.
Effective is the word I would use to describe this film. And creepy.
Especially when all the food rots and the man appears in the mirror.

Bronze:



Insidious. This film is in Bronze because I hate clowns. And those people who were smiling looking like a bunch of horrible, creepy, icky clowns really freaked me out. Then we have that bride. Oh my God, how weird! Shivers just thinking about her. The psychological thing is strong with this film; they really had that effect down.
I needed a pillow for this film. And people to hide behind. And lights on...
There is only one thing I don't like about this film.
The demon. They took away the mystery.

Silver:

To see her is to see death. The Woman in Black is a scary, yet heart rendering tale of loss and revenge and if you think the film was frightening... go and read the book.
The most disturbing sequence for me was the inital sequence.
A playroom, day: three young girls sit together, talking animatedly, playing with china dolls and tea sets. Sudenly, as one, their happy smiling faces stop. They stare in unison at one corner of the room. Then, without pausing, they stand, crushing all their toys and china, to walk up to the windows. Their faces blank, they open the windows and as one jump to their deaths.
This film is only a 12. And in the first few minutes we have three under tens committing suicide? Okay. That is disconcerting.


Gold:


Sinister is truly Sinister. There is no other word for it. There just isn't.

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