The Changeling ~ Five Scary Moments

The 1980 incarnation of the spectacular chiller thriller The Changeling was released on Blu-ray on 20 August this year and it’s lost none of it’s appealing jump-a-minute drama – in fact it’s even more horror-tastic than I remember.

It’s a movie that has been described by King of horror, Stephen King as a film that has scared him personally “A child’s ball bouncing down a flight of stairs was enough to scare the daylights out of me” quotes King, and I have to agree with him. The subtlety of suggestion is one of the film’s many strengths.

The story follows central character, John Russell (George C. Scott) as he starts a new life in the wake of the tragic death of his wife and daughter in a car crash.

To choose the top five scariest moments to get into the Halloween ‘spirit’ is easy! There are five stand out scenes that have me racing for the back of the sofa, so without further ado:

Watery Grave

The apparition of a boy in the bath tub – I find it horrific on every level. From the way the scene is shot to the implications, it sets the tone.

Audio Disturbance

The voice of the spirit (Joseph Carmichael) heard over audio during a séance is psychologically disturbing. It’s quite clear and that makes it all the more effective!

The Chase

When Claire Norman from the historical society is chased down the stairs by a wheelchair, the horror ups its game again, and this is towards the climax of the film too. Given the year of the movie’s production it feels all the scarier in the first incarnation too.

Tune in…

To end a film on the note of a lullaby from a music box, given that the storyline revolves around the murder of a six year old boy, absolutely messes with my mind! It’s actually one of the most chilling scenes of the movie as it’s not entirely overt and extremely suggestive.

For the full review of the film, check this out from my viewing this summer: The Changeling

Purchase your copy of The Changeling here:

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Xtro ~ Five Scary Moments

Xtro, the 1982 cult classic has been released on Blu-ray in time for Halloween and it is one of the most truly gruesome movies of its time in my opinion! Directed by Harry Bromley Davenport, it’s a gory hybrid of sci-fi and horror not for the faint hearted! It starts with an alien abduction – a father called Sam (Philip Sayer) being the target and finishes in the most twistedly disturbed and horrific way possible.

First released in the UK in December 1982 (an unlikely festive treat, it must be said!) it was met with mostly negative reviews and it’s easy to see why, however for the hardened horror fan it’s a must-watch. Finding five of the top scariest moments was no mean feat, but here they are:

Killing Spree

The first jump-inducing moment that gave an indication of the scenes that might follow is when two short-lived characters, Ben and Jane are killed by a half-human half-alien creature. The creature itself isn’t a pretty sight but the murders are indicative of the running theme!

A Pregnant Pause

The hybrid creature impregnates a woman – that’s scary enough, however when the unlucky victim regain consciousness and the fetus grows at a ridiculously fast rate (no 9 month gestation period here!) and she gives birth to a fully grown human. He bursts through her dress and there are a number of shots that don’t shy away from how gruesome this very messed up scenario is. Of course she dies – but when Sam (who was given up for lost years ago after the mysterious light took him away) appears as the ‘new-born’ it’s clear there are more sinister turns to come.

Who wants eggs for breakfast?

Sam’s son Tony is on his radar to track down, and his wife, Rachel (she has a new fellar in tow, called Joe). Once a seemingly amnesia-riddled Sam moves in with them, he displays strange behaviour which makes for disturbing viewing – eating the eggs of his son’s pet snake and drinking his son’s blood. As I say – not for the faint hearted!

This isn’t child’s play…

A human-sized toy soldier used by Tony to kill the annoying neighbour, a bit extreme? Oh yes! However she killed his pet snake and he’s discovered he has certain powers! His use of powers resulted in something reminiscent of IT for me… shudder!

To be continued!

The scene that had me hiding behind the sofa – Sam rekindling his romance with Rachel and making love to her. It was never going to end well, and his decomposing skin was also somewhat of a turn off for his unsuspecting wife! So the cycle of half-human half-alien life continues…

Make sure you nab a copy of Xtro on Blu-ray… it’s worth it for the ‘xtra’ Xtro features!

The Amityville Horror ~ Five Scary Moments

Halloween is creeping around the corner, so what better excuse do you need than to turn the lights off, light the pumpkins and get ready for a fright in front of a classic horror movie? The Amityville Horror is one of those classics, it’s spawned many sequels and spin-offs and I always feel there’s a part of this film’s content and format in every good scary movie.

With a first class cast including James Brolin, it’s a must-see and should have a place on everyone’s Halloween hit list.

Synopsis: When George and Kathy Lutz and their children move to Amityville Long Island they believe they have found the perfect family home. But the house has a shocking history and within its walls a demonic presence lies in wait that will turn the Lutz’s lives into a living nightmare.

Sounds like a scare-fest? Here are my top five scariest moments in The Amityville Horror

  • The first alert for me that this is going to be a frightening ride is when the babysitter (Amy Wright) is locked in the bedroom closet and it seems like nobody has done it, it’s just ‘happened’. She’s supposed to be taking care of the Kathy’s (Margot Kidder) daughter Amy (Natasha Ryan) and I spent the whole fall-out of that scenario waiting for something to happen to Amy.
  • Amy’s pretend friend Jody gave me the chills, the supposed nature of the imaginary buddy is sinister in the extreme. Jody’s introduction is one of the key points of the film for me.
  • Red eyes outside Amy’s bedroom! Kathy spots them and they are enough to make any horror aficionado jump!
  • Kathy’s nightmares about the details of the killings that took place take in the house they’re living on take the scare-factor to another level. It’s clever because it’s gritty stuff, yet engaging on some level too. Although at that point I’d be running for the hills.
  • The music has to be one of the vital tone setters and ‘game changers’ for me, the accompaniment to the paranormal activity is the epitome of evil. One of the best horror soundtracks. Lalo Schifrin composed for the film and there’s an interview with him on the new Blu-ray edition of the movie.

Do you want to add The Amityville Horror to your Halloween horror must-watch list? Grab a copy on Blu-ray:

 

Vue Unveils UK’s Scariest Horror Villains

*** PRESS RELEASE ***

LONDON, 27TH OCT: The faces of the nation’s scariest horror villains from the big screen have, quite literally, been unveiled by Vue Entertainment to celebrate Halloween. The UK voted Hannibal Lecter as their most feared villain, followed closely by Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddie Kruger. In third place was Chucky from Child’s Play, fourth was Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s Leatherface, with the Shining’s Jack Torrence coming in fifth place.

The top five scariest villains identified in the poll have now been turned into realistic 3D Jack-o-Lanterns by artist Jacqui Kelly, as part of a ghoulish evening display at Vue Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush. Jacqui spent more than five days carving each detail into real pumpkins. Each will be on display for five days until the 31st October.

Visitors to Vue Nationwide on Monday the 31st October will be able to take advantage of a special screening of 2016’s Blair Witch, as part of the “Last Chance to See” programme. The programme, which runs every Monday, gives cinema-goers two tickets to a selected film plus two popcorns for just £12. In addition, fans of horror classics, such as the Shining, can create their own screening at Vue cinemas by visiting ourscreen.com.

John Howard, General Manager for Vue Westfield London commented: “We’re delighted to be able to add a touch of terror to Halloween this year for cinema-goers. We are constantly looking for ways to bring our customers a little something extra, and look forward to seeing the public’s reaction to seeing their most revered horror villains brought to life”.

UK’S SCARIEST HORROR VILLAINS
1.      Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal

2.      Freddie Kruger, Nightmare on Elm Street

3.      Chucky, Child’s Play

4.      Leatherface, Texas Chain Saw Massacre

5.      Jack Torrence,  The Shining

 

*Vue Entertainment surveyed 2,000 respondents

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