Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Yes, this week will be yet another list in the realm of entertainment. That does indeed make four straight weeks of my own personal thoughts about various television shows and/or movies. I’m kind of a pop culture addict, if you must know, so it’s quite easy to dream up light little lists about trivial entertainment. I put quite a bit more thought into it when I’m writing about the books I love or my family. Pop culture lists are also more amenable to working on critical, close readings for my Wednesday class. You should know that I often draw inspiration from what I see and hear in the entertainment world, and this week’s list, my top scariest movies, was inspired by the much-hyped premiere of the remake of Friday the 13th.

Granted, the classic slasher franchises will never find a place on my list of scary movies-I enjoy watching them (Halloween is my favorite), but more for the cheap thrills aspect. I should mention, once more, that I do NOT enjoy the more recent ridiculously gory and gratuitous trend in horror films. Only old school horror for me, thank you.

The movies that really scare me tend to fall more in the thriller genre, although two of the entries on my list are of the supernatural/horror type. I’ve always been much more frightened by things that have some semblance of reality, that could happen. Martin Burney is MUCH scarier than Jason Voorhees.

5. Sleeping with the Enemy. As I've mentioned before, Sleeping with the Enemy gave me nightmares for several days after my first viewing. Each time, I could “see” a silhouette of evil Martin Burney in my doorway, and I felt the cold fear that Julia so emphatically expressed when she opened her kitchen cabinet to reveal all of those perfectly stacked cans.

4. The Gift. Despite starring Cate Blanchett, this movie is relatively unknown. She plays a widowed fortune teller of sorts who begins to suffer visions of untimely deaths. As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that the visions are specifically related to one victim, a pre-Tom Cruise Katie Holmes. The whole thing is supremely creepy, made infinitely more so with the addition of Giovanni Ribisi as an abused mechanic and the Southern swamp setting. I watched it for the first time a few years ago, while still in college, and my roommate fell asleep before it was over. I was so scared that I had to turn it off and wait until she woke up to finish it.

3. Silence of the Lambs. This movie is probably on most people’s top 5 scariest movie lists, although for me, it didn’t get really frightening until the very end, when Hannibal kills the guards and makes his escape. I’d actually read the book beforehand, so I knew what was coming when the SWAT team and EMT’s rushed out what they thought was the mutilated body of one of the guards. You just can’t be fully prepared, however, for the sight of Anthony Hopkins literally peeling off a bloody face and gleefully dispatching the innocent technician.

2. Jaws. I absolutely love watching Jaws, so my reasons for including it on this list are twofold: pure enjoyment combined with utter terror. There is pretty much nothing more terrifying, in my opinion, than being attacked by a shark. I would faint dead away in the water if I even caught a glimpse of a larger-than-normal fish, I think, much less a great white shark. I admit to something of a morbid fascination-I eagerly anticipate Shark Week every year (my brother actually purchased me a DVD set, to enjoy over and over!), I’m embarrassingly knowledgeable of quite a bit of trivia, and I enjoy reading books like The Devil’s Teeth (about the great whites that migrate every year to the Farallon Islands, which are conveniently located off the coast of San Francisco) and Close to Shore (nonfiction account of a string of shark attacks that took place on the New Jersey shore in 1916). Needless to say, Jaws is a great, good ol’fashioned scary movie.

1. The Ring. Is there anyone who can truly say they weren’t at least a little bit spooked by this film? I won’t say too much about it here, but I made the mistake of watching it alone, at night. A very bad move! I had to get on the phone with my best friend to help me get through the scary parts, and when we’d finally made it to the scene where Naomi Watts sleeps peacefully with her son, she told me I would be fine to finish it alone. She was so wrong. Does the question “Why did you help her?” cause anyone else’s spine to quiver in fear?

I can’t promise a non-entertainment related list next week-it’s Oscars week!


J & Co. said...

A few things: I KNEW the Ring would be on your list--just didn't know it would be no. one! ANND It was MEEE that told you it would be ok to watch alone, ha, and then you called me to gripe it was NOT ok! haha, I distinctly remember you saying "JESS!! How could you forget to tell me about the girl? crawling out of the tv??!" "Oh, yeah. I forgot. That was pretty scary..." Oh, that was funny. thanks for making me laugh! Also, you don't have to tell peeps you're late w your top 5 tuesday: let them figure it, it keeps you funny!

Katie W said...

You are so right! I KNEW it was one of you, but I couldn't remember which. Made the requisite changes.