Over at The Gore Splattered Corner we always try to bring you the very best in horror, gore and scares and today I have outdone myself and found the 5 most horrifying films ever! I started writing this a while ago but got sidetracked (this is difficult subject matter believe me so it can be draining to write about, hence my pro level of procrastination when it came to finishing it). Anyway thanks to a dear friend on Facebook who keeps bombarding my wall with these ‘classics’ I have been spurred on to just get it over with, if I survive that is….
My original inspiration came from a bout of conversations I had on various social media sites about what constitutes horror, and how that can affect you on a very personal level. For those non-horror types I also find myself in constant conversation with these people over ‘how can you watch such stuff?’, ‘it’s demeaning to women and you are a woman’, blah blah blah. But you see if anything I find horror something which as a woman can empower me, Camille Keaton’s portrayal as a rape victim in I Spit on Your Grave (1978), for example, is a role which really struck a resonance with me as a young teen, and I would rather see Jamie Lee Curtis fighting it out with Michael Myers any day of the week, than some brainless girl mooning over a loser guy while drinking herself into oblivion. The Final Girl for me is always a woman of power, and while some stereotypes exist in horror I think as a genre it is also one which celebrates the woman more than any other. The Final Girl always outwits the killer, the Final Girl always wins, and it is normally the blundering males around her that fail miserably and pay with their lives.
What does horrify me though is this awful spate of banal Rom-Coms as they call them, or Chick Flicks, normally these comprise of some simpering woman or girl, obsessed with shoes (obviously, it’s all I think about, don’t you?), pottering around after a smug bloke. As if the be all and end all of the woman’s life is to get ensconced with some dude who can buy her more shoes. In fact to name these pieces of puerile nonsense ‘chick flicks’ is not only patronising, but to me as a woman I find it utterly offensive. So read my list, if you dare, these films freaked me out so much they almost made me cry tears of blood….
Bridget Jones Diary (2001).
Before I even got into this film, and believe me I have never watched one of these willingly but sometimes shit happens, the fact that Renee Zellweger was applauded by the press for putting on a few pounds had already annoyed me. This was portrayed as if she had endured some massive physical and mental torture. I mean she went up to a SIZE 14 (which is incidently the average size of a woman in the UK), and I notice she didn’t stay that way after the film was released. Now this is no slate on Renee’s acting ability but the fact her size was even brought into it was total nonsense. So to the film, from what I can remember that is, she moons over two guys in a modern-day rip off, of what is essentially Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. One being the fop headed Hugh Grant, who has made a career out of being a fop headed archetypal British guy (in the process giving everyone else in the world the totally wrong idea of the true nature of the ‘British guy’) and Colin Firth as stuffy English guy. Most of the film revolves around Bridget weighing herself, mooning over guys and crying (while drinking wine and scoffing chocolate). This is one pathetic woman, and even though she ‘gets her guy’ at the end, this is supposed to be seen as a success. Personally I thought they were both assholes and she would have been better off hanging out with Leatherface and co like she did when she was in Texas Chainsaw Massacre:The New Generation.
Mamma Mia (2008).
Now I have to admit I am a bit of an Abba fan on the sly. This comes from the fact that growing up in the late 70’s, early 80’s Abba were the shit, and so I am not opposed to banging out a couple of verses to Dancing Queen on a wine fuelled evening. The film also stars one of my biggest female actress icons growing up Julie Walters. Julie’s acclaimed picture Educating Rita was a massive influence, and continues to be, on my life. The story of a woman who defies her social background to pursue an education, inspiring stuff. So I have to ask myself why, oh, why did I have to witness these two things combined in this nauseating pile of tripe? Mamma Mia managed to take everything that was good about Abba and Julie Walters and ruin them in one foul swoop. And Meryl Streep, another strong female lead in her day, reduced to belting out Abba songs while stood on a rock. Wrong, wrong, everything is wrong about this film. Horrific!
Now I have to applaud James Cameron for putting so much effort into getting the historical accuracy on the whole boat thing here, even sourcing his tableware from the same company that made the dinner sets of the ill-fated Titanic voyage, but turning it into a love story? NO, just wrong and silly, and wrong. A film which spends an hour with two people running about calling to each other on a sinking boat could have been so much better had they turned it into a disaster film, but in fact it just became another missed opportunity. It can also probably be blamed for his later effort the equally banal Avatar, or as South Park aptly named it ‘Dances with Smurfs‘. You see had Mr Cameron been really going for accuracy then Leonardo DiCaprio’s character would have never met Kate Winslet as he would have been locked below deck with the rest of the riff raff, and had he opted for this we might have been spared that awful ‘flying’ scene on the front of the boat, and the Celine Dion vomit wrenching ballad which followed it. The film did give me a chuckle when DiCaprio’s frozen face bobbed up from a log in the sea, but it wasn’t worth the 5 hours or however long it was I had to endure with the other stuff that happened before that. Terrifying, watch with caution.
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994).
Screenwriter Richard Curtis wrote some cracking stuff in the 80’s including Not the Nine O Clock News, but more importantly, along with Ben Elton he wrote Blackadder, a series which even today I still quote on a regular basis, but then he sold his soul to the Devil and is not only responsible for the aforementioned Bridget Jones screenplay but this abomination Four Weddings and a Funeral. The film, from what I can remember, is based around some weddings and features a load of posh people, drinking wine and flicking their hair, while occasionally swearing and feeling smug about how outrageous they are saying naughty words. It also follows some type of love story with fop headed Hugh Grant again, stuttering his way through a potential romance with hair products icon Andie Macdowell. I can’t confess to remembering much about this film apart from a scene where a shocked Grant reviled at the admission Andie has had 30 or so sexual partners, ‘shock, horror’. I do remember it was banal and patronising on every level. Most importantly it is solely responsible for that nauseating Wet, Wet, Wet cover of the Troggs Love is all Around staying at Number 1 in the charts for 15 weeks (it seemed like 15 years), a song which along with Celine Dion’s Titanic ballad is liable to make me punch something with force at the very thought of it, so traumatized was I by this torture. Shocking, avoid unless you have a strong stomach.
Pretty Woman (1990).
Hamster butt Richard Gere pays Julia Roberts for some prostitute sex and in the process ‘saves her’. This film is the epitome of everything wrong with ‘chick flicks’, and one I hold responsible for the others that came after it. Julia Roberts is supposed to be paying her way through school or something by selling her ‘wares’ until this smug high roller rescues her like an outdated Fairytale. She tries to resist, but as in all rom-com cliques she is not strong enough to resist his shiny baubles. Gross, do not watch while eating, you are liable to lose your lunch. A film which haunted me for years.
So there you have it, I would have done more but this lot is enough to give me nightmares for weeks on end, no pics either, I think I have already scared you enough. I am off to watch this now….(to remind myself women do have spines, despite what the rom-com makers would have us believe)…..