Horror movies are one of my guilty pleasures in life. Every time a new horror flick is released in theatres, I’m there.

Admittedly, most times, seeing these movies means throwing my money away. Horror movies really aren’t good film-making. Most are shot on shoe-string budgets. They’re actually rather cliché with little emphasis on writing and script.

But they’re not meant to be good – they’re meant to scared the bejeezus out of us. They’re brainless, emotion-filled entertainment. Great with popcorn and a great big Diet Coke.

It’s nice to share these kinds of movies with my partner, too. Many people, especially women, tend to avoid the slasher film genre. Setting her nobility aside, the Duchess of Thornhill really seems to enjoy them. I was quite surprised in her last choice of movie – Saw 6. Classy girl, eh?

Unending sequels are a bit much though. Saw 6? Didn’t Jigsaw die in part 2? But then again, didn’t Jason die in Friday the 13th part 1 (drowning), part 3 (axe to the head), part 4 (hacked to death by little kid), part 7 (melting by toxic waste), part 9 (Jason being dragged to hell itself), and part 10 (death by fiery re-entry into earth’s atmosphere)?

I would much rather see something original, if there is such a thing.

Strangely enough, Halloween wasn’t the time we watched a lot of horror movies. I don’t know if it was the four days off school, or the seemly bloodly, gore-filled, torture scenes of the holy passion, but Easter weekends was for horror!

Every Easter weekend, my Dad would take Junior and I to either Popcorn Video or GSE Audio Visual in Sturgeon Falls to rent any kind of horror flick imaginable:

Psycho, Exorcist, Jaws, Carrie, The Omen, The Uncanny, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Piranha, Crocodile, Friday the 13th, Basketcase, Amityville Horror, Creepshow, Poltergeist, The Thing, The Brood, Salem’s Lot, Alligator, The Boogeyman, Cujo, Prom Night, Watcher in the Woods, Cat’s Eye, Tales from the Darkside, Evil Dead, Children of the Corn, Terror in the Aisles, Ghoulies, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Christine, Prom Night, Night of the Living Dead, Return of the Living Dead, Hellraiser, Nightmare on Elm Street, Trick or Treat, Witchboard, Child’s Play, 976-EVIL, C.H.U.D., Fright Night, The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, Pet Sematary, Puppetmaster. Oh, and don’t forget all those sequels. Freddy. Jason. Michael Myers, Pinhead. Chucky, etc.

I guess my parents didn’t believe in viewer discretion or parental guidance when it came to movies.

Here are a few of my personal favourites.

Paranormal Activity – I am going to see this one again. It won’t scare me as much as it did the first time, so I’m just going to watch Deb for the entire movie. This was done in the shaky-camera, mockumentary style. The best example since the original, the Blair Witch Project. It’s actually scarier than Blair Witch, because you get to see – not only hear, the creepy phenomena. Sadly, it won’t be nearly as scary the second time or on Blu-ray.

Friday The 13th – Jason rules. This has been my favourite of the serial horror and slasher genre. I’m a big fan, Mr. Voorhees. Kill on!

The Exorcist – It was spellbinding as a ten year-old kid for sure. The fascination endures into adulthood. I’ll never get tired of Linda Blair’s demonic acting, and Father Damian Karras’ attempts to rid Regan of her possession. I Love the blasphemy too. Memorable Quotes: Karras: “The Power of Christ compels you.” Regan: “Let Jesus f*ck you.”

28 Days Later – The scariest movie I seen at the theatre in many years. Seen it in Moncton, NB – by myself and Loved it. Complete with the goosebumps, and jumping out of my seat. I remember spilling popcorn. Ha!

Signs – not a horror movie really. But the most acute example, ever, of the goosebump/ hair standing-up on the back of my neck effect. Rev. Hess is putting Bo to sleep and we can see out the window. Standing on the roof, barely noticeable in the background is a shadowy figure of a very real looking alien. So cool!! I’ve tried to replicate the feeling again and again, with little success. Creepy!

The Blair Witch Project – kudos to the original shaky camera mock-umentary style horror flick. Seen it at the theatre a couple of times. It was a cult classic. I remember the line-ups to see it when I visited New York City. Not nearly as cool on DVD.

Faces of Death – the mockumentary that fooled the world, including a few of us teenagers in the Village who thought we were trafficking in banned material. Some news footage interspersed with some real-looking footage of regular folks getting snuffed.