DC horror flick picks

Night of the Living Dead JOHN ARTERBURY editor in chief

Night of the Living Dead, arguably director George A. Romero’s magnum opus, was one of the first independent horror films to explode in the mainstream. Its release was sensational, leaving critics recoiling in the wake of its grisly scenes of zombie bloodlust. But above all, the film was a landmark, and today it rightfully sits atop the horror canon. Not only was it daring with its gratuitous violence, but its eerie style and pacing, anticlimactic ending, gritty realism and use of a minority protagonist made it a trendsetter for films to come.

Countless zombie films released since have yet to match its originality and power, proving that Night is here to stay.

The Devil’s Backbone MAYRA CRUZ assistant news editor

El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil’s Backbone) follows the story of children and adults inhabiting a war-torn orphanage during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.

Rather than being a straightforward ghost story, the film focuses on the themes of love, betrayal and revenge between the living and the dead, as opposed to the cheap thrills used by most Hollywood productions.

The film is told through different characters, such as Carlos, who is abandoned by his tutor at the orphanage, where he is continually haunted by the apparition of a disappeared boy. Carlos eventually unravels the clues that unveilo the boy’s death on the night an unexploded bomb fell in the middle of the courtyard.

Poltergeist DEANNA MENDOZA sports editor

This just might be the scariest movie with the lowest body count. Forget blood and guts, after watching Poltergeist, a static-filled television screen will be enough to have you clawing the skin right off your face.

Zelda Rubinstein as the petite Tangina may be the most memorable element of the film. In her attempt to rescue young Carol Anne from The Beast, Tangina has some of the best quotes and provides a cute aside from the rest of the frights in the film.

Added scares come from the film’s supposed curse. Shortly after the film’s release, Dominique Dunne, who played Dana Freeling, was strangled until she was brain dead by her boyfriend, and Heather O’Rourke, the film’s protagonist, died of congenital intestinal stenosis while filming Poltergeist III.

"Now clear your minds. It knows what scares you. It has from the very beginning."

Arachnophobia RUTH RODRIGUEZ features editor

If I have to choose one movie that scared the living daylights out of me, it would have to be Frank Marshall’s 1990 release, Arachnophobia.

There’s nothing scarier than spiders – especially big ones that fly through the air, killing people when provoked.

The movie sent chills up my spine, keeping me paranoid that some eight-legged insect was slowly crawling up my leg, ready to attack at any minute. Arachnopbia did leave me with serious fear of spiders, but, in any case, it’s worth watching. I mean, how often do you get to see John Goodman as an exterminator with a blowtorch, ready to wipe out an entire horde of spiders?

This rehashing was really painful for me, by the way.

Hocus Pocus CAITLIN CUPPERNULL life ‘ Arts editor

Amateur fans may be most horrified by the teen angst, poor acting and nauseating love story of two 13 year olds depicted in Hocus Pocus, but it’s the terrifying tale of three witches who return from the dead to suck the souls from children that keeps people (or at least me) watching every Halloween. That, and Bette Midler’s hilarious portrayal of the head witch, Winnie Sanderson. Add Sarah Jessica Parker singing ridiculous songs to lure children out of their homes, midnight rides on vacuums instead of broomsticks, historically inaccurate references to the Salem Witch Trials and a talking black cat, and you really can’t go wrong.

Well, you can go so wrong that it becomes right.

John Carpenter’s Halloween MIKE DAMANTE staff writer

John Carpenter’s Halloween is the greatest horror movie ever made. This isn’t debatable, nor is this an opinion; it is scientific fact. Carpenter set the standard for every modern horror movie using suspense, lighting and mood rather than gore for cheap scares. The score and soundtrack for the film are haunting and eerie; the theme to the film composed by Carpenter is just as scary as the visuals portrayed on screen.

The film launched the careers of Jamie Lee Curtis and reinvented Donald Pleasence and is also one of the most successful independent films of all time with its budget of $325,000. Halloween also spawned numerous slasher franchises throughout the years, although none have come close to being as influential or original.

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