Witch hunts, corporate greed, hot button issues … and murder. As if the nightly news didn’t scare you enough, these 10 movies, such as “Thank You for Smoking,” “The Fly,” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” just might have you casting a wary eye at your voter’s registration card.
Film has never shied away from exploring the rich, complicated, and in some cases straight-up creepy connection between mother and child. While normal, lovely moms are all fine and good, some of the most fun moms to watch have been downright crazy–and all the more captivating because of it. In honor of Mother’s Day (Sun., May 11) we’ve picked our five favorite frightening maternal figures. Don’t neglect to send them a card on Mother’s Day.
1. Margaret White, Carrie (1976)
Sure, the cool-kid clique at Carrie’s high school do a number on the poor girl. But the groundwork of psychotic abuse already had been laid at home, where the shy girl’s Christian fundamentalist mother consistently berates her for “sinning.” A bucket of pig’s blood might have been the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But when Carrie rebels — and tears down her town in the process — its anger and resentment toward her mother that drives most of that rage.
You hear a lot these days about Republicans rolling back women’s rights all the way to the ’50s and ’60s: vowing to defund Planned Parenthood; to allow employers to decide whether or not their female employees can have their contraception covered; to put the rights of an embryo above those of a woman via the Personhood Amendment; to outlaw all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, and threats to not only the health but the life of the mother. They won’t even commit to laws ensuring equal pay for women doing the same work as men!
It’s a popular trivia question meant to stump horror newbies: Who terrorized the horny counselors at Camp Crystal Lake long before Jason Voorhees donned his trademark hockey mask and wielded his trusty machete? The answer – his mother – is revealed in the original FRIDAY THE 13TH, which airs on Thursday at midnight on Sundance Channel.
Yes, Jason was yet another serial killer born from a long line of deranged and murderous mothers, but he’s hardly alone. The overprotective mum has reared her ugly head in many horror movies through the years, prompting us to pick our five favorite frightening maternal figures. Don’t neglect to send them a card on Mother’s Day.
It’s hard to believe that there are only 17 days and one debate left until Election Day. Oh, wait…no it isn’t, because if feels as though this campaign season started four years ago. At least it has been amusing. There have been laugh lines on both sides of the aisle, from binders full of women to things you didn’t build. But, we kid because we care and some of the topics we’ve been cracking up over are pretty darn scary! So, in honor of Sundance Channel’s Scary Politics (films as scary as the issues on Tuesdays at 9P, including THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and ROSEMARY’S BABY) check out the five SCARIEST political stories of the week:
Nuclear Iran! The embassy attack in Libya! War in Syria! Last night’s Vice Presidential Debate brought up some really scary issues (and if you missed it, catch up here). If scary politics is something that actually floats your boat, then have we got some films for you. From now until Election Day Sundance Channel is giving you a break from all of those horrifying campaign ads. Tuesday nights are now for films scary enough to change an Ayatollah’s mind.
Election Day’s proximity to Halloween is more than a boon for manufacturers of freakish-looking rubber Romney and Obama masks; it’s an opportunity to reflect on all manner of partisan terrors. There aren’t many movies that explicitly mix election-year issues with horror-picture tropes, but there are plenty of movies on Sundance Channel this month that will scare the ever-loving politics out of you, at least for a couple of hours at a time.
The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape of online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, put down your birth plan and tell your Lamaze instructor you’re going to be late, because it’s time to talk about pregnancy movies.
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Pregnancy
Are we inside a genre revolution? Lately the amount of content hitting screens that features either a modest nod or full-fledged over-the-top bow to genre is simply overwhelming. ANOTHER EARTH is indie-drama-with-a-side-of-sci-fi. MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE is indie-drama-with-a-touch-of-thriller. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, the highly anticipated third feature from Lynn Ramsay, is indie-drama-experimental-fantasy. Yep, that’s right, on the surface it’s about raising a child who turns out to be a Columbine-like murderer, but in reality, I hear, it exists as a true art film. Lead actress Tilda Swinton said in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine that the film is “a fantasy that has as much to do with the practical business of bringing up a child as ROSEMARY’S BABY has to do with being pregnant.”
There are a lot of top ten lists for “scariest movie of all time,” but from box office hits to oddball cult classics, there are some movies that turn up again and again. You’ll notice a few favorites are missing, namely HALLOWEEN (1978), which has great 70s kitsch value and hands down more naked boobs than any movie on this list, but as a movie, it’s really not all the frightening, right? And no, I didn’t forget THE EXORCIST (1973) either, but buckets of green puke are more gross than scary. You’ll notice, too, that there aren’t a lot of new scary movies, and that’s not because I don’t like them, but I think we should let them stand the test of time a bit before we start putting them on all-time lists.
10. WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967)
This oft-forgotten gem stars Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman terrorized by Alan Arkin and his gang of thugs who think she has a doll full of heroin. Bet you never thought a refrigerator light would save your life.
9. NOSFERATU (1922)
Greatest vampire movie of all time? Michael Myers stole all Nosferatu’s best moves in HALLOWEEN (the white face, the lurking) but the original is still the bone-chilling best.