In SVB Halloween Theater, we asked various musicians and fellow bloggers to talk about some of their favorite horror films.
Sebastian Campbell – God Mother
The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
My favorite from director Del Toro: set during the Spanish civil war (1936-1939) in an ominous orphanage, the atmosphere and the multi-dimensional characters are really strong in this flick. The mix of the supernatural and real horror combined with heavy symbolism is what makes this movie stand out from the rest.
It Follows (2014)
A modern classic using a chilling 8-bit soundscape by American chiptune artist Disasterpeace. I really loved what they made with the technology in a fascinatingly indeterminate time-setting in this movie. Very low semi-sci-fi in a 50’s setting that’s also heavily borrowing from a movie set from 1990. Made me scared to walk in daylight. And it’s out on Netflix now!
Good Night Mommy (2014)
A fresh take on horror, set in rural Austria. I loved the heavy surrealism and dream imagery. Everything you need to know is presented in a subtle way. Who doesn’t love kids constantly pushing each other into more and more dangerous situations without supervision?
Låt Den Rätte Komma In (2008)
A book-to-film-adaption from the Swedish equivalent of Stephen King: John Ajvide Lindqvist. The one and only vampire movie breathing new life in its genre. A well done American remake was made in 2010, but I highly recommend watching the original one with subtitles. The lighting and mood is amazing throughout and won several prizes on its release. If you find it, read the goddamn book.
Dylan Downey (guitar, vocals)
Not necessarily my favorite horror movie, but seeing “mother!” recently reminded me how much I loved this movie. It’s a shame it gets pigeon-holed as “that movie with the scissor scene”, because it’s so much more than that. It examines relationships, sexuality and gender in the fucked up way that only Lars Von Trier can. It’s shot beautifully. And I don’t care what anyone says, the “chaos reigns” scene with the fox is terrifying. And I love how it suggests that what’s more terrifying than spooky forests, the devil or self mutilation, is loss.
Patrick Chumley (guitar)
I don’t know if it’s technically a horror film or not, I think it blurs some lines. But this one always shook me to my core. There’s quite unsettling imagery throughout the film and it deals with some really dark subjects. The fight scene and how they shot it is ridiculous. It’s a terrifying look how far someone can take revenge and has the plot twist to end all plot twists.
Tommy Cantwell (drums)
28 Days Later (2002)
I went to a party with a friend when I was 15 and they had this movie playing in one of the rooms. I just sat there the whole time and didn’t talk to anyone because it was so engaging. The action scenes, the soundtrack, and the lighthearted moments, are all so well done. They captured perfectly the fear and desperation of being alone in the apocalypse. That was the first film I watched that made me realize my love for cinema.
Tyler Forsythe (bass)
The Witch (2015)
This is one of the most isolating movies I’ve ever seen. The setting is perfect and I really felt stuck and helpless with the stressed family as things escalated. The last chunk of the movie is unreal and as soon as it concluded I realized it ended exactly how I wanted it to.