Top 10 Superhuman Movie Serial Killers

This next installment centers around some of Hollywood’s most famous superhuman serial killers (and maybe some that aren’t so famous). Let’s start off with some good old Stephen King and end on a rather mysterious note, shall we?

10. Pennywise the Clown – IT (1990)

Don't do it, Georgie. You're gonna regret it the rest of your...oh.

Don’t do it, Georgie. You’re gonna regret it the rest of your…oh.

Pennywise scared the crap out of me when I first watched this as a teenager. By then it had been out for a bit (insert irrelevant comment about my age here), but that didn’t stop me from being simultaneously terrified and entertained. Clowns have always scared me (and everyone else) anyway. I mean, let’s face it, if you’re not afraid of clowns, then you have issues. Just look at what Bobcat Goldthwait did to Spongebob (aka Tom Kenny)!

LOOK!

LOOK!

Aside from their horrifying painted visages, clowns are just waiting to murder someone. But Pennywise made it his job to put down all the children that messed with him when they were young. And since he’s a demon, he can go on killing for as long as he likes. Thus making him…or her…or IT #10 on this list.

9. Count Graf Orlok – Nosferatu (1922)

"The low production value makes it the best movie ever." -Hipsters

“The low production value makes it the best movie ever.” -Hipsters

Of course there had to be a vampire (or vampyre) on the list. Count Orlok is moving and it might be to your side of town. And hide yo’ wife, because he’s hungry. Directed by F.W. Murnau, this film is wonderfully visual. And Orlok is creepy as hell. Even more so when Willem Defoe dons the outfit in the 2000 flick Shadow of the Vampire.

No.

No.

Count Orlock makes #9 on the list because who wants to have either a) the blood painfully drained from their body; or b) be one of his slaves forever?

8. Count Dracula – Dracula (1931)

Yes, there’s another vampire on the list. But I couldn’t go through it without giving an honorable mention to Bela Lugosi and his portrayal of Count Dracula. Another instance where being a woman basically means you’re about to get drained. That sounded so very wrong… Bela is number 8 on the list because his charms and decent looks make him all the more dangerous than Orlok.

THIS DOES NOT COUNT. Get it?

THIS DOES NOT COUNT. Get it?

7. Pinhead – Hellraiser (1987)

Clive Barker has a knack for creating worlds beyond regular imagination. Hellraiser was a brilliant film and Pinhead is one of my favorite villains. Although he only kills anyone who opens the box (traditionally), I still count him as a brutal serial killer. Especially with all that style. Chains and leather. Oh, yes! And because people are still stopping Clive Barker on the street and asking to bear Pinhead’s children to this day, he makes the list at #7.

6. The Devil – The Exorcist (1973), The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Exorcismus (2010), Idle Hands (1999), etc.

The devil, Satan, Lucifer, Deceiver. He is the best mass murderer. Probably because too much fun is had while the sufferer is wasting away. Obviously this is a supernatural occurrence and, in my opinion, does not happen in reality. But we’re talking about Hollywood here! In every movie the Devil has graced with his presence, somebody dies. Usually multiple people. This plus the fact that victims tend to be chosen at random make the Devil #6 on this list.

5. Jason Voorhees – Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

Technically, Jason wasn’t considered superhuman until the third movie when he’d already been defeated once and donned his iconic hockey mask. Thus begins the legend of masked murderers. I’m not a huge fan of slasher films, but I love this series. Mainly because Jason likes killing teenagers that, let’s face it, kind of deserve to die. And it’s his thirst for lusty blood that puts him at #5.

4. Michael Myers – Halloween (1978)

Cap’n Kirk gonna SHANK ya!

Aside from never being able to see his face, the terrifying aspect about this dude is that he keeps coming back. No matter what you do. You can push him out a window, light him on fire, run him over, and even decapitate him, but he will not leave you alone. Moral of the story? Don’t be Jamie Lee Curtis. Despite his relentless hunting of all things fleshy, he’s just as warm and squishy inside as we are. Hell, he even has a fan club. Not joking. We all love him. And that’s why he’s #4.

3. Chucky – Child’s Play (1988)

KILL IT WITH FIRE!

KILL IT WITH FIRE!

Poor Brad Dourif. When you’re born that creepy, bad things are always going to happen to you. But I have to say getting stuck forever in the body of a ginger doll is the worst. No wonder he takes he lashes out and kills people. Sure, he was a murderer before, but this just made him mad. The fact that this film has spawned six others, I’d say he deserves spot #3 here. Wouldn’t you?

2. Freddy Kruger – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Robert Englund is one of my favorite horror movie actors. Maybe it’s because in interviews he seems like such a happy guy. Freddy’s wise-cracks always get me, too. He must be the only superhuman serial killer that takes this much joy in his work. The only way they could make it better is if he sang while he worked.

…On second thought…let’s not and say we did. The creepiest part about Freddy is that he murders you in your sleep. And as we’ve seen, you can’t escape. He’ll get you. A human can’t go without sleep their whole lives. And if it weren’t for his ability to turn nightmares deadly, he wouldn’t be #2.

1. Jess – Triangle (2009)

“Now wait a minute,” you’re saying, “how can she be a serial killer if she’s the one being stalked?” Well, folks, this is where it gets weird. Very very weird.

What?

What?

WHAT?!

WHAT?!

Just what the hell is going on here? Triangle was one of those films where the viewer is left asking this question the entire way through. Jess is just out for a fishing trip with friends when their boat gets capsized. They stumble upon what looks like an abandoned cruise liner, and hop aboard. Why does no one ever realize they’re in a horror movie?

Anyway, turns out the ship isn’t actually empty (surprise) but there’s a killer on board (surprise, surprise!). What’s really weird, though, is that every time Jess is killed, she awakens on the beach and the whole ordeal starts all over again. Until she figures out that she’s the masked murdered. Or…she’s trying to save her friends. Or…she’s schizophrenic. I’m still not sure. But that’s the reason this flick gets #1.

Who are your favorites?

 

Top 10 Scariest Short Films

Yes, Halloween was a whole four months ago, but in my opinion it’s never too later (or early?) to scare yourself into an entirely new sleep schedule. Want to try it out?

I’ve scoured the Internet to find some of the most frightening and shocking short films out there. I found lots of gems, but I somehow whittled the list down to my top ten. And without further ado, here they are.

10. Slash-in-the-Box

Why it Made the List

Slash-in-the-Box had some classic horror elements that we all know and love. Okay, maybe we don’t all love a jack-in-the-box. In fact, I hate them. But that’s why this short made the list. Not to mention the fake-outs that made me tense and then snicker.

The Downside

The reason Slash-in-the-Box made number ten is not only do I not appreciate typing out words with too many hyphens in them, but the film also used a few cliché elements that I didn’t quite appreciate. The baseball hopping down the stairs was also out of place. And why did wifey not notice the huge puddle of blood in the kitchen?

9. Red Balloon

Why it Made the List

Because it was creepy. Plain and simple. The little girl was creepy, the rain was creepy, the house was creepy, and the breathing stuffed bunny was creepy! The camera work was superb and it definitely had an amazing ending.

The Downside

The babysitting horror thing is slightly out of date at this point. Coupled with the cliché jump scare dream, the film did it’s job with the creepy factor, but failed in originality.

8. Cat with Hands

Why it Made the List

Why wouldn’t it make the list? The stop-motion animation was fantastic and it made me not want to hug my cat for once. And the distorted face at the end just did me in. The creepy atmosphere and close camera angles made me feel uncomfortable as well.

The Downside

I can see how the switch from live action to animation would bother some viewers. While I didn’t mind it, it may have been an okay piece with CG.

7. Befellows

Why it Made the List

The shear thought of seeing your significant other call you on the phone while you swore they were next to you in bed is enough dredge up a cute little chill in your soul. I could feel it ribbon up my spine while watching this one. Not to mention the director does amazing work showing the viewers what’s going on while the woman has no idea.

The Downside

I am not a fan of jump-scares. In fact, I hate them. If there’s a way a filmmaker can scare me in my head without making my heart skip a beat I will be one happy camper. But the jump factor was not necessary in this short film.

6. Don’t Move

Why it Made the List

Aside from some chilling CG going on, this film was as claustrophobic as they come. This, folks, is what happens when you try to mess with demons. Move an inch and this monster goes on a face-ripping spree. I love seeing idiots get what they deserve.

The Downside

In my opinion, the less shown the better. The first few times the viewer spots the demon, he’s nothing more than black smoke curling through the air. However, at about 3:54 you get a good look at its face and… I wasn’t impressed. I’ll admit the effect was done well, but it was simply shown way too often.

5. He Dies at the End

Why it Made the List

I am a sucker for long drawn out shots of random objects. And this was directed quite well. Plus, I loved the subtitles to keep us from constantly watching the computer screen. And the tension was very well-built throughout the entire film.

The Downside

The ending. That is all.

4. Victim

Why it Made the List

Students films are either notoriously artistic or horrifyingly so. This strikes a balance between both. I like the close-up in and out of focus shots at the beginning and the sense of unease is well within its limits.

The Downside

It’s obviously a student film. A few too many shots that try too hard to be artistic with an end that seems to fizzle out visually.

3. Sleepover

Why it Made the List

This short film combined horror and comedy in a great way. Plus, it did something horror directors rarely move into–it brutally murdered a child. I have no idea why, but it made me love this film even more. It was directed well and starred Josh Feldman (Insidious), so it had a higher than normal budget for a short film.

The Downside

Having actors you recognize in a horror film can sometimes be off-putting if it’s supposed to be in a run-of-the mill setting smack in the center of suburbia (unless it’s Paris Hilton).

2. Click

Why it Made the List

Aside from no questions being answered as to why there is no one else around and it seems these kids are on their own, this film is simply brilliant. The establishing shots are perfect and the viewer has a sense of camaraderie with the kids. The biggest factor to me, however, is the fact that the viewer sees nothing. No monsters, no ghosts, no nothing. It’s just darkness. And nothing’s scarier than not knowing. 

The Downside

It was a tad drawn out in spots where quicker shots would have been more effective.

1. One Last Dive

Why it Made the List

Obviously I’ve talked about this film before, but it is my number one because it just sets such a dynamic scene. The lighting and tension are perfect and the ending is shocking and scary. I can forgive the jump scare in this one because it was more realistic than simply being there for shock value.

The Downside

There isn’t one.

House of Haunted Remakes

As a first post, let’s hit on something I find randomly nostalgic. House on Haunted Hill is a 1999 remake of a Vincent Price classic. It was also the horror movie that made me into the scare-seeker I am today. The very first horror film I could sit through and not want to run and pray to the porcelain gods.  I believe I was fourteen or so, and my brother had rented it for us to watch after school. I knew something was up when I saw that mischievous twinkle in his eye, the arched eyebrow (ala Ace Ventura–he did a killer impression), and the curled upper lip.

What I hadn’t planned for was a movie that would become a huge part of my life for years. I watched it over and over until I could recite each line of each character. I even wrote a short story about it later on, including some of my own characters that I made up. The film even inspired me into a short-lived career of paranormal investigation. Yes. You read that correctly. But that’s a story for another time.

houseonhauntedhill01

The resemblance is striking!

The film stars Geoffrey Rush as a business tycoon named Steven Price who makes a living building amusement park rides. But his biggest thrill is scaring the ever-loving hell out of anyone and everyone. Famke Janssen plays Price’s wife in the film. Janssen’s character seems like a perfect match for her hubby as her character wants nothing more than to have her yearly birthday bash at the most haunted location she can find. Thanks to Peter Graves, she finds an abandoned asylum on top a hill where the inmates one day rose up and murdered the entire staff.  A guest list is made, but after “mysterious circumstances,” four people arrive to the party who are unrecognized by both Price’s.

Understandably, wife is upset and hubby is only mildly-amused, thinking she’s pulled another of her odd tricks on him. Price decides he’d still like to have a little fun, however, so he takes down the names of the other four guests and promises them each $1 million if they can survive the night in the asylum. Once he explains this, however, an ancient mechanism kicks into gear, covering each door and window in steel plates. Everyone is trapped.

I won’t give anything away in case you haven’t seen the film yet, but it’s great for cheap scares and thrills. I wouldn’t say it’s the best movie out there, but it holds a special place in my heart. And upon re-watching it last night, I felt an odd sense of unease. And that’s possibly because my investigations into the paranormal have lead me into some questionable locations where I may have been victims like the characters in the film (without the $1 million, of course).

Either way, it’s not as great as the original film (which I also suggest watching), but it does its job as a decent remake by upping the horror and gore factor to a modern scale.

house-on-haunted-hill-poster-2

Is there another film you can think of that had a decent/bad/amazing remake? Let me know your thoughts.