Friday the 13th (1980): A Marquis of Vaudeville Guest Blog

Photo courtesy of Dennis Gatz
In the spirit of October and Friday the 13th, here is a selection of 13 of Marquis of Vaudeville’s favorite dark films in no particular order:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
An epic retelling of the classic horror story. A tragic loss of life & love with the subsequent defiance of God has turned Vlad Dracula into the most infamous, yet cherished, horror icon. This film strikes at the very heart of what it is to be a lonely soul in search of one’s true love. Yet in this supernatural journey for love, blood will flow.

The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter + Rob Bottin = Best.  Horror movie.  EVER.  Paranoia, terror, isolation.  It wraps its slimy claws around your throat during the very first scene and doesn't let go until long after the credits have rolled.  The groundbreaking, legendary special effects STILL make me jump, and, unfortunately, are unparalleled to this day. 

IT (2017)
While Tim Curry's Pennywise holds a dear place in our hearts, 2017's remake of IT saw Bill Skarsgård deliver a bone-chilling performance of our beloved dancing clown that left us begging for more. Chock full of 80's nostalgia, cheeky humor, and horrific, gut-wrenching surprises finds IT a spot on our favorites list. Eagerly awaiting the next chapter. Don't visit the well house else you'll float too!

May (2002)
A heart-wrenching glimpse into isolation, and the insanity it can breed. In May, we see the psychological effects a childhood affliction can have on an already awkward outcast. Everyone has their breaking point, but for some, that point is much more brittle - and the break all the more violent.

An American Werewolf In London (1981)
Rick Baker's Oscar-winning visual effects forever set the standard for horror, and only John Landis could portray something that horrifying in a humorous light.  See what we’ve said about The Thing's effects being unparalleled - the same applies here.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)
We found this movie terrifying.  Besides the subject matter (which is unsettling enough), the movie is very much Hitchcockian in its graphic nature - the audience experiences the disturbing, scary scenes without actually seeing them.  The film's lack of a musical score accentuates its intense unpredictability. Those elements, when considered along with the inventively groundbreaking (albeit immoral) manner in which it was marketed, changed the game for horror.

The Shining (1980)
Kubrick's multi-layered masterpiece will be revered, studied, imitated, and referenced until the end of time - it's one of the rare cases where such a severe departure from the book isn't a strike against the movie. What's scarier than your crazed, abusive husband/daddy chasing you around with an axe?  Maybe homicidal ghosts... but probably not.

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
A pensive look at the fragility of the vampire existence in the modern world. After centuries of being undead, how do two lifelong lovers not sink into the pitfalls of ennui & depression while having to always remain elusive phantoms?

It Follows (2014)
Clever, intense, and refreshing.  This movie takes everything terrifying about Michael Myers and weaponizes it.  It has a killer soundtrack along with a timeless kind of setting (Antiquated electronics alongside not-yet-existent technology - when exactly is this taking place?).  We couldn't stop thinking about this film after we saw it.

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Escapism at its most heart-breaking - a stark reminder that the real monsters are people.  Its practical effects hold one hell of a candle to Rick Baker and Rob Bottin's work (as do all of Del Toro's films).  A beautiful dreamscape of horror imagery.

Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
The ferocity and pace of this film completely and irreversibly changed the horror genre... (spoiler) not to mention the sickening realism of the ending's injustice.

The Cell (2000)
Intensely, disturbingly beautiful visuals.  Tarsem Singh brings a severely mentally ill serial killer's mind to life - it's everything you couldn't possibly imagine.

Let The Right One In (2008)
There are a lot of vampire movies out there, and several excellent ones.  This trumps them all. Where does one turn when forced into vampirism at a young age? All the lessons of life and death must be learned as a child.