By: Matthew Kaiser
Movie Matt-ers is the column you need, but don’t know you want. The great and powerful Matthew will answer any and all of your movie related questions. Just be careful what you ask, he doesn’t always play nice with others. Email him at email@example.com.
Movie Matt-ers: Favorite Horror Movies and Taking Notes in the Dark
Hey! I know this is probably a stupid question, but I honestly want to know. What’s your favorite horror movie?! I love horror movies. One of my favorites is Pet Cemetery. But I love Wrong Turn, the first one! Not the second or third! Lol They sucked to me. And The Hills Have Eyes! Loveee. Not like most people, but I can watch scary movies all by myself, can you? Lol – No Name Given (But we’ve received several similar questions.)
Not a stupid question at all. I will do my best not to give a stupid answer.
This is my favorite time of year. With Halloween around the corner, the horror movie season is in full swing. My favorite scary movie is easy: Showgirls— it was truly terrifying. Really, I like a lot of horror movies, as that is one of my favorite genres. My absolute favorite horror movie is Scream. It revolutionized teen slasher films and refreshed a very tired movie formula.
Another of my favorites is The Exorcist. That’s one movie that still gives me the heebie jeebies. I even went to where they filmed that ominous scene of Father Karras tumbling down the long flight of rock steps in Georgetown. Yep. I climbed all the way to the top of those stairs, only to realize that Regan’s window was nowhere near the top. After doing more research, I found out that her window was forty feet from there and some of the scenes were cut to look like they were higher. Gotta love movie magic. Next time I’ll do my research before climbing a million miles. Nah, I’m sure my curiosity would have led me to the top of the stairs no matter what.
Pet Cemetery is also a great horror movie. Wrong Turn was ok. The Hills Have Eyes was pretty creepy. I could go on and on. As I said, I really love horror movies.
I do occasionally watch horror movies alone, but when I do, my mind starts creating things like ghosts, killers, and other supernatural beasties. There is one movie that I still haven’t watched alone, Paranormal Activity. That movie has gotten mixed reactions, but picture this: you’re home alone in your bed, lights out, deeply engrossed in the story, then your mind freaks out and forces you to imagine that very scenario happening to you. All I can say at that point is, “Good luck!” I bet that getting to sleep with all the little house creaks and shadows will be more difficult than you thought when you first started watching the flick.
I’m curious how you collect information while you are watching a film. Do you take notes? If so, doesn’t that necessarily affect your experience of the film? If not, how do you recollect factual details when you sit down to write about it? – No Name Given
Even when the darkness of the movie theater challenges the reviewer in their note taking, they push on. Usually the light given off by the screen is bright enough to get by, but it helps to have a good memory. For me, I have a bit of a photographic memory when it comes to movies, so that comes in handy as a reviewer.
At times, it could be considered distracting, having to keep notes or review details in your head as you watch something, but I feel it has the opposite effect. Your attention becomes more focused on it and every aspect of the writing, acting, cinematography, and directing. You make a more concentrated effort to drown out the background noise of coughs, popcorn crunching, and that jerk in the back row who keeps making comments. Oh, not to mention the other one who left his ringer on, even though there were three PSAs telling everyone to turn the phones off (but I digress).
So, using a combo of notes and memory will usually be all the reviewer needs—that, and a creative way to share his discoveries. Also, if you’re in the row behind one of us “Media Guys/Gals,” all I ask is that you chew a little quieter (maybe with your mouth closed), chat with your buddies AFTER the movie, and, for Pete’s sake, TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES! It would really make the movie more enjoyable for everyone and help us “Media Geeks” write a better article!
Matthew Kaiser is a (self-described) highly opinionated movie geek who lives in Clearwater, Florida with his wife and cat.