Halloween 2016 Countdown: 31 Years of Horror — 1997

Halloween Countdown 2016 - Day 13. 1997.

31 days. 31 years. 5 movies per year!

That’s the challenge a good friend presented me with recently, and I NEVER back down from a challenge! (well, nearly never!)

Every day through October I will be pondering and revealing my 5 favorite horror and monster movies from 1985 right up to 2016. When I was told I get to pick FIVE movies per year I initially thought this would be a fairly comfortable task. I’m one of those people who likes lots of movies but I only truly LOVE a select few. That did NOT make things any easier. This has been incredibly difficult, and there have been so many years where I could have happily selected 10+ films.

Until you attempt something like this you simply don’t realize just how many horror movies you have a passion for in different ways!

I’ll keep my reasons for selecting each movie brief, simply because I have to produce this every day for a month. The challenge starts with 1985, when I was 9 years old, and that’s pretty much exactly when I moved on from cartoons and family movies and began exploring the good stuff! Going back 31 years turned out to be the PERFECT place for me to start a journey into my movie watching past, and that made taking on this challenge a fascinating and rewarding experience.

I WANT feedback, and I would love to read your choices if you feel like getting involved.

Today we’ve reached 1997

Event Horizon.

Paul W. S. Anderson isn’t a director I would normally think of when it comes to high quality horror, but I have to give the guy a LOT of credit for this one. By any standards Event Horizon is bloody brilliant movie, and sometimes it’s still hard to believe that he was sitting behind the camera. The story is nicely paced, the atmosphere is wonderfully unnerving, and the brief glimpses of ‘hell’ that flash across the screen are truly horrendous. One of the best science fiction horror movies ever made.

I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The first of several slasher movies that attempted to surf the waves of success created by Scream. Kevin Williamson wrote both movies, and even though IKWYDLS is vastly inferior to Scream, it’s still a very entertaining and inoffensive film that I really enjoyed on the big screen.


Low budget movie-making at its very best! Cube is intelligent and thought-provoking but still has enough gruesome killing to keep everyone happy. The budget was reported to be no more than $350k, and they really worked wonders with such a small amount. I’m ashamed to say it was YEARS before I finally got around to watching Cube, but it’s now a film I greatly admire and always recommend.

Scream 2.

They didn’t waste any time making a sequel to Scream, and I think it’s one of the main reasons this follow up is so damn good. When you watch it you get the impression that everyone involved was still buzzing with excitement and momentum, and it resulted in a film that just looks and feels confident. For a few years I actually preferred it to the original … but don’t tell anyone! It’s our little secret.

Funny Games.

I know this isn’t strictly a horror movie, but I found Funny Games a horrifying ordeal to sit through the first time around, and when you’ve watched as many movies as I have over the last 33+ years, you REALLY appreciate the ones that can elicit genuine emotions. The minimalist acting makes the characters feel authentic, and when combined with some beautifully desolate locations you have a film that makes you feel uneasy almost immediately. Funny Games is effortlessly depressing and dark. An experience that takes a couple of days to shake off.

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