Anthony Perkins: On ‘Psycho,’ Let Me In, & Avoiding that Horror Genre

5. Psycho (1960) This early masterpiece from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho series is considered the definition of psychological horror. It quickly became a huge hit in 1960 and is considered the single greatest debut feature…

Anthony Perkins: On 'Psycho,' Let Me In, & Avoiding that Horror Genre

5. Psycho (1960)

This early masterpiece from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho series is considered the definition of psychological horror. It quickly became a huge hit in 1960 and is considered the single greatest debut feature film of all time. It stars Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, a man who murders his entire family and just as quickly moves on to become more and more evil. This made for TV movie was also a resounding success and proves just how creepy good films from the early 1960s can be.

4. Frailty (1999)

While other religious movies and the likes of P.O.V. make our list of creepiest flicks, we don’t always get inspired enough to make a film of our own. But think about this… we asked writers. Executives. Execs. Filmmakers. Screenwriters. Directors. (Well, pretty much everyone we know), and nobody would think to watch a movie called “Frailty.” But apparently, the whole world did! And some of the biggest names in the film industry. What? Actually, they loved it so much they re-released it in theaters a full 20 years after it first hit TV! Of course, Frailty is no campy ’70s drama. But it’s actually a psychological thriller starring Oscar winner Kevin Bacon as a preacher who learns that he has the ability to contact the dead, beginning a descent into hell that will stop at nothing to find his children. And not only is it creepy, it’s interesting and scary, too.

3. The Shining (1980)

Many of you may not know that Stanley Kubrick used some shots from Room 237, a documentary on The Shining, to help create his version of the movie. Kubrick, who’s known for his obsessive nature, had someone screen Room 237 and get their thoughts on the films shots while later adding their own notes. There was, however, one change Kubrick himself had to make. In Room 237, Danny is seen trying to figure out the mystery around the Room 237 mystery. Kubrick explains that Danny wasn’t there when the room was being built, and hence he doesn’t see the room as an obvious symbol. But it’s not so much a “different” idea as it is a not so subtle difference between two ideas. Case closed. It’s a confusing, surprising take on a horror classic that has stuck with us since our childhoods.

2. Let the Right One In (2008)

Obviously we know this is not a horror movie by its title. But this is actually a very creepy movie. Let the Right One In is based on the 2006 Swedish novel of the same name. It’s about a young boy who is locked in a wooden box and then starts to fall in love with one of the female occupants inside. First played by Kaitlyn Leeb, the role was later played by Chloe Grace Moretz. Let the Right One In proved to be a success on its way to being a hit at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. Though horror audiences didn’t necessarily love it, the critical community was passionate in their praise, and it won several awards for outstanding craftsmanship, best sci-fi film, best director, and best foreign language film. Some of this stellar critical praise led to a remake in 2017.

1. Let Me In (2008)

The only real scariness we need is from another movie about teenagers. Let Me In is based on the 2006 Swedish film of the same name. Both have unique themes that lead the viewer on a trip into some eerie territory. In Let Me In, things start out ok with a group of young outcasts finding each other. When the werewolf that has been hunting them attacks one of them, their relationship begins to evolve. Many people seemed to enjoy the movie when it hit theaters. It was nominated for several Oscars and picked up a Best Actor award for its young star Kodi Smit-McPhee. We loved it. And you should too.

Happy B-day to all!

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