Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 012: Terrible Trains, Organ Theft and Our Top 5 Scariest Horror Movies

HMP012 Artwork

Welcome to Episode 012 of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… In this Frankensteinian show, we review a number of horror films that feature terrible trains, organ theft and we unveil our Top 5 Scariest Horror Movies (and well as our listeners’ picks). We also play the nine listener voice mail contest submissions, and we review a notable indie horror flick called “All Hallows’ Eve” (2013). Dr. Shock also gives us a double review of the original “Cat People” from 1942 and its remake from 1982.

We loved getting your voice mails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789

Also, vote on this episode’s poll question (and the one in the right-hand sidebar):

survey tools

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!

I. Introduction

II. Feature Review: “Turistas” (2006)
Jay of the Dead = 9 ( Buy it! )

III. Feature Review: “Train” (2008)
Jay of the Dead = 8 ( Buy it! )

IV. Feature Review: “Inside” (2007)
Jay of the Dead = 10 ( Buy it now on Amazon! )

V. Feature Review: “Cat People” (1942)
Dr. Shock = 8 ( Buy it! )

VI. Feature Review: “Cat People” (1982)
Dr. Shock = 7.5 ( Buy it! )

VII. Feature Review: “All Hallows’ Eve” (2013)
Jay of the Dead = 7 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 7.5 ( Buy it! )

VIII. Jay of the Dead’s BEASTLY FREAKS
Breeders (1997) = 3.5 ( Avoid )

IX. Feature Review: “Horror Express” (1972)
Wolfman Josh = 6 ( Rental )

X. Feature Review: “Terror Train” (1980)
Wolfman Josh = 7 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 7 ( Buy it! )

XI. Listener Contest Voice Mails
— Jeremy – “Black Sheep” (2006) = 8 ( Buy it! )
— His Dinner’s In The Oven – “Evil” (2005) = no rating given
— One Sick Puppy of the Dead as Hell Horror Podcast – “The Hearse” (1980) = 2 (Avoid)
— Juan – “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” (1991) = 6 ( Rental )
— The Dude – “A Bay of Blood” (1971) = no rating given
— Chief Brody – “The Reef” (2010) = 8 ( Buy it! )
— Tony Is On Fire – “Frontier(s)” (2007) = 9.5 ( Buy it! )
— Ollie – “Abominable” (2006) = no rating given
— The Unknown Murderer – “Wither” (2006) = 7.5 out of 10

XII. Our Top 5 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time
Jay of the Dead’s Top 5 Scariest:
1. Pet Sematary (1989)
2. Ju-On (2002)
3. The Exorcist (1973)
4. Inside (2007)
5. The Ring (2002)
Jay’s Honorable Mentions:
— The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
— 28 Days Later… (2002)
— The Shining (1980)
— The Evil Dead (1981)
— Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Wolfman Josh’s Top 5 Scariest:
1. The Exorcist (1973)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
3. Psycho (1960)
4. The Shining (1980)
5. Ju-On (2002)
Josh’s Honorable Mentions:
— Night of the Living Dead (1968)
— Nosferatu (1922)
— Poltergeist (1982)
— Dreamscape (1984)

Dr. Shock’s Top 5 Scariest:
1. The Exorcist (1973)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
3. Ju-On (2002)
4. The Shining (1980)
5. The Ring (2002)
Doc’s Honorable Mentions:
— Salem’s Lot (1979)
— Night of the Living Dead (1968)
— The Eye (aka Gin gwai) (2002)
— Poltergeist (1982)
— The head-on collision in Death Proof (2007)

XIII. Listener Feedback: Top 5 Scariest Horror Movies
— Jeremy
— The Unknown Murderer
— Tony Is On Fire
— Mr. Grady Macbeth clip 1, Macbeth clip 2
— Frederick Michael Voorhees
— Jarrett
— Josh
— Juan
— Julian

XIV. Scariest Horror Movies Mentioned During This Episode (and Their Votes)
The Exorcist (1973) = 8 votes
The Shining (1980) = 6 votes
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) = 6 votes
Night of the Living Dead (1968) = 4 votes
The Ring (2002) = 3 votes
Ju-On (2002) = 3 votes
Halloween (1978) = 2 votes
Pet Sematary (1989) = 2 votes
Inside (2007) = 2 votes
28 Days Later… (2002) = 2 votes
Salem’s Lot (1979) = 2 votes
Poltergeist (1982) = 2 votes
The Evil Dead (1981) = 2 votes
The Descent (2005) = 2 votes
Psycho (1960)
Nosferatu (1922)
Dreamscape (1984)
The Eye (aka Gin gwai) (2002)
Death Proof (2007)
The Strangers (2008)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Martyrs (2008)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Friday the 13th (1980)
Child’s Play (1988)
The Conjuring (2013)
Them (2006)
Paranormal Activity (2009)
30 Days of Night (2007)
Hellraiser (1987)
Jaws (1975)
Alien (1979)
Tourist Trap (1979)
An American Werewolf in London (1979)
Maniac (1980)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
When a Stranger Calls (1979)
Inugami (2001)
Vampyr (1932)
Carnival of Souls (1962)
Macbeth (2010, UK [BBC TV drama])
Frontier(s) (2007)
Insidious (2010)
Hostel (2005)

— Thank you to Mrs. Denbo for the iTunes review! Other listeners can leave us a review (and subscribe for free) here. Click “View in iTunes” then “Ratings and Reviews.” Thank you.

XV. Wrap-Up:

NEXT ON HMP — IN TWO WEEKS: Releasing on Friday, March 28, 2014 — Episode 013. Definitely don’t miss it!

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com

Links for this episode:

Check out One Sick Puppy’s Dead as Hell Horror Podcast

Dr. Shock’s other horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Listen to our friends on Terror Troop

Wolfman covers movies streaming online on: Movie Stream Cast

Jay of the Dead and Wolfman cover new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly

Ron Martin’s The Resurrection of Zombie 7

Check out our premium CUJO COMMENTARY for $1

Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast

Wolfman on Twitter: @IcarusArts

Dr. Shock on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation

Dr. Walking Dead on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

Check out the Movie Podcast Weekly Halloween BONUS episode on: THE SHINING and ROOM 237

Dr. Shock’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com

Dr. Walking Dead’s books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

Thank you for listening, and join us again in two weeks for another episode of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

Thanks for listening.
Jay of the Dead

44 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 012: Terrible Trains, Organ Theft and Our Top 5 Scariest Horror Movies

  1. I’m Chief Brody lol. Jaws is probably my favorite movie of all time so thanks so much for the compliment! Can’t believe I forgot to put my name on there. Thanks for playing my recommendation!

  2. Thanks to the person (I forget) who reviewed Wither.. I remember BillChete’s talking about this.. but unfortunitly forgot to check it out… Your review reminded me, and also justified a blind buy for me just now. The cover sealed the deal… I cannot wait for this to come in – looks like my type of film for sure, so great review thanks again!

      • Thanks Unknown Murder.., Actually came back to check cus I figured Jay put your name in the notes.. I can’t wait to watch this blind, no tralier or stills even seen here. It’s a rare treat to actualy watch a film this blind that I actually am excited about… any more newer under the radar recommendations?

  3. For the first hour of the show:

    I thought Turistas was The Ruins- so I’m going to have to go back and see that.

    The Hole is psychological horror, but it’s definitely worth a watch. I loved it on a rewatch.

    Coma was directed by Michael Crichton and based on a book by Robin Cook.

    Why does the description for this episode say it’s a bonus? It’s on the regular schedule, isn’t it?

    • @One Sick Puppy,

      Three things:

      1. Thanks for bringing that “bonus” thing to my attention. Sometimes I get a little careless with the copy and paste around 3 a.m. : )

      2. Definitely watch “Turistas” asap! I love it!

      3. Also, this may or may not interest you, but check this out:
      I think it’s going to be legit, since the guy who taught me, Cliff “The Podcast Answer Man” Ravenscraft, and Todd Cochrane (the Podcast Awards guy) are both going to be there, among others. I may actually attend myself.

      Jay of the Dead

  4. On the subject of trains and organ stealing, have you seen a short animated nightmare called Madame Tutli Putli? It has both of those in it.

    Saw it at a festival here in Canada and I believe it’s on Youtube. When I saw it they had accidentally shown it in black and white making it even more unsettling.

    • Good question. The DVD has the theatrical version on one side and the unrated cut on the other side. (I believe there’s only about 3 min. difference between the two, if I recall correctly.) The version I reviewed on this episode was the theatrical release, but actually, they’re pretty similar as I recall.

      I haven’t seen the Blu-ray version, to be honest, but perhaps this site will help: http://bit.ly/1oiGaeG (Not suitable for work).

      Either way, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed — especially if you love survival horror flicks, like I do.
      Jay of the Dead

  5. on the subject on “Inside”… I got the unrated DVD at Biglots.. They were having some major sale already so my final price after tax was less than $2…. best movie buy ever!

    • Ah I’m so jealous. I can’t find this movie for anything less than $15CDN. My local video store (yep, I still have one) doesn’t even have the copy that I rented from them a few years back. I will have to keep my eyes peeled because this is a great flick.

  6. Thanks for the great episode guys! Train is on my DVR and ready to watch. Going to have a little train party with Train, Terror Train, Creep and Midnight Meat Train!

    Jay, I see why you heap lots of praise on Inside. Picked it up for $2.97 at my local FYE. Very creepy and VERY graphic!

    I watched All Hallows Eve a week before your episode so I was anxious to hear your take on it. I found it extremely creepy, although the middle segment with the alien kinda lost me. That freakin clown is most definitely a horror icon in the making. Also, I went back and listened to Episodes 3 and 5 cause I needed my HMP fix! Great re-listens!

    Jay, I’m the Redbox employee if you remember…here are a few Redbox titles I’d like to know your opinion on;

    Dark House
    In Fear
    Mischief Night
    The Underneath
    Magic Magic

    I have a question, I know from listening to all of the previous incarnations of this podcast that there was a special show (I think number 6) from the Horror Palace network where many of the hosts did a big show on the best horror movies of a certain time period. Is there a way to be able to download those? Or would anyone be able to post them or send them to me? I’d love to listen to them.

    Would love to hear Dr. Walking Dead, Terror Tovey, Bill Chete and Midnight Corey as guests sometime!

    Thanks for your work,

    Frederick Michael Vorhees
    Thanks again guys for your work.

    • Hi there FMV. I have seen Magic Magic and it is a horrible movie. It is slow in the most boring way possible, the characters are all extremely unlikeable, and the ending is abrupt and nonsensical at best. The movie made me feel nauseous and uneasy and that’s not a compliment. I want my time back. Have you seen it? What did you think?

      • I’m with you Juan. Soooooo boring. I hated the lead character. should not be marketed as a horror movie in any way.

        • Hey FMV… I actually bought Dark House because it was 4 for 20 at Blockbuster and I needed a fourth. Can’t say it was good… but it’s a definite attention holder. Plus any movie with Mr. Combs always gets an extra couple of points. Regarding your request for those special podcast, I’ve been bugging Doc and Jay for those for a while. I think BillChete is planning on posting everything in the near future… not sure how near, but hope it’s soon.

  7. Hey guys. I’m a new listener from the UK. I discovered this website a few weeks ago and have since worked my way through dozens of the Podcasts, both new and old, and I’ve found them incredibly entertaining and insightful. I very much appreciate the variety of opinions on offer and was very pleasantly surprised by the number of obscure movie’s being covered, a few I’m particularly fond of include The Deadly Spawn, Intruder, The Video Dead, The Dorm that Dripped Blood and Dead and Buried, I love those movies but almost never hear anybody mention them, never mind actually review them.

    My only grievance is that on several occasions I got the impression that you guys assume anyone under 30 isn’t going to be very tolerant of older horror movies, preferring more modern shocks. I take issue with this because I’m in my mid twenties and absolutely adore older horror. The 80’s is my favourite decade for horror movies (though my tastes go back as far as the likes of Bride of Frankenstein and Nosferatu) and I’d take anything from that decade over the modern fare. To demonstrate, here’s a list of my top ten favourite films in the genre:

    1. The Beyond
    2. Alien
    3. The Burning
    4. Day of the Dead
    5. Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968)
    6. Basket Case
    7. Return of the Living Dead
    8. The Thing
    9. New York Ripper
    10. In The Mouth of Madness

    That’s not to say that I don’t like any modern horror, I loved The Conjuring, Sinister, The Orphanage, Trick ‘r Treat to name a few, and I actually very much enjoyed All Hallows Eve which I watched on your recommendation, I’ve not been a fan of any recent horror anthologies but this one was great, especially the practical effects.

    I’m also a big slasher fan, but much prefer the earlier, slower paced offerings in the sub genre. I find too many modern slashers and remakes just don’t have the same sense of fun and atmosphere as their 80’s ancestors. Also I often find that too many of the characters these days are written to be unlikeable. I think somewhere along the way horror writers came to the conclusion that the sole reason we enjoy slasher movies is seeing horribly annoying idiots come to grisly ends. Certainly that’s a part of the appeal, but without any likeable or relatable characters to invest in I find that any sense of tension or actual horror is compromised. Modern slashers might be more gory, but if that gore isn’t in the right context then it has little real effect on me. Of course I’m generalising and I’m sure there are still a lot of great slasher movies coming out, most probably in an independent capacity, but I just wanted to put it out there that not all us whipper-snappers are blind to joys of older horror cinema!

    Anyway, sorry for the essay. You guys keep up the good work, I’m really grateful to have so much great stuff to listen to!

    Kind regards,


    • Hi David.

      That’s a very refreshing top 10 list my friend. The lack of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre makes me smile. Not that I think it’s a bad movie, but I see it on almost every list out there, that it’s refreshing to see a list without it. Halloween not being there though, wow that’s just ludicrous! Jk :)

      Jay, what about having everyone post their top then list at the end of the year? I’m curious to see which movies make it to the top of people’s lists.

      • Hi Juan, thanks for the reply.

        Although I left Texas Chainsaw Massacre off my list I do recognise it as an amazing film. It has an atmosphere so palpable that you can almost smell the stenches of rancid meat, rusting metal and sunbaked dirt. And without ever showing anything particularly graphic it still leaves you feeling like you’ve just witnessed something akin to a snuff film.

        Halloween although far from my favourite slasher is another movie that is totally deserving of it’s classic status. It expertly conjures a mood of desperation and suspense and is obviously incredibly influential.

        All that said, my top 10 list isn’t necessarily a record of the horror movies that I’ve found to be the scariest, goriest of most well made, rather it’s just a list of the movies in the genre that mean the most to me. For example Basket Case is on their mainly because it was the first really gory, exploitative B-movie I ever saw, I watched it at a friends on his dads old betamax player. I do still think it’s actually a really well written, unique and entertaining movie, but my love for it has as much to do with nostalgia as anything.

        • Hey guys… just wanted to throw my two sense in. I’m an old fart, so it’s good to hear younger fans have an appreciation for the older stuff. I agree with the esteemed Juan, great top ten list. The Beyond at the top is an interesting call. Just rewatched it a week ago… it’s a blast.

          • Thanks for the reply good sir.

            My love for The Beyond stems from its ability to create a genuinely creepy atmosphere while also delivering some incredibly creative, over-the-top gore scenes. It manages to simultaneously be a zombie movie and a haunted house flick (a sadly rare combination) and I can watch it alone at night and get spooked out or watch it with a bunch of friends and have loads of fun. Also the score is just amazing.

  8. Man! I haven’t seen any of the movies that you reviewed. I guess I need to catch up.

    Jeremy, Black Sheep is awesome! I saw it a few years back and I think it’s time to revisit it. Chief Brody, The Reef is great. I saw it a few months back and I liked it a lot. It very closely resembles Open Water, which kind of put me off initially because I thought it would be a cheap clone. But I’m glad I watch it because it delivers.

    Well, here are a few of the movies that I saw recently and what I thought of them:

    Tales From the Darkside: The Movie (1990).
    If you like your horror stories short and bloody and you’d like to see young versions of Steve Buscemi, Christian Slater, and Julianne Moore then this is the movie for you. Like other anthologies, the horror here is not meant to scare, but to have fun with it. So have fun with it. Watch this if you liked the Creepshow movies and/or Tales From the Crypt. I say buy it. It’s an 8/10.

    April Fool’s Day (1986).
    I watched this as a kid and remember liking it a lot. And sure enough, it’s a lot of fun. I just love the look of movies from the 70’s and 80’s. It’s a great look. It gives the movies such a great atmosphere. Watch this if you like your endings with a twist a la Shyamalan. Buy it! It’s an 8.5/10.

    Dark Touch (2013).
    Meh. It has a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – Who knows why? Anyway, it’s well enough made, it certainly doesn’t look like a cheap indie film. The acting is so so although the main character, the girl, she sucks big time. Watch this if you like boring, pointless movies. Avoid it 2/10.

    Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)
    Guilty pleasure or not, the teen slasher genre of the 90’s and the early 2000’s is still a lot of fun for me. Sure, a lot of the films are interchangeable, but who cares? I watch them to see teens be teens and teens get killed. And now that I’m in my 30s, the nostalgia factor kicks in and augments their efficacy. Watch this if you liked the first one. This one is a rent (or buy in my case). It’s a 6.5/10.

    Sinister (2013)
    Wow was this movie tense! I think a lot of opportunities that could have elevated this film to classic status were wasted, but in the end it was a pretty decent horror film. The music was excellent and the use of snuff movies was very tastefully done. I wish to see another movie tackle the snuff movie theme in a more intelligent way because I think there is tons of potential there. Watch this if you like snuff movies… wait… what? Rent this. It’s a 7/10.

    The Changeling (1980)
    I can’t believe it took me this long to finally watch this. I’m glad I finally did though, because this movie is close to being a masterpiece, very very close. The opening scene skyrocketed to my top 5 favorite movie openings of all time. And the rest of the movie did not disappoint. Creepy, scary atmosphere, good satisfying story, and great music. Watch this if you like haunted house movies. Buy this now. It’s a 9.5/10.

    Demons (1985)
    I have come to the conclusion that I don’t love Italian horror. I have tried time and time again to like it. I read and hear about people’s love for it and I’m jealous that I can’t love it as much as the rest of you. I love the practical effects, I love the silliness, and I especially love the music. Goblin is touring again YAY! But I can’t get behind the nonsensical stories, fragmented plots, and odd pacing. Watch this if you like movies like The Beyond. Rent it. I give this a 6/10.

    Bad Milo (2012).
    Jay! Why did you hate this movie so much? It’s awesome! I had a lot of fun with this. Watch this if you like humor with your horror, and if you think you would like a modern version of It’s Alive but with the baby living inside someone’s butt. Definitely buy. It’s a 9/10.

    What did y’all think of these movies? Has anyone seen them yet?

    • Here’s my take on the movies you mentioned that I’ve seen:

      April Fools Day (1986)
      This is a really fun movie and I remember really enjoying the character development and the way the mystery progressed, it’s also an interestingly subversive take on the slasher genre. That said, as much as I respected the audacity of that subversion I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated by it, that’s probably the point but it brings it down to a 5.5/10 for me.

      Sinister (2013)
      I thought this movie was really, really great. I loved the subtle way it slowly built up tension and I thought Ethan Hawke was brilliant in it. I’m one of those people who tends to be more genuinely scared by “supernatural” movies and this creeped me out in spades. I also agree that the use of music was awesome. Some very effective and disturbing elements to this movie so 7.5/10.

      Also, for other movies dealing with the concept of Snuff films I’d recommend “8mm” if you haven’t already seen it. It’s definitely a thriller rather than a horror but a great movie nonetheless.

      The Changeling (1980)
      Now it’s been a long time since I saw this movie so it’s far from fresh in my memory but I do remember thoroughly enjoying it. I recall It being slow and quite subtle but that those qualities only helped to exacerbate the eerie, unsettling mood. I really need to watch this again sometime soon but based on memory I’d give it an 8/10.

      Demons (1985)
      I’m kind of half way there when it comes to Italian horror. I adore Fulci, but I’ve never been much of an Argento fan. This however has to be my favourite movie that he’s been involved with. I didn’t find it scary and it is somewhat nonsensical but it’s also extremely fun and has an awesome 80’s vibe that I just can’t get enough of. 7/10.

      I’m going to have to check out the Tales From The Darkside movie because I just love those 80’s horror anthologies you mentioned!

        • Also, I’m not big on Italian horror either! I really like StageFright and Suspiria, but I really don’t care for Fulci at all. It’s the nonsense storylines, I think. Just doesn’t set right on my brains.

          • I could go either way on Italian horror too. Depends on the mood, I guess. Not sure who’s seen it, but I actually have a soft spot in my heart for Demons 2… I like it better than the original (but if you’re looking for a movie that makes sense, you’ll want to skip it). But it’s a cheesy siege movie worth checking out I think. Also, I could be wrong about this, but I’m pretty sure I read that at one point Tales from the Darkside movie was intended to be Creepshow 3 at its earlier stages– which would’ve been a huge step up from CS2 and waaaaaay better than the Creepshow 3 that eventually was spewed out a few years ago.

  9. I have a feeling that this is going to be another essay length post and for that I pre-emptively apologise but I’m just really excited to have found this community!

    You’ll also have to forgive me if any of the points or movies I bring up have already been discussed. I’ve been devouring the podcasts quite hungrily but have yet to exhaust the wealth of material on this site, so if I start wittering on about stuff that’s already been covered please just ignore me!

    Now firstly I have a few movie suggestions for you guys:

    Spookies (1986)
    Now this is by no means a good movie but it is an interesting one. In an echo of the production problems that marred Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, a second director was brought in to shoot additional footage to complete an unfinishedproject, much to the determent of the resulting films consistency and narrative cohesion. That said, you’re not going to want to watch this movie for the (almost nonexistent) plot. The real reason that you should watch this movie is for the awesome array of freaky practical effect monsters peppered liberally throughout; farting mud-monsters, the grim reaper, an oriental lady who turns into a giant spider and many more. If you’re a fan of weird monsters brought to life by sometimes hokey but always creative 80’s practical effects then this is definitely worth checking out.

    Castle Freak (1995)
    Up until it sadly closed down last year there was a great independent video store in my town that still had a wall of VHS movies to rent (most of which had been there since the early 90’s at least) and me and a few friends made a habit of working our way through as many of the obscure horror movies on those shelves. This was one of them and although it’s been quite a few years since I watched it, I remember it really stood out as being genuinely disturbing and as far as I recall fairly well made with a classic gothic feel but also some pretty strong gore. It’s basically about a family who move into a castle they’ve inherited where unbeknownst to them, a deformed monster is imprisoned.

    That’s all for now, but if I think of anymore suggestions I’ll be sure to leave a comment.

    Also I think a great idea for a future episode would be to take an in depth look at how elements of philosophy and psychology can be applied to the horror genre. I know that probably sounds ridiculously pretentious but it’s something that I find genuinely fascinating. For example, in his book “The Undiscovered Self” Carl Jung suggests that human conflict stems from a refusal to acknowledge the darker elements of our selves, or “The Shadow Self”, instead projecting those elements on to others, thus creating climates of fear, distrust and hatred. He theorises that it is healthier for our individual psychology, as well as the human race as a whole, that we acknowledge and to an extent entertain “The Shadow Self” rather than adopting a façade of absolute moral purity and superiority.

    Not only does this provide insight into why we enjoy horror and also why there’s nothing wrong with our enjoyment of the genre but it can also apply to the psychological motivations behind individuals and groups who strive to censor or ban horror films. I’ve often found these sorts of people to be fanatical and convinced of their own moral superiority despite being outwardly hateful and vitriolic. An example worth citing would be Mary Whitehouse, who incited the whole Video Nasties witch hunt of the 1980’s and the subsequent introduction of the Video Recordings Act 1984 (the passing of which was in part due to a culture of bullying and shaming anyone who opposed it). Despite her fanatical public condemnation of these films she admitted to never having watched a single one of them. Now I don’t believe that her opinion would have been changed have she sat down and watched Driller Killer all the way through, but this sort of arrogant, prejudice is absolutely demonstrative of what Jung was talking about. Being unwilling to face the possibility that they may themselves be corruptible, the self righteous, hypocritically lash out at others rather than trying to understand and therefore control the darker elements of their own nature.

    Anyway again I should apologise for this essay of a post, I’m just really glad to have somewhere like this to share ideas and recommendations. It’s great!

    – David

    • Just realised that you guys discuss the psychology of horror in the very first episode of this podcast with Dr. Walking Dead. I (quite stupidly) haven’t been listening to these chronologically, instead cherry picking episodes covering movies I find interesting, else I might have picked up on that sooner.

      Anyway, I’m very much looking forward to the next episode!

    • I love thinking about and talking about the psychology and philosophy behind horror films. Examining stories to see how they work and to truly hear the message that’s sent to us when we listen is more important than a self-righteous person is ready to realize, I think. It’s easier to make a judgment based upon surface impressions than it is to listen, consider and make a solid decision based on facts and it seems that some will only go the self-serving route whether they enjoy a film or not.

      I completely appreciate what you brought up about Jung and the shadow self. Wish there was a better way to communicate about some of these things, conversation is easier than typing it all out!

      • Absolutely agree with this!

        I’ve always thought a fitting metaphor for how horror affects us is that of immunization against a disease: An Antigen is introduced to the body in a small and controlled way, allowing the system to adapt an immunity and better cope with any further exposure. I like to think of horror movies as the Antigen, a little bit of darkness that we introduce to the psyche in a controlled way so as to better understand the darker side of humanity and therefore be more prepared to recognise and avoid darkness on a more serious scale. Acknowledgement of a problem is always a better defence than ignorance and denial in my book and I think that’s partly why so many horror fans are such lovely people!

  10. I haven’t listened to the episode yet because I wanted to put together my list of the 5 scariest films before hearing your lists. Somehow, that list of mine is at 20 films right now, so I must be a giant pansy. Need to shave that sucker down so I can listen to this episode!

    • Finally whittled my list of 20 down to 5. Here it goes…

      1. The Ring (2002) – I’ve only watched this movie once, and still haven’t worked up the courage to watch it again. It has easily been the scariest movie I’ve ever seen since that viewing in the early 2000’s. Demented little girls and messed-up faces always put me off, but I still can’t exactly put my finger on why this movie had such an effect on me. (8/10)

      2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – The notion of being in danger or threatened while sleeping is terrifying, and Freddy Krueger – a horribly disfigured pedophile with “knives for fingers” – is arguably one of the scariest looking characters in film history. Plus, again, FREAKY LITTLE GIRLS! This movie made it hard for me to sleep for a long time. (10/10)

      3. Paranormal Activity (2007) – Demonic possession movies freak me out… even the bad ones. In this film, the unseen and unknown threat, along with long periods of nothing, allow my mind to betray me and build up anxiety and suspense. It also plays into the notion of being in danger while sleeping, and is one of my all-time best movie theater experiences. (7/10)

      4. The Exorcist (1973) – It’s amazing a movie that’s more than 40 years old can still be so frightening. If it had the advantages of modern effects and cinematography, it would likely be #1 on my list. THE demonic possession movie. (10/10)

      5. Ju-on: The Grudge (2002) – The relentless pursuit of the spirit in this film produces such a dreadful feeling of hopelessness. You can’t hide from it. You can’t run from it. No matter who you are, once you cross its path, it will never stop coming for you. The unnatural movement and guttural sounds of the spirit simply add to the dread. (7/10)

      I really wanted to include Jaws on this list, but left it off because it didn’t meet the criteria of being a “genuinely terrifying” movie. It has definitely had a severe effect on me, though, as I always wonder what’s under the surface whenever I get into a large body of water. Hellraiser also just missed my list, with Pinhead (and the Cenobites, in general) being the most gruesome-looking and terrifying character(s) in cinema.

      • Great list, man! I’ve been creeping the comment boards from yesteryear and just saw this. Was this your first comment? Totally agree with your number one pick. Easily the movie that has crawled under my skin the most. The movie got to me so much that I was scared of being around my tv and didn’t watch anything for a few days (couldn’t sleep near it either). I’ve seen it multiple times since, but “that scene” always gets me.

  11. This episode is AMAZING! First off… INSIDE is in the top 2 slashers to be made since Halloween. Also, let it be known that I’m 100% down with Art the Clown being the next big horror icon. Get ready for TERRIFIER next year!

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