Let me just say that Angelica Houston is a badass. She is one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood, and to this day I am fucking frightened of her portrayal as the head witch in The Witches. Now, I was always a fan of the book version because of the difference in content (including the ending, which left you with more of a sense of hope as well as realism in the book), but the characteristics of the witches stayed pretty consistent, and I know at one point I was afraid the head witch (who creepily pulls off her face during the movie) was going to kill me. That's enough to scare you into not bathing for a week.
Where do I begin? How about the fact that a ten year old is neglected and left in the woods for dead (even if he is a robot)? Any child under the age of twelve will be terrified that their parents will leave them out of the blue. Or what about the fact that once he's in the woods, he's chased down by the most terrifying robotic dogs ever to come to the screen? I think those mechanic pit bulls gave me nightmares for weeks. Oh, and don't forget the acid that almost gets dumped on our poor main character's face. Or that creepy teddy bear that follows him around and talks like he came from a bad acid trip. This movie provides job security for therapists everywhere.
Up until the end, this movie is terrifying. Quoting one of the other blogs I read, Adnoxious, there is nothing scarier than twins that speak in unison. Make them into ghosts and you've got a movie that's sure to deliver you a blow to the head in the form of being mentally haunted by weird annoying children in ugly dresses. Seriously, like, Jack Nicholson was not the scary part of this movie. It was the fact that the hallway echoed with the voices of murdered twins wherever I went. I am never going to look at a tricycle the same way, nor am I going to ride one down a long, incredibly creepy yellow hallway towards a set of telepathically connected sisters.
I don't know why, but there really doesn't seem to be anything creepier than animals that think they're human. It's weird. And unhealthy, obviously, judging by the fact that half the movie consisted of people being attacked by birds. I have never really gotten over the scene where the Brenners walk outside to a chorus of birds surrounding them. Maybe it's because growing up I did have pet birds and they did used to look at me like I was their worst enemy and must be annihilated. Or it could be that Hitchcock's a fucking genius. Either way, this movie makes the list.
Um, Princess Mombi would make me shit my pants if I ever met her in real life. That bitch is crazy. The glass cases full of heads that she takes on and off? Terrifying. It doesn't help that she's played by the same actress who doubles as the head nurse in the sanitorium, which, can I say, is also frightening. Dorothy's getting electro-shock therapy! Disney, how could you? I mean, I know you also allowed Bambi's mom to get iced and Dumbo to get fucking wasted off his ass, but this kind of neglect for the child screening goes beyond words.
So there you go. Enjoy your November 1! Day of the Dead is good enough for a fright fest in my book.
The Movie Mistress