Scary Movies When it first hit the silver screen in 1999, The Blair Witch Project was given the reputation of being a truly groundbreaking film as it gave the horror genre a whole new look. I mean, the basic idea of 'three college students getting lost in the woods' may not seem like anything new. But that said, you have to take into consideration that this film was shot in Maryland -- that's Maryland -- which is, you know, kind of spooky because Mary is the name of Jesus's mother, and things to do with God and all that stuff always freaks me out.

Ha! Only joking. In all seriousness, The Blair Witch Project was one of those films which broke the mold and started a whole new trend within the industry. Not only did it make Hollywood stand up and take notice of the independent film scene, but it also inspired a new breed of innovative filmmaker.

Can you imagine what the odds were like for that to happen to a genre based film stuck in the horror category? 100 to 1? 1000 to 1? Or even more than that? Well, whatever the case may be, eventually the odd's were defied by the two nice chaps behind this scary flick, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, which kind of makes me want to pop on over to Roxy Palace Online Casino and place a bet. But before I do that, I want to celebrate the release of its sequel, Blair Witch, now available on both DVD & Blu-ray, by taking a second look at some of the greatest horror movies to ever make it onto the big screen.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Do you know what's worse than being pregnant? It's being pregnant while your next-door neighbor tries to fertilize your unborn child into becoming the devils new offspring! Directed by Roman Polanski, and based on the best selling book written by Ira Levin, Rosemary's Baby is a tragic tale which sees a waif like woman, Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow), moving into a new apartment with her husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), only to find out that she’s going to be a mother in a couple of months time. However, Rosemary's joy quickly turns sour when she starts to feel a lot of pain during her pregnancy, pain which is exacerbated even more so by her two Shamanistic neighbors.

The Exorcist (1973)

Some say that this 1973 classic was based on a book about the last known exorcism sanctioned by the Catholic Church, circa 1949. But as far as I know, this film is f*cking scary!!! Written by William Peter Blatty, and directed by William Friedkin, The Exorcist tells the story of a worried mother who recruits a priest so he can save her child from devilish forces beyond her control. It star's Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Satan, levitating beds, wall to wall puke, plus an awful lot of preying. Wait a minute? Can preying be awful? I know Satan likes to think so! On a side note: this film also gave rise to church attendance more than any other film made.

The Shining (1980)

Staying in a luxury hotel is usually a very enjoyable experience. You can get up when you want. You can go to bed when you want. Plus if you're lucky, most of your meals will be made for you by someone who can actually cook. Question is: What happens to a hotel when nobody's there? Who looks after it? Who makes sure that everything is running smoothly? And more importantly than that, what would happen if the person who's looking after this barren hotel gets possessed by forces from beyond the grave? Stanley Kubrick should know, as he made a spooky film about this very subject, adapting it from the Stephen King novel of the same name. Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd, The Shining tells the tale of a downtrodden author who wants to write a book while looking after a deserted hotel, the Overlook Hotel, the same place that goes bump in the night. Ouch! Here's Johnny!!!!

The Evil Dead (1981)

It has often been said that horror and comedy are two very strange bedfellows. On the one hand each genre of movie would like their audience to emote a certain feeling, while on the other hand said-feeling should either be very-very joyous or very-very worried. Sam Raimi knows exactly what I'm talking about, especially if you take into consideration his auspicious featured debut. Costing only three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and shot in and around the woods in Tennessee, Evil Dead is a film where we see a group of teenagers enter a rustic cabin and get killed by an unknown force. Not all of them, of course. One of them actually survives. His name is Ash, and he's played by the one and only, Bruce Campbell. Groovy, baby. Real groovy.

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

In an interview he gave to the press, Wes Craven told a journalist that he based the concept behind Nightmare on Elm Street on an experience he had as a small child. One night, while at home in bed, he was feeling rather board so he decided to peek out the window. From the corner of his eye he suddenly noticed a man standing in the street, who peculiarly noticed little Wes in turn. In fact, he noticed Wes to such an extent, the man strangely went out of his way to terrorize him, by banging at his front door while threatening to do him some harm. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, Wes nurtured this childhood experience within a series of films, most notably in a man, a very weird man, with a burnt face, a striped sweater, plus claws for hands. His name was Freddy Krueger. Or should that be, is Freddy Krueger?

SAW (2004)

Picture the scene: One day you wake up in an unfamiliar yet secure room, chained down to the floor, and notice two people adjacent to where you lay. Now the first person, the one closest to you, is dead, really dead, and has obviously been killed in a rather gruesome manner. The second person, on the other hand, is very much alive and well, and like you, is also chained down to the floor and feeling fairly distraught. After a while, you and this second person start to realize that you both have quite a lot in common. When suddenly, from out of the blue, a television pops out from the wall, a television which will promote the horror film, SAW, that felt like a breath of fresh air when it first hit the big screen in 2004. Another thing it did was to present you both with two very simple options. So you'd either retrace you're steps so you can find a way out, or alternately, chop your hand off with a rusty saw, hence, the name.

Blair Witch is available on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD now, alongside a box set with the original Blair Witch Project.


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