Favorite Horror Films of the Past 10 Years

Sometimes a little fake drama is just what you need to forget about real-life drama of ministry for a couple of hours.

I occasionally watch scary movies.  Deep down, we like being scared.  Notice how every classic Disney cartoon has some scary parts, bad guys, lots of drama.  I am not a film critic so I just ramble on about my thoughts and try to give a little info without giving away too much. The titles are links in case you want to find out more.  Some should only be watched by horror aficionados.

28 Days Later (from UK, 2002)

There is something about apocalytpic, dystopian dramas that appeal to me.  I have even read Mary Shelley’s “The Last Man.”  Fascinating scenes of a deserted London are in this movie which seems to run forever but didn’t get boring.  That fact that the some survivors turn out to be as dangerous or more than the infected makes an important point about humanity.  You see how people cope/survive during unspeakable widespread tragedies.

Shaun of the Dead (from UK, 2004)

This movie is hilarious.  Glad I finally saw it.

Dead Snow (from Norway, 2009)

This was funny like Shaun of the Dead, although much gorier, and definitely a horror film first, whereas I would call “Shaun” a comedy.  It is also an obvious homage to Evil Dead, with cabins, chainsaws, etc.  Medical students in a cabin in the mountains have to deal with Nazi Zombies.

Ginger Snaps (from Canada, 2000)

Where Teen Wolf was a cheesy comedy, this film makes a direct comparison between adolescence and lycanthropy.  It’s about two weird sisters who are outcasts, one gets bit/scratched by a werewolf and begins changing.  Much of the changes, though, appear somewhat normal for some teen girls hitting puberty.  It would probably be more appreciated by girls than guys but I thought the story was original and the two teen girl actors did a great job.  It’s really a sad film, with….a sad ending.

Let the Right One In (from Norway, 2008)

I haven’t seen the US remake and don’t plan to.  The dialogue/acting could be stodgy at times but it’s a great film about friendship and lonely kids.  I don’t like vampire movies in general, but when the vampire is a little girl who has an older friend get blood for her so she doesn’t have to kill……..she’s sad and likeable.  She befriends a loner kid whose mom is always at work and takes up for him when bullied.  It’s not a romantic relationship and the innocence of their friendship contrasted with the violence is interesting.

Honorable Mention

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon:  A faux documentary about an up and coming slasher.  Maybe a amalgamation of Blair Witch, Scream, and Friday the 13th. I feel like if it had a little something more, either the right director, more money, little better script or acting, it could be a great film.  The guy is silly, normal, etc. as he explains some of how he does what he does.  He is charismatic, even.  There is some humor, such as emphasizing the importance of cardio, “because it’s hard to appear to be going slow but still catch up with the victims.”  It does have a great surprise twist that I didn’t see coming.  The last part of the film is a typical slasher chase.

Dog Soldiers:  Has some cheesy parts and lines and special effects, but had some neat parts, too.  A special ops team on a training mission come across werewolves and hole up in an abandoned house in Scotland.

Saw:  I finally “saw” it and it was okay but I felt it was a little too complicated.  Too many flashbacks.  I wonder if they couldn’t have simplified it.  The last 10 minutes, though, with the music, and John getting up off the floor….Whoa!  I suppose it combines psychological terror plus gore better than any other because it’s about a twisted human and not zombies or monsters.


The Pixies

You have probably figured out that I love music.  I love Dvorak as much as I love Bob Dylan and Nirvana.  I love Dwight Yoakam and Third Day and Eminem (some of his, anyway).

I finally discovered the Pixies back in the spring.  Only 20 years late.  I was blown away.  By their music AND by the fact I don’t recognize any song or video.  At least by my college days (94-98), I should have come across them.  I feel that my music-loving friends let me down.

I have always heard of them bought thought they were a chick band.  I followed a link from an article that was on a sports site, and it went to a live youtube video of “Where is my Mind?”  I was hooked.  I plugged “Pixies” into Pandora.  Then I bought their greatest hits.

Anyway, since I downloaded their greatest hits back in May/June, I have practically worn out the MP3 files.

The are kinda like the musical evolutionary link between punk and grunge/alternative.  Kurt Cobain said he was just trying to be the Pixies.  Their bassist is a chick who was also in the band Breeders, which you might remember their song “Cannonball” from the 90s.  They have male and female lead vocals on some songs, or took turns.  They broke up in the mid 90s.

Bizarre lyrics.  Great guitar.  Some screaming.  Also some mellow tracks.

Here is what David Bowie says about them, followed by my favorite songs:

Favorite Hits

  1. Debaser
  2. Bone Machine
  3. Trompe Le Monde
  4. Where is my mind?
  5. I bleed
  6. Gouge Away
  7. Alec Eiffel
  8. Mr Grieves
  9. Broken Face
  10. Dig for Fire

And, by the way, I am going to see them live TONIGHT in Asbury Park!!!  Woo-hoo!!!

A boy named…..

(Update:  We have decided to call him “Benjie”.  I don’t know if it was anyone’s favorite, but a good compromise)

Sandy?  Maybe.

Yesterday we drove a couple of hours into PA near Reading (pronounced Redding) to see a puppy that we thought we might actually buy.  There’s a long story that involves a few weeks of searching petfinder and trying to find an adult dog through a shelter.  In NJ, it’s ridiculous.  These organizations do home visits. You have to pay a fee just to be able to put in a request for a dog.  They don’t like to place dogs with first-time owners.  I seriously believe it’s easier to adopt a child in NJ than to get a dog.

Then my wife (who has been religiously searching the internet for the perfect dog for our family) found a puppy in PA.  Its dad is a mini poodle.  The mom a golden retriever.  Labradoodle (my favorite pooch portmanteau). 14 weeks old.  Fluffy little boy.  The owner/seller gave him the name Benji.  We haven’t decided on a name yet.  My girl suggested Lollipop.  I like Sandy.  The wife likes Benji. We got to play with him in a fenced in area.  The kids laughed and cackled.  My birthday girl was a little apprehensive but liked him.  The visit went well, the kids said, “YES!” so we brought him home.

We had nylon, pop-up carrying case.  It was big enough but there still wasn’t a lot of space.  And the poor dog got car sick.  Less than 20 minutes down some windy roads he ralphed.  We gagged and laughed.  Pulled off in a cemetery to clean him and the carrier.  A few minutes later, more doggy barf.  And then again, so I took the kids inside some fast food place to eat while mom cleaned him up again.  One last time, but we needed gas for the drive home anyway.

After that, the wife drove, I held the pooch in my lap inside the carrier but petted him the entire 2 hour remaining drive home.

Made it home without any more puke. He took awhile to sniff around.  Went potty once outside.  Was playful with a plastic dish we put water in and a towel.  When we closed him up in the bathroom to sleep, he howled a little but calmed down.

It’s weird having a baby around.  It still hasn’t sunk in.  I am sure after cleaning up some of his messes reality will hit.  He howled and cried only a couple of times after we shut him up in our bathro0m for the night.  He was happy to see us this morning.

He is a typical puppy. Likes to play.  We are excited about our new edition.

Fundraising for MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association)

I am 2 weeks away from my deadline and decided to finally spread that word.

I try to do this every other year or so and it’s hard to say “no”.  My father died of ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease at age 30 when I was 4 years old.  ALS research is included under the work done by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Here is what the money goes to:

  •  MDA Summer Camp — A magical week of fun and independence
  • Outpatient Clinics — Families see the top specialists for their disease
  • Equipment Assistance — Help obtaining and repairing vital medical equipment
  • Support Groups — Families and the people MDA serves sharing and caring together
  • Research — Hope for the future

You can donate online with a credit card by going HERE.

or you can pledge or mail a check to me.

Leave a message if you need my contact info.