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I don’t feel like heading out on Halloween

10/30/2013
Tips & Resources

by Cecilia Ang

Growing up, my image of zombies, largely crafted by Asian television, revolved around stiff figures with their both arms stuck out as if they were attempting to strangle any possible target around. They would always be clad in long, dark colored robes that had some sort of imperial embroidery. And they would always have overly flushed red cheeks that looked like two pieces of overly cooked pepperoni stuck on both sides of their face. They would never walk, nor crawl, nor move in any slimy, disorganized manner that any other films had depicted a zombie.  They always hop.

Later, I learnt that zombies come in many different forms, ranging from blood-sucking zombies to cannibalistic ones to vengeful ones or simply, the ones who just want to ruin your life when you are playing Left4Dead.

Whichever type of zombies or ghosts you prefer, this Halloween, round up a few friends and prepare mugs of drinks as you snuggle in for some awesome scary movies and short reads recommended by NFFTY staff. Remember…stay close to your mates…you will never know that who else might come in to fill the gap….

1. Night of the Living Dead (1968) 

They won’t stay dead…

 Critically acclaimed to be one of the best film made in 1968, Night of the Living Dead could be considered as one of the most classic thriller movie of all times. Despite debuting about 50 years ago, the film is still widely remembered for its ingenious usage of fear and desperation to explore humanity.

The film guarantees you 95 minutes of action and at the same time, provokes thoughts about how different people can overcome their differences in times of crisis.

The story began with a visit to the cemetery by Barbra (Judith O’ Dea) and Johnny (Russell Steiner), where zombies attacked them. Fleeing, they met Ben (Duane Jones) who droved them into a farmhouse, stumbling upon a cellar full of refugees.  While the massacre went on in US, the refugees were forced to overcome their differences to fight the impending zombies and prevent themselves from being eaten up.

If you are someone who is not too into gore or overly spooky horror movie, yet wanting some screams this Halloween, this might just be the right one for you!

2. The Ring (2002) 

recommended by Todd Kaumans, Program Manager 

While I have never been a huge fan of the horror genre, there is one film in particular that easily stands out as a favorite. The Ring, a Gore Verbinski remake of the Japanese horror flick Ringu, follows what happens to individuals when they watch a cursed VHS tape. Those unlucky few who watch the completely random yet disturbing tape in its entirety receive a phone call moments later where a young girl warns them they only have seven days left to live.

The  soundtrack, one of the most captivating and eerie compositions that I have ever heard, is half of why I love this film. The story arc, which takes numerous twists and turns and certainly doesn’t end when you think it’s going to, leaves me on the edge of my seat every time I watch it. Not to mention Aiden, played by David Dorfman, is just outright creepy.

If you don’t mind a pretty obvious copy of the original and have the patience to sit through seemingly numerous endings then make sure to add The Ring to your Halloween list. My advice? Don’t watch it alone in the middle of the night (hard lesson learned) and make sure to turn off your phone. Samara just might come looking for you.

3. Tale of Two Sisters (2003) 

While most horror films work with special effects to create instant scare effect, the most impactful scare actually comes from psychological thrillers. Such films tone down on their special effects. The main scare tactic comes from playing with the minds of the audiences, as audience are put through a journey together with the characters, uncovering the truth through twists.

This was what made A Tale of 2 Sisters one of the most successful Korean horror films. Rage, accusations, jealousy and a psychotic mind, these are what characterized the movie.  A teenage girl, Su-mi, met with a family tragedy and became psychotic. After returning from the psychiatrist, she experienced disturbing events that involved around her, her stepmother and her sister. As the film progresses, flashbacks bring the audience through the journey that Su-mi went through prior to her breakdown, which involved the deaths of her mother and sister.

Hug your pillow tight as the film brings you through the life of Su-mi and her family.

4. Shutter (2004) 

Thailand has been known to make the best horror movies and a study of the films made would tell you that zombies were rarely the central character.

In fact, what makes Thai horror movies so intriguing is the fact that the plotline is usually centered on everyday life and myths. Shutter (2004) has been said to be one of the most classic Thai horror movie and have had remakes all over the world. The storyline focuses on how a series of photos revealed the tragic death of the girl, Natre, which was indirectly caused by the male lead, Tun and his friends.

I would never watch the same horror film more than once but Shutter is the only horror film that I have watched twice, so definitely keep it as the last of your horror movie marathon. But just…beware when you are taking photos the next time.

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And if you are not the kind person to be scaring yourself through films, let your imagination run wild as you read about zombies. Huddle up that Pumpkin Spice Latte and check out this short story series, The Final Evolution 

Written by Auby Sparksfield, The Final Evolution brings you to Spearingo Islands, where two students, Clare and Jim, meet with a zombie attack and have to fend for themselves amidst the darkness. And stench.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 12.46.49 PM

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Whether you are planning to hit the club for a great party or staying in for movie marathons and house parties or simply just to have a quiet read, we at NFFTY wish you a SPOOKTECULAR Halloween!

Do keep a lookout for our Film of the Week update as we bring you an award winning short film of NFFTY 2013 from South Africa about spirits.

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