Hallow’s Eve is almost here, and it’s safe to say that most of us have our costumes and candy ready. But what about something to watch? A scary movie can complete a haunted house or be the perfect past time between trick-or-treaters. We tap the expertise of a film junkie in search of the ultimate Halloween flick.
There’s nothing like a great scary movie. They’re unique, exhilarating and often get seared into your memory. I still get freaked out 13 years later when I think of the movie Ju-On, or as the American remake was called, The Grudge. There are these ghosts that make this awful sound, and if you’ve seen the movies you know what I’m talking about.
I will not be watching this one again, but I am always looking for a good Halloween movie. I’m no film expert though. Luckily I work just down the hall from one.
“My name is John Norris. I’m a video producer here at Alaska Public Media but I also in my free time make short films, fun videos and I run the 48-hour film challenge here in Anchorage.”
WALDRON: So are you a fan of scary movies?
NORRIS: I’m a huge fan of scary movies. It’s the only type of movie where it’s fine if things don’t make sense. Like nobody questions it if someone runs upstairs when they could clearly run out of the house, because everyone agrees that the movie would be over if everybody made good decisions.
WALDRON: Let’s start with the obvious category. What movie scares you the most, John?
NORRIS: This movie called ‘The Descent’ that came out in 2005. It’s about a group of women who are spelunkers. So they’re spelunking, and they get lost in this cave system and it’s really creepy and scary because it’s just dark and claustrophobic the entire time.
WALDRON: How about the most original horror movie you’ve ever seen?
NORRIS: Peter Jackson, the director of ‘Lord of the Rings.’ Before he made the ‘Lord of the Rings’ he made a series of low-budget horror movies and one of them is called ‘Brain Dead’ where this New Zealander’s mother gets bitten by a Sumatran rat monkey. She gets an infection and turns into a zombie.
NORRIS: It’s the most insanely gory but funny movie ever. I highly recommend it.
WALDRON: Not everyone is a fan of scary movies, so what’s your recommendation for someone who wants a Halloween-themed movie but has more comedy and less terror.
NORRIS: You can’t go wrong with Young Frankenstein. That’s one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s got everything; it’s got Gene Wilder, it’s got Putting on the Ritz. That’s really all you need for Halloween.
NORRIS: Gene Wilder is just the most incredible actor of all time. Just incredibly dead pan and I just wish I could be Gene Wilder in most situations in my life.
WALDRON: OK, so you’ve watched a lot of local films, and judged quite a bit of them as well. How about the best Alaska-made scare flick?
NORRIS: I think ‘Moose: The Movie.’ It’s about a small Alaskan town menaced by a mooseataur, which is like a minotaur but more Alaskan. So if you can find it, it’s actually really funny and surprisingly well-made considering the resources they had. I know a lot of people that put a lot of work into it and it turned out really well.
WALDRON: So have you ever made a horror film yourself?
NORRIS: I made some short horror films. I made a short film about a standup comedian who gets heckled and then murders all of her hecklers.
WALDRON: Because you’re a standup comic, right?
NORRIS: I do that sometimes, yes.
WALDRON: So you were channeling some aggression maybe?
NORRIS: Absolutely, it’s a good release. Not a great film, but it was really fun to shoot. And making horror movies is one of the most fun things to do, because you get to play around with fake blood.