Choose suspense, thrillers over splatterfest

By Mike Haynes

Student Media Advisor


I don’t understand the mania the past couple of decades for blood-and-gore movies. To me, they’re just blood and gore, not very creative and aiming for the lowest common denominator in human taste.

When you see one chainsaw dripping with blood, you’ve seen them all.

If you want quality, you have to seek out true suspense, the type of story that keeps you guessing – not the tired plot where you know the teenage girl is going to be grabbed from behind or the smart-aleck guy will get an ax in the head.

The master of true suspense was Alfred Hitchcock with such classics as The Birds (1963) and Psycho (1960). Yes, Psycho involved a crazy murderer and a stabbing in the shower, but you see almost nothing of the actual killings. It’s the suspense that gets you.

Movies involving satanic or demonic activity often creep me out, especially when that repetitive music of multiple loud voices is cued up. Examples are The Exorcist (1973) and The Omen (1976).

Psycho still might be the movie that scares me the most, but I’ll have to place another 1960s film ahead of it for sheer creepiness. It’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968), starring Mia Farrow as a young, pregnant New Yorker who finds herself in an increasingly hellish situation. Who knew a group of senior citizens could be so terrifying? The movie was directed by Roman Polanski, who has a certain creep factor himself, but that came later.

Rosemary’s Baby involves the occult and the ultimate in satanic connections, but I don’t want to give away any more than that. After you’ve seen it, you won’t look at a baby carriage the same way again.

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