Wednesday, October 16, 2013

5 Bloodcurdling Birthdays

Before Carmageddon 2013 happened and I ended up on a week-long quest for a less crappy used car than the one I was perilously driving, I had a birthday.

Many of my friends are at the stage of life where they don't necessarily do anything major to celebrate. If they do, it's with their spouse, family, a couple of close friends maybe. Welcome to the 30+ club, I guess. I, on the other hand, coordinate something every year. Lately it's been game nights, which have been extremely fun. My theory is: I've had some really shitty birthdays. I've had some really shitty years of not having real friends, of being really lonely, and I still have a hard time reaching out to people because of all of that. So, being an adult with a nice group of really awesome friends, I've totally earned my right to surround myself with all the people I like at least once a year. You know, in person. As in, not on Facebook.

So I had a fantastic birthday with fantastic people, fantastic games, food and beverages.

But as most life events do, it got me wondering about birthdays in horror. What were some of the absolute worst birthdays on film? Here are my top 5, in a general order of how creepy I find them.

5: Scream 3

If you haven't already seen it, and for some reason you still care about me spoiling the ending, avert your eyes. It's considered the worst of the series, so if you haven't watched it yet you're probably not going to. I still like it despite its flaws. The killer reveal and motive were way better than the fourth-- YEAH I SAID IT, HOLD ON-- because I absolutely hated Emma Roberts' performance in the kitchen towards the end of 4. In my opinion, it felt amateurish. She just couldn't sell it. I also couldn't stand the "Marcia Marcia Marcia!" motive. It was a repeat of the third movie anyhow, and Scott Foley did such a better job. I'm rambling off-topic, my apologies, I'm a big SCREAM fan so I have strong opinions.

My point is, the action in the third movie really ramps up the night of Roman Bridger's birthday (played by Scott Foley). Secrets are revealed, tricks are discovered, bodies start dropping like flies. Then we find out that not only is Roman the killer, he's Sidney's half-brother, thanks to Mom getting raped by a bunch of sleazy producers and directors during her brief stint in Hollywood. So for his birthday, Roman tries to kill his sister, gets the crap beaten out of him, an ice pick to the chest, and then shot in the head. That's pretty bad. Not too scary since he was the killer, but still... not a pleasant way to celebrate.

4: The Omen

What do you want for your birthday, Damien? What's that? You'd like your nanny to hang herself in front of your entire birthday party? I think Daddy can handle that, you wait right here...

Not that it fazed Damien, but suicides are a real party-killer. That kid was creepy as hell, too.

3: House on Haunted Hill (1959) or (1999)

This applies to both the original and the remake, since they kept the basic plot in the 1999 version. Guy's wife keeps trying to kill him, so he throws her the birthday she definitely doesn't want in hopes of either driving her off, or at least having a few witnesses if she finally finishes the job. Bonus that everyone gets some creepy fun in the meantime. She turns the tables and fakes her own death, framing her husband. But she doesn't count on the House having its way with her and the rest of the party once all of its bloodthirsty spirits get riled up.

This kind of thing does spook me quite a bit, although I wouldn't say it's horrifying. But that's why I like haunted house stories, they're creepy and spooky and delightful. I want to watch them over and over again for the thrill. The next two movies terrify me for different reasons, and I avoid watching them unless I'm feeling the need for an adrenaline rush.

2: Last House on the Left

As much as I love supernatural horror, I often find myself more frightened by the depths of human depravity. Running into rapists, murderers, even the rarer whacked out, serial killer psycho is at least possible; moreso than say, being mutilated by a scary Japanese ghost girl.

In LAST HOUSE, Mari and Phyllis plan to see a concert for Mari's seventeenth birthday. While looking for some weed before the show, they're abducted by escaped convicts who put them through hell.

1: Child's Play

The only reason CHILD'S PLAY is in the number one spot is because Chucky sort of... terrifies me. I've had vivid nightmares about that doll. I also once had one of those dolls that talked and moved and fed when you pressed a button. Thanks to some cousins messing around with it too much, its hair ended up looking... kind of like his, but blonde. She was actually referred to as Chucky's girlfriend. One night years after I'd stopped playing with her (and she'd stopped working, as far as we knew) some friends and I found her in my parents' basement and were goofing around with her. Later that night while my friends were leaving, the doll sat in front of me on the kitchen table. Out of nowhere it started moving and talking, and I threw it across the room. Say what you want, but I swear on the Are Your Afraid of the Dark Midnight Society that the doll hadn't worked in years, that the power switch was off, and that I had not touched the button that would have caused it to talk or move.

Anyway, if you recall, in CHILD'S PLAY Andy Barclay receives Chucky for his birthday. Thankfully no one has of yet tried to prank me by giving me any sort of Chucky doll for my birthday. If they do, I'm burning the son of a bitch in a trash can before he can get me.

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