Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks - Halloween Edition: Villainous Children


Is there anything scarier than a nutcase kid? I'll answer for you: No.

And I think I have some good picks this week. I tried to spread it around a bit. I have some horror. Some comedy. Some just crazy, exploitative harshness. And even a bonus.

So, welcome back to Thursday, my blogging friends, for an other entry in Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. This week, it's another Halloween Edition: Villainous Chidren-style.

Here are my picks:

Part I: Two of the Scariest Movies I've Ever Seen

The Omen (1976)
Dir. Richard Donner


An American diplomat (Gregory Peck) and his wife (Lee Remick) deal with the aftermath of miscarriage by adopting a newborn, and they call him Damien (strong name). Bad stuff happens. Scary stuff. Memorable stuff. A pattern emerges. The presence of this young child seems to bring upon said bad stuff. Is he the son of Satan? This is one of the most entertaining horror movies I've had the pleasure to watch. And, man, is that kid creepy.

Pet Sematary (1989)
Dir. Mary Lambert


Of all the horror movies I've seen, only two or three have made me too scared to fall asleep. This is one of them. The Creed family moves to a little home in Maine and begin experiencing some strange happenings as a result to their proximity to a nearby cemetery. The title itself is a play on the word cemetery itself, the word "sematic" (serving as a sign or warning of danger involving animals) and a misspelling by the youngest Creed child, Gage (the creepy awesome Miko Hughes), who will come into play in shockingly scary ways, after a tragedy.

Part II: A Comedy

Problem Child (1990)
Dir. Dennis Dugan


Okay. I know. I used the sequel a couple weeks ago for the Adoption theme. But, after a talk with my wife this morning, I just had to include this one. Michael Oliver plays Junior, who after reeking so much havoc with the nuns at his orphanage, and finding an attraction to a notorious bowtie-wearing criminal (Michael Richards), finds himself pawned off on a childless couple (John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck). He is a bad kid. He hits people in the nuts with baseball bats. Drives cars into sporting goods stores. And gives nary a f--k. But deep down, he's a good kid. Right?

Part III - Bonus Pick: A Really Bad Movie

The Good Son (1993)
Dir. Joseph Ruben


I'll let Roger Ebert's half-star review be my lead-in:

Who in the world would want to see this movie? Watching "The Good Son," I asked myself that question, hoping that perhaps the next scene would contain the answer, although it never did. The movie is a creepy, unpleasant experience, made all the worse because it stars children too young to understand the horrible things we see them doing.

The children he speaks of are Henry Evans (Macaulay Culkin) and his cousin, who just lost his mother, Mark (Elijah Wood). Well, one of them is really bad. The other is good. It's not really a clever title either. Or is it? Anyway, the crazy bad shit that Henry and Mark get into is so firmly etched in my memory I don't think I'll ever forget it. I really hope some of you have seen this movie.

17 comments:

  1. I have to disagree with Ebert on The Good Son. I love that movie. It's kind of terrible, but I always enjoy watching it. These are great picks, even Problem Child which I hate with a passion lol. It fits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just copy and paste Britt's comment and put my name on it because it fits my sentiments perfectly.

      Delete
    2. I'm with you both really. I find it highly entertaining. Just incredibly stupid and sort of in bad taste in some ways.

      Delete
  2. The Omen is of course a classic for good reason, and it's the only one of these I've seen. I've seen parts of Pet Semetary, though, enough to think that I wouldn't be able to make it through the whole thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously. Pet Semetary is fucking terrifying.

      Delete
  3. The kid sure looks angry, haha. I haven't seen Pet Sematary. Think that need changing. I have seen The Omen (both original and remake), Jerry Goldsmith's soundtrack is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Omen!! I expected that to be everywhere today and so far you're the first mention. Turns out Village of the Damned is the big title instead. Anyway yes this is one creepy unsettling film, the less said about the sequels the better, and that kid is perfectly cast. I've read he was a hellion behind the scenes as well. One thing this has that is lacking in so many others of this type is that old Hollywood glamour courtesy of Gregory Peck, who it seems crazy was fourth choice for the role after Charlton Heston, William Holden and Roy Scheider turned it down he's so perfect for the role and of course the effortlessly classy Lee Remick whom I adore. They add an aura of class to the film that puts it on another level than the common variety horror film.

    Your other picks are all super for the theme but well........I hate them all! I seem to be in the minority on Pet Sematary but as you said with The Good Son it's a bad movie and Culkin is dull in the lead. I'm pretty sure I mentioned I hated the first Problem Child as the reason I'd never seen the sequel.

    Mine lead more towards suspense this week rather than full out horror since I gravitate more towards that type film.

    The Other (1972)-Eerie chiller about identical twins Niles and Holland Perry and a string of "accidents" that befall their family tied to a game they play. Can the game be stopped? Filled with moody dread and excellent acting from the entire cast.

    The Children's Hour (1961)-Two young women friends, Karen and Martha (Audrey Hepburn & Shirley MacLaine), run an elite girl’s school with the assistance of Martha’s aunt. One of the girls is a vicious, cruel bully who when she is disciplined for tormenting the other children spreads a lie that ultimately devastates the lives of all involved. Based on a Lillian Hellman play that was considered scandalous in its day. Miriam Hopkins who plays the selfish aunt in this starred in the original watered down, but still good, film version in the 30’s called These Three in the role Shirley MacLaine plays here.

    The Innocents (1961)-Deborah Kerr stars as a governess in Victorian England who becomes convinced that the unnerving children in her charge are possessed by evil spirits and sets out to help them. Superb rendition of Henry James's novella The Turn of the Screw with a brilliant, award worthy performance by Kerr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more, Joel, with your comment about Gregory Peck here. He is so perfect. I can't believe he was 4th choice. What a joke! Though any of those other actors would've been suitable, I'd say.

      Yes. All of my other picks are pretty much bad movies, yet they each left a lasting impression on me as a boy. I'm sure they'd do the same for others.

      Your picks, well, I haven't seen any of them, but they all sound great. Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  5. Problem Child! I think I saw that one. LOL...haven't seen the rest of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the stupidest, most memorable childhood movie for me. Or at least one of them. You've never seen The Omen!!!!? Dude. Why? See it now. It's the right time of year.

      Delete
  6. The Good Son is everywhere today but not so much The Omen which I am surprised by-great pick and I was shocked to see Gregory Peck in this film but he and Remick and David Warner just bring this film up a few notches. I haven't seen Pet Sematary and unsure I will since I freak out easily. I think I'll skip problem Child since I am certain that kid needs a good spanking

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would've thought The Omen would be a big winner here as well. Great, totally frightening movie. Haha! Spanking. Most definitely.

      Delete
  7. Problem Child is definitely a fitting pick.
    That screencap of the kid in Pet Sematary looks a little Chucky-ish.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Omen is one of my favorite Halloween movies--that kid is absolutely nuts! This is a good list, and I disagree with Ebert's review of The Good Son...not my favorite movie, but not all that bad to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Courtney! The Omen is really the best. As for Ebert's review, I don't totally agree myself. I've always found The Good Son entertaining, if nothing else.

      Delete