Movies Featuring Our Favorite and Scariest ITs Over the Years

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The latest version of Stephen King’s IT has creeped into theaters and it looks like we finally have a high profile, studio-produced horror movie that’s actually worth watching. Audiences love it, critics love it, even I pretty much love it, as my own brief, but glowing review attests to.

The Guardian’s James Smythe suggests one of the reasons IT has resonated with so many people over the years is that King “wasn’t writing about the one thing that scared you; he was writing about everything that did… That’s why, in the 30 years since publication, the public’s obsession with It hasn’t really waned. We’re obsessed because we all have fears… This book speaks to everybody.”

Sure, I’ll buy that. But while we’re all listening to IT speak to our darkest fears, let us not forget that IT is hardly the only IT to ever grace a movie screen. There have, in fact, been lots of ITs over the years, each one addressing at least one particular fear. Here’s some of our favorites…

It Came From Outer Space

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE

Our first IT comes from 1953, courtesy of director Jack Arnold and author Ray Bradbury.

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Kill Me Please

Kill Me Please: Not Quite Horror, But Horrifying in the End

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All the signs of a horror movie are there. A high school full of nubile young ladies who while away the hours thinking about, talking about, and otherwise engaging in the act of sex. A mysterious, unnamed killer who is dispatching them one by one as they enter the park for clandestine meetings. Oh, and blood. Don’t forget the blood. All the necessary ingredients are present. And yet Kill Me Please isn’t really horror, not in the traditional sense. It’s more like what you would get if Sofia Coppola had grown up in South America and decided to make a slasher movie set there.

This is not to say Anita Rocha da Silveira simply apes Coppola’s filmmaking style. No, for a first time feature director, de Silveira has a strong individual voice all her own. But there is a similarity in the ethereal approach to the subject matter, as well as the way the film unwaveringly stays focused on the small gaggle of girls that makes up its main cast. So focused, in fact, that not a single person older than college-age ever appears onscreen, not even th epolice, who never bother to show up to investigate the growing body count.

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Horror Movies and the History of Eclipse Hysteria

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Unless you’re some kind of C.H.U.D. who dwells deep beneath the surface of the Earth where the existence of the Sun remains a mystery, then you’re no doubt aware of the upcoming total solar eclipse. They’re a funny thing, eclipses. While there have been documented efforts to study them scientifically going all the way back to China circa 2560 B.C., more often than not, early explanations tended towards the fantastical. And, as you might guess, those are the types of theories Hollywood has been quick to exploit. That’s fine, though, as it allows us to explore the history of eclipse related superstitions and watch movies at the same time.

Pitch Black

PITCH BLACK

For whatever reason, most ancient peoples appear to have blamed eclipses on hungry celestial beings taking a bite out of ol’ Sol. For the Chinese it was dragons; for the Hindus it was the flying severed head of Rahu. As for the Aztecs, the diary of a priest on the scene claims they believed demons to be responsible, demons who needed to be satiated with human sacrifices lest they come down to Earth to find their meals.

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Sharksploitation: Film and Our Fear of the Deep

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Well, The Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week is winding down, 47 Meters Down should be disappearing from theaters any minute now, and Sharknado 5 is still a week away. Fret not, though. Thanks to Jaws, we fans of Selachimorpha still have plenty of sharksploitation out there to keep us up to our gills in our fang-toothed finny friends.

Sharksploitation? Absolutely. You see, after Spielberg’s breakout hit made its big splash (bwah ha ha… ha… ha… heh… sorry, I won’t do that again) in 1975, movie makers the world over did what they do best… they saw a chance to make a fast buck. Immediately, from all corners of the earth, Jaws rip offs began to inundate  the big screen. The age of sharksploitation was upon us.

But let’s face it, not everybody who steps behind the camera is a Spielberg. So instead of offering up iconic imagery or characters you could care about, the rip offs simply ramped up the exploitative elements by increasing the amount of bloody shark attacks, decreasing the amount of clothing worn by the actors, and throwing in arbitrary subplots requiring lots of guns and explosives.

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8 Movie Masks Guaranteed to Haunt Your Dreams

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According to JobMonkey.com, the average salary for a summer camp counselor is approximately $230 per week. That doesn’t seem like a whole lot of dough considering all of the hard work, rotten kids, and bad food counselors have to put up with. And then, of course, there’s the occasional visit from this guy…

jason

It’s not even necessary to provide his name, is it? All you need to see is that hockey mask and you immediately know it’s Jason Voorhees. The same could be said for guys like Michael Myers or Ghostface. But not every mask from the movies is as immediately recognizable. Dig a little deeper into the horror genre and you’ll find plenty of other fearsome facades whose wearers may not be household names, but whose covered countenances will give you just as many nightmares as their more famous brethren.

masks chaney

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925)

Thanks to the popularity of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical and it’s instantly recognizable poster art, most people forget about the disguise worn by the granddaddy of all mask wearing movie maniacs, Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera.

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