I have to say I love Autumn. I’m not made for summer. In fact, I have the opposite of seasonal affective disorder in which individuals become depressed during the winter when there is a limited amount of sunlight. I, like vampires, feel repelled by the sun. Yeah, okay, so I love the beach, but summer weather is for vacations. Living day to day during those hot summer months in Manhattan, walking to and from work, sweating like a pig is not fun. Keep your hot weather, short pants and long days where the sun sets after 8 pm. Give me cool crisp September mornings, orange and yellow leaves scattered on the ground and bowls full of hot creamy soup. I want to wear hats, scarves, and other clothes that conceal my body. Summer to me is nudity with sunscreen. By August I feel like a walking chicken cutlet.
What I love most about the fall is Halloween. Hands down it is my favorite holiday of the year. I always loved dressing up in costumes as a child. Then as a teenager and young adult I created my own characters and make up effects. At an early age I even learned how to use latex thanks to special effects pioneer Tom Savini. NO, he didn’t tutor me personally, but I watched his documentary repeatedly. In my twenties, I made my own horror movies, casting my friends and creating my own gory special effects. Boy, do I miss slitting Janice Anastasio’s throat against my parent’s oak tree or dismembering Karen Lassen with a garage door. We had so much fun back then.
I still dress up for Halloween. This year I’m going as silver Evil Knievel. Chad is going as the gold version.
But more than anything, I grew up loving and fearing horror movies. And so I have put together a list of my top ten and in no particular order. Let me know if you agree or disagree.
1. The Exorcist – Still to this day this movie is like no other. How they got a young Linda Blair to do those things, I’ll never know.
2.The Birds – Yes, I know you would have said Psycho, but watch it again. Hitchcock didn’t even use music, only the sound of those horrible birds.
3. The Changeling – (with George C. Scott not Angelina Jolie) Never before was a grown man terrorized by a little red ball.
4. The Shinning – Forget Jack Nicholson. It was all about those creepy twin girls.
5. Suspiria – Who could forget the trailer with the girl brushing her hair singing, “Roses are red. Violets are blue…” The first time I sat through it I nearly puked. Dario Argento is a master at creating elaborate death sequences that are gory and at the same time wonderfully artful, almost beautiful.
6. Halloween - The original is a classic. Jamie Lee Curtis screaming up at Tommy’s bedroom window to let her in still makes me writhe in my seat.
7. Texas Chainsaw Massacre -Two words – “meat hook”
8. Jaws – That little boy getting eaten on a raft nearly put me in a coma.
9. Alien – Space never felt so futuristic and frightening. Even at the very end, I swore that cat was not to be trusted.
10. Nosferatu – This classic vampire tale left me haunted. The visuals are stunning. Isabel Adjani walking the beach was like watching a Monet.
Honorable mentions go to ‘Salem’s Lot, The Others, Sixth Sense, Carrie, The Legacy, The Fury, The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Sentinel.