Scary movies are a lot like funny movies - they either really work or they're a complete flop. The problem with a lot of scary movies is that they're just scary to be scary, lacking a real plot or character development or involvement. Comedian Jon Pinette has often commented that the happy, fat guy in a scary movie is usually killed-off second or third, which is usually true.


I was six years old when the movie "Poltergeist" was released and that movie messed me up as a kid, maybe because Carol Anne was about the same age as me. Trees trying to eat people, a muddy swimming pool with dead bodies, clowns being elevated to an even freakier level, and more, not to mention the real-life "Poltergeist curse" that accompanied the movie's crew and stars. "Poltergeist" was named the 20th scary movie ever made by the Chicago Film Critics Association and rightfully so. "Poltergeist" turns 30 years old next year and there is talk about a remake, however, nothing will ever match the original.



My all-time favorite movie happens to be one of the most legendary films ever made: "Psycho." A brilliantly simple film that clashes two completely independent plots into one of the most memorable movie scenes ever filmed, Marion Crane's murder.



Of course, I can't write about my favorite scary movies without including one of the best worst scary movies ever made: the 1962 Herk Harvey classic, "Carnival of Souls." The entire movie was reportedly produced and directed for under $35,000, and shot in about three weeks. It is, to this day, the only movie that I've ever seen that doesn't have a beginning -- it just starts. The film's score is entirely organ music, which does add to the weirdness of the film. While I say this is one of the best worst scary movies ever made, I'm not knocking it. The editing is choppy and the audio isn't quite right in some spots, but it successfully creeps you out while not being a blood-and-guts horror film. There are three cuts of the film, the longest at 91 minutes. In fact, the entire film can be found on YouTube since it was never copyrighted.