Unpopular opinion: I hate scary movies. I’m the friend at your movie night that buries herself beneath a plush blanket, with one eye peaking out and braving to watch. On the other hand, my friends are completely immune to jump scares, gore and violence, and so from time to time I’m drawn in. Despite my rabid fear of scary movies, I’ve come to respect some of the horror, though I usually question why I watched it in the first place. Here are five horror movies I love to hate, and hate to love.
- Hate to Love: ‘The Platform’
I couldn’t even get myself to Google search this movie again. I haven’t had nightmares in a long time, but after watching The Platform–or El Hoyo–I needed a nightlight. The Platform takes an inside look on the lives of prisoners used in a social experiment that only they are truly aware of.
Think of a skyscraper. There are over 200 floors, and each floor has a prison cell with two inmates. Each cell has a rectangular hole where a levitating platform slowly descends from floor to floor. What’s on the platform, you ask? A buffet of escargot and scallops and panna cotta and cheesecake and chicken wings and garden salad, where one cell’s leftovers become the next floor’s feast. No matter how much I abhor this movie, I value the message it shares. There are over 200 floors. By the 75th floor, there is no food left and each inmate below must resort to barbaric and cannibalistic actions to survive. Through their failure to ration, they put other floors at risk of starvation, which speaks to food insecurities and the massive amounts of food waste we produce. The film points a finger to our selfishness when it comes to essential needs, which even reflects in the current climate.
- Love to Hate: ‘Friday the 13th’ (2009)
Friday th 13th tells a chilling story about college kids who are slowly killed off by a masked killer, Jason Voorhees, while spending spring break in the woods. I saw the movie for the first time this year, and finally understood that Friday the 13th was his birthday. After watching the film, I was disappointed to understand that this is the movie that made Friday the 13th so famous. It’s a nearly identical plot to Cabin in the Woods–only worse–about questionable teens who run out in the woods for no reason, and walk into strange basements in the middle of the night. It’s a classic that I can’t stand.
- Hate to Love: ‘A Quiet Place’
Each sound made can mean life or death, from the beeps of a toy plane to the shrieks of fireworks. With a world run by creatures that pray on sound, the Abbott family must laugh, cry and speak in silence to stay alive. Despite the simplistic plot, the film pays attention to the great detail that goes into living silently, from laying sand over dried leaves to lighting candles. It also reveals how to produce a successful film with little to no script. The film casts Millicent Simmonds, a deaf teen actress, who helped teach the other actors to use sign language. Don’t get me wrong, the film is terrifying–especially when the mother has to give birth–but it establishes a creative plot that I’ve never seen before.
- Love to Hate: ’47 Meters Down’
In words, 47 Meters Down has an interesting plot. I give it an A for effort. In the movie, two girls go on a frugal tour in Mexico where they get to “swim” with sharks. What a delight! Once they’re lowered into the cage and circled by the snakes of the sea, things quickly turn sour. The cage separates from the boat and they descend to the ocean floor, losing oxygen with every second. When I saw it in theaters, they made us stare aimlessly into the deep for 30 seconds for jump scares. In terms of shark movie thrillers, it can’t quite compete with Jaws, but at least they gave it a shot.
- Hate to Love: ‘Get Out’
The release of Get Out was legendary. This film documents the story of an interracial couple, Chris (who is black) and Rose (who is white), as they go to meet Rose’s family. Throughout their stay, everything is slightly strange, with unexplainable behavior by the family’s house staff and friends. In the end, it’s revealed that the family makes brain transfusions with each of Rose’s black male partners that she brings home, going to the highest bidder. They take the brain of the wealthy winner and place it in the body of Rose’s current partner, like new. The film slyly alludes to the unintentional racist behavior within society – that has quickly become the norm in Rose’s family. I’m obsessed with scary movies with deeper meanings. The film is twisted, which makes it a difficult movie to watch, but I applaud the director, Jordan Peele, for his work.