Yikes, I think I've successfully scared the bejesus out of myself tonight. I rewatched the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 10-11:30 tonight. I had to have ever light in living room on and I always kept feeling like someone was sneaking up behind me. I had to watch it wearing headphones because I didn't want Heidi (who is sleeping) to have to hear the screams and the revving of the chainsaws, etc. I think I've had just about enough chainsaw murder and mayhem for one 24 hour period.
It wasn't quite as scary as I remember it being from the first time I watched it (summer 1995) but it was still freaky. Something about those Vietnam-era horror movies that really worked. I just don't think that in our day and age they can really make something that can scare us on such a visceral level as that kind of stuff did back then. I mean, you could argue that I just spent an hour and a half watching utter rubbish and depravity (which would probably be true) but it's an example of cinema at its most raw. It's real, even though it isn't. There's just something about it. Night Of The Living Dead is the same way. Halloween is also in that same category, although rewatching it this last summer I realized how even though it was supposed to take place in Illinois, it was so California and California will never, no matter how hard it might try, pass for the Midwest.
I'm just on a scary film binge right now--I want to go out and rent Wrong Turn (admittedly part of it is the Eliza Dushku factor) even though it got absolutely horrific reviews. Sometimes I think that those types of movies are always going to get bad reviews, even if they might be effective films. There's a definite bias out there against horror. Done right, it can be very effective. Done poorly, it's merely laughable and disposable.
TCM (1974) is still a superior film to TCM (2003). But I'll have more commentary on that tomorrow, I'm sure.