[VIDEO REVIEWS]Anthology of Holloween MoviesHalloween, Oct. 31, is creeping closer. Dim the lights before watching one of these movie rentals, but make sure you are not alone.
*THE SHINING - Directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duval
Walking by snow-encrusted ski lodges at night may become unsettling after watching this 1980 horror classic by Stanley Kubrick. Jack Nicholson gives a disturbing performance as Jack Torrance, a writer who is slowly possessed by supernatural spirits.
Mr. Torrance accepts a winter job as a caretaker at Hotel Overlook. He brings his wife Wendy and his son Danny to this beautiful, vacant hotel located on a distant moutain. It turns out that the hotel is not empty, but populated by various spirits.
Horrific images of the supernatural and the intimate view into the breakdown of the Torrance family relationship builds up to a horrific tale.
* BLAIR WITCH PROJECT - Directed by Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick, starring Heather Donahue, Michael Williams and Joshua Leonard
"In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found." This ominous statement hooks viewers onto the terrifying world of "The Blair Witch Project."
The movie shows footage from the three students' search for the Blair Witch. After interviewing several locals about the legend of a witch in the Black Hills Forest, the three students proceed to search for the witch. They get lost and events take an unexpected turn.
What makes this movie compelling is the manner in which it was shot - as a "mockumentary," a mock documentary, with footage that resembles amatuer camcorder recordings. Watch it on an empty stomach; the footage is often chaotic and jarring.
* SLEEPY HOLLOW - Directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci
Director Tim Burton creates a visual feast in "Sleepy Hollow." The movie is loosely based on Washington Irving's legendary yarn "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," but Mr. Burton's version does not generate the horrific thrills of the story.
Ichabod Crane, played by Johnny Depp, is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate several murders. The locals blame the carnage on the Headless Horseman; the spectre takes the severed heads of his victims as trophies. Crane firmly rejects any supernatural explanations and searches for the killer admist small town intrigues.
While the opening scenes are exciting, the movie degenerates into formulaic script with an overdose of flat characters, becoming little more than a parody of horror films.