Ferndale Library Staff Recommends: Ed's Favorite Horror Flicks

Another round of personal picks presented for your consideration of recreational/enlightening engagement by the staff at the Ferndale Library. This week, Head Reference Librarian (and Interim Library Director) Ed Burns kicks off "scary movie s

Ed's our in-house cinephile; the go-to authority on almost anything, whether it's masterpieces, under-the-radar gems, foreign films...but particularly, he's got a keen sensibility for the horror genre. 

Perfect timing, since Autumn starts this weekend - (and we're already seeing Halloween decorations inside drug stores and even on our neighbors' front porches). Time to get in the mood for Halloween...

And that means scary movies! Here's Ed Burns' favorite flicks:


Ed's Picks

By Ed Burns - Head Reference Librarian and Interim Library Director

It’s not too soon to start thinking about Halloween. There are a lot of decisions to make. What kind of candy will you give out? What sort of costume will you wear? What scary movies will you watch?

You’re on your own with the first two. But, perhaps I can help with the movie choices. Below are a few of my favorites, all of which are part of the Ferndale Public Library’s DVD collection.

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

This is a nifty little thriller. Jodie Foster plays a worldly 13-year old who lives in a secluded house with her father. Or does she? Things get dicey for the plucky youngster when she has to thwart her prying landlady and fend off the advances of a creepy Martin Sheen. The stars of the film are kids. But it’s definitely for grownups.

Some Guy Who Kills People (2011)

I recently stumbled upon this newer one. It’s about a schlub who was brutalized as a teenager by a group of his peers. He’s now an adult, living with his harridan mother and working a dead-end job. And, the guys who bullied him are meeting with grisly ends. It worked for me as a slasher film and a character study. It features a hilarious Barry Bostwick and the always sublime Karen Black.

Cemetery Man (1994)

Before Rupert Everett became "the gay best friend," he was a zombie-fighting caretaker in a graveyard where the customers are returning from the dead. The end of Cemetery Man might leave you shaking your head a bit. But getting there is a gory, sexy hoot. And, Rupert looks pretty good in a towel, if you like that sort of thing.

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane (1962)

Though it’s more psycho-drama than horror, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane is perfect Halloween fare. You’ve got Bette Davis in a fright wig and pancake make-up terrorizing the wheelchair-bound Joan Crawford in their dilapidated house. Throw in a couple of strategically placed dead animals and… Hmmm. Maybe it is a horror movie. For sure it’s great campy fun.

The Horror of Dracula (1958)

You can keep your pretty boy Twilight vampires. Give me Christopher Lee as Dracula. I first saw Lee playing the legendary bloodsucker when I was 10 years old. Four decades later, watching him take the castle stairs two at a time with his cape flowing behind him still thrills me. Lee made numerous Dracula movies for Hammer Films from the 50s through the 70s. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. But start with the first, Horror of Dracula.

Psycho (1960)

If when you get to the library, you find that someone has nabbed those movies, try one of these: Psycho. For better or worse, Anthony Perkins never could shake his connection with Norman Bates. It really is one of the all-time great screen performances though. Oh. There’s also that shower scene.

Alien (1979)

A Sci-fi film you say? No. It’s a horror flick.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

It doesn’t get much more chilling. I also recommend the novel by Ira Levin. It gave me nightmares when I read it as a teen.

And if those are checked out, come talk to me. I’ve got plenty more I can recommend.

Happy Halloween!


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