Friday, January 21, 2011

Paranormal & Sci-Fi Movies

The promoter of an upcoming public relations event in Jackson, MS, on February 12 has invited our Team to have a vendor table and do a Q&A panel in order to represent Paranormal Investigations.  The theme of the February Fright Festival (F3) is the Horror genre - both in Literature and Movies.  We have invited our buddies at MSSPI to take part in that with us.  So, I have been diligently preparing myself by making sure I'm "up" on the latest paranormal movies.  To be truthful - I am far behind!  I absolutely love movies, and I have a significant collection of them in my prized DVD Library.  My close friends will tell you I quote lines from movies all the time.  (I think I drive them nuts with it actually.  Such as: "Jenny taught me how to read and I taught her how to dangle!")

However, with that being said, the "horror" film genre has never been one that I particularly liked at all.  I mean, once you've seen one movie in which the squealing young female survives the wholesale onslaught of the monster or the bad guy, while all of the strong, grown men are slaughtered - you've seen them all.  Sorry, but that just isn't believable to me.  Also, there is a difference between "startle" and "scare."  These movies have never scared me because they are just so ridiculous and unrealistic.  So, I'm still refusing to watch the boring and ridiculous "slash n' gash" movies.  You may love 'em, but it sure isn't what I consider entertainment.  I need more of a mental exercise. 

So, armed with that thought, I have done quite a bit of research online lately in developing a list I'm working through to get caught up in the more significant and classic paranormal and Sci-Fi movies of the last 30 or 40 years or so.  I even opened a Netflix account, have many of them queued up, and so I've been working through them one-by-one: watching them while munching on popcorn. Hey, I like this kind of research!

The movies I've seen very recently are:  1408; Paranormal Activity; The Entity; The Exorcism of Emily Rose; The Others; & White Noise. I have actually done quite a bit of research in the past on the Anneliese Michel case on which the Exorcism of Emily Rose was based upon, including listening to actual recordings of her possession. Watching the movie The Entity triggered a new round of my research in the Michel case, as well as looking into the case of Doris Bither, the real "Carla Moran" of the movie The Entity.  Bither died in 1995 of pulmonary arrest.  Her son, Brian Harris, has recorded an interview about his experiences when he was a child of what was going on in the house and with his mother.  Lastly, I am becoming somewhat of a self-proclaimed expert in the real The Exorcist case, which did not involve a teenage girl, but was a boy.  I actually know his real name and lot of details about his case in St. Louis that most people might be shocked to know (such as that the entire case started with the use of a Ouija Board).  So, I'm trying to do my homework!

Of course, I have seen many other of these type of movies and even own many of them, such as: Ghost; The Sixth Sense; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Signs; The Exorcist; the Alien series; Poltergeist; The Shining; Minority Report; The Omen series; even The Ghost & Mr. Chicken!  I've seen oldies such as Night of the Living Dead; Psycho, The Legend of Hell House; some of the Star Trek movies and War of the Worlds.  I'm sure I've seen many more but just can't think of them right now.  It's not like I'm totally out of the loop.

So, what have I not seen that you think was either good, or is a significant movie?  I have the following in my Netflix queue to watch soon: Jacob's Ladder; The Mothman Prophecies; Don't Look Now; The Dead Zone; The Gift; The Innocents; and The Uninvited.  Please do not suggest movies like Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street.  Sorry, but those movies are crap (IMHO).  Give me something with a respectable plot and that does NOT involve a chain saw or an axe! I know the upcoming Festival is on the "horror" genre, but I can only take so much!  I'm lookin' for movies the quality of Ghost, Signs, Sixth Sense, etc. that I may not have seen and slipped under my radar.

So, what do you think?  Help me out here!  What am I missing - What do you suggest? 


  1. Have you seen The Changeling (1980)? George C. Scott plays a man who lost his wife and child and moves into an old mansion haunted by "the spirit of a murdered child who has homed in on [his] despair and uses him to uncover decades of silence and deceit." - Here's the trailer:

    I would be fascinated to hear more about the Anneliese Michel case. The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of the only movie that has truly scared me and still does. Maybe it was because I related to Emily and to the lawyer or because it is more modern and targeted for my generation (unlike The Exorcist), but I definitely slept with a light on and a Bible that night.

    - Lauren S.

  2. Thanks Lauren,
    I've added The Changeling to my list! It looks promising. I'll do a post soon on the Anneliese Michel possession and exorcism. She died during the exorcism from what the medical examiner said was malnutrition. It's a very controversial case, but one that I personally believe has an amazing ending, despite the authorities finding the priests involved (as well as her parents) guilty of negligent homicide.

  3. Angela L-msspi comments:

    Angela wrote: "Besides the ones you already had listed on your blog, here are a few of my suggestions for ghost and paranormal related movies Afterlife - Christina Ricci & Liam Neeson excellent & creepy The Orphanage- this one is subtitled but was very easy to follow and I was so into the movie , I forgot I was reading it LOL The Machinist with Christian Bale also excellent movie MIrrors with Keifer Sutherland An American Haunting- Donald Sutherland about the Bell Witch Silent Hill,not my favorite but Tony loves it LOL Dorothy Mills (this one is about an excorcism) The New Daughter with Mel Bibson was good, The Return with Sarah Michelle Gellar Pulse 1-2-3 all very creepy The Fourth Kind..about Alien Abduction...not my favorite but it was ok The Others- one of my favorites and Sixth Sense of course Any of the Booth Brothers movies & paranormal Documentaries- Children of the Grave (my Fav) Shutter, this one was great, I loved the ending! Hope that helps and you have plenty of popcorn LOL"