It’s cruel, really – we were all just getting over the spookiness of Halloween (was it just me or was it extra scary this year????) when we get with an even SPOOKIER day: Friday the Thirteenth. Often, the day sneaks up on you, and you don’t realize that it’s coming until it’s already Thursday the 12th. By then, it’s too late!!
But this Friday the 13th, I think I’d like to change. Instead of being up the whole night before, too scared to sleep, I’d rather be up all night, too excited to sleep, planning a really great themed party for all my friends and neighbors to enjoy! That’s why I’ve picked my favorite, non-mainstream horror movies to play on continuous loop on a cracked iPod Touch mounted on my wall while my guests are given bowls of tepid spaghetti to sink their fingers into and shots of pure grenadine, flavored with iron, to enjoy. A warning – make sure you get at least a couple of RSVP’s to the party before you decide to screen these, cause you’re definitely not gonna wanna try to watch them alone!!
Movie #1: Monster’s Inc (Disney Pixar, 2001)
This film takes place in a parallel universe, where the systematic terrorization of children is committed by horrible mutants who have been taught to exploit the space-time continuum in order to taunt innocent earthlings. When a human child is accidentally transported to the hellscape, it is up to two comically shaped, bumbling colleagues to bring her home before she is harvested by the others. A twist ending as well as a brilliantly composed musical number takes a bit of the edge out of this film, but make no mistake – it will surely keep you up tonight!
Movie #2: Scooby Doo (Warner Brothers, 2002)
To up the scare factor, the classic mystery-horror cartoon has been artfully translated into a live-action, 86-minute long fearfest. The iconic gang of self-sacrificing yet deliciously flawed investigators, who are reunited by chance following a scandal which ripped the group apart and forced them all into seclusion on a tropic-island-theme-park, are forced into action after members of the group have been possessed by an ancient malevolent spirit. The internal struggles of the team are just as harrowing as the external forces which they feebly attempt to combat: will Fred’s paralyzing sense of self-importance and Daphne’s crippling materialism and preoccupation with body image keep the two lovers apart forever? Will Scooby be able to help his best friend and guardian Shaggy through his unspoken yet obvious marijuana addiction? Or will Mr. Bean succeed in his plot to kill them all? Also, when is Velma gonna realize that her myopia impedes her clue-finding and crime-solving skills and just buy a freaking pair of contacts?
Movie #3: SB-129 (“Spongebob Squarepants” on Nickelodeon; 1999)
“FUUUUTURE. FUUUUTURE.” The beleaguered cry of protagonist Squidward Tentacles that inspired a wave of existential crisis and self-aware ennui that infected a generation. The only place scarier than the desolate, entirely chrome world that present-day Squidward has been unfrozen in by futurebeing Spongetron is the unending oblivion he is transported to after trying to jump himself back to the past in the Krusty Krab’s trusty time machine. All because he simply wanted a little peace and quiet on a Sunday to practice his clarinet.
Movie #4: Fred: The Movie (Lionsgate, 2010)
Never actually saw this made-for-TV movie, but simply the idea of it makes me shiver with regret about all the time I spent in middle school watching the aggressively unfunny YouTube series. Also, John Cena and Pixie Lott in the same movie???
Movie #5: Chef Boyardee “But I Love Chef” advertisement (2004)
This short film, often overlooked due to its obvious commercial overtones but still a brilliant piece of cinema, recounts the tale of tragically young girl, haunted by her addiction, is tempted by her old vice: beefy ravioli. Her mother, once her enabler but since reformed, intervenes before her baby girl can relapse. However, in a nightmarish suspension of disbelief, an animate manifestation of the drug traverses nearly fatal conditions to find its way to the girl once again, unbeknownst to her protector. A cruel and heartrending tale of earnest struggle and bitter failure, the self-destructive joy the young girl feels at the end of the film is often mirrored by the audience as well, who may even feel tempted themselves to indulge in the sinful escape of canned marinara and ground beef. A sincere warning: this film may perhaps awaken deviant desires in you that you had never felt before.