A great theme for your next scheduled binge-fest. Neither Hannibal Lecter nor the Saw guy made the cut (ha!), so who do you have to be scared of? Look out now...

The Scorpio Killer, "Dirty Harry" (1971) - When even Clint Eastwood acknowledges the magnitude of the cold-blooded depravity Scorpio is capable of, you know you're in for a great 90-minute popcorn fest. Andrew Robinson's portrayal of the madman is one of cinema's best ever psycho-performances, so convincing that the actor's barely been seen or heard from again. Can't top insane perfection; when he says "I'm going to let her die...", you feel like vomiting. Well done.

Peter and Paul, "Funny Games" (2007) - Great cast with Naomi Watts and Tim Roth, but it's the unknown Michael Pitt and Bradey Corbert as clean cut, good looking, well dressed, weirdly polite college boys out to torture a family in one beyond-excrutiating evening of unbearable fear. The film is controversial, no doubt: it could be an exercise in torture-porn or an intricate dissertation of how media treats violence. Either way, one of the most shrewdly intense suspense films ever made. These boys will creep you out days after you (regret) watching this one.

Uncle Charlie, "Shadow Of A Doubt" (1943) - Alfred Hitchcock picked the best casts for his best work and having a Hollywood legend like Joseph Cotten portray a serial killer hiding out at his sister's home and hanging with the definition of good-old-All-American family is unsettling to say the least. Aren't you supposed to be happy your favorite Uncle is coming to stay for a while? Nope.

Max Cady, "Cape Fear" (1991) - Robert DeNiro earned a well deserved yet uncomfortable Best Actor nomination as an ex-con looking for revenge on his lawyer (Nick Nolte) by making dubious connections with his wife and daughter (Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis). Essentially, it's DeNiro as a human terminator: he cannot, and will not, be stopped from executing his revenge. After seeing this in the theatre, we went home and locked all the doors and windows and hoped for the best. Pretty chilling portrayal of pure evil here.

The Reverend Harry Powell, "Night Of The Hunter" (1955) - Yeah, say, ain'tcha supposed to be able to trust a "man of the cloth"? Robert Mitchum's best movie has him playing a minister-turned-serial-killer looking to steal $10,000 hidden in a little girls doll. If you thought the kids hiding from the dinosaurs in "Jurrasic Park" was nerve-wracking, you probably won't like what Mitchum has in store for the Shelley Winters clan. That this is in black-and-white ultimately only makes it more terrifying, a lost gem for sure.

So, who frightens you in your dreams? That's entertainment!!!


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