Halloween is almost upon us and you’re probably thinking, “Gee, wouldn’t it be great to kick back on the couch and rent a few conservative horror flicks for the big night?”
Here’s the problem: horror films aren’t family friendly. They’re gory, they’re violent, and they’re vulgar. Even setting that aside, there really aren’t very many “conservative” movies overall and there are almost no truly “conservative” horror flicks. Still, as a Right-Wing horror film aficionado, I can at least make a few solid recommendations that might have some extra-added appeal for conservatives.
Cloverfield (2007): This is probably the best “giant-monster” film ever made. The monster was well done, the scenes were creepy, and there was a certain realness and fundamental decency to the characters. This is how you’d like to think ordinary people would react in a crisis. Meanwhile, the military was in the thick of the action, bravely fighting against the Cloverfield monster and handling an impossible situation the best way they could. It was ultimately a grim movie, but once things started rolling, the film keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The Dead Zone (1983): Christopher Walken is the lead in this Stephen King story about a deranged politician and the man who was willing to sacrifice everything to try to stop him from launching a nuclear war.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005): This is a cleverly written film that simultaneously treats Christian values respectfully, while leaving non-believers room to doubt. It was also inspiringly creepy enough to convince me to actually read a distressing book on exorcisms called, The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism.
The Exorcist (1973): This in one of the most genuinely disturbing movies that you’ll ever see and it’s not for the faint hearted. But, it does feature self-sacrificing priests who are fighting spiritually against true evil. That’s very rare for Hollywood, where members of the clergy are habitually treated as drunkards, hypocrites, perverts, and villains.
The Fog (1980): This tale of woe visited upon the Northern California town of Antonio Bay because of the ignoble actions of their ancestors is chilling indeed. The brilliant timing of the movie, the sense of disquieting dread, and the remorseless approach of evil makes it a must watch film. Just a note: Don’t confuse this outstanding film with the execrable 2005 remake which was so bad that every existing copy should be buried at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.
The Mist (2007): A sinister story about a deadly government experiment and how quickly human beings can become primitive again when they’re isolated, alone, and in danger. Oh yeah, there are also weird monsters, a menacing mist, and a well-written Stephen King plotline. The ending is, ah — let’s just say, you don’t want to know how it ends until you see it.
Quarantine (2008): When zombies infected with super-rabies are trying to kill you and the government shows up, count on them to stand outside, picking their noses and trying to figure out what to do, while you struggle for survival. It’s a timely and true message: Don’t count on your government in a crisis. Also, don’t get trapped in a building with zombies. We shouldn’t forget that either.
Re-Animator (1985): This movie is little funny, a little macabre, and a little gory. Somewhere in there is also a message about the perils of playing God with human life. That’s a message that’s all too timely given some of the morality free experiments scientists across the world are working on.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Fundamentally decent FBI agents match wits with one of the great horror villains of all-time, Hannibal Lecter, in an attempt to stop a serial killer. This isn’t as pure a horror flick as some of the other films on the list, but it will keep you riveted to the screen.
The Tripper (2007): This movie is meant to be a slap at Ronald Reagan and conservatives. In a couple of spots near the end of the movie, it does manage to grate conservative sensibilities. However, that mild annoyance does not to detract from the sweet, sweet joy of watching a guy in a Ronald Reagan mask taking an ax to dirty, drug addled hippies throughout the movie. If a conservative had made this movie, instead of David Arquette, liberals would be calling it a “hate crime.”