Cinematic Scares

‘PARANORMAL ACTIVITY,’ ‘THE STEPFATHER,’ ‘WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE,’ ‘SAW VI’

I’ve enjoyed being scared witless in movies ever since 1967, when I was eight and jumped screaming from my seat as a murderous Alan Arkin, kitchen knife flashing, hunted the blind Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark. To paraphrase Tolstoy, happy movies are all alike, but every scary movie is scary in its own way. There are stalker movies, like Halloween, that turn you into prey; harrowing studies of twisted family...

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About the Author

Rand Richards Cooper, one of Commonweal's film critics, is the author of two works of fiction, The Last To Go and Big as Life.