Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer
Let’s get a little personal for a minute my lovely readers.
2018 was a suck-fest of a year for me. Basically everything that could go wrong did go wrong and even when I tried to look beyond my tiny little slice of life, and count the good stuff I love about our big green marble called Earth, I still didn’t see much beauty on the horizon. So I was as stoked as a kid putting on a new pair of shoes when 2019 rolled in, and although things got a lot better, it seemed to disappear in the blink of an eye.
Then 2020 dropped that damn hammer like it was Ragnarok and we ain’t even halfway through yet!
Now I’m not an all-out optimist, I consider myself more of a realist (she said while sipping on a hot cup of Earl Grey) but there is one thing, one truly amazing thing I’ve noticed, while trying to survive in what sometimes feels like an episode of The Walking Dead (without the walkers…so far) is the human spirit is really an inspiring thing. Even in the face of a world pandemic people are doing whatever they can to keep not only their spirits but the spirits of total strangers happy with funny videos and heartfelt messages. And, not to mention, the unsung heroes of medical and security professionals who are risking their very lives (a lot of them coming out of retirement to do so) trying to destroy this virus so we can get on with our lives.
This is all my long-winded way of saying there’s nothing more satisfying than having the good guys win. No sequels, no shot where you look away and the body disappears (I’m looking at you Michael Myers), no ominous music as the credit rolls. It’s just a straight-up victory.
With a SPOILER ALERT here are my TOP 5 FAVORITE HORROR MOVIES WHERE THE HEROES WIN (FOR SURE!):
#5 Darkness Falls
This fun movie went under the radar for a lot of folks, and it’s a shame because it was pretty terrifying when I first saw it. And I can name a few movies off the top of my head that heavily borrowed from this entertaining flick.
It is another supernatural film about a town haunted by the angry ghost of an old woman who in life would give children a gold coin whenever they lost a tooth, earning her the nickname Tooth Fairy. After being ostracised and then wrongfully killed by the townsfolk (seriously, small townsfolk are the worst in horror movies) her vengeful spirit takes the life of anyone who makes the mistake of stepping into the dark.
Of course she gets her comeuppance in the end but what I was most impressed with was the finality of the conclusion. The final scene is pretty clear about the curse being lifted and in a time when every horror movie felt the need to setup for a sequel, this was a breath of fresh air.
#4 The Fog
Another underrated John Carpenter classic (seriously, this man was so ahead of his time) The Fog tells the story of townsfolk getting ready to celebrate the centenary of their town, Antonio Bay, only to have the original settlers rise from their watery graves to join in on the party, and we all know there’s nothing worse than uninvited guests.
Now fighting ghosts ain’t as easy as The Ghostbusters make it look, so they spend most of their time running away. But it’s all about that unfinished business with angry dead people and once Father Malone figures out they just want their bling back, the fog vanishes and the townsfolk are once again safe…okay so the fact that they DO come back and eighty-six poor old Malone might be considered a loss, but anyone who has seen a haunted house/town movie knows those spirits are all about dotting their I’s and crossing out those T’s, THEN and only then, you can honestly say, “this house is clean”. So still a win in my book.
With nothing better to do than spend hours scrolling through my back catalog of DVD’s, I ended up re-watching this movie last week and boy I forgot how gross-out fun this was!
A dark comedy of a horror film set in a small town, writer and director James Gunn (yup THAT James Gunn) mashes together Cronenberg-style body horror with 80’s stylized storytelling (like The Blob and Invasion of the Body Snatchers) to bring this slimy story to life and with (Mr Firefly himself) Nathan Fillion playing the bumbling hero with the heart of gold, you can’t help but cheer when he, as well as a couple of survivors, manage to smash these slugs to smithereens and emerge victorious.
#2 Lights Out
So remember what I said about Darkness Falls and seeing other movies with a similar premise? Lights Out is definitely one of those movies. That said, there’s nothing wrong with using someone else’s recipe to bake your cake, especially when you manage to take yours to the next level. And David Sandberg definitely does that with his movie.
Originally done as a short film on YouTube (one of the all-time scariest ones I’ve ever seen) and expanded on for the big screen, Lights Out tells the tale of big sister Rebecca, who has to unlock the history of her mother’s relationship to someone called Diana as her little brother is being targeted by a supernatural entity that only shows up when someone forgets to pay the light bills.
This is one of those movies that reaches into you and pulls out your inner child. The child that used to flick off the lights and then race out of the room like a bat outta hell because you don’t care WHAT your parents said there’s something behind you and if it catches you, IT’S GONNA EAT YOU UP!
Hell even as an adult we sometimes get that weird feeling when we’re in a dark room that we just might not be alone. But luckily for this family, Dirty Diana ain’t no Jason Voorhees and after their mother makes the ultimate sacrifice, Diana is truly gone. Lights out indeed.
Honourable Mention – Scream(s)
Say what you will about the sequels, Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott made sure when she put the bad guy down he stayed down!
#1 The Frighteners
How awesome was this movie folks?! It was amazing right!
There are two main reasons I loved this flick. One was the tone. A horror comedy about a man who can see ghosts and uses his ability to make money off unassuming victims, makes a crazy left turn into a straight-up thriller as details are revealed about WHY folks are dropping like flies in this town and why it seems like the Grim Reaper himself is collecting souls like Ash at a Pokémon tournament.
Two, the happy, satisfying ending for Michael J. Fox’s character Frank who went from zero to hero and deserved every minute of it. Not to mention, watching a couple of serial killers literally go to Hell? Priceless!
So let’s take a page from these movies and remember as long as there’s a will there’s a way. Let’s keep being smart, keep being safe and keep being the good guys that the world needs right now.
Virtual hugs from me to you!
If you enjoyed this list how about a share? And for my Top 5 Horror Movies Where No One Dies you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apoclaypse come.
Double Tap Baby!