It’s Halloween night. Liquor-treating was a bust and you need something to do before your date sobers up. Well, have no fear … figuratively speaking. It’s time to take a dangerous stroll down the oft-neglected Blockbuster aisles or, for better or worse, the dimly lit archives of the Film Studies Center. Here is a (somewhat imaginary) list of the top ten Yale horror flicks — a collection of suspense, gore and situations stickier than a Wednesday night at Toads. Suite dreams!
1. Philip Kaufman, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978). Your friends are the first to go. They bought some perennials from a mysterious figure in front of Au Bon Pain, and things haven’t been the same since. Find out what happens when a secret society just won’t stop tapping new members.
2. Alfred Hitchcock, “Psycho” (1960). So this is the most awkward college-wide e-mail I’ve ever had to send: “The college showers are to be used by individuals for hygenic purposes only. They are not to be used by couples engaged in homocidal [sic] activity — especially that kind of activity that leaves the showers in a decidedly less hygenic state. This may be pleasurable and exciting for you, but it is a violation of community standards. Please stop.” Signed, Master Bates.
3. Danny Boyle, “28 [Drinks] Later” (2002). One young man wakes up (naked? just part of procedure) in DUH after a particularly productive night at DKE. It seems the campus is vacant until, of course, he finds that the recent scabies outbreak at Harvard has migrated to the Elm City and is turning students into elitist anti-socialites. What’s worse, there’s a shortage of Permethrin.
4. Wes Craven, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984). To the Members of the Yale Community: Consistent with federal reporting requirements and in order to increase awareness of personal safety, I write to let you know that an undergraduate student was mauled by a hideously scarred, knife-handed child molester on Elm Street. The assailant was wearing a striped sweater and goes by the name Fred. If you see someone who fits this description, please run or hide — but whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.
5. F.W. Murnau, “Nosferatu” (1922). A Gothic documentary about blood-sucking senior pre-meds. Cameos by prospective consultants.
6. Jim Gillespie, “I [Don’t Care] What You Did Last Summer” (1998). A classic teen slasher flick in the tradition of Wes Craven’s “Scream,” which sparked the of the genre’s revival in the 90s. One Yale student goes ballistic when, as late as mid-October, other students are still asking him how his summer was.
7. Hideo Nakata, “Ringu” (1998). After watching the Japanese original of “The Ring,” you receive a phone call. Seven days later, you die. Two years after that, you return as a watered-down, less-scary version of yourself — starring Naomi Watts.
8. Jonathan Demme, “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991). It’s 2:31 a.m. and Durfee’s is irrevocably closed. Choices? Overpay for MSG-Heav or snag an overweight prize child and eat her cheeks.
9. Brian De Palma, “Carrie” (1976). Finally, after four-and-a-half awkward semesters at college, you get your period — only, it happens in a communal shower at Payne Whitney, totally freaking you (and everybody else) out. Telekinesis comes in handy when wrecking the lives of those most despised section ass holes.
10. William Friedkin, “The Exorcist” (1973). When the University Chaplain compels Satan to vacate your body, Satan reacts by vomiting split-pea soup all over a dining hall worker.