The Second Annual Valentine's Day Horror Movie Marathon

Ah, Valentine’s Day!

I’ll be honest: this is the first time in two years that I’ve been without a date for this so-called holiday. Does that make me bitter? Not a chance, because I always have my annual V-Day Horror Movie Marathon to look forward to in lieu of some state-regulated hanky.

Last year, after watching The Night Flier and waxing nostalgic about The Mist and 1408, I proposed making 2011’s celebrations all about Stephen King books-to-flicks, and I’ll be damned if I’m not a man of my word. I’m also a man of constant sorrow, an international man of mystery and a manly, manly, man.

So this year we’ll all be hailing to the King, baby. If you want to participate in the marathon but haven’t heard of a single Stephen King film other than Pet Cemetery, here’s a list of great movies to get you started. Just don’t come crawling into my room late at night and ask to sleep in my bed.


1408

Let’s kick off the celebration with one of King’s most recent film adaptations. Novelist Mike Enslin (John Cusack) hasn’t seen or spoken to his wife since the death of their daughter—but in this heart-warming tale about love conquering all, romance and technology collide as Mike tries to reunite with his wife online. It’s like You’ve Got Mail, but if Tom Hanks were trapped in a haunted hotel room that kills anyone who enters.

Tom Hanks in 1408

“From that day on, if I was bein’ chased by ghosts, I was runnin’!

Most disk copies of the film come with an alternate ending, which was supposed to be the original ending but tested poorly with audiences. I personally prefer the theatrical ending, though. Both feature an extra little scare before the credits, but the original ending is basically someone shouting “Boo!” at the audience, while the theatrical ending actually gave me shivers. You can call me uncultured for not respecting the writer/director’s original vision, but I prefer to be called a man who expects more from a horror film than mild surprises.


The Tommyknockers

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen The Tommyknockers, but from what I remember the plot goes like this: blah blah blah, midwestern American town, blah blah blah, alien things show up, blah blah, A GUY PULLS OUT HIS OWN FUCKING TEETH. If I gave you a better explanation than that I’d pretty much be copy/pasting the IMDB or Wikipedia entry. But, c’mon. He pulls out his own goddamn teeth. With pliers. And then shows them to his wife. C’moooooon. Did I mention it has aliens?

The Tommyknockers - Teeth

I’mma give that bitch some molars. Bitches love molars.


Misery

No, not the Anton Chekhov short story or the 1999 single by The Moffats (you should find at least one of those references adequately obscure). Misery is an autobiographical tale centring on the time when Stephen King was in a car accident and then kidnapped and brutalized by an overzealous fan. Only part of that last sentence is true, but I’ll let you and Wikipedia figure out which.

Misery starring Stephen King

Misery is what I feel when you’re not around.

Though, I can’t give you a better synopsis than that. Misery is appropriately messed up and features Kathy Bates in her best cockadoodie role since Arthur 2: On the Rocks. Oh, that Arthur. What kind of mess has he gotten himself into this time?


Dreamcatcher

I didn’t really appreciate Dreamcatcher until I had read the novel. I was expecting something similar to John Carpenter’s The Thing, where an alien shapeshifter lands in the middle of a winter wonderland and begins killing and assuming the identities of the local populace, whereby the plot turns into a guessing game of who to trust and who is likely eat your face off. But Dreamcatcher really isn’t anything like that.

Dreamcatcher/The Thing

I was voted Most Likely To Eat Your Face Off in high school.

Now that I can grasp more of what Stephen King was going for, I can see how this is a really great film. It’s silly, but so was Sleepwalkers and that movie just barely didn’t make it onto this list. Also, now that I’ve seen My Name is Earl, I can’t look at Beaver the same way again. If you haven’t seen or read Dreamcatcher already, that statement isn’t going to make any sense to you.


Thinner

After running down a gypsy woman with his car, fat slob Billie Halleck (played by Robert John Burke) is cursed by the gypsy’s father and receives his just desserts. Play comedic drum roll, bow to the audience, exit stage left. Please mail all awards c/o The 34th Dimension.

Thinner Accepting Award

“I’d like to thank my agent, and my mom, and that gypsy guy who cursed me—without him, none of this would’ve been possible!”

Thinner is the only movie on this list that’s entire concept freaks me out. There’s something about being cursed and withering away that says to me “do not want.” I think this means that I am incapable of experiencing fear through any sort of realistic situation, though. It’s not kidnappers or spooky houses that frighten me: it’s pissing off a girl’s dad who is able to make my body eat itself from the inside out.


What, you were expecting more? That’s it. The list is over. Go spend time with your girlfriend or something.

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