'Saw 3D' director recommends five fright flicks to watch this Halloween
Image Credit: Brooke PalmerKevin Greutert knows all about things that go bump, splat, and “Aaargh! My eyes! My eyes!” in the night. Greutert edited the first five movies in the Saw franchise and has directed the last two, including Saw 3D, which is out today. He also came within a poltergeist’s whisker of making Paranormal Activity 2, but that’s a whole other kind of horror story.
We put the thumbscrews to Greutert, until he agreed to recommend five frightening movies to watch this Halloween weekend.
You will find his choices after the jump.
1. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
“For Halloween I would recommend taking another look at Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu. When I was a kid I just watched it over and over again. Klaus Kinski’s performance is like something out of a silent movie where the acting tradition came out of theatre, where you have to be big so that an audience that’s sitting at the back can get what’s going on. And that’s a very risky thing to bring to cinema with close-ups and all that. But he is such a bigger than life human being that to me it works. It also had really great music. I think that’s a big part of Herzog’s movies from the ‘70s, the Popol Vuh soundtracks. They’re just very far out. In some ways they feel anachronistic or even arguably wrong. But it just makes the movie feel like so many different things.”
2. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
“It’s very atmospheric. Great characters and performances. It’s very underrated. Maybe part of my liking of it so much is that, I liked the Twin Peaks TV show, but I didn’t actually see very much of it. I didn’t really own a TV until my wife moved into my house with me. [Laughs] When I saw the movie, I think the abstract nature of it was even more abstract for me, because I didn’t really know what was going on. Like Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire, David Lynch is very, very bold in not being linear with the narrative. It’s hard to do that, it’s brave — studios are skeptical. But Lynch just does it so well. I think that’s why his movies feel more like dreams than just about anything in American cinema.”
3. The Shining (1980)
“I think probably everybody in the world has seen it, but it’s absolutely a great movie. When the film came out, there was a lot of controversy over whether Jack Nicholson was hamming it up too much. To me, the more I watch it the more it feels kind of brilliant that he goes so over-the-top. Because the film is about him kind of privately hating his family and then having the hotel bringing that to the foreground. And he tries to kill them off with great relish. And you’re right there, in brightly lit rooms with him as he’s trying to do it!”
4. Suspiria (1977)
“Suspiria is I think the most successful narratively of the giallo films. It wasn’t directly necessarily such a huge influence on Saw, the way movies like Deep Red were, but I still think that it has a fantastic production design. The actress Jessica Harper has just such a great face — she’s like a doll, but there’s so much going on in her eyes. As she’s getting stalked, it just really works. The ultimate woman-stalked film! [Laughs] She’s gone to this very creepy ballet school and there’s a killer that’s taking them down. It’s kind of crazy but very effective.”
5. Saw 3D (2010)
“Well, Saw 3D would certainly be the first choice from my point-of-view. [Laughs] I’ve always been more careful, I think, than anybody about spoilers. That said, anybody who’s familiar with the series knows that there are some outstanding storylines. And they will hopefully be answered. The biggest one is of course the return of the Doctor Gordon character, played by Cary Elwes. I hope it will be considered one of the best. I certainly liked Saw VI, but it obviously wasn’t as financially successful as the other films. But I think Saw 3D is a great movie. I think fans will like it and I think general audiences will like it.”
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