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Since the advent of special effects, modern movies have been able to bring monsters, ghosts, and even dinosaurs to life. The first horror movie that used heavy effects was, arguably, “Nosferatu” in 1922. However, older movies had to rely entirely on practical effects such as prosthetics, makeup, and optical illusions. As technology progresses, it’s becoming more and more difficult to distinguish the lines between what is real and what is computer generated; in some cases, it’s nearly impossible. However, the best special effects are not always better when it comes to Halloween horror movies. The ones that are technically less advanced often look even more terrifying than the computer-generated images that appear real to the untrained eye.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is an excellent example of a terrifying effects-heavy film that was released shortly after Halloween. From the scene in which Freddy Krueger’s scarred face presses against the wallpaper to the infamous blood geyser scene, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is packed with frightening special effects. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” was made in 1984, but the effects used in the film still hold up to modern standards even though they were created without the technology moviemakers have at their disposal today. Distorted camera angles and bizarre dream sequences add to the spooky atmosphere of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” even when Freddy Krueger isn’t onscreen.
“Sleepy Hollow” was another great horror movie packed with special effects. Even though “Sleepy Hollow” was released two weeks after Halloween, this movie truly embodies the spirit of All Hallows’ Eve. After all, Halloween is a night full of ghosts and spirits, and “Sleepy Hollow” is about the headless ghost of a Hessian horseman and the forensic scientist who is trying to put an end to his reign of terror. “Sleepy Hollow” has plenty of impressive and frightening offerings, but the most grim of all is arguably the hollow tree filled with human heads. The tree, which bleeds if its bark is cut, opens up as a portal to the underworld and unleashes the horrible headless horseman on the nearby village.
In the midst of brutal Halloween films packed with bloodthirsty monsters, “Let the Right One In” is a rare example of a touching, beautiful movie about the most bloodthirsty monster of all. Released just days before Halloween in Sweden, “Let the Right One In” is an understated film about a child vampire named Eli and her only friend, a bullied human boy named Oskar. Even though “Let the Right One In” uses special effects sparingly, they’re used masterfully during the handful of scenes in which they appear. Special effects transform Eli from a sad little girl to a relentless killing machine who suffers from terrible consequences when exposed to sunlight or when she enters a home without being invited.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” might be the quintessential Halloween film for adults and children alike. It was released right before Halloween in 1993 and quickly became a cult classic. Jack Skellington, the frightful king of Halloweentown, is bored with his job and sets out to take over Christmas with classic and dangerous Halloween tricks. Every character, prop, and set in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was meticulously animated and filmed using stop-motion technology. Thanks to the masterful use of practical and special effects, it’s easy to forget the lovable characters in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” aren’t real.
Although many other Halloween movies have excellent special effects, 2013’s “Carrie” is arguably the greatest of them all. Sophisticated computer technology brings the titular character’s terrifying telekinetic powers to life as she enacts revenge against the classmates who’ve tortured her. “Carrie” is a prime example of how far modern technology can go to create special effects that are indistinguishable from reality. From flying knives to deadly explosions and curling tongues of flames that represent the Hell Carrie’s abusive mother is certain her daughter is doomed to, “Carrie” is packed with plenty of fantastic on-screen visionaries that will impress even the pickiest moviegoer. At its heart, “Carrie” is a movie about a bullied teenager who just wants to find her place in the world, but it’s still a classic horror story, and Carrie’s destructive rages are truly something to behold thanks to the advances of modern technology. The team of talented crew members who created the special effects used in “Carrie” went above and beyond to make sure this movie would have some of the best effects of any Halloween film in history.
write by thompson