As hard to believe as it might be, growing up I was a big ol' scaredy cat. I have vivid memories of hiding under the comforter of my parents' bed with my brother as they let us half-watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. They were trying to be cool parents and give in to the seemingly harmless whims of their kids, who would insist on seeing the movie, only to watch it with half-closed eyes. I can't help but think back on all those wasted video rental fees and feel bad.
A few decades later, and I've become an unabashed lover of fucked-up movies and extreme gore. It's hard to believe that there was a time when any film would make me wince in my seat, but the truth is, there are still some that manage to get under my skin in the best possible way. A good scare, likea good cry, can be cathartic. It gets the adrenaline flowing and gets the heart and mind going. For me, it isn't the bloody and disgusting that frighten me; it's the twisted psychological stuff that manage to resonate and play to my neuroses. So, if you're in need of a shaking in your boots, here's a few films that do it for me -- and a few going on around town this Halloween weekend that just might do the same for you.