The Halloween season is here and in the run up to the big day I decided to
examine what is considered “scary” in the world of horror movies.

Going with Rotten Tomatoes list of the 31 scariest movies, I decided to
compare each film with another horror film from the same year to determine which one I found scarier.

Today’s showdown will pit two films that came out recently with The Lighthouse taking on Midsommar.

The Lighthouse

Pictures: Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson Eric Chakeen/A24

Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

With a minimal cast and a lot of atmosphere, Robert Eggers explores isolation and madness in his second film on the list after The Witch.

Pros

Awesome atmosphere. The isolation of the setting adds to eerie atmosphere.

Willem Dafoe is always amazing.

Some really disturbing imagery.

Cons

The movie is boring.

The plot drags on with no purpose.

While the madness is entertaining, the plot boils down to two men screaming at each other.

The ending is an art house exercise with no satisfying payoff.

Midsommar

William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter, Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor

A young American couple, their relationship foundering, travel to a fabled Swedish midsummer festival where a seemingly pastoral paradise transforms into a sinister, dread-soaked nightmare as the locals reveal their terrifying agenda.

This is Ari Aster’s second time on the list with his first time being for the psychological thriller Hereditary.

Pros

Amazing cinematography. Every scene looks amazing.

Great performances by the cast. As things start to get weirder, the stress is palpable based on the performances.

The people of the village do an amazing job of playing to the atmosphere. They bring this story a depth and energy that the premise lacks at times.

A satisfying psychological ending that is matter of fact in its tone and doesn’t try to be more than it is.

Some disturbing imagery that doesn’t linger too long.

Cons

The movie can be really slow at times.

The level of isolation given the time the film is set in is unbelievable.

With the exception of one character, I didn’t feel enough for the cast to really care what happened to them.

While neither film could be considered traditionally scary, at least one goes beyond the visuals to try to tell a story with some suspense and chills and that is……

Midsommar

Which one of these films is your favorite? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.