For today’s review, I’m presenting a film. Well, yes. That’s quite obvious. However, it’s not your standard horror movie with a plot, some characters, and an ending. It’s a documentary of horror films – montages, really. It features clips of films from the 1930s to the mid-1980s since the movie’s debut was in 1984.
Many horror films would say that the films shown are from the horror heydays of yesteryear. I couldn’t agree more. With this film, you see the evolution of horror from that standpoint. Ugh, the only thing I’d hate is a sequel including contemporary horror films. Somehow, I don’t see Saw IV as a great film compared to those featured here.
Kids, I present to you: 1984’s “Terror in the Aisles
Hosted by Donald Pleasance (“Halloween I and II”s” Dr. Loomis) and Nancy Allen (“Carrie’s” original bad girl, Chris), this film gives us terror and suspense, through added commentary, as the hosts sit amidst other viewers (audience surrogate) in a movie theater under the guise of watching said clips. When you’re shrieking, they’re shrieking. Yes, I shrieked the very first time I saw this one, okay? I wasn’t prepared exactly for what was coming during each moment.
There are so many classic clips from this movie that I don’t have the space nor time to type them all out. However, you get everything from 1941’s “The Wolf Man” to 1967’s “Wait Until Dark” to 1982’s “Poltergeist”. Since Mr. Pleasance is hosting, of course, “Halloween” and “Halloween II” is highlighted. Not to be forgotten, Ms. Allen’s roles in “Carrie” and “Dressed to Kill” are included also. Also, many horror subtypes are spotlighted. You have the occult (e.g. “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Omen”), animal terror (e.g. “Alligator”, “Jaws), villains (e.g. “Dracula”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), and sexual terror (“Mrs. 45”, “Klute”). There’s something in this film for every horror fan imaginable.
The best thing about “Terror in the Aisles” is that, if you’ve never seen some of the included films, the clips definitely spark your interest into watching the entire films. I am one of those people. Even though, I’ve seen many of the highlighted films, there were many others I haven’t and now they are my favorites. I highly recommend it for two reasons: the aforementioned and the rarity of such a film. Nowadays, you get televised clip shows, like Bravo’s “100 Scariest Movie Moments”, which I haven’t seen since it first aired. But, for a theatrical release, if there are more, I need to seek them out.
So, my friends, I give this film 10 out of 10 (Since it’s a part of the film and all.)
Fun Fact About “Terror in the Aisles”: It grossed $10 million, which is a good figure for a theatrical rarity for it’s time.