John Carpenter once said, “Evil hiding among us is an ancient theme.” It is also a theme that resonates within nearly every one of the movies from 1988 I deem my favorite. When it comes to making a list of them, my mindset transforms into an arena. A battle royale of characters and moments vying for the forefront of my brain. Here are the five combatants who came out on top.
What makes Chucky a horror icon to me is not his physical attributes. It is his ability to adapt to his surroundings. The best scripts are the ones where even though I know the outcome, the writer puts events in there that not only makes me think the opposite way but makes the possibility of the antagonist winning intriguing. Also, the movie made living with my mom’s four-feet-tall porcelain dolls a literal nightmare as a child.
Sometimes the evil hiding among us is invisible to us because we have not looked in a mirror lately. Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a character who is not just the modern version of Scrooge from A Christmas Carol. He is a man whose journey is something we can all look at as an application to ourselves. What makes this movie a must watch for me no matter the season is Frank’s message at the end. “For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be”.
If there is one thing society teaches us it is that a hidden evil is conforming to what is perceived to be normal, and not being our true selves. Something Tim Burton does wonderfully in all of his films is showcase how important it is to be different and how labels should not define us as people. Beetlejuice is a movie that pulls it off excellently and shows the people who have the most fun in life are the ones who live outside of society’s norms.
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?
Good movies are remembered by the risks they take and the boundaries they push. The willingness by Director Robert Zemeckis and Writers Gary K. Wolf and Jeffrey Price to show the more mature side of cartoons by using famed characters like Porky Pig, Donald Duck, etc. is something that stands out. Whenever a crew is not afraid to “go there” with the material, you have to tip your cap. Especially when it comes to the twist involving Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) at the end.
Ambition can be something that fuels the achievements of so many great people. It is also something that can make a strong and memorable antagonist. In an interview, he did for the movie, the now late Alan Rickman said “As far as I’m concerned I’m not playing the villain. I’m just playing somebody who wants certain things in life, who has made certain choices, and goes after them”. It is that ambition that causes John McLane to say and do what he does in the movie.
Are there any films from 1988 that are your absolute favorites that I left off? Let me know!