What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie(s)?: Alison Star Locke Edition

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Alison Star Locke is the filmmaker behind The Apology. This is the most gripping thriller about a grieving mother set at Christmastime that has ever existed. Not only is this isolated chiller claustrophobic and anxiety-inducing, but it also gave us a movie starring the legendary Anna Gunn. However, making one of my favorite Shudder finds of 2022 isn’t the only way she’s racking up cool points. Locke also understands the struggles of being a podcaster. She cohosts Sensory Overload, where she regularly shares, “the semi-irreverent adventures of parenting a precocious, hilarious, autistic child!”

It seems I’m continuing my streak of only asking verified badasses what their favorite horror movies are, and you’re welcome. I have Alison Star Locke’s five film recommendations and it’s another list of bangers. Alison selected some heavy hitters that prove she’s here for the suspense, the drama, and the danger. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself below. 

The Shining (1980)

Where You Can Watch: Sling TV

family’s stay in an isolated hotel for the winter makes them prey to a sinister force. There is nothing you can say to make me believe the trio of Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Scatman Crothers wasn’t the best casting announcement of its day. Many people love this take on Stephen King’s novel, and I like that it’s on Alison’s list. Her movie The Apology also deals with a complicated parental figure, and recovery, while set in what looks like a winter I wouldn’t do well in. While the ghosts are more literal than emotional in The Shining, I’m surprised I didn’t make this connection sooner. 

The Babadook (2014)

Where You Can Watch: AMC+HuluNetflixPlexPluto TVThe Roku Channel, and Shudder

A creepy book appears in the home of a single mother and leads her down a slippery slope to something sinister. Jennifer Kent reset the culture with this Australian “meditation on grief” and motherhood. We were all Babashook for years after this unsettling title terrorized us. This is another title with a mother and son battling to survive an evil way too close to home. I’m happy this is one here because it’s on the short list of movies I needed to know if Alison had seen already. 

The Thing (1982)

Where You Can Watch: Tubi

A research team stranded in Antarctica mistakenly takes in a shape-shifting alien intent on killing them all. This site is a stan account for The Thing, so we’re happy that THEE Alison Star Locke chose this title. It’s arguably one of John Carpenter’s best films and is the blueprint for tight locations with small-cast horror. Many movies have tried to capture the paranoia and mayhem of this title as they dream of getting close to this kind of ambiguous ending. However, it’s an impossible task because this is pure cinema at its most chaotic.

Pontypool (2008)

Where You Can Watch: AMC+

A small band of radio station employees realize the deadly virus infecting their town is spread through the English language. There is a lot to unpack in this movie. However, I’m noting the terror in one location that unfolds over a few hours. I’m picking up on this thread Alison is putting down, and I like it. I love that the tension in many of these titles on this list comes from the characters being trapped in places where they should feel the safest. This movie takes place at work, but as someone with workaholic tendencies, I know how easy it is to let a job become an extension of your home. So, I think this might be the sneaky theme tying Alison’s choices together for this list.

Black Christmas (1974)

Where You Can Watch: AMC+CracklePeacockPrime VideoRedboxThe Roku ChannelShudderSling TV, and Tubi

A stranger stalks a group of sorority girls during Christmas vacation. I love this movie because it’s creepy, it’s effective, and it deals with abortion in a way that is surprisingly progressive for the era in which it premiered. It’s also so chilling that I had to order a replica of the hand sweater to wear when I watch it. While it’s not the only scary movie set in a sorority house, it’s the best. I’m nerding out that this is the only slasher on Alison’s list. After all, all the horror happens in the sorority house. This makes it another title where the horror happens at a place that should feel like home. 

Alison’s list proves the calls are coming from inside our houses, more often than not. I want to marathon rewatch everything on this list and The Apology. I also can’t stop thinking about other movies where people aren’t safe with the people, or in places, which should feel like home. 

If you’re not already following Alison Star Locke online, you should fix that immediately. Start with her Instagram and Twitter because she’s a damn delight. You should also check out her website to keep up with her upcoming movies and all the other cool projects she’s juggling.