YouTube Saturday: I’m so psychic, my hair blows about of its own accord!Posted: June 11, 2011
Emily here to amuse you this Saturday. Now, I was thinking about doing a list of teasers of my fave horror films, but I’m saving that for another time. See, last night I watched Firestarter for the first time in an age and I thought to myself that actually, what I could make a list of is all the films that I’ve ever really, really liked that are about psychic phenomena and characters who possess psychic powers.
I won’t be including Carrie on this list, mind, as I’d rather add that film to my fave horror films, well that and it would mean having three Stephen King derived texts here today. There’s also a bit of a Cronenberg connection too.
Firestarter (1984) was directed by Mark L. Lester and was based on a novel of the same name by Stephen King. It features a very young Drew Barrymore, but my favourite performance comes from David Keith as her father. Keith was very convincing in showing the strain his character faced when using his psychic abilities.
Now, let’s just get this Stephen King influence out of the way…
The Dead Zone (1983) was directed by David Cronenberg and was based on a novel of the same name by Stephen King. Apart from me wanting to be in charge of a script for the a remake, again this is a film where a main actor (Christopher Walken) gives a rather convincing performance of using his character’s “gift” in part helped by Cronenberg firing a .357 Magnum every time he needed Walken to flinch.
One more Cronenberg for the road…
Scanners (1981) was directed by David Cronenberg and written by him and spawned several sequels over the years. In terms of gorily depicting psychic phenomena, Cronenberg excels here with some pretty graphic scenes. Beyond the gore, one my my fave uses of psychic powers comes in the form of the protagonist using his abilities to hack a computer system, y’know ’cause a brain is like a computer and vice versa.
Now, let’s give someone else a chance.
Phenomenon (1996) was directed by Jon Turteltaub and is probably the film with the lowest age rating this YouTube Saturday. Here John Travolta manages to portray one of the few characters in a film with psychic phenomena as part of the plot, where you don’t want the character to be locked up. Oh, and it’s romantic too.
The Frighteners (1996) was directed by Peter Jackson and is perhaps my most favourite “psychic phenomena” type film of alllllllllll time. Michael J. Fox is haunting as a guy who’s literally haunted. And the ghostly members of the cast aren’t that bad either. IMDb marks the film out as a comedy fantasy horror – I’d be inclined to lean towards black comedy over basic comedy. The film plays nicely with the theme of persecution, in a believable way, whilst introducing some memorable antagonists along the way.
Thanks to Kelsey Jackson for reminding me of that last one.
Yes, you should watch these films if you haven’t done so already.
Here’s some films as suggested by Twitter users that fall into the “psychic ability” drives plot: