Movie mogul Steven Spielberg and film producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall established the now incredibly famous production company, Amblin Entertainment way back in 1981. Amblin was immediately recognized as a powerful brand thanks to clasc flicks aimed at maturing youth like E.T., Gremlins, The Goonies and Back to the Future. It wasn’t long however, before Amblin was pumping out an extremely wide array of features that hit home with viewers of all ages. From dramatic pieces to comedic adventures, Amblin’s had their hand in all genres. What some may find surpring however, is just how many kick ass horror flicks the company has fashioned.
Perhaps I should note how wonderfully Amblin has intermingled genres, in fact, just about every film to make my top 5 Amblin piece here, fuses elements that often conflict with horror. Strangely enough, Spielberg and company have found a way to take that confliction and form coheve, well told stories fit to be categorized in numerous genres, especially horror.5. Monster House (with Columbia): In my humble opinion, Monster House is one of the finest animated features to ever see release. The film brings grand comedy to a clear-cut horror template, and it works wonderfully. The characters are distinctive, with memorable personalities and some enjoyable idiosyncraes, and the house, well… the house is actually damn creepy (especially for a flick aimed at children). This one makes for a great horror introduction to the youngsters, as it’s got its chills, but clings closely enough to laughs to keep a young mind engaged.
4. Gremlins (with Warner Bros): Who doesn’t love those cute, cuddly little Mogwais? Hell, I think they’re even adorable after they’ve knocked back a few beverages…but hey: green has always been my favorite color. This one rides a fine line between light hearted and sadistic, but it remains fun and deeply entertaining from the jump, and while edgy in spots, it’s a film children can really dedicate their attention to without fear of too many nightmares. The story itself is a little preposterous, but director Joe Dante has always marched to the beat of his own drum, and I think he saw a prime opportunity to ratchet the tempo up when he read Chris Columbus’s story.
3. Super 8 (with Paramount): Super 8 is a slick flick that packs a nostalgic punch sure to be absorbed on the chin of those who grew up worshipping features like, The Goonies, Back to the Future and Monster Squad. There’s a strong element of science fiction to the film, but the heart of the story is certainly buried in the soil of horror. While many pundits have bashed this gem, labeling it everything from “too emotional” to “a Cloverfield clone”, I see this as a well-rounded production that touches every base, including home plate. There’s certainly emotion to the picture, but the performers on hand (especially Elle Fanning) do a fantastic job of portraying children who really are in the midst of evolving into grown, independent individuals.
2. Jurasc Park (with Universal): I’ll be the first to admit that Jurasc Park is more action than horror, but that doesn’t steal from the terror projected by a 50 foot tall T-Rex eager to chew on greedy lawyers, or any other hapless chap to cross its path. Back in ’93, when this was released, the special effects work was also unparalleled; we just hadn’t scene digital work so amazing yet. These beasts looked realistic, and when you’ve got prehistoric monsters on the prowl that actually look as though they were cast by an animal talent scout, it’s a wonder to behold. The film hasn’t held up as well as I’d imagined it may all those years ago, but it’s still fun, fast-paced, frightening, and extremely fulfilling from a mple viewers standpoint.
http://youtu.be/Bim7RtKXv901. Cape Fear (with Universal): For some reason Cape Fear is often overlooked when the topic of best remakes arises; I’ll never understand why. This is one insanely unsettling film, and unlike the majority of other pictures featured on this list, it’s horror, and little else. Martin Scorsese handles the source material like the true genius he is, and the choice to cast Robert De Niro as Max Cady is one of the best casting calls of the last five decades: De Niro is honest-to-God terrifying, and if you’re looking to pursue a career in the criminal system, he’ll make you think twice. Unforgiving, nister, and believable: Cape Fear is one of the few remakes to surpass the quality offered forth by its predecessor.
Amblin flicks that t on the cusp of this top five list include: Gremlins 2, Arachnophobia, Casper and The Lost World.