The Best Movie Stalkers: A List Inspired by THE RESIDENT

Posted by Peter Hall - April 11th 2011 @ 1:50 am

The ResidentThis list of the best movie stalkers around was originally supposed to be written for Cinematical two weeks ago when Hammer Films’ THE RESIDENT hit DVD and Blu-ray.  In the time between committing to the idea and the deadline, I actually quit Cinematical.  I haven’t stopped thinking about Jeffrey Dean Morgan watching Hillary Swank take baths (which happens approximately every 12 minutes in THE RESIDENT) or movie stalkers, however, and so blam-o!, my first post at HND in months is borne.

Now I haven’t stopped thinking about THE RESIDENT because it’s such an amazing film (it does have some strong elements, they just happen to be spread too thin over its runtime), but because I do dig me some quality creepers.  I’m not talking about your standard SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, FEAR, FATAL ATTRACTION or CAPE FEAR, I’m talking more esoteric, deceptive obsessors; the kind that invade your life like a wasp laying its eggs inside a caterpillar.

Oh, and as much as I’d love to include MISERY on a list of esoteric obsessors, she’s really not a stalker since her trophy does fall into her lap.  Anyways, onto the list!


 

ONE HOUR PHOTO

Sure, the main talking point pinned to ONE HOUR PHOTO is that it’s the “creepy Robin Williams” movie, and while that’s true, it does discount the bite that Mark Romanek’s film has.  This is a story that’s just plain creepy whether or not its bad guy is played by Mrs. Doubtfire.  And what makes it so effective for me is that it proposes a highly plausible scenario.  Granted any stalker’s ultimate goal is to watch and not be detected, but ONE HOUR PHOTO brilliantly tortures us with the idea that obsession can be an entirely remote behavior.




 

VANILLA SKY

The idea of a Julie Gianni terrifies me more than almost any other stalker on this list.  Why?  Because she’s a batshit insane loose canon.  I’ll gladly take a stalker that silently watches you bathe over one that wants to be with you so desperately they’ll drive both of you into a brick wall at 60mph.




 

MAY

May belongs on this list purely because she’s the most adorable stalker ever put to film.




 

AUDITION

I’m actually not a huge fan of AUDITION as a film, it’s a tad too long and dry for my tastes, but, man, when it’s on, it grabs you by the balls.  I don’t find any of Asami’s obsessive behavior particularly creepy (though feeding a man in a sack a bowl of vomit isn’t exactly smile-inducing), but I appreciate that she’s the kind of gal who turns the torture dial to 11.




 

I SAW THE DEVIL

Chances are most people haven’t seen this absolutely brutal piece of Korean cinema, so I’m not going to say anything here except that not all stalkers have to have sexual motivations.  Some are just black-hearted motherfuckers.




 

SHUTTER

Alright, I’ll be honest.  The entire reason I wanted to make this list is so I could put SHUTTER on the top of it.  I think it’s a highly overlooked film.  Not underrated or underseen, mind you, it’s just the kind of movie that most people tend to forget about because it arrived when the tide of J-horror was receding.  Of course the American remake doesn’t do it any favors, so it rarely comes up as a discussion point unless the topic is Thai horror movies.  But I digress…

The whole point of this list is to talk about movie stalkers, and no stalker is more extreme than the one in SHUTTER.  She goes unnoticed throughout most of the movie, but her revelation is one of my favorite moments of any horror movie in the 2000s.




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  1. hansulu
    May 13th, 2011 | 9:19 pm | #1

    Totally agree with you on Shutter. Great choice! What a disturbing reveal at the end. Love it!

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