Habit (1997) – Manhattan
Larry Fessenden has become one of the premiere independent voices in the genre, helping to shepherd in new voices like Jim Mickle (Stake Land) and Ti West (House of the Devil) while helming his own idiosyncratic directorial projects like Wendigo and The Last Winter. He wrote, directed and starred in his debut feature Habit, in which he plays a world-class drunk bohemian who hooks up with a mysterious, seductive woman named Anna (Meredith Snaider) who may or may not be a vampire. Surreal scenes of a ghost ship sailing into New York Harbor, wolves running wild through Central Park and Fessenden himself charging through the city streets naked were somehow pulled off with style on a $60,000 budget.
Cat People (1942) – Manhattan
“It’s not what you see, it’s what you don’t see.” That operating principle has become essential to many scare pictures, and producer Val Lewton championed it on the string of horror movies he made for RKO, particularly Cat People. The film is bookended by scenes at the Central Park Zoo, where Simone Simon’s transforming panther woman attracts the attention of an architect that leads to some sexually frustrating marital issues and murder. Despite a lack of David Bowie songs, this Cat People is far better than the Paul Schrader remake, and still stands as one of the true classics of the golden age of horror.
Hop the G train to get from Brooklyn to Queens on page 3!