Matthew and Nathan Leone, the Chicago brothers who founded the alt-hardcore outfit Madina Lake, have set their music in the context of an eerie parallel universe – sort of a twisted postmodern Lewis Carroll story brought to musical life, populated with surreal characters... so it should come as no surprise that the brothers are huge horror movie fans. Best of all, Matthew recently presented FEARnet with a list of his favorite fear flicks of all time!
Jump on through and find out what horrors managed to damage Matthew's psyche, and maybe even fired up his creative spirit...
The band's second album Attics to Eden – which hits stores next Tuesday from Roadrunner Records – continues to explore the eerie landscape of the mythical town that shares the band's name, and threatens to unravel the tangled David Lynch-style mystery surrounding the disappearance of an enigmatic woman named Adalia.
This surreal dreamworld shares a strong kinship with the dark dreams of the silver screen that the Brothers Leone experienced while growing up, and we were curious to know just which horror films left the strongest impression on them. Matthew was kind enough to share his ten all-time favorites with us, so read on to find out who made the cut!
1. The Exorcist
"Nathan and I actually know the kid who grew up in the house that they filmed this in," Matthew reveals. "This one is widely accepted as the scariest movie of all time, especially considering the subject matter of demonic possession back in the late '70s, when Christianity was really taken seriously."
2. The Shining
"This is what you get when you cross Stanley Kubrick with Stephen King," he explains. "It's one of the all-time greats in the horror world."
3. The Amityville Horror [1979 version]
Although the source novel is now widely held to be a hoax, Leone suggests the "true story" aspect of the marketing campaign is what made it so creepy... "which is hard to believe after seeing how insane the story line is."
4. Friday the 13th [1980 version]
"This kicked off the biggest horror movie series in history," Matthew explains, asserting that the first installment is still the champ. "The last scene is one of the best I've seen."
5. A Nightmare On Elm Street
"Children jumping rope in a dream haze, singing a hymn about a blade-fingered monster invading your dreams? I would say that's some pretty creepy stuff," Leone says. "Freddy Krueger became one of the coolest slashers ever... I couldn't sleep for a month after this!"
6. The Blair Witch Project
"The marketing campaign for this movie was pioneering, and actually was an integral part of the fear," he recalls. "It emerged just as the internet was really kicking off and the film company played it off like this thing was actually real." He also credits the genuine ordeal the filmmakers put their actors through for making the fear feel even more authentic. "The plot builds so much tension that by the end your stomach can't take any more!"
"This is the ultimate revenge story," Matthew asserts. "The scene at the prom – with the pig's blood – is one of the most powerful scenes in movie history."
8. The Omen
Like The Exorcist, Leone puts this devil classic in the context of the church's high public profile in the mid-'70s... plus the death scenes are just so damned creepy. "The scene where a woman kills herself at Damien's birthday party gives me chill bumps just thinking about it," he recalls.
9. Halloween [1978 version]
"Another child gone berserk," Matthew muses about Michael Myers in the John Carpenter icon that kicked off the slasher-movie formula. "His mask is enough to make you shit yourself upon sight… thanks, Michael!"
10. Pet Sematary
"A place where you can bury [pets] and they will spring back to life sounds tempting, I understand," Leone admits about Stephen King's supernatural scenario. "But deep down, we all know it's probably not a solid thing to do... I'll leave it at that."
Be sure to look for Attics to Eden on May 5th – and you can enter the eerie world of Madina Lake right now at www.madinalake.com.