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Ravens give Freddy a big claws-up

'Elm Street' is players' favorite horror address

By Edward Lee

Sun reporter

November 1, 2007

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If everything went as planned, David Pittman settled in for a Halloween tradition last night: catching a horror film.

"Anytime it's Halloween, I always look at scary movies," said the Ravens cornerback, who intended to see Saw IV. "I like that moment where stuff jumps out at you. Gives you a little rush. I don't even jump now. I just laugh."

The horror genre has been a staple of Halloween since movies such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy were produced in the early 1930s.

Saw IV was the top movie last weekend, grossing about $32 million. The weekend before, 30 Days of Night, about an Alaskan town fighting off vampires, raked in $16 million to take the top slot.

Though those movies have some shock value, there are others that are more terrifying, according to the players.

The winner? Freddy Krueger and the A Nightmare on Elm Street series, as voted on by Jason Brown, Mike Flynn, Justin Green, Kelly Gregg, Dawan Landry, Willis McGahee, Daniel Wilcox and Pittman.

Flynn still remembers a scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street in which Krueger stretched his arms wide enough to scrape the walls of an alley with his metal-clawed gloves. "I was at that perfect age where I couldn't sleep for a month," said Flynn, who was 10 at the time. "That was - bar none - one of the scariest scenes ever."

Said McGahee: "I don't like him to this day."

The second scariest movie among the players is The Exorcist, which earned nods from Ben Grubbs, Jarret Johnson, Haloti Ngata, Jonathan Ogden, Gerome Sapp and Gary Stills.

"I thought the world was coming to an end," Stills said of his thoughts while watching the film about demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl. "She was going crazy, and she was doing all of that hemorrhaging on the bed. I was like, 'The Lord is about to come and get her.'"

Said Ngata: "I watched it with some friends. I would never watch that movie by myself."

Antwan Barnes, Dwan Edwards, Ronnie Prude, Troy Smith and Terrell Suggs nominated Candyman, about a serial killer who appears when someone chants his name five times while looking into a mirror.

"It was hard for me to sleep that night," said Smith, who watched the movie by himself as a middle schooler. "That was bad, now that I think about it."

Edwards said he actually did the chant. "I did it one time," he said. "Then I turned on the lights real quick and got the heck out of there."

Two films tied for fourth. Friday the 13th terrified Nick Greisen, Corey Ivy, Edgar Jones and Samari Rolle, and Poltergeist frightened Justin Bannan, Devard Darling, Chris McAlister and Jamaine Winborne.

"I watched it [Friday the 13th] over [at] my friend's house and then had to ride home on my bike, and I was scared," Ivy said. "It was just a couple of blocks, but I made it there in probably record time."

Jones said the series permanently scarred him on the idea of sleep-away camps. "I never went," he said. "And no sleeping outside in a tent or anything like that after I saw Jason. That's how much that movie scared me."

Looking back, Bannan conceded his parents should not have allowed him to watch Poltergeist. "It traumatized me," he said. "I couldn't sleep in my room at all."

"'Walk into the light, Carol Anne,'" said McAlister, mimicking a line from the film. "I was like 10 years old. I think that was one of the scariest movies I had ever seen. I couldn't really watch that movie without my mom or my dad around. I would be sitting there and jumping all of the time."

Other movies that got more than one vote included The Exorcism of Emily Rose (picked by Mike Anderson, Chris Chester and Musa Smith); The Blair Witch Project (Kyle Boller and Todd Heap); Child's Play (Prescott Burgess and Le'Ron McClain); and It (Jared Gaither and Bart Scott).

Then there's Demetrius Williams, who says he doesn't watch horror movies because they're not that interesting to him.

"Some of the stuff that happens in the movie, I'll just sit back and say, 'That's fake. That could never happen,'" he said. "All of that Freddy Krueger stuff, that's funny to me. Some of the stuff he did in the movie, I just kept laughing."

Don't tell that to Adam Terry, who said he avoids the genre. "It's just not enjoyable for me because then I have to turn on my alarm at the house and all that," he said. "I'm not too keen on that."

edward.lee@baltsun.com