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Old 02-22-2011, 05:36 PM   #1
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Movies that won't spook

So I watched The Wolfman the other night, the Del Toro starred remake of the 40's (iirc) classic and I thought it was an ok movie. On the following day my mom asked me what I thought of the movie. I said it was fine, the acting was really good (as is the cast), plot was what you would expect and that was it.

"But was it scary?" she insisted.

I answered with a "not really" and then she went like "oh, what good is movie that's supposed to be scary when it's not?" This made me realize that I haven't really got spooked by a movie since I was child. In fact, the only media capable frighten me these days are games, with Amnesia being the latest example. My explanation for this is that on games you actually control the fate of your character and instead of feeling like powerless observer, merely cheering for someone through the TV screen for a barely an hour, you possibly care for a the character you've been guiding and saving for the last ten hours and, unlike in a movie, the ending may come sooner than expected.

Does anyone else feels like that?


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Old 02-22-2011, 05:51 PM   #2
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I do find myself spending more time with games than watching movies more or less b/c of that. Even if I've played it before, there's more of a connection b/c you're no longer a passive observer.

Also, never found horror movies to be anything other than hokey.


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Old 02-22-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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it might also have something to do with the fact that most movies don't do anything particularly unexpected anymore. just about every horror movie out there does way too much exposition when it comes to a "scary" moment (ie, they do too much building and/or reveal too much).

and the other thing i've noticed: there are way too many torture movies out there. yes, movies like Saw and Hostel are technically horror flicks, but they're all about making you cringe at somebody's pain. i guess its a different kind of fear as opposed to that quick burst of adrenaline that you get with other horror flicks, but i just don't see them as being horror flicks.


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Old 02-22-2011, 06:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ctrl Alt Del View Post
Does anyone else feels like that?
Last movie I remember being scared watching was Jaws, but I was 10 at the time.

Wait, that is a lie, I was also scared when I took my cousin to see Hannah Montana: The Move. That movie haunts me thinking my cousin will not outgrow it before a sequel.

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(ie, they do too much building and/or reveal too much).
QFT... I think that is the biggest thing right there. Movies use to never show the creature/bad thing allowing people to substitute their own imagination making the scare much more intense and personal. Alien(Alien not Aliens. Aliens was not scary at all ) and Jaws were much more intense to me because I did not get to see the full creature until being pretty sure it was the worst thing ever. Now with CGI they just give you the prize way too early without building up the suspense thus not allowing people to use their imagination.



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Old 02-22-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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The last movie that made me jump in my seat had to do with an ancient "clever girl"

If that slight reference isn't enough, it also had Jeff Goldblum in it.


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Old 02-22-2011, 07:48 PM   #6
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I take it to mean Jurassic Park. Actually I saw that in a drive thru and when the raptors leapt out that scared the crap outta me.

For me, in general, I don't like things jumping out at me...I scream like a girl...wait I am a girl LOL. I do admit though the one film that scared the heck outta me was the old Mummy movie when the mummy started moving slowly while the guy's back was turned. It didn't help that I was up late at night with all the lights off plus I was only what 10 at the time.

Now I don't get scared of movies heck not even video games where I control the fate of characters. Heck if I die, I curse myself for being stupid. In fact I enjoy stuff that has a "scary" elements, even if it is CGI crapola, mainly because the genre I like has to do with lore, legends and the things that we scoff at and say they aren't real like angels and demons. Few things scare me except if it involves a threat on my life or that of my family.

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Old 02-23-2011, 05:29 AM   #7
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The last movie that made me jump in my seat had to do with an ancient "clever girl"

If that slight reference isn't enough, it also had Jeff Goldblum in it.

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Old 02-23-2011, 06:20 AM   #8
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Ah. Speaking of which, they are making a game based on the lost can with the embryos that Nedry stole.

But yes, I agree with Ctrl Alt Del. The last movie that scared me was Ringu, the japanese one. Lately only games like the original F.E.A.R. and Amnesia give me the intended effect.



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Old 02-23-2011, 07:19 AM   #9
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Thats the reason i dont watch horror movies, they seem just retarded with boogeymen jumping out of closets and stuff like that. I do watch zombie films though... But thats cause seeing corpses eat humans feels so good


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Old 02-23-2011, 10:38 AM   #10
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The ones that still give me the creeps are the ones that are loosely based on actual events...ie, The Exorcist and Amytiville Horror....I find the music in AH particularly creepy...also those Japanese style horror movies


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Old 02-23-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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Now the Exorcist, that was creepy. When I first saw it my jaw was wide open in shock throughout the whole thing. My family laughed at me for that.

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #12
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I was scared by the Ring and I am not ashamed.

I stopped getting scared shortly after that, however. The best I could think was [REC], especially its finale.


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Old 02-23-2011, 01:54 PM   #13
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via newbiemodder & Sabretooth I agree.. the Japanese (or based upon one) horror/shocker movies are the latest creeper movies for me. Hollywood has gotten stale with their cookie cutter horror movie styles.

Exorcist was and still is a classic though. The extended footage version is especially creepy


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Old 02-23-2011, 03:27 PM   #14
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Scary movies as of late have lost their bite. They forget why the original Psycho, Jaws, and Alien had their fear level so high. It's not what you can see that scares you, it's what you CAN'T see. Alien specifically avoided showing the whole creature, and made dark spaces more creepy. And lets face it, Jaws scared people outta the water. In fact to this day, I still get a bit nervous swimming in the ocean. Modern movies, show too much. CGI and make-up have made it so you know what the terror is before you are afraid of it. Actually, I was afraid as heck of Freddy Kreuger all the way up until I actually saw the movie. After that, I wasn't afraid of him any more.

Of course, horror movies have also become soooo formulaic that you can pretty well guess what happens next.

"I'll be right back."
"I saw something outside, let me check it out."
"Don't worry Suzy nobody will see you nekkid"
-long pause facing camera in close up before turning around
-just beat up a monster and it's lying on the floor.
-looking back while opening door

I think most of us know what happens directly following those scenes.
Only recent movie that caught me off guard was Deep Blue Sea with Samuel L making his "survive" speech. "The first thing we need to do is seal that..."


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Old 02-23-2011, 05:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
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The best I could think was [REC], especially its finale.
How could I forget... Both [REC]'s are great. The same can't be said of that akward american adaptation (read "failed copy") called Quarantine.



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Old 02-23-2011, 05:59 PM   #16
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Paranormal Activity is the last movie that really screwed me over, and you didn't see any scary monsters in it at all, but spooky as hell! More psychological movies like that are what interests me, like Frailty (dunno if anyone ever saw that one)



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Old 02-23-2011, 07:39 PM   #17
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Horror elements have always been much more effective to me in games than in movies, which is probably why I could count on one hand the number of horror movies I've actually liked.


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Old 02-23-2011, 07:58 PM   #18
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I know that horror films have lost some bite, except for the classics, but I am not ashamed to admit that I did have a couple of good scares from one of my favorite television series Supernatural. Some of the teasers into the show were very good done in the old slasher movie styles coupled by a dab of comedy...ah time to space out in front of the dvd player for the marathon.

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Old 02-23-2011, 09:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingerhs View Post
it might also have something to do with the fact that most movies don't do anything particularly unexpected anymore. just about every horror movie out there does way too much exposition when it comes to a "scary" moment (ie, they do too much building and/or reveal too much).
Indeed, as Mimartin said, I think the directors/writers lack a better understanding of fear psychology. The basic fear of dark is pivotal for the scary effect, for instance.

Quote:
and the other thing i've noticed: there are way too many torture movies out there. yes, movies like Saw and Hostel are technically horror flicks, but they're all about making you cringe at somebody's pain. i guess its a different kind of fear as opposed to that quick burst of adrenaline that you get with other horror flicks, but i just don't see them as being horror flicks.
This is pretty much how the discussion went on. I hate to rate movies like that but it's, IMO, cheap horror. I'd say that if the average horror movie enthusiast is a bit of a masochist, then those movies turn him/her into a sadist.

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Scary movies as of late have lost their bite. They forget why the original Psycho, Jaws, and Alien had their fear level so high. It's not what you can see that scares you, it's what you CAN'T see. Alien specifically avoided showing the whole creature, and made dark spaces more creepy. And lets face it, Jaws scared people outta the water. In fact to this day, I still get a bit nervous swimming in the ocean. Modern movies, show too much. CGI and make-up have made it so you know what the terror is before you are afraid of it. Actually, I was afraid as heck of Freddy Kreuger all the way up until I actually saw the movie. After that, I wasn't afraid of him any more.
Spot on. I also think those classics kept adrenaline pumping the whole time. There's barely any time to catch your breath and feel safe.

Quote:
Of course, horror movies have also become soooo formulaic that you can pretty well guess what happens next.

"I'll be right back."
"I saw something outside, let me check it out."
"Don't worry Suzy nobody will see you nekkid"
-long pause facing camera in close up before turning around
-just beat up a monster and it's lying on the floor.
-looking back while opening door
What's more, it's unfortunate that most of them always manage to look like a low-budget movie too.


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Old 02-24-2011, 02:03 AM   #20
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Uh uh uh! You didn't say the magic word! Uh uh uh!


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Old 02-24-2011, 04:01 AM   #21
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via newbiemodder & Sabretooth I agree.. the Japanese (or based upon one) horror/shocker movies are the latest creeper movies for me. Hollywood has gotten stale with their cookie cutter horror movie styles.
The thing about Asian horror is that the really good stuff focuses on deliberately looking low-budget and as authentic as possible. Noroi the Curse for example, is an excellent horror (though it probably won't scare CAD) film that relies entirely on how authentic it feels. Same goes for [REC]. In both these films, what's believable is that the characters behave realistically and not in the standard horror-movie way.

Paranormal Activity 2 for example was enjoyable, but more on the edgy adrenaline-rush way than being scary. It made itself too obvious. The constant focus on the baby pretty much implied that the baby is going to be the focus of the horror. The dad is going to be all scientific-minded and skeptical. The Mexican maid is all religious and mystical. It's hard to put yourself in any of these characters. In contrast, [REC], Noroi and other good horror movies manage to do that well.


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Old 02-24-2011, 08:25 AM   #22
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It's been a long time since any media has scared me, partly I think its de-sensitisation, in that the more horror films you have seen the more extreme the stimulus will need to scare you. That said the standard of horror films, is generally very poor, with the exception of the Japanese who tend to produce brilliant horror. I don't count Saw and it's ilk has horror films, I'll go even further and suggest if you enjoy those films you need counciling. I really don't understand what the attraction of those films are, I don't understand why you would want to watch people tortured for entertainment. I've been to real war-zones thanks! I can understand torture if it is required for a story (example in 24) however I don't understand films which just seem to be entirely about torture. Anyway I will end that rant now.

I think Tommycat hits the nail on the head, Alien I think is possibly the best horror film ever made, one of the key things is the lack of showing off the Alien too much, the lack of weapons adds to the already feeling of claustrophobia, the crew are a average joe's who are believable and you like them. Add to that, the horrific premise of being used as an aliens baby gestater and you have an awesome film.

Hollywood generally shows things off to quickly, and is to up on gimics, I sometimes wonder if a perfect horror film formula would look like this...

Remote village/town stops communicating to outside world, police sent to investigate... Suddenly no contact, so you then the army send in special forces; you follow these guys. Village/Town empty except for a few random body parts and lots of blood... The special forces team are slowly picked off one by one, just leaving blood and gore behind... The last one is left, makes a last stand and is killed by something, and the film ends. You never see the monster, but then maybe thats just me...



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Old 02-24-2011, 10:29 AM   #23
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It's been a long while since a movie has scared me. Disgusted, yes (I'm looking at you, Serbian Film. Didn't waste my time finishing that one.). Scared, no. We need some psychologists making movies, or at least people who think fear can be deeper than mere gruesome spectacle. I'd say the scariest recent film I've seen was the Hurt Locker, despite certain laughable inaccuracies. It at least caused some tension, which is more than most 'horror' movies do.

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Remote village/town stops communicating to outside world, police sent to investigate... Suddenly no contact, so you then the army send in special forces; you follow these guys. Village/Town empty except for a few random body parts and lots of blood... The special forces team are slowly picked off one by one, just leaving blood and gore behind... The last one is left, makes a last stand and is killed by something, and the film ends. You never see the monster, but then maybe thats just me...
They should've sent in some of 3/75 instead of the green hat fellas. We don't do that whole getting picked off thing.


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Old 02-24-2011, 10:47 AM   #24
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J7, I think you might be on to something there with your horror film premise...

Lets add to that: They come into the town and find a small child alive in the town. This way you can build on the idea of suspicion. Is the child somehow involved? Never give it away, but leave vague clues that she might(even if she isn't). Add in some eerie sounds, very little music(or none) that keeps the audience drawn in to listening for the "big bad" rather than looking. Let their minds figure it out. The deaths all need to happen at night, during a blackout. Have at least one person die while they are in camp and everyone is awake.

Example scene:
Sgt. Buke: <explicative> coffee is runnin through me.
2nd Lt Hillar: Buke, Stay in the light.
Sgt Buke: Yes, sir, Lieutenant sir. muttering Damn butter bars. I think at this point I know to stay in the damn light.
Sgt Buke heads off to the edge of the campfire. Still lit by the fire and stands relieving himself
2nd Lt Hillar: Kate, you said you saw what killed everyone. What was it?
Kate: I didn't see it. I heard it.
Hillar: Okay, but what did it sound like.
wind picks up and trees sway. sound of leaves rustling in the wind causes Kate to scoot closer to the fire
Kate[emotionless]: Buke is dead.
Hillar: No he's not! he's standing right there. Buke come on back over here. Kate is worried you might be dead.
*no response*
Hillar walks over to Buke and as he gets closer, Buke's body falls over cracked open in the front.


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Old 02-24-2011, 01:02 PM   #25
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It's been a long time since any media has scared me, partly I think its de-sensitisation, in that the more horror films you have seen the more extreme the stimulus will need to scare you. That said the standard of horror films, is generally very poor, with the exception of the Japanese who tend to produce brilliant horror. I don't count Saw and it's ilk has horror films, I'll go even further and suggest if you enjoy those films you need counciling. I really don't understand what the attraction of those films are, I don't understand why you would want to watch people tortured for entertainment. I've been to real war-zones thanks! I can understand torture if it is required for a story (example in 24) however I don't understand films which just seem to be entirely about torture. Anyway I will end that rant now.
I don't necessary enjoy torture films for the sake of the torture. I am actually more interested in the logic, faulty as it is, behind it. I studied film theory for my MA program and one of the genres and theories revolved around psychoanalysis. When you get the scene where the victim or hero tries to reason with the torturer and the torturer responds with a logical argument, I find that scary to a degree because often the character is someone who could function in the real world but has this dark side to them. One of the more better films that exemplifies this is Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Granted I don't think Hollywood thinks about this when they write the scripts or anything like that but when you analyze finished products, you can see these elements and speculate on audience reception and the like.


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I think Tommycat hits the nail on the head, Alien I think is possibly the best horror film ever made, one of the key things is the lack of showing off the Alien too much, the lack of weapons adds to the already feeling of claustrophobia, the crew are a average joe's who are believable and you like them. Add to that, the horrific premise of being used as an aliens baby gestater and you have an awesome film.
I will agree that Alien is one of the best horror films and I do agree that we often fear what we can't see. There are some good films out there that use the fear of the unknown as the basis. Heck I like to think Stephen King writes about our greatest fears and the films put it into perspective.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
Hollywood generally shows things off to quickly, and is to up on gimics, I sometimes wonder if a perfect horror film formula would look like this...

Remote village/town stops communicating to outside world, police sent to investigate... Suddenly no contact, so you then the army send in special forces; you follow these guys. Village/Town empty except for a few random body parts and lots of blood... The special forces team are slowly picked off one by one, just leaving blood and gore behind... The last one is left, makes a last stand and is killed by something, and the film ends. You never see the monster, but then maybe thats just me...
Sounds like Resident Evil a bit LOL.

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:10 PM   #26
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Remote village/town stops communicating to outside world, police sent to investigate... Suddenly no contact, so you then the army send in special forces; you follow these guys. Village/Town empty except for a few random body parts and lots of blood... The special forces team are slowly picked off one by one, just leaving blood and gore behind... The last one is left, makes a last stand and is killed by something, and the film ends. You never see the monster, but then maybe thats just me...
Replace the town for a jungle and there you have it; Predator, the first one. How I used to love this movie.


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Old 02-25-2011, 07:14 AM   #27
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The last movie that managed to scare me was Darkness. The movie has no explicit killing and doesn't feature slashing, torture and the like, but it has a whole bunch of chilling moments that manage to creep you out. The story is fairly interesting and presented well enough for you to keep watching to the very end.

@Ctrl Alt Del: Yeah, the Predator was awesome, but I don't really attribute scary to it. Entertaining, hell yeah.

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Originally Posted by Liverandbacon View Post
It's been a long while since a movie has scared me. Disgusted, yes (I'm looking at you, Serbian Film. Didn't waste my time finishing that one.).
Heh, yeah, have to agree with you there. That particular film isn't very popular here in Serbia either. I myself have only heard of what it's about and decided not to bother watching it.

I too don't understand the whole "torture enjoyment" thing. I've seen the last half hour or so of the first Saw and admittedly I did like that one (well, the part I watched anyway), but mostly because of that revelation at the end of the movie. Didn't bother watching any of the sequels though. I also watched The Hills have Eyes and a part of one of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films and I simply laughed at the idiocy of each of those films. They weren't even remotely scary, but they were plenty of disgusting.

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Old 02-25-2011, 07:40 AM   #28
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J7, I think you might be on to something there with your horror film premise...

Lets add to that: They come into the town and find a small child alive in the town. This way you can build on the idea of suspicion. Is the child somehow involved? Never give it away, but leave vague clues that she might(even if she isn't). Add in some eerie sounds, very little music(or none) that keeps the audience drawn in to listening for the "big bad" rather than looking. Let their minds figure it out. The deaths all need to happen at night, during a blackout. Have at least one person die while they are in camp and everyone is awake.

Example scene:
Sgt. Buke: <explicative> coffee is runnin through me.
<snipped for brevity>
Hehe, sounds good, I did think about your latter point, but possibly hadn't expressed it well enough, hadn't thought about the small child, but its a good idea... Maybe we should make a Lucas Forums horror film!

@JediMaster12, I'd certainly agree generally with your overall point, but I think your point about the Joker, the Joker just wants to watch the world burn, I don't think he does have a logical argument.

Well, Predator has certain similarities, but it needs nighttime to be scarier I think, and does a jungle provide a claustrophobic enough atmosphere?



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Old 02-25-2011, 12:04 PM   #29
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Well j7 I think there is some sort of logic albeit a bit on the twisted side of the force. The "social experiment" he did was a sick version of the prisoner scenario that we are all familiar with in kotor with the computer on Kashyyk.

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Old 02-25-2011, 02:47 PM   #30
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Predator has some pretty good ideas, but it had too many good action movie tropes to be an effective horror movie. Lots of good one liners. Plus, it's too far removed from people's daily lives to have people identify with it. All of the characters were too over the top to be easily identified with by your average person.

I'd think a better setting would be something like a forest. But that's been done. Blair Witch Project used that setting. And again, it was too localized. You couldn't get people worried about the place they live in.


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Old 02-26-2011, 06:24 PM   #31
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I don't think movies are scary anymore. Part of it is of course desensitization, but a larger part is the exponentially rising expectations have reached a point of bizarrely unreal as technology has improved for movie making. Happens when American and other countries put such emphasis on entertainment.

In all fairness, what spooks me the most is a combination of the plausible (not a far stretch from what is actual), mixed with suspense. This is probably true for most people.

Unfortunately we're in about the same slump as the latter of recent decades where there is nothing new aka "re-run festival". This isn't restricted to just movies and television of course, look at all the crappy games.

The last time I remember jumping in surprise to a movie was jurrasic park as a kid--the scene where Lex's leg was hanging over the ceiling opening and moved it just in time as the Veloco-Raptor jumped up and snapped. I jumped a little, and that was about it. Strangely I got over being scared of movies after that.

On the other hand the first time I saw a tesla coil in elementary school with a van de graaf, that scared me because I did not understand, nor had ever seen, indigo colored electrical arcs flying wildly through the air. It was something different and completely unexpected. Now I love electricity.

Alfred Hitchcock for his time was excellent. Though it isn't scary anymore, it was a completely different time in his day. And the production value of his works IMO was much much greater than most of what you see anymore.

The more effective horror flicks today are a combination of that designed to invoke dread disgust; this is a minority as most horror flicks today (IMO for the past 20 years+) have been corny and cheesy. However these don't scare you so much as make you want to puke. Or go out and maim people. B movies aren't too bad but usually are in the same vein. Just kinda mediocre. Though I do like the idea of gigantic vicious rats rampaging the streets. Or mind bogglingly huge flocks of birds. Or insect swarms that eat lare animals down to the bone--in fact MacGyver sort of emulated this in one episode IIRC.

The exception to non-suck b movies, is call of cthulu. This was a disturbing movie, but it still sucked. I seriously think whoever wrote that film has some issues and obsessions with incest and tentacle rape. After seeing that flick I wanted to go out find predatory sea creatures and the writers of the film, beat the $%@# out of them and throw them all into a concrete mixer to thank them for a waste of my time.

The only reason horror flicks inspire violence is for either sucking so badly (rightfully so), or because some idiot wants to "be like Mike" (Myers). I'm convinced. This sort of gave a cool image to the anti-hero, I think. Bringing me to my next point:

Then of course you have franchises with cult followings all about mayhem and destruction: Friday the 13th, Nighmare on elm street, Chucky, Haloween, Hellraiser, Candyman, and of course Leatherface/Texas Chainsaw Massacre. These are more of dark humor IMO than meant to actually be scary. The victims are all so stupid except for the one or two people who end up killing the terror character. You are just wishing and rooting for the bad guy to cause havoc and kill the victims the whole time. I'm convinced the terror character is the main character of these type of films. These may have sucky production, but it is a suckyness that deserves a category all its own because it goes above and beyond other films. It actually takes things to a level to be truly proud of. The identity of some huge undead regenerating deformed guy wearing a hockey mask and welding suits or something while weilding a machette is now a powerful identity.

So, Kane, you're a good actor and all but you're going to need to make more films if you hope to transition from pro wrestler in WWE to horror film legend.

Part of me wonders if horror flicks were ever scary to some people.

On a lighter note: Anyone in the states who has lived around Reno NV at any point in the past 15-20 years or so probably knows about the TV show "Zombo's scaaaaaary movies". It's probably still on. Zombo is the alter ego of some car salesman or something who lives in Reno. Basically it's taking old horror films and showing them with the main host inserting random joking, doing mock commentary, and comedic mimicking along with skits and interludes. This guy has cornered the market in taking the absurdity, corniness, or mess ups of something and making it funny.
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