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Horror movies. Ho Hum.


slaytonf
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I've started watching a few.  But I quickly get an overwhelming sense of indifference.  After all, I know what's going to happen.  People will die.  Usually everybody, except one or two, and in varyingly gory ways.  Whenever any movie's plot and characters are subjugated to a controlling IDEA, it tends to become formulaic and mechanical.  Val Luten's movies, though great, are creepy, not scary.  I've only been truly scared once by a show, and that was the Twilight Zone episode everyone knows, Nightmare at 20,000 feet.  

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.. I've only been truly scared once by a show, and that was the Twilight Zone episode everyone knows, Nightmare at 20,000 feet..

I was watching Crack-Up (1946) with Pat O'Brien the other night and it struck me that may have been the inspiration for that Twilight Zone episode. Maybe not, but I seemed to see enough similarities.

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Val Luten's movies, though great, are creepy, not scary.  I've only been truly scared once by a show

Have you seen Robert Wise's AUDREY ROSE?  I think it's better than THE HAUNTING.  There are some horrifying moments when they are trying to examine a girl's knowledge of her past life (she was apparently reincarnated). It seems a lot like something Lewton would have done (with a better budget and no production code).  No doubt Lewton's influence rubbed off on Wise, during their time together at RKO.

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Actually, I usually laugh at horror movies, the ones I see more than a few minutes of, that is.  They are so ridiculous.  I was computering last night and had The Legend of Hell House on for background noise.  It was a credit to the actors that they could say their lines with straight faces.  I know I couldn't keep from laughing at them.  Come to think of it, they might be better considered as comedies.

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I've started watching a few.  But I quickly get an overwhelming sense of indifference.  After all, I know what's going to happen.  People will die.  Usually everybody, except one or two, and in varyingly gory ways.  Whenever any movie's plot and characters are subjugated to a controlling IDEA, it tends to become formulaic and mechanical.  Val Luten's movies, though great, are creepy, not scary.  I've only been truly scared once by a show, and that was the Twilight Zone episode everyone knows, Nightmare at 20,000 feet.  

Have you seen Pulse/Kairo, the original? I found it scary.

 

I laugh at myself now for finding Night Of The Living Dead scary when I first watched it. Years ago, different time, blissfully naive. Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

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It sounds like you've been watching slaher movies which tend to be formulaic- the great horror films " Bride of Frankenstein", " Cat People", " The Horror of Dracula", " Rosemary's Baby", "The Exorcist" can still chill and horrify.  "Audrey Rose" is an interesting film.   Everyone doesn't have a taste for horror - just like some people can't stand musicals- I like both. 

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I know how you feel, Slayton.  Formulaic and predictable.  And over time, new innovations in effects quickly become cliched.

 

The demon-like creature crawling up the wall and on the ceiling.

 

The outside shot of windows blowing out of a house.

 

Some person's head shainkg back and forth at superspeed.

 

The ghoulish figure with the ever-widening unhinged jaw and the head tilting like an inquisitive puppy's.

 

Somebody lying on the ground being pulled backwards into the dark.

 

Girls that instead of running for their lives just stand there and whimper.

 

The list can go on and on.  Oh, and don't forget;  "O FORTUNA" from "Carmine Baruna" playing somewhere in the background.  These things used to scare me when I was a kid, but like the THREE STOOGES, I eventually grew out of them.

 

I still like the classic horror movies of the '30's and '40's, and they're often as campy as the newer ones.  Even MORE campy at times.  But the excellent B&W cinematography and well done set designs make them worthwhile.

 

AUDREY ROSE?  The BOOK scared me more than the movie, but maybe because I already knew what the results were is why.  But it WAS an excellent adaptation.

 

Sepiatone

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I know how you feel, Slayton.  Formulaic and predictable.  And over time, new innovations in effects quickly become cliched.

 

The demon-like creature crawling up the wall and on the ceiling.

 

The outside shot of windows blowing out of a house.

 

Some person's head shainkg back and forth at superspeed.

 

The ghoulish figure with the ever-widening unhinged jaw and the head tilting like an inquisitive puppy's.

 

Somebody lying on the ground being pulled backwards into the dark.

 

Girls that instead of running for their lives just stand there and whimper.

 

The list can go on and on.  Oh, and don't forget;  "O FORTUNA" from "Carmine Baruna" playing somewhere in the background.  These things used to scare me when I was a kid, but like the THREE STOOGES, I eventually grew out of them.

 

I still like the classic horror movies of the '30's and '40's, and they're often as campy as the newer ones.  Even MORE campy at times.  But the excellent B&W cinematography and well done set designs make them worthwhile.

 

AUDREY ROSE?  The BOOK scared me more than the movie, but maybe because I already knew what the results were is why.  But it WAS an excellent adaptation.

 

Sepiatone

Don't forget the Freeling's eldest daughter (Dominique Dunne) yelling "WHAT'S HAPPENING!!!" at the top of her lungs.  :lol:

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With the sole exception of Night of the Living Dead, the only horror movies I can watch more than once are those where the motif is psychological terror induced by human beings, not by some  Hollywood makeup artist or special effects maven.  Movies like Sudden Fear or The Night of the Hunter have more real tension in them than a hundred vampire or monster films.

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It sounds like you've been watching slaher movies 

 

No, I haven't been watching slasher movies, or parapsychological, or other movies, if it is not too smart-assy to say.  That's my point.  After the first few minutes, I am overwhelmed with disinterest.  They all start out the same.  Everything is nice normal, suburban middle-class.  Then you get a wrong thing happening.  Then another, only a little more wrong.  And another, and more wrong.  Then the movie builds to an apocalyptic climax, and the house lights come up.  The only variation is if they start in with the mayhem, or paranormal hijinks too quickly, as in Carrie, which I only got through fifteen minutes of--a tribute to how much I respect Sissy Spacek as an actress.  Bride of Frankenstein to me is an embarrassing campy joke.  The only reason I waded my way through it is James Whale's magnificent images.  But as I mentioned, I like Val Lewton's movies, and some others, like Frankenstein, Nosferatu, Island of Lost Souls, but not for the horror content.  Just the story, the direction, the acting, and how the ideas are developed.

 

 Oh, and don't forget;  "O FORTUNA" from "Carmine Baruna" playing somewhere in the background.  These things used to scare me when I was a kid, but like the THREE STOOGES, I eventually grew out of them.

 

AUDREY ROSE?  The BOOK scared me more than the movie, but maybe because I already knew what the results were is why.  But it WAS an excellent adaptation.

 

Sepiatone

 

 I haven't see Audrey Rose or Pulse/Kairo.  I won't go out of my way to.  When TCM showed Rosemary's Baby recently, I got some way into it, and while admiring Ruth Gordon's and other's usual fine performances, I could not help feeling, how obvious, and wonder how poor Rosemary was so dimwitted as to not see what the others were up to.  Perhaps what's necessary in a horror movie is dimwitted people, otherwise there would be nobody to fall into traps.

 

As for O Fortuna, overused, overused, overused.

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No, I haven't been watching slasher movies, or parapsychological, or other movies, if it is not too smart-assy to say.  That's my point.  After the first few minutes, I am overwhelmed with disinterest.  They all start out the same.  Everything is nice normal, suburban middle-class.  Then you get a wrong thing happening.  Then another, only a little more wrong.  And another, and more wrong.  Then the movie builds to an apocalyptic climax, and the house lights come up.  The only variation is if they start in with the mayhem, or paranormal hijinks too quickly, as in Carrie, which I only got through fifteen minutes of--a tribute to how much I respect Sissy Spacek as an actress.  Bride of Frankenstein to me is an embarrassing campy joke.  The only reason I waded my way through it is James Whale's magnificent images.  But as I mentioned, I like Val Lewton's movies, and some others, like Frankenstein, Nosferatu, Island of Lost Souls, but not for the horror content.  Just the story, the direction, the acting, and how the ideas are developed.

 

 

 I haven't see Audrey Rose or Pulse/Kairo.  I won't go out of my way to.  When TCM showed Rosemary's Baby recently, I got some way into it, and while admiring Ruth Gordon's and other's usual fine performances, I could not help feeling, how obvious, and wonder how poor Rosemary was so dimwitted as to not see what the others were up to.  Perhaps what's necessary in a horror movie is dimwitted people, otherwise there would be nobody to fall into traps.

 

As for O Fortuna, overused, overused, overused.

I'm surprised. You're missing some good movies, I thought you were open-minded.

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Horror movies are the modern world's folk tales, fables, and fairy tales. They serve a deep psychological and mythic purpose and are part of a rich human tradition. Likes the myths of old, different people respond to them in different ways.

 

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 I've only been truly scared once by a show, and that was the Twilight Zone episode everyone knows, Nightmare at 20,000 feet.  

 

You must've been pretty young when you saw that.

 

Children are more easily frightened by horror movies than are adults. By the time we reach adulthood, it's far more difficult to suspend disbelief at such a type of melodrama as is represented by horror movies. We've seen enough of it by then that we've become inoculated against the kind of fear the movie is trying to produce.

 

What scares adults is that which is subtle - what gets beneath the skin, engendering uneasiness, building into dread. It takes more style than knives and axes and disfigured "monsters" to accomplish that in an adult. For us, it's psychological horror (often supernatural) that works best.

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I realize horror films aren't for everyone.  Personally, I love the old Universal and RKO horror and never tire of them.  The Thing (both versions) still scare me.  I love Dave Cronenberg and George Romero horror.  i find the original Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead very scary even though I've seen both of them more times than I can count.  The  slasher flicks I don't like because they all follow the same formula and are boring.  The best newer horror film I've seen is Let Me In, the American remake of Let the Right One In - very original and has some great frightening moments (I loaned my DVD to a friend who said he couldn't watch it all the way through because it was too scary - wimp!).  My point is I can appreciate the graphic stuff if accompanied by a good script and the classic stuff with its shadows and atmosphere.

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I realize horror films aren't for everyone.  Personally, I love the old Universal and RKO horror and never tire of them.  The Thing (both versions) still scare me.  I love Dave Cronenberg and George Romero horror.  i find the original Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead very scary even though I've seen both of them more times than I can count.  The  slasher flicks I don't like because they all follow the same formula and are boring.  The best newer horror film I've seen is Let Me In, the American remake of Let the Right One In - very original and has some great frightening moments (I loaned my DVD to a friend who said he couldn't watch it all the way through because it was too scary - wimp!).  My point is I can appreciate the graphic stuff if accompanied by a good script and the classic stuff with its shadows and atmosphere.

I was surprised at the new version of The Thing. It was scary and nicely done. The slasher flicks appeal to the 18-49 demographic who laugh at Freddie Kruger. Not funny, not good.

 

There is a local station with a monster movie host (not a good one) which showed The Deadly Mantis last night. Sad stuff, from 1957, which proves they rushed garbage to the theaters to sucker young kids even then.

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  The best newer horror film I've seen is Let Me In, the American remake of Let the Right One In - very original and has some great frightening moments (I loaned my DVD to a friend who said he couldn't watch it all the way through because it was too scary - wimp!).  My point is I can appreciate the graphic stuff if accompanied by a good script and the classic stuff with its shadows and atmosphere.

I haven't seen the American version, loved the original, and the sequel story. (I hear the original book is fascinating and gives a ton of interesting backstory).  I'm going to London next month and look forward to the stage version:

 

Poster-image-large-200x300.jpg

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My fiance states that the movie which is the scariest possible is: Anita Liberty (1997). It is of a female artist whose boyfriend leaves her and so she dedicates her career to humiliating him in public. Her philosophy is summarized in a: "how to heal the hurt through hating" motif. 

 

I find it to be a wildly funny movie but I understand the male impulse to cross their legs and cringe while watching it.

 

A horror movie which I believe is unpredictable is: Kondom des Grauens (1996). I doubt that I could do the plot justice because so many words might become merely asterisks. I can suggest only that you read of it at: imdb.com.

 

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Every decade has produced at least one truly classic horror film- I prefer story and atmosphere over mindless gore- I hate all the tortureporn films- it's a good time to bring up the new Showtime series " Penny Dreadful" worth a look if you are a fan of classic horror and specially Hammer films.

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My kind of horror movie is more a psychological thriller - Pacific Heights is the type of material that throws a scare into me these days. The character played by Michael Keaton is a true monster. Instead of being frightened to death, I get feelings of extreme frustration which make me twitch and turn in my seat - jumping up when he get his dues. When the story manipulates me in this way I feel I have gotten my moneys worth, so to speak.

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The best newer horror film I've seen is Let Me In

 

Outstanding movie! May be the best vampire movie I've ever seen. I've seen 'Let the Right One In' as well, and while it has to be given its due for having been the first (and Sweden's own) version, 'Let Me In' is better. It's more relatable and the acting is superior.

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I am not a fan of horror movies.  I tried watching "The Haunting," but it didn't do anything for me.  Like someone mentioned, some people loathe horror movies just like others loathe musicals.  I love musicals (actually I like the "dancing" musicals, specifically) but I can't say the same for horror.  I like some horror films, but they have to have something else going for them aside from blood, guts and gore.  A lot of the horror movies are so predictable that they end up being stupid.  Obviously the person who goes to investigate the "weird noise" will inevitably get killed by whatever the noise is.  In teen horror movies like the original "Friday the 13th," usually the virgin will be the only one who survives.  You know she's the virgin because she usually wears white.  Those who are seen in the throes of passion will get killed.

 

Horror movies I do like:

-Psycho

-The Birds

-Carrie (the original)

-Halloween (the original)

-Friday the 13th (the first one)

-The Shining

-The Bad Seed

 

I don't know if these count as "horror," but I like these too:

-Young Frankenstein

-Rocky Horror Picture Show

 

Like others here, I much more prefer the psychological thrillers like "Psycho," where you don't exactly know what you're afraid of, as opposed to gory, slasher movies like Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses."  Those don't do anything for me. 

 

I also like the campy, corny horror movies.  Those are more hilarious than scary. 

 

I've seen "The Exorcist" and "Poltergeist" and I can say that I do not need to see either ever again.

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