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Awake In The Dark
What you're watching these days on the Big Screen and the Small Screen.


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Old August 23rd, 2002, 06:33 AM   #16
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I saw "Halloween" in a theater in Lubbock, Texas when I was a teenager. It was scary enough as is...but there were about 10 teenage girls sitting nearby that screamed to raise the dead...that intensified the "fright factor" quite a bit. People practically bolted out of their seats when "he" suddenly sat up behind Jamie Lee Curtis.

To top it all off, came out of the theater and found that a heavy fog had rolled in (it was night). I dropped my date off and returned home...to find it empty. That was one of those "turn-every-light-in-the-house-on" nights.
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Old August 24th, 2002, 10:38 AM   #17
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"Sleeping Beauty", in a theatre, at age 3, was my scariest. I wouldn't eat an apple for a year. I had an older cousin who looked just like the wicked stepmother and I hid from her, everytime she came around. Did I have all those characters right? At that age, my imagination may have been at work.
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Old August 26th, 2002, 02:28 AM   #18
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Great recollection, Steve... I vaguely remember having the same reaction. The classic Disney stuff took some chances with how graphic it was; today's kid-friendly cute-cuddly stuff just doesn't compare. Ah, the good 'ol days, when Disney could actually scare a kid! Gone forever.
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Old August 26th, 2002, 03:01 AM   #19
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Well, not exactly gone forever. We have those movies in prestine
condition on DVD now! Just make sure your kids see them before
they see all the fluffy stuff that exists today!
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Old August 26th, 2002, 04:24 AM   #20
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I believe it was called "The Vanishing". . .Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock. Not so much scary, but really creepy and disturbing.
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Old August 26th, 2002, 01:03 PM   #21
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If we are going to talk disturbing might I add Requiem for a Dream.
That thing was really disturbing... wow. (not that scary though)
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Old August 26th, 2002, 01:31 PM   #22
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Well, I agree with pretty much everyone's picks. As far as new releases go, I (and everyone else in the theater) screamed our guts out with Signs. Very Hitchcock, full of suspense and very few special effects. Scared the crap out of me. Also, the first 30 minutes of the movie Jeepers Creepers were very scary, the rest was ok. I think the most effective at delivering the thrills is Jaws.
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Old August 26th, 2002, 01:34 PM   #23
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Also, forgot to mention Dead Again with Kenneth Brannagh, and Aliens (the moment you realize they're crawling above the ceiling panels... oh the tension!)
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Old August 26th, 2002, 03:31 PM   #24
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any one seen Cannibal Holocaust??
i had to do research after i saw it to make sure it wasn't real cannibalism.

Transformers, the movie... saw it when i was four, was crying my eyes out after 10 minutes when optimus prime died, and the whole movie just creeped me out.
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Old August 26th, 2002, 05:28 PM   #25
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I may have seen Cannibal Holocaust, is it Italian and may have a different name? Maybe I'm thinking of something else.

Requiem For A Dream was excellent. I didn't find it creepy though. Beautiful movie for such a dark subject.

Here's another movie, if I remember it correctly.

Phantoms. I think the first 10 minutes were in black and white, and had me holding my breath wating for ... s o m e t h i n g . . .
The rest of the movie wasn't nearly as good.

Nightmare on Elm St. was pretty scary when I was young.
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Old August 26th, 2002, 05:57 PM   #26
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If you just want to talk about creepy scenes, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. One scene repeats several times in the film. A scalpel slowly slices an eye. It's down in close up and just gave me the creeps. After a couple of times I had to turn away. In its day (1919) the film was probably very scary. Still its considered a classic.

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Old August 26th, 2002, 07:34 PM   #27
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Nosferatu would be another classic horror. It's still creepy

Actually, I think the scariest movie ever made was also one of the first movies ever made. It was simply of a train chugging down the tracks. The point of view of the camera was straight down the tracks so the audience saw the train coming right at them. Never having seen a movie before, they thought it was a real train and many people ran screaming for their lives.
Or so the story goes, I don't know how true it is.
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Old August 26th, 2002, 08:12 PM   #28
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Seems we're mixing up "goriest" with "scariest." Do most of you find "gore" to be scary? I don't at all. Just disgusting...and a bit boring.

The teen slasher genre that started in the 80s (a la "Nightmare on Elm Street") is all about gore...the puke factor. Never found any of those to be "suspenseful" or "scary." You can look at the group of teenagers in the film in the opening shot, determine the order that they'll get slashed...which then just leaves you to sit back and wait for the inevitable special effects blood to start gushing and endure the poor storyline in between gore scenes. (You can also immediately pick which two will get axed while making out, which girl will show her breasts, and which "star" will be left for the final "I'm-trapped-in-a-room-with-a-serial-killer" scene. Yawn.)

If you want to see something that will really scare the hell out of you...and without special effects and without blood...try "The Shuttered Room." It's an Oliver Reed movie made in 1967. Watch THAT alone at night and tell me you don't get the willies!
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Old August 27th, 2002, 12:03 AM   #29
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For Dylan Couper, that is a true story, the film was "The Arrival of a Train" by the Lumiere brothers, about four minutes long, circa 1895 or so. It was exhibited in a Paris cafe and caused a bit of a panic because it was such a disconcerting and frightening experience to see photographic images move. Some people dove under the tables, others scrambled to get out of the way.

For Jeff Donald, sorry but you're confusing Robert Weine's "Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari" from Germany, 1920, with Luis Bunuel's "Un Chein Andalou" (An Andalusian Dog) from Spain, 1929. Caligari is a feature-length horror film, Andalusian Dog is a shorter avant-garde piece. Both are excellent "scary movies."

Andalusian Dog contains the scene you refer to. A medium shot of a woman sitting in a chair, a close-up a scalpel being sharpened, a close-up of a man's hand holding her face and stretching the skin around her eye, a medium shot as he places the scalpel in line with her eye, a close-up of the scalpel slicing an eyeball.

Spoiler follows...

It is not *her* eyeball actually, but a goat's eye. Still pretty disturbing and the scene is repeated later in the film. It is not slow motion but real time, done slowly.

In the late 1980's, MTV ran a colorized version of Andalusian Dog without the graphic slicing close-up.

I have another thread going on this forum about "Requiem for a Dream." Darren Aronofsky is one of my favorite new directors. Definitely one of the most beautifully haunting and most depressing films I've ever seen. An incredible experience.
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Old August 27th, 2002, 01:14 AM   #30
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This is a great list going so far. Films that have been scariest to me are ones where the cinematography and lighting just get under my skin...and stay there long after The End.

"Nosferatu", as Dylan mentioned, is definitely on my list of creepy films.

"The Haunting" (the 1960's version) definitely crawled up my back...and still does.

But for utter bumps, "Vampyr" is my vote. This old, silent German flick probably had a budget comparable to a family of 4's weekly grocery bill today. But it uses some extremely creative techniques to build a sense of foreboding and terror that few films today can match. I believe that most of it was shot with a day-for-night technique, although the film is so old it's hard to tell. In one scene, for example, the moonlight shadow of an old, 1-legged soldier walks away and into a building...without the soldier. Vampyr is widely available on DVD today and is absolutely worth a look both for its entertainment value as well as for ideas that you might be able to apply in your own work. Guaranteed to linger in your mind. Yeesh...I get the creeps just thinking about it!
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