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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 October 10th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #61
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**lol well I was thinking in movie terms. Those old horror movies where you had a gorilla living in abandoned houses and creeping up on people. Ok maybe it was scary once but not these days.

Plus a sociopath can have heightened strength. Plus a gorilla may rip you from limb from limb but you never know what a human might do. Could decide to torture you or lots of other things.

Substitute a gorilla for Michael Myers and see how far Halloween would have gone before the gorilla would have been swinging off in a tree!
What about reversing it? King Kong would have been amazing if it was about an island inhabited by a tribe of people who worship a psycho killer. He would have killed the T-rex and then hid the body somewhere to be found in the last reel by the lead female. What a babysitter would be doing on the island is beyond me.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 10:17 PM   #62
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"oh, and since I said we should put our idea of a great horror movie, The Descent is probably the most recent film to have me cringing and gripping my armrest. Nothing like good ol' claustrophobia and darkness."

Hated it. I thought it started out good and the cinematography and cave sets were fantastic. It looked like a real cave and instead of just having mysterious light emanating from all over the place they used fairly realistic lighting. They used a few devices that aren't entirely realistic to add motivation to the light, but at least they tried and the visuals were effective. In a real cave, you probably wouldn't want to light a flare and smoke the place, but they did a good job regardless.

Where they completely lost me was when the fit hit the shan. As soon as the bad guy shows up, the women all act like Hollywood weak characters and scatter in all directions screaming. How it is possible to scatter in a cramped cave is for a speleologist to postulate, but it is a horrible cliche' for hysterical women to do something stupid that makes them even more vulnerable to the bad guy.

To top it off, it was clearly shown that the women were physically superior to the bad guy in a fight and they would all have survived if they tried to protect each other. Instead, they scatter and waste their precious flashlight resources and bicker like a bunch of schoolgirls.

That movie may have been creepy, but it exhibited lots of the horrible character flaws of many B-movies. I did not expect that from a movie not even made in America. It seemed like an American movie and I saw the British version.

Maybe this just goes back to my distaste for most creature movies, but it was the human behavior that I found most unreal. I do give credit to the production values, but the writing got in the way.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 06:41 AM   #63
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I felt kinda sorry for the bad guys in the Descent, what the hell gave those women the impression that it was ok to kill all the little buggers?!

The film was terrible.

Recent horrors that I like..... hmmm.......... Not many. The last film I thought was genuinely creepy/scary was Session 9 I think.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #64
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I think the horror genre has been thoroughly destroyed in recent years by the torture fest movies. While I do find torture unpleasant, it is similar to watching Fear Factor when they eat bugs. It's not frightening, just revolting. To top it off, the story in these movies is always so pathetic that I can't even see the torture scenes as anything but a cheap special effect.

I think the only horror movies that got my heart pumping at all in the last several years have been The Others and the American version of The Ring. Of all time, I put The Shining, Jaws, Aliens (Alien was good too), and The Thing (1982) as the ones that actually invoked fear while watching. The Blair Witch project was really creepy and made me twitch as I was falling asleep that night but I'm not sure I was really horrified. The Ring was a good haunting movie with demonic themes and that well is the kind of thing that really gives me the creeps. I'm also irked by objects in murky water (who knows why) so the head in Jaws really got me. I enjoyed the X Days Later zombie movies, but they seemed more science fiction than horror in many ways. Each had a few things that killed the mood for me that keep them out of my top horror movies.

I just remembered a horror movie that was fairly good in the last few years that few people here would have seen. It was a Thai movie called Shutter about a young couple that start seeing ghostly images in their pictures. It was clearly inspired by the recent wave of Japanese horror movies. I just looked it up and it's American DVD title is Shutter: They Are Around Us. I think this movie was good in a similar way to the creepy Japanese movies, but used Thai mythology to give it a different flair. I also like that it didn't have an ending compromised by the desire to sell a sequel. I saw this movie in the film festival here and the few things that puzzled me are apparently part of Thai mythology. I'm guessing that this movie would especially scare the crap out of a Thai audience by seeing their lore come to life.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 01:22 PM   #65
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I think the gore fest took over horror in the mid eighties. And then the serial killer movie--and then the satirical slasher movie. Horror was at its peak in the 70s and early 80s I thought.

I never understood the fascination with gore--as a special effect its kind of interesting to fake(I liked Re-animator though that was a special case), and sometimes it can produce a gallows' humor, but there seems to be a somewhat juvenile fixation on it among a large number of horror aficionados I encounter. Indie filmmakers especially.
I used to get horror magazines but I stopped when they started reviewing movies that featured real violence, bordered on snuff and advertising serial killer trading cards.
That's entertainment?




Movies that spooked me in one way or another as a kid:
Jaws, the Exorcist, Dont Look Now, Race with the Devil. Halloween, the Shining, and a few tv movies like Trilogy of Terror, Dead of Night, Burnt Offerings, the Dark Secret of Harvest Home, Salem's Lot, the Possessed(Harrison Ford was in it but all i remember was James Farentino and this possessed girl with a green face who spits tacks at him) and the Dark Night of the Scarecrow ("Bubba didnt do it!").

The old Universal stuff never scared me, although..I think Abbott and Costello meets Frankenstein had a few suspenseful moments--the use of music or something.

The biggest jumps I had recently were the Others(the cabinet opening scene), the Ring(asian version--the tv scene obviously--that totally had me squirming), and the UK tv movie the Woman in Black.

Its been pretty rare that I have seen anything as an adult that spooked me.

I havent seen the Descent but I saw Dog Soldiers and I thought it was ok, but trying too hard to be American in pace and style--more of an action movie than horror.
28 Days Later was disturbing and sometimes suspenseful but didnt scare me.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 04:15 PM   #66
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Horror doesn't have to be scary, remember. Just like Drama doesn't have to always be a tear jerker. Creepy, Suspenseful, and supernatural all can fit in the horror category.
I like that someone pointed out The Thing. That is both sci-fi and horror, and a great movie to boot.
Why does The Descent's being like an "american" film, make it bad? I thought it was a prime example of how "american" horror movies need to be made. The horror from hollywood has been god awful lately. Anyone see the Halloween remake? I was watching it for free at work and I still didn't finish it. I chose to go back to work instead. Everything is all remakes and torture porn. I don't include Hostel in torture porn though, cause when you break it down, Hostel and even part 2 had really great characters. Also, Hostel shows you very little, but makes you think you saw more than you did, and what it did show was no more gory than what you see on CSI. It was all in the presentation. I actually didn't even want to see Hostel, and expected to hate it.
I know I'm probably in the minority on that though.

Ooo, has anyone said Shark Attack 3 yet? Not that the others were better, but this one is exceptionally bad. Look it up on youtube to see some of the best clips.

Oh, and I had heard all about Let's Scare Jessica To Death and thought it was gonna be this classic masterpiece. Bored out of my mind.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #67
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I first want to make it clear, Sean, that even though we differ on our views of a good horror movie that I appreciate the dialog of this subject. No offense intended.

"Why does The Descent's being like an "american" film, make it bad?"

It was bad in the same way that many American movies fail. It had easily avoidable flaws in human behavior to set up pointless plot elements. Yes, people can be treacherous, but they had those women do some really ridiculous stuff that clearly would hurt their ability to get out alive.

I loved the movie Tremors because the characters (well, caricatures) behaved much like real people would in a bizarre scenario. They used their brains to try to save themselves. The bad guy is much more threatening if the good guy isn't completely pathetic. In Aliens, the creatures were very intimidating not because they had dripping teeth, but because they relentlessly and cleverly pursued a formidable foe (the colonial marines). The protagonists in Aliens suffered due to believable human flaws like arrogance, greed, and carelessness. The arrogance wiped away quickly as it should and new obstacles like diminishing ammunition increased the tension.

I think another quality of a good movie is when the horror is conveyed indirectly. A perfect example of this is the barrels in Jaws. The barrels moving along the surface were probably more terrifying than the shark itself. The three barrels sinking were the best testament to the power of the shark in the whole movie. It was also during this scene when the main character's predicament (caused by overconfidence) was clearly revealed. They didn't get a bigger boat and now they were going to pay.

My rule now is that if the movie uses a Hollywood cliche' well after being disproved clearly by Mythbusters, the movie sucks. Jaws is exempt because the scuba tank trick was original and done 30 years before being busted. All the sequel Jaws movies were horrible like most creature flicks.

Perhaps we should change this thread to: What makes some horror movies terrifying and others pathetic?

Last edited by Marcus Marchesseault; October 12th, 2007 at 08:01 AM.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 04:01 AM   #68
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Horror doesn't have to be scary
I suppose to fit into the pigeon hole for "horror" you're right, but to be a great horror film, it has to be horrific, hence the name. And horrifically bad is not good enough!

I think the term horror is a bit broad these days. In my opinion horror movies nearly always deal with the supernatural, otherwise it's a slasher, or torture porn.

I wanna go watch the Changeling again....
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Old November 24th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #69
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House of the Dead & Alone in the Dark! Uwe Boll!!!
and don't forget BloodRayne.

I just saw BloodRayne 2 at the store. I want to rent it, find out who the producers are and ask them for money for my film about a fictitious film producer who bilks a bunch of naive producers out of a bunch of money
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Old November 24th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #70
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Descent made me angry. First time in a long time a movie made me angry. I was trolling around my specialty movie channels one night and started watching it. I knew nothing about it and didn't bother reading the description

It started and I thought "Cool, a female Deliverance" ... or at least an adventure movie with all female cast. Acting seemed good. As an outdoorsman I thought: This is a fresh spin

Then it became a monster movie. Another, stupid monster movie. After Aliens .. why bother (OK, I like Pitch Black but I sort of put that on another level)

Seems to me we are in one of those movie periods where imagination is blugenoned by: "But the kids at the cinemaplex wanna see slime"

Too bad
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Old November 25th, 2007, 12:35 AM   #71
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I think you're all wrong. I liked the Descent, great scare flick... but the one movie that encompasses so many social issues and yet still delivers with such impact that it will probably be remembered and talked about for many decades to come is... FRANKENFISH!
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Old January 9th, 2008, 07:18 AM   #72
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My vote - The Wizard of Gore. Horrible....and not in a good way. Although, with the title, I guess I had it coming...

A terrible sequel that just makes me fume at the very thought of it - Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. The original was no Psycho, mind you, but Part 2 spent the first 35 - 45 minutes reviewing the first!!! The people responsible owe me something for losing those 85 minutes of my life.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #73
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I'll list some great horror films by decade:

'20s: 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari'
'30s: 'Bride of Frankenstein'
'40s: 'Return of the Vampire'
'50s: 'Invasion of the body snatchers'
'60s: 'Peeping Tom' and 'The Mask of the Red Death'
'70s: 'Martin' and 'The Brood' and 'The Abominable Dr. Phibes' (one of my favs) and 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'
'80s: 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Hellraiser' and 'Prince of Darkness' and 'Return of the Living Dead 1 & 2'
'90s: 'Alien Resurrection' and 'Ravenous' and 'Cemetery Man' and 'Tremors'
'00s: 'Shadow of the Vampire' and 'Slither'

If I feel like torturing myself, I'll post some horrible films later.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #74
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Alien Resurrection
Honestly? Or was this a sarcastic response?
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Old January 9th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #75
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Honestly? Or was this a sarcastic response?
Hahaha. No, it's a serious response. I'm a big fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (and somewhat of a fan of Joss Whedon). I think the film has some interesting things to say about sexuality and humanity. What's not to like? Cheesy acting? Bad dialog?

Is it a horror film, after all.
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