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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #31
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p.s. couple of posts mentioned John Carpenter--today I start working on a movie with the man, should be interesting!
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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #32
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I agree, one or two jump scares add to the tension (I'm thinking of in the Ring when the loud bang occurs when he closes the filing cabinet right after they cut from outside, scared me half to death!)
But that's startling, not thrilling or scary. Most of the movies released nowadays should be called "Startle movies". They only way they know of scaring you is splitting your eardrum. It's stressful, not scary.

It's what filmmakers do when they can't come up with a compelling story. It's no substitute for building (and sustaining) a sense of dread.


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Old August 4th, 2009, 12:06 PM   #33
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Carpenter used a jump scare a couple of times in Halloween, and in the Fog.

I dont think the Shining used any.

The last hollywood horror movie I saw was 1408 which I found very unscary.

The hand on the shoulder thing--best use of it I saw was in Dr. Terror's House of Horrors in which an art critic kills an artist and his severed hand is haunting him. The art critic is in a bar and this hand falls on his shoulder, and the critic freaks out--then we see its a very short guy friend who wants a free drink.

It is a very artificial kind of scare set up.

"why announce myself by talking when I can put a hand on your shoulder and spook you?"
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Old August 6th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #34
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Has anyone read or browsed through the book "Film Directing: Shot by Shot?" It has a good section on how you can manipulate shot order to achieve different effects.

Other than that decent sound will do it ... but easy on the music ... I get the feeling that a lot of films overuse it ... especially when they have big budgets. No Country For Old Men had a very creepy feeling to it ... due to the lack of music. I think it was Sydney Lumet that said a lack of music adds realism. Wouldn't horror be scarier if we found it more "realistic" rather than just pure fantasy?

Also, let's not forget good old-fashioned character driven stories ... I think with horror, realism is very important. We probably want to do everything in our power to avoid letting the film feel like a fantasy.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #35
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If after the noise turns out to be the cat you return to a balanced framing the viewer will subconciously relax a little. A balanced frame means alls right in the universe. Hit them with the scare after you balance the frame and your shock effect will be maximized.
I totally disagree. This has become such a cliché that EVERYONE expects the "unexpected" scare. It's like the bad guy having to be killed twice at the end.

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Old August 6th, 2009, 05:15 PM   #36
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I love this thread. I'm going to show this to my 8-year old son, who's a huge horror (not gore) fan. He and I made a horror short earlier this year. My son wrote the script, directed and starred in it, while I did the videography and editing. Some of it's unintentionally funny, but that may be unavoidable when you have 8-year olds in the primary acting roles.

It's both of our first venture into this genre. Overall, we were both pretty pleased with the fairly creepy feel. Check it out, if you like. Flash and downloadable versions in a variety of formats are available here:

Prolefeed Studios Video Catalog: Inside a Car

Comments welcome.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #37
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In 1972 'The Other' played at the local theatre and scared the hell out of me when I was 14. I didn't even know it was a scary movie so it probably took me by suprise. I still remember the slow crawling fear during that movie. I saw it again with my kids on DVD this year. Didn't have the same kick as in the theatre, but I'm older and more jaded, plus I knew the ending. The technique they used is like a novel in a way, making you come to the obvious terrifying conclusion in your mind rather than showing the gory details.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #38
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"AAAAAAAH!... freaky..."

Your kid drives a nicer car than you!

Does he have an agent yet? ;-)


J.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #39
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Yeah, he surpasses his old man in many ways. Knowing him, he'll probably be his own agent. Does everything else himself, why not that, too?

Glad you liked the short.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 08:25 AM   #40
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@Charles I was surprised out how great and scary Exorcist 3 was. Chilling stuff. Even the beginning when the doors to the church open and the statue of Jesus' eyes open. Frightening!

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Old August 11th, 2009, 10:08 PM   #41
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Exorcist 3

I concur with you guys about E 3. Are there any bad movies with George C. Scott in them? That scene in the hospital with the scary hoody creature got to me, so I made a short homage to it called "Night of the Headsman". Be kind, it was my 1st attempt at a short, used the XL 2. Campfire - Home
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