Geeky Cinephile Musings…
I don't pontificate, I blather.

Ooooh….scary

Howdy all. So, I’m going to jump on FilmGeek’s bandwagon here and try to start a little sumptin. I’ve being doing a lot of pondering lately about horror movies and what sorts of things people like, or don’t like, about them. Anyone out there have a favorite flick? Have several favorite flicks? Enough about moving people. What scares you?

daropera

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7 Responses to “Ooooh….scary”

  1. Oooooooh!! Great picture traytray!! I love that film. For what it’s worth, what scares me is the creature you can’t see. Now that there are so many films utilizing CGI to create these crazy monsters, it’s honestly taking the fun out of the whole experience of things-that-go-bump-in-the-night for me. The Fog–totally scary until you actually see the pirates. The Nightmare on Elm Street films–totally scary until you could fully see Freddy. Oh wait, so that means only the first one, although there were other redeeming qualities to be found in the later films…sometimes…actually a lot of them just became funny.

    In a slightly different vein, in Shock, (a fantastic film by Mario Bava that my loverly Mr. Ackerman showed me one night in his little cave..er…apartment on a projector–AWESOME!) there is one scene, shot with zero special effects, where a little boy runs down a hallway toward my diva, Daria Nicoletti. He reaches her knees just out of sight of the camera and suddenly pops up, a full grown man-ghost. Writing this now, I’m afraid it lacks the utter frightening creepiness that it gives you when you’re watching it. But hey, just LOOK at this kid–he’s fucking totally creepy all on his own.

    http://www.kindertrauma.com/?p=247

    So ultimately my point is…less is more!

    Oh, and I fucking LOVE the Exorcist. Period. Hands down. The only film that still really scares me. I mean it truly frightens me. And why? Yup. You guessed it! Possession is an invisible killah.

    ….and…um…the thought of stabbing my vagina with a cross against my will REALLY fucking terrifies me.

  2. In recent years, I’ve been exploring a lot of 1970s American horror films that incorporate a fair amount of art-film dreaminess in conveying otherwise-pulpy tales of vampires, zombies, madness and the like. Films like Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, Martin, Deathdream, Season Of the Witch (aka Jack’s Wife), Lemora: A Child’s Tale Of The Supernatural, Phantasm (probably the most famous title on this list, and not coincidentally, the scariest), The Witch Who Came From the Sea, The Premonition, Messiah Of Evil (finally coming out in widescreen this year after years of pan-and-scan public domain releases), Images, Friday The 13: The Orphan (not to be confused with any entries in the Jason franchise, and the only film on the list to have no DVD release of any kind), and Ganja And Hess. Some of these films are probably too deliberately paced, or stray to far from genre convention, to qualify as very scary. None of these are as harrowing as, say, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre or The Last House On The Left. And a few contain some very 1970s haircuts. But they’re all really interesting, creepy, atmospheric, and contain moments of visual elegance that the recent wave of horror remakes don’t aspire to. A fantastic book called Nightmare USA was published last year by FAB Press, and a few of the above-mentioned titles are considered in it at length.

  3. I just KNEW you’d delivah!!! Goooooo Orklykid!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Interesting points from both of you. My brain is overwhelmed with possible responses and a need to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre again. One quick note before dashing to the video store: Joyanna brings up a good point, I really appreciate it when a movie can make me jump. First time I saw the kid with the black eyeliner in The Grudge, I jumped. Probably not the best example I could come up with, but the imagery in that one messed with my head.

  5. Jaws, The Exorcist. A lot of movies from my childhood actually. More recently, the Descent just struck some primal fear in me too. Something about being in a cave, trapped. YIKES!!!

  6. Ah, Jaws. A perfect example of the less is more approach to making something scary. I’ve being hearing some favorable mutterings about The Descent, too; I may have to check that one out.

  7. The Descent, yes! I really enjoy this movie, and yes, disbelief must be seriously suspended in regards to the cave-bat-man-creatures, but so what? The setup and atmosphere really just get to your last nerve, and it’s great! And speaking of the effectiveness of the “less is more” approach in horror — and that approach will always work, look back at early Gothic and horror literature, e.g., Brontes, Poe, Ambrose Bierce, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Shirley Jackson, Faulkner, Arther Maachen (sorry, I could go on and on) — what about “Session 9?” David Caruso and that kid from “Welcome to the Dollhouse” and a few others are stripping the asbestos from an abandoned mental institution. There are many things and evidence of the place’s history just lying about, and the workers stumble upon a series of recorded sessions between a psychiatrist and his multiple personality patient. The visuals and gore are kept to a minimum, but it’s the score and the sound effects that are amazingly effective and creepy.
    As to my rambling about horror lit — yes, I know this is a film blog, but any reading suggestions from anyone? I’ve read a fair amount, but there’s much more for me to discover, so…..


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