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October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare" 
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Post October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
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Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:04 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
The removal of the 'Christ' from 'Christmas', at least in the UK, isn't about returning to Pagan routes. The UK mainstream hates anthing that hings at Paganism, Asatru or anything remotely of such an ilk. It's really more about 'welcoming people of all faiths', which losely translates from spin to English as 'not wanting to offend people who would otherwise find offense in imagary of a holiday they don't even celebrate' (I'm going on the words of a friend who's family were Muslims and claimed that Christmas day was just 'a day where they watched the corny movies'). Ironically, an effort is never made to not cause offence to the now extinct religions that actually gave Christianity these holidays.

On the subject of scary films - the film that has scared me the most, or at least unsettled me to the point that I nearly felt ill, was the original 'Final Destination'. It wasn't about the gore or the manner in which people were being bumped off, it was the initial premise and set up that just got to me; the foretelling of such an incident only to see it happen and the psychological trauma that would result. The first slasher movie I ever saw was 'Scream' when it was new to VHS but by then although I wasn't old enough to actually watch it int he cinema, I was at the stage where the gore and suspense was entertaining, not traumatising. Since then I think the film that has affected me the most of anything is 'Pan's Labyrinth'. This probably wasn't due to the 'scariness' as such (although the dude with the eye hands was just plain dark) but more the atmosphere of what was going on etc, with the war and the girl's circumstances.

Also, I never saw 'Blair Witch Project'. Is it worth it?

JB you mentioned that 'Halloween' wasn't the original slasher movie so I'm curious to know what is considered to wear that particular tag?


Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:19 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
Dragonbeard wrote:

JB you mentioned that 'Halloween' wasn't the original slasher movie so I'm curious to know what is considered to wear that particular tag?


PSYCHO.


Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:47 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
I love horror films, and nothing gets me excited like a good horror film.

However, none of them really scare me (though I have found many to be very suspenseful). These days, I find things more rooted in reality to be frightening. A good example: Deliverance. That, in my opinion, is one of the most frightening films ever made.

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Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:37 am
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Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
No horror film has ever truly scared me(I don't get what the big deal about Blair Witch, it just gave me a headache with that damn shaky-cam) granted some have suspenseful moments and a few made me jump briefly, but i've got nerves of steel, so it's pretty tough to scare me.


Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:44 am
Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:

JB you mentioned that 'Halloween' wasn't the original slasher movie so I'm curious to know what is considered to wear that particular tag?


PSYCHO.


Obviously =/ how did I not remember that??


Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:46 am
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Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
When I signed up with Netflix a few years ago, I started a new personal tradition: every year, I spend the entire month of October watching nothing but horror movies. This is a big challenge, since so many horror movies are just plain bad movies. And I can't (or won't) watch torture porn (I saw Hostel, and I'll never do that again). I've learned that the only way to survive the month is to mix things up with different sub-genres. So this time I mixed up classic movies like The Exorcist with 1950's creature features (Them, The Fly), silent films (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), horror comedies (Zombie Strippers, From Dusk till Dawn), quirky indie films (The Hole), a mixture of Hammer Film classics (Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed), some Roger Corman low-budget schlock-fests (Galaxy of Terror), along with some recent genre DVD's (Insidious, Spliced) and one theatrical release (The Thing).

I must admit, at the end of the month, I get pretty tired of watching this stuff, so I look forward to a change in pace. So, my next movie is Jane Eyre. :)


Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:00 am
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Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
Awesome post, Mr. Berardinelli, I really enjoyed reading it.

I think most horror movies succeed (when they succeed) by tapping into specific fears alive in "the culture" at that time. I think it's hard for horror movies to transcend their cultural times. Most of the 50s' radiation-mutated-insects or animals movies fall into this category. I suppose an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" would work whenever paranoia infuses the culture, but it was particularly effective for its time.

For me, color movies ruin the scare. I've never been scared by a color movie, except as a teen by 'The Exorcist'. And even there, it doesn't scare me except for the scene in the attic when Chris McNeil is investigating the strange bumping noise, or, more importantly, the last half hour spent in Regan McNeil's bedroom. For the first of those two, color is practically removed by darkness. For the second, the director Friedkin went with very washed-out colors and some kind of a blue-light effect that makes that last half-hour awfully close to a black-and-white experience. It worked for me!


Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:51 pm
Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
mikedevx wrote:
Awesome post, Mr. Berardinelli, I really enjoyed reading it.

I think most horror movies succeed (when they succeed) by tapping into specific fears alive in "the culture" at that time. I think it's hard for horror movies to transcend their cultural times. Most of the 50s' radiation-mutated-insects or animals movies fall into this category. I suppose an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" would work whenever paranoia infuses the culture, but it was particularly effective for its time.

For me, color movies ruin the scare. I've never been scared by a color movie, except as a teen by 'The Exorcist'. And even there, it doesn't scare me except for the scene in the attic when Chris McNeil is investigating the strange bumping noise, or, more importantly, the last half hour spent in Regan McNeil's bedroom. For the first of those two, color is practically removed by darkness. For the second, the director Friedkin went with very washed-out colors and some kind of a blue-light effect that makes that last half-hour awfully close to a black-and-white experience. It worked for me!


The backwards tape recording did it for me a little but that sort of thing always does for some reason! Also during Karras' dream sequence, when he ascends the subway stairs, a rather sinister face is seen for maybe half a second or so. That certainly made me jump!


Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:53 pm
Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
Two modern films that I scared me was Insidious and [Rec]. I live alone in a big old house and I was kind of scared to go to bed for a few days after seeing Insidious. I always found that strange since I never believed in ghosts or anything in that nature.


Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:46 pm
Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:

JB you mentioned that 'Halloween' wasn't the original slasher movie so I'm curious to know what is considered to wear that particular tag?


PSYCHO.


Psycho certainly is a progenitor of Slasher movies, but it doesn't really fit the slasher formula (near mystical killer, focus on the murderous acts, killing promiscuous teenagers), does it? I would argue that the Italian giallo movies, which take some inspiration from Psycho, are more direct forerunners of slasher movies and that Carpenter's 'Halloween' constitutes the first true 'slasher'.

Speaking of 'gialli', I know that you are not meaning to provide us with a brief history of horror movies, but failing to mention the wave of hard-hitting low budget horror movies of the late 1960ies/early 1970ies (Night of the Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left etc.) constitutes an oversight.


Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:35 pm
Post Re: October 31, 2011: "A Good Scare"
The Youtube first-person horror series "Marble Hornets" scares the buhjesus out of me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmhfn3mgWUI

Cracked.com also has a pretty good discussion of this topic.


http://www.cracked.com/video_18311_4-te ... sters.html


Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:12 pm
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