It's #ScaryMovieMonth and we're watching a LOT of horror movies. Are any of them actually scary? We tend to talk about so many of the other aspects of horror that we neglect to discuss whether or not they have the power to frighten or unnerve us. What's the kind of stuff that scares all of you?
Don't forget to keep participating in the Scary Movie Challenge. We're going to break 1,000 posts sometime this weekend. Have I mentioned how much I love all of you? Or how funny and clever your seven word reviews are? Make sure you're listening to the podcast this month so you can hear us read some of our favorites. I can't read ALL of my favorites, because the show would be seven hours long.
You are all the best.
Realistic body harm caused by everyday things that could happen in real life shakes me the most. The best examples I can think of in horror movies are the nail to the hand in "Hellraiser" and the Achiles Tendon cut to Fred Wynne's foot in "Pet Sematary" (though resurrected infants biting off my neck for some reason doesn't scare me, go figure). Sometimes I'm walking and the thought that some psycho could come out of nowhere and cut my (and other people's) Achiles Tendon just scares me shitless. Then I laugh, keep listening to Patrick bitch about Aunt Zelda in whichever podcast I'm listening to (she gets mentioned a lot!) and continue walking around town, free as a bird! Wee, it's fun! :-)ReplyDelete
Yep - that's mine too - over the top gore (see Doug's Exploding Head's column) just makes me laugh - realistic stuff (and the Pet Sematary example is a good one) gets me every time.Delete
Oh, and this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyL0AkyV6jI
I'm with you there. I don't know if it's scary, but I certainly cringe every time I see Fred Gwynn's Achilles get cut. Exploding heads do nothing for me, because you're instantly dead, but the thought of having to to walk around with a severed Achilles just gets to me. The prospect of being dead doesn't scare me as much as the thought of suffering through a horrific injury. Again, I don't think it's particularly scary (torture porn-type movies do nothing for me), but it definitely has the worst effect on me.Delete
I think the only thing that really scares me is a great build-up. That sense of unavoidable impending doom. I guess a story that employs dramatic irony gets to me the best. Like in House of the Devil, where the babysitter is just treating her night like any other night, but we know that it's going to turn out bad for her. Fear of the unknown (or, more specifically, what we don't know,) I guess.
I find that good haunted house movies can really get me. It's something about watching them and then sitting/wandering alone in my big, silent, dark house that leaves me with a very uneasy feeling.ReplyDelete
The horror movies that get to me the most are the ones that play up loneliness and isolation. Movies like Psycho, The Shining, Alien, Night of the Living Dead, and The Thing still scare me after the tenth viewing because you really get a sense of being left on your own to fend for yourself against the unknown. I also can't handle bad things happening to bones. Rip a guy's aorta out and I'm totally fine, but break his femur and I probably won't be able to finish the flick.ReplyDelete
Out of my 80s VHS Horrorathon this month. So far the film that played the best was The Entity. That film for its time is brilliant. Imagine seeing that at the pictures in 1982. Wow that would of been great . A few scenes actual gave me those Spooky chills we all love so much.ReplyDelete
Eye trauma. That creeps me right the hell out. (So yes, the ending of The Man With The X-Ray Eyes is one of the greatest horror movie endings ever.)ReplyDelete
Yes, I second this. Anything involving eyes.Delete
Im just watching The Beyond for the massacre and there is a classic eye trauma scene that just happened to Joe the Plumber. Fulci likes his Eye trauma. Also that classic scene in Zomble Flesh Eaters too is FulciDelete
And another one at the end of The Beyond. A shard of flying glass into the eye. OuchDelete
Ooooh, be sure to watch ANGUISH (1987). You will never be the same.Delete
Ooohhh indead. I dont own or know about that film. And 87 would be a lovely VHS tooDelete
Unexplained sounds echoing through the woods at night. That's why The Blair Witch Project always gets me. Also David Lynch has a recurring motif in many of his movies where someone is looking into darkness, and a face emerges from the darkness.. Brrrr....ReplyDelete
You know what's not scary? Editing! Many terrible horror movies since the 90's have thought that editing a bunch of "scary" images together in a rapid succession will be horrifying?. NOT SCARY. STOP IT.
While I jump harder at jump scares, that doesn't mean they scare me. That means the scene unexpectedly got loud all of a sudden. What really frightens me is tension and atmosphere, as well as disturbing visuals/effects. I don't need fountains of gore to be frightened, although for some films that may help. If a film can rely on creating a disturbing and eerie atmosphere with a decent threat then I'm in. My heart will race and I won't want to stop watching.ReplyDelete
Ditto. I'll take a strong sense of creepy atmosphere over jump scares any day.Delete
Tension and suspense..........usually followed by a visual payoff. My immediate 'go-to' would have to be the "diner scene" in Lynch's Mullholland Drive. There is a discussion between two people concerning a scary figure behind the diner - they leave the diner to walk to the spot where the figure resides - no element of this scene is a surprise yet on the reveal I am still a quivering wreck. Not a horror film per se, but boy oh boy, I was nowhere close to prepared when I first watched that...ReplyDelete
I think a case could be made that the finished film of "Mulholland Drive" is a horror film.Delete
I reviewed "Inland Empire" as a horror movie for the Scary Movie Challenge, and many other Lynch films ("Eraserhead," "Lost Highway," "TP: Fire Walk With Me," etc.) to me certainly qualify. His movies are his cinematic versions of dream logic within a nightmarish landscape, and to me that's horror.Delete
Lynch is in a whole other world. When "Inland" came out, I watched it 8 times in about a week and a half. I keep teetering back and forth between "Lost Highway", "Fire Walk With Me" and "Inland Empire" as my favorite Lynch film and within the past two years "Inland" wins despite the majority opinion. I'm a huge fan and can debate all of his films with the best of them, that said, I think "Inland" is a masterpiece and absolutely terrifying.Delete
I realized recently that I'm legit scared by movies about people alone at home investigating strange nighttime noises. Probably because I watch these movies by myself, at home, at night, in the dark. There's no reason The Conjuring and Sinister should freak me out the way they do, but damned if I didn't have to turn on lights before bed after watching both of them.ReplyDelete
I should be glad that horror movies still have an effect on me, but I found that I was mad at those movies for making me scared, as if they'd broken some unwritten contract that says if I'm old enough to watch scary movies I'm old enough to not really be scared by them. I love horror movies. Why wouldn't I want to be scared?
I have a theory that the reason these kinds of movies scare us the most is that they even make us nervous about being in the place where I think we should theoretically feel the safest, our own homes. The idea of some force or being invading this "safe" place is really frightening. That's my two cents on the matter, anyway.Delete
For sure. If I lived in an abandoned sanitarium I'd probably be just as scared by those movies.Delete
For me it's the space, the breathing room. A well-crafted horror movie respects the audience's imagination, making it far more potent than visceral experience alone. In a way, we watch films to avoid existential dread, loneliness, and to feel more connected to the human experience. Good horror films toy with that need. Great horror films find ways to engage that dread of the unknown, that inherent loneliness with which we all carry. It's in those quiet spaces we turn inward, our imaginations run wild, and we feel the fear. Like when Freddy used the Power Glove to kill Jon Arbuckle.ReplyDelete
Yea Horrror movies don't scare me anymore and believe me I wish they did. I would love nothing more than to be traumatized by a movie like I was as a kid.ReplyDelete
The Exorcist is still probably the scariest movie I've ever seen and one of the reasons is because my mom forbidded me to bring it into our house because she believed in all of that stuff and said if you let it into your head then you can't ever get it out. So before I even saw that movie I believed it had some sort of power to invade my mind and when I eventually saw it I brought that fear with me and it totally affected me and made ut a million times scarier. I didn't stop thinking about that movie for weeks. It just really freaked me out that someone innocent like Reagan played a game that she thought was harmless and ended up letting the evilest of evils take her over and I thought the same thing could happen to me just by watching the movie. The Exorcist dosent scare me much anymore but when I watch it i still have an after effect of the first time I watched it and it still gets to me.
. I also don't like being isolated in the middle of nowhere where you don't know anyone and you can't get away. The end of Texas Chainsaw Massacre when the girl is alone in this random place, it's dark, her friends are dead she dosent know where she is or how to get away and it's just out in the middle of nothingness that's always been a fear of mine. Getting lost in the woods in Blair Witch also fits in this too because everything looks the same, you keep going in circles and you're just screwed no matter what.
When someone is doing something and the killer appears behind them in the background. However, it only works if the music doesn't change or isn't there. If the score swells, the moment is ruined for meReplyDelete
Of recent horror I thought Oculus did a great job of combining the kinds of things that terrify me (mounting tension, claustrophobia, a growing sense of helplessness to control your situation). It's probably my favorite horror movie of the year, even if the end kind of loses a little steam.ReplyDelete
The other kind of movies that terrify me are Japanese existential nightmares, like Suicide Circle, Noriko's Dinner Table, Cure, Pulse. Movies that remind me how tenuous my grasp of self, reality, and control is. I feel sapped of humanity after I watch them, and it's a horrifying feeling that I remain somehow addicted to.
Small spaces, spiders and sometimes clowns if we are talking about things. Looking deeper though I think what really scares me is the transformation of the soul. I am trying to write about this further elsewhere. I love versions of the Faust tale, Dorian Grey... that concept of your inner-self being possessed by something evil that we are prone to such as greed or vanity. Even The Wasp Woman scared me, not whilst I was watching it but by giving me some nightmares. Not only because I am not a big fan of wasps, but because she had lost her humanity to the obsession of youth. They are tales that are more likely to be a version of hell on Earth that is very specific to that person, so to me that is more hell like than most other things like torture (which I don't enjoy watching) or gore (which can be so much fun). So I am definitely more in line with the what people are saying about mood, atmosphere and psychological horror.ReplyDelete
Anything I can't punch in the face.ReplyDelete
Scared isnt the right word but i am most effected by realistic body horror, but in particular anything to do with teeth. a pick axe scraping on teeth, a hammer smashing teeth, pliers pulling out teeth...just fuck right off. Errgh.ReplyDelete
Oh hell yeah, Brad, you just reminded me - the worst is fingernails being pulled, breaking upwards, pins/splinters in them - I cringe every time I see this kind of thing.Delete
Im just watching Lifeforce for #ScaryMovieMonth and I just noticed one of the female bodies after the Lifeforce has been sucked out looks just like ZeldaReplyDelete