Author Topic: Horror Film Dilemma  (Read 7542 times)

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CatMan5129

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Horror Film Dilemma
« on: August 29, 2006, 12:56:38 AM »
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What do people find frightening?  The last horror film that scared me was The Ring...yea i'll admit it.  Maybe it was because I was high, but I think it was because it was grounded by a more realistic plot.  Not the video part, but the whole psychiatric theme.  I'm sure the original is better, but I never got to see it.  Anyway, I'm not a horror aficiondo, but I'm considering shooting a horror next semester.  My question is, what do you find scary, and what horror films of the past, left you unsettled?  Thanks.

Pubrick

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2006, 10:38:49 AM »
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a world of parasites, leeches, and knobs. where people only call you when they need something from you. a world where polka still helps them.

no wait that's just depressing.
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RegularKarate

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2006, 01:28:05 PM »
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People really love that Texas Chainsaw remake and the last Halloween sequel... you should make those.
People also love it when you've only seen like five "horrors" and then you make one.

matt35mm

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2006, 01:57:52 PM »
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Not that Pubrick and RK weren't justified in their remarks, but I'll attempt to answer this seriously.  So, seriously, my advice is not to go make a horror movie.  Firstly, the student horror film is done to death and always (ALWAYS) bad.  Secondly, if someone has to (and someone will) make a horror movie next semester, you don't seem to be the guy to do it.

If you're just looking to cut your teeth and figure that horror movies can get away with being amateurishly-made and still be enjoyable on a cheesy level, then that's just lazy and not worth doing, and again, that's been done to death.  So, while this horror movie is still just a consideration, I would say squash it.

BUT, if you really want to do a horror movie for some reason even though you don't particularly care for horror movies, tight, dark spaces and religious wackos usually do the trick in scaring people.  Loud things popping out of nowhere is not a good way to go.  I'd say The Descent is a good modern example, and other than that, just catch up on all the movies that you know scared people like The Exocist, Jaws, Alien, Psycho... etc.  You know the ones.  Oh, and Rosemary's Baby.  I thought that was scary.  And don't watch them high.  At least not the first time around.

Now stay the hell out of my locker!  ... you can keep the shoes...

pete

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 02:32:06 PM »
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it doesn't really matter what people finds scary, because fear is such a visceral thing typed out information really isn't going to help you.  horror is a pure form of filmmaking, in that sense, because you're relying solely on your craftsmanship to generate whatever illusion you need to, and a checklist of scary things ain't gonna help ya.
if you really want to make a horror movie, then just make a hundred of them, and try to see what works and what doesn't.  I think "superficial action" in general should be practiced that way--just do it until you get good, knowing that your first few movies will probably be full of mistakes, then learn from those.  there is no cerebral shortcut.  that being said, if you're not into the genre but you just wanna do a student film exercise, then yeah, like Matt said, everyone else is thinking the same exact thing.  it's not easy and it shouldn't be taken lightly, the craftsmanship of a horror movie.
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CatMan5129

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2006, 12:19:56 AM »
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To Pubrick and RegularKarate, 

I assume you both have a lot of time on your hands and therefore posted your comments out of utter boredom.  I think this is a great website, but I also fear technology and spending too much time on the internet makes me ill.  Regardless, I'll respond to your comments with the following: a heartfelt, fuck you.

To Matt,
When I wrote that I "wasn't an aficionado," it didn't mean that I don't care about the genre.  It holds a special place in my heart and I think it would be a difficult, but extremely rewarding experience, to direct a horror film.  I just don't consider myself an expert on the genre while I know a lot of people do.
I'm trying to brainstorm ideas for my script, but I am interested in what people truly fear and why.  I respect the xixax community's opinions for the most part so I thought this would be a good place to go.

As for The Decsent, I just saw it and I was wondering why you liked it so much.  I thought there were some very nice sequences, in the begining when she's running through the hospital and the lights are turning off, very dreamlike.  The film itself was well shot with some really pretty cinematography, maybe too pretty for a cave.  And I liked the references to other horror films, like the blair witch project and a lot of carrie references.  But little things pissed me off.  the handheld camera shots were moving when the person holding the camera was sitting still.  Not a huge deal, but it was those smalls things that took me out of the film. Plots holes that could have been corrected just looked sloppy to me.  When she first sees the cave being, it runs away from her, but throughout the rest of the film they are being chased by the creatures.  They could have just made that first one a baby, so it would make sense that it was scared, plus it would be even freakier and when the larger creatures appeared they would have even more of a presence.

Do you think it's ridiculous to hold a horror film to those standards? Am I just a pretentious asshole?

Perhaps I am, but it's hard not to be when you're studying film.  Also I just wasn't that scared by the film.  Maybe it was because I was high, but I have to stop using that as an excuse.  It defnitely had its moments, but overall I though it could have been way better.

Anyway, I'll definitely check out Rosemary's Baby, I've been meaning to watch it for some time now.  Thanks.

To Pete,

I think your absolutely right, but I'm not looking for a list of things that scare you.  I am interested in hearing people's experiences with fear.  Maybe it won't help my script or my film, but it might. Thank you for your comments.

Regards.

matt35mm

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2006, 01:20:04 AM »
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To Matt,
When I wrote that I "wasn't an aficionado," it didn't mean that I don't care about the genre.  It holds a special place in my heart and I think it would be a difficult, but extremely rewarding experience, to direct a horror film.  I just don't consider myself an expert on the genre while I know a lot of people do.
I'm trying to brainstorm ideas for my script, but I am interested in what people truly fear and why.  I respect the xixax community's opinions for the most part so I thought this would be a good place to go.

As for The Decsent, I just saw it and I was wondering why you liked it so much.  I thought there were some very nice sequences, in the begining when she's running through the hospital and the lights are turning off, very dreamlike.  The film itself was well shot with some really pretty cinematography, maybe too pretty for a cave.  And I liked the references to other horror films, like the blair witch project and a lot of carrie references.  But little things pissed me off.  the handheld camera shots were moving when the person holding the camera was sitting still.  Not a huge deal, but it was those smalls things that took me out of the film. Plots holes that could have been corrected just looked sloppy to me.  When she first sees the cave being, it runs away from her, but throughout the rest of the film they are being chased by the creatures.  They could have just made that first one a baby, so it would make sense that it was scared, plus it would be even freakier and when the larger creatures appeared they would have even more of a presence.

Do you think it's ridiculous to hold a horror film to those standards? Am I just a pretentious asshole?

Perhaps I am, but it's hard not to be when you're studying film.  Also I just wasn't that scared by the film.  Maybe it was because I was high, but I have to stop using that as an excuse.  It defnitely had its moments, but overall I though it could have been way better.

Anyway, I'll definitely check out Rosemary's Baby, I've been meaning to watch it for some time now.  Thanks.
Oh all right.  The Descent did not actually scare me either, but not that many horror movies have.  Most horror movies, if you accept all of the tradition that comes with the genre, are ultimately meant to be fun.  I've never connected scary with fun myself.  The Descent was just a fun, visceral thrill, and mildly chilling perhaps.  I also never ever care about plot points, loopholes, or camera angles/stability.  Those things don't take me out of a movie.

I'm not particularly an aficionado of horror films, actually, and I too am interested in its potential.  So to give you my opinion, my idea of a true horror film would not be some sort of fun cathartic experience like tradition suggests it should be.  My idea of a horror film would be completely an uncomfortable experience that would make you actually come out viewing the world as a darker, more horrible place.  No "cool" deaths.  So usually the movies that actually scare me are the more serious dramas, actually, that I can take... well, seriously.  I have to be able to take it seriously in order for it to actually frighten me.

The reason I mention Rosemary's Baby is because all the horror lies in Mia Farrow's reactions.  That truly horrified look on a person's face is maybe the most bone-chilling thing you can put up on a screen.  People with mental problems are also scary, because you really just don't know what the fuck with them.

My suggestion would still be not to do a horror movie yet, however.  I, too, want to make a horror movie but it's something that I just know I cannot do yet.  Due to how saturated the world has been with horror movies and the desensitization of audiences, I think it would require such a depth of psychological understanding and a filmmaker on the top of his or her game.  I think it would have to be a film that would change the way people see horror.

Additionally, I don't think a film student can do it.  Not to rag on film students, but, ignoring their young age and general lack of experience, they study film.  This produces a certain mentality.  I think one would have to move past that mentality to be able to make a film progressive enough in spirit to make it worthwhile.  The film should ruin lives, destroy marriages, corrode spirits, all on as literal a level as possible.  People should be coming out shaking and with tears streaming down their faces, men and women of all ages.  Those two hours should be two of the most significant in their whole lives.  If it's not, then fuck it all.

But that's just what I think.  And I couldn't tell you how to achieve any of that.  First of all, it might not be what you want to achieve, and second of all, I don't know how to do it... yet.

I bet Ingmar Bergman could have done it, and for some reason I think, in maybe 10 or 20 years, Lynne Ramsay could do it.  But ultimately, even though I said it'd probably be from a filmmaker at the top of his or her game, it'd probably have to come from an unknown, or at least produced in secrecy, and have no recognizable actors in it.  It would have to have no baggage.  It would have to come from nowhere.  BUT not something like The Blair Witch Project, because it shouldn't be clever.  I still have a lot of thinking to do about all of this, though.

Pubrick

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2006, 10:10:06 AM »
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To Pubrick and RegularKarate, 

I assume you both have a lot of time on your hands and therefore posted your comments out of utter boredom.  I think this is a great website, but I also fear technology and spending too much time on the internet makes me ill.  Regardless, I'll respond to your comments with the following: a heartfelt, fuck you.
if you're that irrational and fucked in the head that you "fear" technology then maybe you should follow your instincts and leave this site, your computer, and the whole of civilization right now. all that was asked of you when you posted the first time was to introduce yourself, and you were too caught up in getting us to "help you out" to even bother. and here you are doing it again.

why the fuck should any of us give our time to help a knob like you? why is matt doing it? he must be the one posting out of utter boredom, which you should be grateful for. grateful enough to give a little something back to the community by way of partaking in discussion not specifically created for your benefit. or you can just shut the fuck up and that'll be fine too.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

Chest Rockwell

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2006, 10:43:15 AM »
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CatMan5129 - While I advise you to simply not make a horror film at this point because it never works when the director is unexperienced and without budget, I'll tell you that for me the most horrific movie was The Shining. It wasn't about freak-out moments or gore but paranoia that languidly escalates throughout the movie. Part of the reason why it was frightening was because the real horror in it wasn't supernatural or monster-related; it was the degeneration of the familial bonds and sanity in the particular situation. But part of it was definitely the use of music and sound (if you don't think you can get effective music and creepy sound then you probably shouldn't bother). In the end, the reason it's good is because it's intelligently and competently crafted. Remember, horror is a tough thing to pull off.

EDIT: Also, watch some early Cronenberg (Videodrome and back...but not Fast Company) for some good low-budget horror. And another problem would be that you'd need decent actors.

MacGuffin

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2006, 10:50:39 AM »
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Did I almost read SPOILERS for The Descent?
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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matt35mm

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2006, 11:22:31 AM »
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why the fuck should any of us give our time to help a knob like you? why is matt doing it? he must be the one posting out of utter boredom...
I hope it's not out of boredom...  I'm really just figuring out my own thoughts on the subject in this thread, while also, along with Chest, advising him to stay away from making a horror movie.

Perhaps I shouldn't really care that much.  After all, it's not like making a bad movie at film school is gonna Ruin His Career!  But in any case, I just sometimes like to work my thoughts out on XIXAX.

RegularKarate

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2006, 12:05:14 PM »
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To Pubrick and RegularKarate, 

I assume you both have a lot of time on your hands and therefore posted your comments out of utter boredom.  I think this is a great website, but I also fear technology and spending too much time on the internet makes me ill.  Regardless, I'll respond to your comments with the following: a heartfelt, fuck you.

quit being a dingbat and you won't get replies like ours.  You only come here to help yourself and you make yourself look worse by saying the crap that you said (which probably would have been forgiven if you had ever actually participated outside of "help me with my homework" threads).

You're in filmschool.. everything you know right now is wrong.  If you ever think you'll actually want to make a real horror film, I suggest you make one in filmschool and then spend the rest of your career doing the opposite of everything you did during the making of that film.

with the little experience you have with watching horror films, you'll make a piece of garbage (this is because 99.9% of student films are garbage, mine included) and once you start actually watching good horror films, you'll realize why yours sucked.

"See all that stuff, Homer? That's why your robot didn't work."

pete

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2006, 12:35:09 PM »
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wow, that's a lot of crying.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

Ravi

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2006, 02:25:39 PM »
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"That’s a bloodsucker? It looks like Alf. You got a week to fix it."
"You must be the creature that ate our cat!"
[laughter]

bonanzataz

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Re: Horror Film Dilemma
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2006, 04:40:58 PM »
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i'm thirsty...
The corpses all hang headless and limp bodies with no surprises and the blood drains down like devil’s rain we’ll bathe tonight I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls Demon I am and face I peel to see your skin turned inside out, ’cause gotta have you on my wall gotta have you on my wall, ’cause I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls collect the heads of little girls and put ’em on my wall hack the heads off little girls and put ’em on my wall I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls

 

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