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TenseAndSober · 850 · 184334

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Reply #735 on: June 14, 2014, 06:57:56 PM
SCARIEST horror films that you've seen?

It's tough to say, our idea of "what's scary" changes so much throughout our lives. That's why This is such a great thread. I appreciate horror for aesthetic reasons, I just think they're the most interesting kind of films to look at, as well as being willing, above any genre, to dive into the darkest depths of our psyche. As I've learned more about how the effects are done, I can really detach from the violence happening on screen and see it as a construction. Like, when I was little and watched an old movie and the blood was too bright red or whatever, I'd think "That's cheesy," because I wanted to believe everything onscreen was really happening. Now that I'm fully aware of the hard work that goes into such things, I practically applaud when I see some stabbing or beheading done well, regardless of if it seems real or not.

I guess what really scares us is the feeling of being helpless, not being in control of whatever is going to jump out at you next. As I've grown up, I've gravitated away from seeking that thrill in horror movies and have found it more often in documentaries. 'Dear Zachary' is a film that truly makes you feel helpless in the most agonizing way. Movies like that don't just give you a jump scare then tell you everything's okay, they fucking stick with you.

with that said, I'm going to attempt making of list of my scariest movies, ones that would freak me out at this minute if I popped 'em in the DVD player:

1. Peeping Tom
2. The Fly
3. Maniac ( original AND remake )
4. Pet Sematary
5. Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer

( obviously left The Shining out because we all know wtf the deal is )
Ever have a feeling and you don’t know why?


polkablues

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Reply #736 on: June 14, 2014, 07:06:52 PM
The last 20 minutes or whatever are retarded

Nonsense.
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jenkins

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Reply #737 on: June 14, 2014, 07:15:39 PM
i mightta mentioned before how kill list changed my theater seating habits. i used to be frontrow/midtheater+midrow/whatevs, depending on movie/theater, but while watching kill list i had so much uncomfortable anxiety that i walked out for a zen breathing exercise, and i returned to sit in a back aisle seat, which changed my preferences to frontow/backaisle/whatevs. i need aisle space to feel personally safe during scary movies! i'm such a baby

positive i've mentioned how asking friends to see cannibal holocaust with me is the worst theater invite i ever made. i thought it'd be stupid funny or something. nope. we were all quiet during and after, and two of the friends never went to a movie with me again. well they were friends of the main friend. but still, definitely not a fun theater experience

my personal feelings about horror movies are best illustrated during don't deliver us from evil and alucarda, meaning i basically like them because the world feels overall terrible to me anyway, so sometimes my friends and i embrace the madness

i'd also like to tripledown on recommendations for peeping tom, and doubledown pet sematary

henry portrait of a serial killer i watched while i was watching horror movies with a girl, and for some terrible/accidental reason is one in a series of like 5 horror movies in which the rape of a female was a principle component. it was a continuous "oh. :(" experience. rape scenes are a common element to many movies, and sometimes they convert into female empowerment, like during the excellent ms. 45 but i overall can't stand rape scenes and their legacy, because of course i can't stand the legacy of rapes. i'm feeling emotional


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Reply #738 on: June 14, 2014, 09:17:47 PM
side note

I'm about to watch Phantasm. I remember catching it on tv as kid around 8-10. It was towards the end when the metal ball really starts flying around everywhere. I got such a weird vibe from it at that age, having no comprehension of what was going on and just kind of succumbing to the movie's rules. Hopefully I'll be able to understand it a little better now.

I bought it recently along with this:



It's a new favorite horror of mine, thought I wrote about it in this thread, but couldn't find it to quote. 'Poltergeist' meets 'The Accused'.
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jenkins

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Reply #739 on: June 14, 2014, 10:58:08 PM
been wanting to rewatch phantasm myself. yeah it's been some years for me too, and i remember the flying doohickey and scenes set in the places you go into at a cemetery, and someone walks around for a while in really mysterious ways. sorry about all those spoilers.  please tell me how it is. lil busy with rocky right now, but thinking about watching all of them. and i've instigated a sudden desire to also rewatch the loved one
[edit]
for phantasm i also remember teenagers doing sexual things in a cemetery, and during that scene i thought about sexual battles against the fear of death


polkablues

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Reply #740 on: July 24, 2014, 06:03:17 PM
Watched a handful from my Netflix queue over the past few days.


BLACK ROCK

The weird thing about this movie is just how perfunctory it is. Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass are filmmakers who, when working in their wheelhouse, make hit or miss comedies with a distinct authorial voice. In the case of Black Rock, they made a paint-by-numbers wilderness-survival horror flick. Even the part they should have excelled at, the character-building first act, rings hollow and surprisingly amateurish. Duplass especially knows better than to write a movie where the characters say exactly what they're thinking at all times with no subtext. Poor Kate Bosworth and Lake Bell do the best they can with what they're given, and the performances almost save it, along with a really nice villain turn by Jay Paulson.

That said, the meat of the film, the survival action, is perfectly competent, but doesn't bring anything new to the table. The use of female nudity in a completely non-gratuitous was an interesting genre tweak, but one new idea isn't enough to push the movie beyond decent but forgettable.

C+



THE MOORING

Another film in the wilderness survival genre, very similar to Black Rock in both intent and execution. The story of a group of teenage girls sent off on a wilderness retreat to wean themselves off of overuse of technology (cleverly built-in plot device to avoid having to use the old "no cell phone signal" trope), the highlight is the charmingly naturalistic performances of the mostly first-time actors playing the girls. There are maybe too many characters and not enough distinct character traits to distinguish them, but the rapport between the actors makes the slow build more enjoyable and less cursory.

As with Black Rock, once the action starts, it feels largely like going through the motions. One interesting choice, whether production-based or artistically driven, was never showing the deaths of the girls onscreen, instead staying with the other characters reacting to seeing or hearing their friends killed. Again, one fresh idea, not enough to save it.

C-



GRAND PIANO

Really more a thriller than a horror, but thrillers don't have their own thread, and close enough.

Let's get one thing out of the way right off the bat; the story is dumb. If you bother to think about it for more than three seconds, you'll get pissed off at your brain for wasting three seconds. It's basically Phone Booth with a piano, except the guy on the other end of the phone has even less plausible motives than the guy in Phone Booth did. THAT SAID, there's some really nice filmmaking going on here. The obvious comparison would be classic De Palma, with everything orchestrated just so, and the constantly busy camera keeping us distracted from the fact that we're mostly just watching a guy playing piano while being told dumb things through an earpiece. He even throws in some Argento lighting tricks to keep things fresh.

Elijah Wood is quite good in it. He clearly took the role seriously and gave it more effort than it perhaps deserved. His fake piano playing is particularly impressive; I usually get distracted by actors pretending to play instruments (Billy Crudup in Almost Famous is almost painful to watch during the concert scenes), but Wood did the work. Right up there with Sean Penn in Sweet & Lowdown. John Cusack phones in (LITERALLY, haha) his role as the voice on the line. I hope he bought something nice with his paycheck, because there's no way he got artistic fulfillment from it.

Anyway, yadda yadda, it's a well-made dumb movie. Kerry Bishé is real pretty.

B
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


jenkins

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Reply #741 on: September 15, 2014, 02:32:26 AM
consider myself 1 for 1 with horror movies for the season because i started with this


and i think it's a wonderful movie, the kind of movie that makes me continue. evilspeak's bully victim retribution is achieved with a mixture of satanic superpowers and tech culture, i mean really it's like clint howard finds the devil's version of google. also, i genuinely think clint howard is good at acting. he's got childlike naiveté and readable emotions

spoiler part about the ending being all kindsa good fun


polkablues

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Reply #742 on: September 15, 2014, 02:00:31 PM
I had never heard of this movie, but it looks amazing. And I totally agree about Clint. I feel like he and Brad Dourif both get underestimated as weird dudes who play weird characters really well because they're so weird, but they also happen to be really good at acting.
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


jenkins

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Reply #743 on: September 15, 2014, 03:56:19 PM
today's top trivia about the entity:

martin scorsese's #4 choice for spooky shit
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/10/28/martin-scorseses-top-11-horror-films-of-all-time.html

tarantino used charles bernstein's "bath attack" in inglourious basterds, a song from the entity

Sound Mix 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)
Aspect Ratio 2.20 : 1 (70 mm prints)
Printed Film Format 70 mm (blow-up)


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Reply #744 on: September 15, 2014, 04:34:39 PM
The score of 'The Entity' is one of my favorite parts, besides Barbara Hershey's parts
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max from fearless

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Reply #745 on: September 15, 2014, 05:25:38 PM
Off Scorsese's list, I also really liked the George C Scott picture, The Changeling and also Dead of Night. But The Entity really messed with me, the scene with her kids watching her get attacked.....Jesus. Almost as bad as George C Scott watching his daughter's 8mm screen debut in Hardcore....(which i just watched and had to fit in, somehow...)


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Reply #746 on: January 22, 2015, 06:06:12 PM
I've been watching... so much horror, you guys. This post will be part one of a series, because I've been watching so much horror and these posts take forever. Let's dive in:


Patrick: Evil Awakens

A remake of the semi-classic Ozploitation horror flick, by the director of the Ozploitation documentary "Not Quite Hollywood." To channel Gene Shalit, Mark Hartley proves himself Not Quite Readytomakeanarrativefeature with this passable but somewhat amateurish take on the story of a naive nurse who gets crushed on by a vegetative patient with telekinetic powers and poor social skills. Sharni Vinson is great, because Sharni Vinson is great in everything she's in, but the writing and the filmmaking don't back her up.

Grade: C-


After the Dark (aka: The Philosophers)

This flick gets tons of bonus points for ambition. Probably doesn't belong on this list, as it's only a horror film by the absolute widest definition, but whatever. The basic conceit is that a philosophy class, on their final day before graduation at an international private school in Indonesia or somewhere, is prompted by their teacher to participate in a thought experiment: they're each assigned backstories, then informed that a cataclysmic event has just taken place, and that the nearby shelter that will allow them to survive it only holds a certain number of people -- what do they do? The scenario plays out in multiple fashions, visualized very cinematically, as the students struggle through the philosophical questions at play. What makes it all work, though, is the undercurrent of the actual dynamics between certain characters blending into the hypothetical world. It's an impressively thoughtful film in the long run. It doesn't all hold together, and there are some nagging performance issues throughout (Sophie Lowe has a striking screen presence, but is not up to the heavy lifting her role requires), but it's a movie that leaves an impression.

Grade: B


Dead Silence

James Wan is a wildly talented horror filmmaker, as the orginal Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring demonstrate, but this is not a well-made movie by any means. Evil ventriloquist dummy should be  a slam dunk, but this gets so bogged down in lazy jump scares and bad acting that I can't even recommend it on the level of camp. It's not even fun. It's just... there.

Grade: D+


The Sacrament

Ti West, I expect better than this. There's nothing wrong with it, per se... It's a perfectly well-made movie. It just doesn't tell me anything. It doesn't move me in any way. It doesn't elicit anything from me. It doesn't teach me anything I can't learn from the Jonestown Massacre Wikipedia entry. A rare miss from a fine filmmaker.

Grade: C


The Seasoning House

The story of a young deaf girl, her family murdered by Balkan soldiers, who is put to work at a brothel of sorts, where she prepares and drugs kidnapped women to be raped by whoever's willing to pay for it. It's a comedy! Okay, it's not a comedy. It's actually an incredibly bleak and affecting setup, somewhat spoiled by it turning into a big dumb chase scene at the end. It's well-made enough to be watchable, and disturbing enough to be memorable. Sean Pertwee was there.

Grade: B-


Devil's Pass

Renny Harlin directed this? It's a low-budget (I hope it's low-budget, based on some of the visual effects) found-footage flick about a student documentary crew who go hiking up Dyatlov Pass in Russia to investigate the possible cause of the (real-life) mysterious deaths of a group of Russian skiers in the '50s. There's something almost charmingly student-filmy about the acting and the dialogue throughout the long buildup before anything really happens (Renny Harlin directed this?), and it's a likeable and suitably creepy film right up until it goes off the bed and shits the rails in the third act. Recommended for connoisseurs of terrible CGI.

Grade: C+


A Lonely Place to Die

Finally! I have a theory, actually more of a hypothesis, that the presence of Melissa George is a sign of quality in any horror genre film. This is fine evidence to my hypothesis. The story of a group of climbers who stumble across a buried holding cell with a young girl trapped inside, and the bad things that befall them as the result of this discovery. There's fine work being done all around here: fully-written characters, surprising but logical plot twists, crazy-ass Scottish fireball parades, this movie has it all. It's not a particularly deep movie, but it does everything it does so impeccably well.

Grade: A-


Beneath

It's like The Descent, but shittier.

Grade: C-


Truth or Die

Ignore the awful title, ignore the awful cover, this is actually an impressively intelligent, well-crafted movie, only slightly let down by an hamfistedly set up twist at the very end. The best horror takes a piece of the human experience, or an innate human quality, and puts it in front of the funhouse mirror, twists and turns it until we see it magnified and distorted beyond how we can experience it in real life. In this case, it's the notion of being answerable for your past actions, of the way a bad choice or a thoughtless joke can come back to haunt you. But it's also about the ultimate futility of revenge, and the way that a situation never actually fits neatly into the frame we create for it in our mind. And all this in a flick about a group of douchey British college kids being forced to play a fucked up game of truth or dare by a psychopathic ex-army guy. I really liked it.

Grade: A

...to be continued
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


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Reply #747 on: May 29, 2015, 01:10:19 PM


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Reply #748 on: June 12, 2015, 02:49:09 PM


Cory Everett

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Reply #749 on: October 01, 2015, 10:16:58 AM
October 1st means once again it's time to marathon as many Horror Movies as I can this month. Here's my full Letterboxd list of stuff I need to see which I'll be drawing from to fill in blind spots as well as revisiting favorites. At the top of my list is The Vanishing, Cat People (1982), The Beyond, Planet Of The Vampires, The Brood, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Deep Red and as many more as I can squeeze in. And continuing to take my wife through the classics which will probably but not be limited to include Near Dark, The Fly (1986), Repulsion and Diabolique.

http://letterboxd.com/modage/list/horror-watchlist/

Anyone have any suggestions on what else I should push to the top of my list? Or something I might not have added? Anyone else going to be marathoning this year as well? Polka? Ghostboy?
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.