Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fingering the brain hole.


So I finally got to carve up my pumpkins last night - these were numbers 4 and 5, for those of you who are counting. I had rented "The Amityville Horror" to watch whilst digging into my jackos with Hol and Dan - but they stood me up on Saturday night, so I popped it in last night and watched it on my own.

The pumpkins turned out great - the film... no so much. I knew it would be terrible... but ugh! The director (had to have been some music video guy) was completely incompetent at building suspense or fear... he had one sequence where a babysitter is trapped in a closet and the little dead girl takes her hand and inserts her finger into the hole in her head... that is about as close to skull f*cking that I wish to get.

Where did all of the scary movies go? Nothing seems to frighten me any more... I remember watching "Silence of the Lambs" and being scared stiff at the ending, when Jodie Foster is rumaging through the completely darkened basement... that was nerve racking... but is there any movies out there that actually scare people any more?


When I was a kid - this film scared the wits out of me. I watched it a few years ago with H-D-J... and they were not really impressed... but there are some truly frightening bits. Little crippled kid drowns in a bathtub and late at night you can hear a banging sound throughout the house... it is the ghost of the kid banging on the sides of the tub for someone to save him.

Creepy.

George C. Scott at his finest - check it out.

Anyone have suggestions for scary movies?

Yo

25 comments:

Sheriff Officer Greg the Bunny said...

Nuns on the Run

Encino Man

Biodome



bunny out

Damfino said...

Nuns on the Run has boobies - not scary at all. Pauly Shore films are a little on the vomitous side... I am talking more frightening.

Besides - We're no Angels is far worse than Nuns on the Run.

Damfino said...

Oops... I forgot you get Demi Moore boob in that flick.

Deit Heimley said...

I think it's just the same compaint I have against CGI. Directors are just lazy anymore. It is SOOOO easy to make graphic graphic gore that the horror directors forgot what is really scary. I remember when the first Hellraiser came out it was the bloddiest and goriest film of it's time. Its depictions of flesh being ripped from the bone was enough to freak you out for days. It was scary like the Changelings, but it sure made you not forget all that blood. However, I recently saw the original, and compare to the CGI horror of today, that film is now tame. It's like we finally invent color paint, and now all the painters forget how to paint a picture. All they can do is just smear large globs of color all over the canvas.

And so it goes.

Generally, I think anything written and/or directed by Clive Barker is pretty dammed scary. But then maybe I'm just biased towards the only openly gay horror writer out there.

Damfino said...

I am completely with you on that Deric - good comparison with Hellraiser. Same deal with Psycho - the initial shock of losing the main character in the opening 30 min sent people on a tailspin.

But now - doing it is semi-standard.

As far as gore goes... I am absolutely desensitized... except once in a while I see stuff that does not scare me - it simply insults me (i.e on this horrid movie called "Ghost Ship" you watch as this little girl slowly gets her neck broken... ugh).

QueenB said...

I hear Spice World is pretty scary. They even have a character named Scary Spice!!!!

Damfino said...

I saw that film the night before it opened (worked at a theater - they are as filthy as you think... probably even more so)!! I loved the alien arriving at the end... and the bus chase on the London bridge (or is it the Tower bridge... I get them confused).

Kern said...

I've also been a bit disillusioned by the lack of good horror these days. To be honest, I think I've just become so jaded that nothing does. I watched the Exorcist(the good one) a few years ago at Damond Fudge's Halloween party, and while I thought it was great, I wasn't scared.

Someone I talked to a long time ago, perhaps it was Jed, suggested that our predisposition to scary films is directly proportional to the age at which we watch them. I love Carpenter's Halloween, but I never snuck around trying to watch horror films as a kid in an attempt to scare myself. Seeing it as an adult, I have an appreciation for it's place in the genre and certain film related aspects especially in terms of gender issues but it and almost all other horror films don't scare me. I remember Jed getting really annoyed with my little sister Megann when we watched Halloween and Mike Myers took a knitting needle to the throat and instead of gasping or screaming she doubled over on the floor laughing. I think for me, the real horror in films comes in movies which portray not murder or gore, but emotional cruelty and crushing of people's souls. I remember thinking when I watched Paul Schrader's Affliction how I thought in many respects it scared me worse than any horror film because I have heard stories about drunks who treated their kids the way Coburn did. To me that is what is really scary.


Secondly, I've been a big Clive Barker fan for years. I like King, but I find that Barker is a bit more thoughtful and literate.

Third, if I had to pick one movie I kind of found remotely creepy in the traditional horror sense,I think maybe I'd say Cronenberg's The Brood. But perhaps that's more for weirdness sake than anything else. As far as pure gore, check out the trailer for Umberto Lenzi's Cannibal Ferox. I don't care how desensitized to gore you are, you'll feel not quite right after watching it. (shudder)

Deit Heimley said...

Did you see The Maiden and The Chair (I think)? It is this totally intense film that, while not scary, is shocking as one person is just completely brutalized by another. However, rather than go for gore, the movie is reserved and uses sounds and odd camera angles to make you imagine what could be happening.

Same thing in Resivior Dogs. That scene just makes me cringe.

I think there were episodes of The X-Files that were scarier than the best horror movies out today. In fact, I see a lot of horror movies taking whole plot points from an X-Files episode. Talk about pathetic!

I recently saw Candyman with my sister (age 12, but a horror movie freak). There is one point where the innocent heroine is being stalked by someone in a parking garage that freaked her out more than the actual deaths in the movie.

Who today sees a body being sliced in two?? But we all walk alone in the dark at some point. It the movie that preys on the real fears in our life that get my attention.

Damfino said...

Megann may have doubled over with the Halloween bit... but she would have outright laughed herself to death with the children-esque killers of the Brood. I thought it was creepy... but audiences today would scoff at it.

Upping the gore factor often bores me... but I remember seeing a few moments of "Last House on the Left" and it really distrubed me. It is the realistic portrayal of abolute evil that frightens me (i.e. the scene where the group slowly disembowels the female traveler in the woods) - this notion kept me away from High Tension. I saw a 10 minute clip online... the killer slowly murders a begging female as another watches... then cuts her head off and felates himself... all done a little too real.

Not like Jason Vorhees lopping off a head... now that kind of horror comedy I used to enjoy... just boring.

Kern said...

Speaking of horror, I saw the dumbest thing ever. The first Friday the 13th with all the cursing, sex, and gore cut out of it on AMC. And there were commercials! That's some horror for you. How far down the crapper AMC has gone as a station...

I am renting a film from Netflix this week which is by the Italian director Mario Bava, called Twitch of The Death Nerve. Apparently, it was the real influence on Sean S. Cunnigham's Friday the 13th. So I'm excited.

I am a pretty big fan of Italian horror in general. Even though I don't find it scary, I really dig Suspiria and Deep Red by Dario Argento. I think Suspiria a little more, actually because there's a supernatural bent to it. I also love his giallo called Tenebre. There's a lot of people who hate on Tenebre, but that's alright. I still love it, anyhow.

Damfino said...

I only know of Suspira and Deep Red - I have never seen any other Italian horror.

I think I may re-watch the original Friday the 13th.. I watched the trailer the other day... it looked interesting.

It has been a long time since I have seen it.. and no AMC watered down crap is gonna do.

AMC has sucked for nearly 7-8 years now... why do you even flip to it!!

Kern said...

I think it was because it was a Sunday night and all my show weren't on due to baseball.

Plus, sometimes they'll show a movie you really want to see. Only to figure out yr going to get advertised to death. This happened when I watched Sirk's Imitation of Life(Yes!) and everytime I got into it, they cut to a fucking commercial. Bastards.

I think that the first Friday the 13th holds up in general. I could get the sense even from the edited version that it was pretty good for what it was designed to do. It's very easy for modern audiences to scoff now, because they always fail to put these things in the context they were born from. People are jaded now, and can't seem to understand that when they watch an old horror film that and they say it seems like it has been done to death, it's because the film they are watching has been plundered for years. A lot of people have no sense of history in these kinds of things.

For what it's worth, I saw the Brood last year, and I found the little child things creepy as all get out. Not scary per se, but creepy for sure.

Italian horror can be very good, or it can be very bad. I think that while The Beyond by Lucio Fukci is gory, it doesn't make sense. Matt and Lee and Damond and I MSTied that thing to death at Billy Joe's many years ago. The House By the Cemetery was a much, much better effort I think.

Kern said...

Jed-You should rent Tenebre if you can find it. I would be interested to know what you think. The biggest complaint is that the murder mystery is ridiculous and there's the recycled argument about Argento being all style over substance.

Deit Heimley said...

The most scared I ever remember getting from a movie is from this French movie I caught when I was like 12 or 13. This guy is caught and they are trying to make him talk. He won't talk and so they throw him into this tank where there may or may not be a creature. Not scary at first, but it's almost all dark and something keeps brushing up agaist him. Then something pulls him under water. There is a guy at the top of the tank to fish him out if he decides to talk, and this guy keeps shining his flashlight down every so often and just keeps up the small talk with this guy. I was already pretty freaked out by the cloudy water here in Iowa, but after that, I could not go into a pond I couldn't see the bottom of for a long time.

Don't know the name of it though, or really anything about the film, and I was young so my perception of the thrill could have been slanted. Still it is a good point. The best horror films are those that play on our inner fears.

So a better question is, what fear do you have that gets you when displayed on the screen?

Kern said...

Hmm...I think the things that come to my mind are asphyxiation(be it strangling or smothering), dying in a fire, or being drowned.

There's a scene in Deep Red as a matter of fact, where not only does someone get drowned, they have their head shoved under a bathtub full of scalding water.

Yikes!

Damfino said...

They did that in Halloween 2 as well. Carpenter, nodding (ripping off) to the good stuff.

Kern said...

From what I understand, Carpenter and Romero are both pretty big fans of Argento and the whole Giallo thing in general.

Deit Heimley said...

Have you two ever noticed that whenever the three or two of us get to talking seriously everyone leaves. Are we that big of geeks that everyone flees to escape having their coolness sucked out by a serious discussion on the philosophy of horror movies?

Damfino said...

Yes - we are that big of geeks. Guys... I am going nuts. I want out of work - NOW!!!

This sucks.

Kern said...

Speaking of being a horror film geek who is too serious, Jed has a book I loaned him called "The Dread of Difference" and it's a bunch of essays by gender and media studies people about horror films. It's one of my favorite books ever.

Damfino said...

Oh yeah - probably should have given that back to you... you should send Deit your write up on it!

Kern said...

I'll have to scan it or something, I don't know that I have the original word file around anywhere. But it was published in a 'zine!

FlopTheNuts said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FlopTheNuts said...

I can't contribute much because I'd say 90% of "horror"/"scary" movies are exactly the opposite to me. Too much stretching of (my) suspended disbelief... (Says the geek who likes sci-fi...)

I totally see and agree with what Kern and Deit Heimley said earlier (paraphrased): movie content that we can relate to personally/in real life is the real scary shiz.

The only example I can think of currently is the miniseries Revelations. Being a new-ish father, it scares me to death just imagining my daughter being taken let alone anything additional happening. *SHUDDER, SHIVER*

On a loosely related note (OK, the only relation it has to the current topic is that it has to do with movies...), anyone ever seen http://www.filmwise.com/invisibles/index.shtml? They take scenes from movies and, with some pretty damn cool editing, remove people, leaving only clothing, and you try to guess the movie. Pretty cool!