1. AlVic
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    AlVic Member

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    Screenwriting Startled ≠ Scared

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AlVic, Sep 27, 2014.

    Anyone else notice that horror films lately seem to be more interested in startling people, rather than truly scaring them? In my opinion, if something truly fills you with fear, you shouldn't get over it in the 5 minutes or less after the scene where the ghost jumps out and screams. It should keep you up at least the night you see it, and fill your dreams when you finally fall asleep. You should be afraid to walk through an unlit hallway, or deliberately avoid eye contact with your own reflection.

    Fear sticks with you, startled does not. Of course, a good startling isn't always bad, but I don't think it should be used as a crutch or a substitute for good writing.

    Can a truly scary movie or TV series/mini-series compete with modern "horror" media, both in quality and in the box-office/Neilson rating? Is there a modern film that you believe to be genuinely terrifying?

    What, in your opinion, makes a movie scary? If pulling from the golden age of film from the 10's to the 40's, the post-war age in the 50's and 60's, or the semi-modern (but still good) era of the 70's to 90's, do you think your example can still scare people today?

    What do you think of the modern effects they use these days? Were costumed villains scarier than computer generated ones? Why or why not?

    How does one properly build suspense? How does one then utilize this suspense for maximum effect?

    Let the discussion begin.

    (If this would fit in a better sub-forum, feel free to move it)
     
  2. AlVic
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    I suppose count gore-fests as "startling", as well.
     
  3. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    When I saw the Blair Witch Project, it kept me up all night in terror. Later, I found out that it didn't do anything to many people, so I think it just triggered my imagination. So, to me, a scary movie is one that leaves most of it unknown. Jaws was actually helped by the broken mechanical shark. They got around it by showing scenes from the shark's POV or just glimpses of the shark. The downside, it that people without imaginations won't find it scary at all.
     
  4. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Scary? I used to like Hitchcock because he believed there should be more fright in the anticipation leading up to the horror (i.e. "the shower scene"). The next-next-next gen of that kind of chill you at a cellular level because you KNOW something's about to happen but, when it does, it still makes you jump?

    Think "The Grudge". Shimizu understood the driving power of the anticipation.
     
  5. AlVic
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    Kinda out there, but did anyone play Alan Wake? I think that's solid horror, but that's just me
     

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