1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    72

    Sigh* movies just can't be scary anymore.

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Alex R. Encomienda, Jul 29, 2016.

    Oftentimes I'd love to watch a frightening movie before bed so I can have strange dreams for inspiration and use my dreams into my writing but lately there hasn't been a movie that frightening.

    I mean, of course you have dark movies and jump scare movies but what about true terror?

    An example; when I watched Pet Sematary for the first time I couldn't get Zelda out of my mind. She invaded my dreams and my thoughts. That was true terror. Just like the dream scenes in El Mariachi, Carrie and from Dusk till Dawn. Great movies.

    I mean, why can't movies these days use real scary subjects/scenes instead of generic dolls and haunted houses?

    What about wormholes, sleep paralysis, harlequin babies, Satan and Santeria? Now those are scary things.

    I think Hollywood is just looking to squeeze money out of shit.

    What are your thoughts on this?
     
    Crybaby likes this.
  2. obsidian_cicatrix

    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,713
    Likes Received:
    1,461
    Location:
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    I can honestly say I've never white knuckled during a horror movie. Watching the news... now that's scary.
     
    Crybaby, Lifeline and GingerCoffee like this.
  3. Zorg

    Zorg Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Sonora, CA
    I once had the (mis)fortune of sitting in on a screenwriters meeting and it is no joke that the predominant phrase tossed about was, "Yeah, that's worked before."

    Hollywood, in their narcissism, likes to believe they are creative. Some times they are, most of the time they aren't. Even something as hyped as Suicide Squad is merely a remake of The Dirty Dozen or Kelly's Heroes. But they tart it up with a comic book angle and - voila! - it's new and edgy and something that has to be seen because if you don't, according to the studio, you're just an idiot who's clueless and doesn't understand film.

    So you posed the question of why generic dolls and haunted houses? It's because it's worked before and Hollywood will gamble that lightning strikes twice (or whatever the number of sequels that are green-lighted). It's why you see so / too many films based on comic books, or remakes of something that's been done before (looking at Ghostbusters), films about teens-overthrowing-an-oppressive-dystopian-government, or something that a producer loved as a child that somehow has to be shared with / foisted upon the unsuspecting public.

    But enough of my yakking. Watch "The Death of Superman Lives" and it will give a better understanding of the mindset and financial politics that surround a project considered 'original.'
     
    Miller0700 likes this.
  4. Gigi_GNR

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    251
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Of course that's the case. It's so much easier to toss a few screenwriters on a cookie-cutter script and make a movie you know will have decent box office returns than gamble on something new.

    That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't scary movies still being made. Lights Out, The Babadook, The Witch, It Follows... and those are all relatively recent. You just have to search a little more now.
     
  5. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    72
    Yes but I've seen those movies and they were just not scary at all. I'm talking about frightening, terror scary. Something that makes you think "How could such things exist out there? How did they think of that?"
     
  6. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee In my defense, words are my weapons. Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    1,572
    Stranger Things is a series on Netflix you might like.
     
    I.A. By the Barn likes this.
  7. FireWater

    FireWater Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    175
    Here are some movies that have genuinely scared me. I watched a ton of horror movies in high school and mostly thought they were stupid (esp. the typical haunting/serial killer/swamp creature/mutant ones), so the ones that kept me up all night were a small handful.

    1. The Babadook. The first 5-10 minutes start off with "real life" stressful situations (unlike other movies that prime you with supernatural mentions right away), and so when the first introduction of potentially supernatural darkness hits, it takes you by surprise. The method of introducing the horror element is something totally unique, not the typical haunted doll crap, so you're genuinely on edge wondering where things are going. The images of the monster are only seen in drawings, and the drawings are far scarier than a corny CGI monster because the drawings are very "demonic" looking (for lack of a better term) and there's a lot of the "what you don't see is scarier than what you do" element. Also, several scenes have implications that are genuinely very disturbing.

    2. The Conjuring - As a nonreligious person I'm normally not affected by "demon" movies, but this one relied on the power of imagination--what you don't see is scarier than what you do. i was spooked by the dark basement, the scene where the girl sees something horrifying in the corner but we the audience don't see what it is, etc. Towards the end of the movie, when they started invoking the typical cliche religious solutions, it ceased to scare me, but the first part really did.

    3. Goodnight Mommy - This starts off as an eerie unsettling mystery where a mother thinks her twin boys are just 1 son and it's unclear why. But then it starts involving...cockroaches, large ones and in large quantities, and for me, that became the "scary part". It really knows how to play on your cockroach phobias for sure. There's also some gross murder scenes, and scenes that invoke a general feeling of dread (like when some characters check out a dark cave with bones everywhere). But those things pale in comparison to the horror of the giant roaches. :D

    4. Blair Witch Project - I first saw this when I was 11, so I'm sure that made a difference. But I actually was on my edge the whole time because you never SEE the witch, and it ties back to what i mentioned with some of the other films - what you don't see, to me, is far scarier than what you do.

    5. Antichrist - The ending of this movie just gets into gratuitous gore and ceases to be genuinely scary, but the first parts of the movie creeped me out. Despite the title, it's not about the usual cheesy demon/exorcism stuff. It's about a couple who goes out in the woods to a cabin after the death of their toddler, and for me, the creepiness came from things in nature continually going wrong. Acorns raining from the sky for no reason, etc. For me the scariest part was where the main character is walking through the woods alone during the day, and finds a dead/rotting fox eating itself that talks to him. That really disturbed me imo.

    6. Disappearance - This was a cheesy made-for-TV movie that was basically a ripoff of The Hills Have Eyes, but the difference with this one is that it doesn't actually ever *show* the mutants (Blair Witch style) and only hints at several possibilities as to what they could be. This makes it scarier because my imagination came up with things that were way more disturbing to me than what a CGI team could have done.

    7. The Fly - Despite the corny graphics of the 80s, this was extremely disturbing to me in a tragic way. I kept imagining what it would be like to slowly turn into something hideous and inhuman with full awareness of what's happening to you.

    I can think of more later, but these are the ones that come to mind right now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  8. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,866
    Likes Received:
    2,428
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Scary movies for me were/are - The Shining, The Descent ( crap ending though ), The Tenant, Inland Empire, Twin Peaks, and Psycho. I think things went downhill with Funny Games and Eli Roth - the torture porn trend is just gross not scary. And the 80s was just bizarre who are those nuts rooting for Chucky, Freddy Kruger, Michael etc. Bad timing when you think of all the real serial killers popping up.
    I don't think scary will ever be scary anymore because Hollywood won't work backwards - it's totally immersed in it's Unrated, special effects era and won't even think of things that used to create a mood - like lighting, music, creepy ideas.
     
  9. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    72
    I enjoyed the American funny games even though it was not scary. It was different and clever; I like those kind of films.
     
  10. FireWater

    FireWater Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    175
    Can I ask why the Descent was scary for you? I mean, it has all the corny stereotypes - idiots who get killed off one by one, humanoid mutants that have been used dozens of times before, jump scares. I just now googled "monsters from the descent" and they don't even look convincingly scary. I mean sure, I wouldn't want one to show up in my bed, but that's not going to happen so.....
     
    Alex R. Encomienda likes this.
  11. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    1,923
    Probably I was just young and maybe the movie wasn't really scary, but I was thoroughly terrified by The Hills Have Eyes. The only that's ever given me nightmares. Maybe it's the mutated people that are a personal freak out for me? I don't know. I don't think the movie itself was all the scary but the mutants really got me in that one.
     
    Crybaby likes this.
  12. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,866
    Likes Received:
    2,428
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    The average girl turning from totally afraid into freaky and fearsome. Her descent was creepy. Plus, I like trapped in the dark movies. I recall a similar one, can't recall the title, but it was a group who were lost in some underground subway with some mutant or ghost monster thing.
    Everything's cliché. I haven't really seen anything groundbreaking in horror. Everything that was done was done in the 70s and early 80s. Most of it's just rehashes of that formula. Two I seen recently though that I thought weren't bad - M Night Shyamalan's the Visit. Nicely old fashioned. And The Divide - a cruel movie but interesting character study.
    Horror is like romance movies - very hit and miss and very much to one's tastes.
    I forgot Jaws - I saw that at the drive in when I was a kid and couldn't swim in the Niagara river afterwards for a while ... just in case - Lol.
     
  13. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    19,887
    Likes Received:
    11,309
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I think a difference needs to be drawn between being frightened, startled, and disturbed. Most "scary" films today seem to rely mostly on startling the audience rather than truly scaring them. Not the same thing in my opinion, any more than poopoo/peepee/wiener humor is the same as genuine comedy. Films that I can recall genuinely scaring me.... the original ALIEN and Jacobs ladder.
     
  14. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Something Wicked this Way Comes. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,935
    Likes Received:
    3,091
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Watch a play-through of Alien Isolation without commentary. Nothing like a good old survival horror to get the blood flowing. Though if you are going to do this you better have about 14hrs to kill, as it is a long game.
     
  15. Raven484

    Raven484 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    The only movie that to me was scary was the first Silent Hill, something about those glowing eyes really got to me. It was a decent movie, those eyes really did it for me though. Other than that, I enjoy horror movies, but none of them scare me at all.
     
  16. 20oz

    20oz Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    104
    Location:
    In a white, walled tomb
    Horror movies don't scare me either. Regardless, I enjoy the medium. From The Convent (2000) to Martyrs (2008) to Infection (2004) to Dead of Night (1945). Love-love. :blowkiss:

    As for inspiration... Books--at least for me--will help. Some times the wording and the descriptions are enough to cause any twitchy writing hand to write. Pick up a random book in your chosen genre and give it a go.

    Or don't. :cool:
     
  17. Scot

    Scot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    323
    Location:
    Argyll, Scotland
    Not into horror movies as a rule, but if you want a truly disturbing movie watch Pans Labyrinth.
     
  18. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    England
    I'm nowhere near as brave as I used to be when it comes to horror films - there was a time I could watch anything, but not any more.

    I refuse to watch Torture Porn, but that's because it offends me, not scares me. However, the one film I can't watch alone these days, simply because I find it too scary, is The Exorcist.

    Now I know there's a trend to say this film isn't scary in the slightest, but I think this is a bit of a backlash that stems from its reputation. I accept many may genuinely feel this way, but this one buries into my psyche like no other.
     
  19. Lifeline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,752
    Likes Received:
    1,875
    Location:
    no longer between
    I have said this elsewhere, but 'Coherence' scared me into not switching off the light at night the first time I watched it.
    If you want pointers to documentaries, I can give you some over PM. To quote someone: "Alcohol? Drugs? A real hard-ass confronts reality."
     
  20. Crybaby

    Crybaby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    London, England
    Oh my god, do you mean the original or the poor remake? The original freaked me out a bit too. It was weird.

    I was an 80's teen and for me the movies that got the heart racing and the sleepless nights into motion were the following: Halloween 1 and 2 (Michael Myers never ran after anyone, he walked! How friggin creepy is that? Plus he wore a pale white mutilated William Shatner mask?) Friday the 13th 1 and 2 (For tension and suspense) Texas Chansaw Massacre The original (Leather Face) :eek:

    And recently Paranormal Activity but only the first one. I saw that in the cinema. The sound affects and the music ran your blood cold...oh and your imagination of course.

    Other than that nothing else gets to me. :supersleepy:
     
  21. A Culture Mind

    A Culture Mind Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    3
    Simpler: popcul is swimming in its entrails. Its nature is nepotism, and inferring itself an authority on the world. The end of the line is coming.....
     
  22. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,659
    Likes Received:
    5,934
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Let the Right One In
    It Follows
    The Babadook
    Sinister


    I thought these more or less recent horror movies were pretty good.
     
  23. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,336
    Likes Received:
    1,773
    I actually just re-discovered the art of the Short horror movie on Youtube. Some of these are cheesy, but a lot of them are scarier than most full-length movies:



     
  24. A Culture Mind

    A Culture Mind Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    3
    I forgot, something crucial: in its nepotism, popcul has become infantile. And therein lies the rub.....
     

Share This Page