Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why The Horror Genre Fails...

And we're back, once again talking about a topic that I have already addressed but unfortunately something came up that just lit a fire under my butt to re-address this topic. What am I talking about you ask? I'm talking about horror movies and why the vast majority of them (recently) unfortunately SUCK raw ass through a straw! I should preamble this by saying that I haven't seen EVER SINGLE horror movie ever (as horror is one of my least favorite genres) and I openly acknowledge that horror is PAINFULLY subjective and therefore what I find scary might not be what everyone else finds scary. Furthermore I should say that regardless of the acclaim they get, classic horror movies were NOT SCARY! Jason, Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, Pinhead, Chucky...every last one of them FREAKIN' STUPID AND NOT SCARY AT ALL! Blasphemy, I know but that's how I feel. Anyways let's get to the meat...

So what spurned this on? Well not too long ago I watched "V/H/S" with a good friend of mine. I saw the trailer for "V/H/S" and I was stoked. The movie looked awesome, gritty and hardcore in all the right ways in my opinion. So when I watched the movie...well...I watched the movie. In my opinion "V/H/S" should have been called "White College Kids With Cameras Are Douche Bag Morons Who You Won't Give A Sh*t About When They Die" (and the White part isn't racist as there isn't a SINGLE ethnic character in the movie...seriously...not that that's a bad thing because in all seriousness, it's VERY hard to write a believable horror movie with an all Black cast).

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This bullshit doesn't count...

So what has me hard-wired now? Well Magnet, the production company that turned out "V/H/S" has decided to drop another gem on us..."The ABCs Of Death"...a movie that appears to be so stupid I can't bring myself to even link the trailer as the movie pretty much symbolizes EVERYTHING that's wrong with the horror genre and why it's slowly dying in the various ways horror writers have created. Both movies "V/H/S" and "The ABCs Of Death" are showcases of what's wrong with the horror genre. Let me explain, but before I do let me re-address another topic that ties everything together. Lately, the horror genre has been bogged down in carnography, sex and characters so PAINFULLY unpleasant that their deaths would actually be an improvement to their personalities, and I'm NOT making this stuff up. Actual line quote from "V/H/S";

"I think we should get back into the lake, fuck each others brains out and you can even film it for posterity."

 WHO TALKS LIKE THIS BESIDES PEOPLE IN PORN?! Put it in context, Wendy's 2 friends (Spider and Samantha) were just murdered and Wendy return to invite Joey to have sex with her then later tells him that she lured him and her friends out into the woods as bait for a killer. THIS IS A FUCKIN' HORROR MOVIE, NOT A FUCKIN' PORNO!! This is a MAJOR, MAJOR problem that I have with a little show called "American Horror Story", where instead of getting a legit horror story, we instead got a maid masturbating in the first episode...

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Hot chick in a French Maid outfit masturbating, SO SCARY!!

A topic I already addressed in another video, getting back on track here."V/H/S" was mostly sex and violence with little to no real horror included. The 1st segment (outside of the frame story) included a group of guys trying to film a threesome, they drank a lot, did cocaine and got attacked by a succubus (or as my friend Cheese says La Chupacabra) , and then the succubus proceeds to attempt to give one member of the group oral sex...HOW IS THIS A HORROR MOVIE?! If anything it's just REALLY WEIRD FETISH PORN! "V/H/S" I can stomach but "The ABCs Of Death" takes the cake completely. When you involve furries, slow motion dog boxing (yeah, you heard me slow motion dog boxing), claymation, and a whole bunch of fetish sex related crap, I feel like these writers are, instead of thinking up scenarios that'd scare people, they think of the most BAT-SHIT CRAZY BULLSHIT they can think of, sprinkle sex and violence on top and PRESTO Carnation Instant Horror Movie...

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Actual screen shot from "The ABCs Of Death"...Furries...

I remember a time long, long ago when horror movies weren't about blood, guts, gore and tits! I remember when I used to be unable to sleep out of fear of what could be lurking in the dark. Nowadays I come home with a headache and a major disdain for American youth.What I mean is more and more horror movies are giving us violent stories with characters we care nothing about, and I've ALWAYS said, with horror movies there NEEDS to be some kind of relation or sympathy with the main character, otherwise you're NOT making a horror movie. One of the main reasons why I NEVER thought "Tales From The Crypt" was scary was because the vast majority of characters were douche bags getting their comeuppance and instead of being scared, I simply looked at their situation and said "Sucks to be you."

For a horror movie to exist you need to have an emotional connection with the characters and you need to have a hope of success for their situation. Bane from "The Dark Knight Rises" was 100% correct when he said, " I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope.". That's a FACT, especially when it comes to scaring people. Think about it, we see violence in action movies everyday, Jason Statham breaks a guy's neck, in "Kill Bill" we watched Uma Thurman slice off arms and what not, but none of you were scared, because VIOLENCE ISN'T SCARY so why do horror movies insist that it is? The movies and various things that scared me weren't even violent. Let me check off a list and explain why they scared me.

The first book that EVER scared me was "Misery", I saw the movie a long time ago but had forgotten most of it, but I contest that the book was MUCH BETTER. So what scene scared me in "Misery", it wasn't the scene where she broke his legs (FYI, in the book she cuts it off and cauterizes it with a blowtorch), no, the scene that scared me the most is when she orders him to burn his new book. So why did that scare me? Well because I'm a writer myself and being asked to destroy your work (especially good work) at the threat of death is heart wrenching to me. It scares me that I can lose my work as I consider it an extension of myself that I've slaved over and given years of my life to. To others, no big deal but something like that would break me. Don't get me wrong, the entire book was scary but that scene will always sit with me. Because it's real solid psychological terror without physical violence. Masterpiece.

The first movie as far as I can remember that scared me was "The Ring". So what scene was it? Was it the closet scene where we saw Amber Tamblyn's decayed body?

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Classic sign of drug use...

No, the scene that scared me was the final scene.

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That hair, that environment, her movement, CREEPY!!

This scene has haunted my dreams for a LONG TIME. The reason why "The Ring" scared me was because of the themes of isolation and being trapped. Not to mention there are sympathetic characters on both sides as you can easy relate to Rachel and her search for answers as well as Samara who was rejected by her family and sentenced to die at the bottom of a well. Not to mention the movie involves NO violence and NO gore, all the scares are psychological and leave you with haunting images and situations that are terrifying.

The first comic/manga that scared me was "Battle Royale", specifically the 1st volume (after that I was fine) but the first volume was so unforgiving and powerful I even contemplated on returning it, I couldn't sleep for a good week afterward and EVERY SINGLE IMAGE in the first volume is memorable and leaves a lasting impression on how to write true, real, emotional terror. "Battle Royale" unlike the 1st two things I've mentioned IS in fact VERY graphic with it's violence, HOWEVER what makes "Battle Royale" different from every other horror movie out there is the fact that "Battle Royale" has the emotional gravitas to make the graphic violence MEAN something. As an example, one character has to watch his best friend get murdered before his eyes and he laments the fact that he was powerless to help him, furthermore he reminisces on his friend and you FEEL THE LOSS! Because both characters are written as real people, not drunken douche bags looking to get laid.

Horror movies have gotten to the point where I can almost count on them NOT to scare me, and unfortunately movies that AREN'T horror movies manage to scare me much more. As an example, "Kill Bill Vol.2" when The Bride was buried alive, SCARED THE EVER-LOVING SH*T OUTTA ME! The concept of being trapped, especially in such a small area with NO means of escape, scares the CRAP outta me, and I'm not even claustrophobic. It's gotten to the point where I can't even watch all of "Kill Bill Vol.2" because that scene scares me SO MUCH (not kidding).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying ALL horror movies are bad, as there are a few gems here and there "Insidious" (from what I hear was decent), "Sinister" (from what I hear was good), The Paranormal Activity Series (which, although not scary is interesting, unfortunately it's fizzling out) and then The Twilight Series (kidding sorta); but these movies aren't enough to maintain the entire horror genre from the blood, guts, gore and boobs we've been getting a LONG time now. Personally, I feel like horror is best when it's short and to the point, like a joke. The longer a joke goes on, the worst it becomes, same goes with horror. Hence why Fewdio's horror shorts have been a staple for me as to what a horror movie is supposed to be, furthermore I think horror works best in the format of anthologies. Check out a couple of these and let me know what you think...

BEDFELLOWS


THE CLOSET


FIVE MINUTES EARLIER


Why are these gems above, so difficult to replicate on the silver screen? Why do writers think making their characters the most obnoxious dicks on the face of the planet will make us care about them? I don't know, all I know is this crap needs to stop. Ugh...

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