Sunday, June 18, 2006

scary movies 3: the context of fear


so my pal kojee weighs in with these additions:

Kojee said...
Here's my list:

The Thing

all excellent choices, kojee!

the thing is definitely in my top 5! that one destroyed me in the theater--no one could sit still! it works you on so many different levels.

and freaks will always be a bit uncomfortable to watch,
especially that armless, legless guy squirming through the mud with that knife in his mouth! (shouldn't BE scary--i mean, what's he gonna do with it...? but it is.)

so that puts the list like this:

the thing
friday the 13th
the shining
hush hush sweet charlotte
the blob
the blair witch project

i'm gonna add alien and the exorcist to the list, 'cause those are two of my favorites, alien for the fear of the unknown and the incredibly well-built suspense and the exorcist for the basic concept of it; the devil can get inside you.

and that brings me to yet ANOTHER tangent i almost took off on two posts ago--the context of fear. or rather WHY these movies are scary. (or how...?)
i'm not the type of person who always wants to catagorize things usually, but there are some really different ways that these films scare the bejeezus out of us...or don't! some do it with suspense and mounting terror, some do it viscerally, with blood and gore. others just suggest an idea and let your imagination run with it...sometimes even long after you're outta the theater.

i don't know how many people told me, after seeing jaws, that they just couldn't relax at the beach anymore. (and didn't the filmmakers know it when they tagged jaws 2 with "just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water"?)

alien scared me because you didn't really know what this thing was, what it was gonna do next. (and that had some amazingly suspenseful moments) the blair witch scared me because it looked so real. i have 'seen'--in my mind--my legs being bit off whenever i go to the ocean. i have walked through my house in the dark and felt something in the corner, watching me...

and sometimes it's a matter of WHEN you see a movie that makes it more powerful. there are some movies that i saw as a kid that prob'ly wouldn't scare you if you saw them now. i was 11 when i saw the made-for-tv 'don't be afraid of the dark' and it still flips me out.

same year, 'trilogy of terror'. that little zuni/voodoo guy might look funny to you, but he haunts my nightmares...

for the same reason, some movies scare some people and not others. i loved the blob, but it never scared me--like frankenstein and the mummy, it was just another monster i knew i could outrun. and, of course, as with all movies, certain things and styles become cliche, and 'classics' lose their uniqueness. by the time i saw psycho it had been parodied and ripped off by other filmmakers so much that it'd lost it's sting.

anyway, i'm rambling again. i promised myself i'd blog an entry every other day and so picked a topic i knew i would have something to say about. sorry.

but don't hesitate to write in and add to the list.
are we missing any?
i promise i won't drawl on so long.

thanks for listening.
scare ya later--


Brian said...

Thanks for reminding me about trilogy of terror. Not only was that lillle guy scary as hell, the whole show came out of left center. Really didn't expect to see something that scary on TV at that time. The whole school was talking about it the next day.

As for The Thing, I still think of the original as being the scary of the two, but that might just be because of the age at which I saw them. However, the remake had the far superior final scene.

todd said...

funny, your comment about seeing 'something that scary on tv at the time.' my friend and i were just talking about that. at the time (back in the 60's and 70's), there were a LOT of scary things on tv that today would be slapped with that 'parental advisory' announcement they make nowadays or not be allowed on at all! prior to 1980, there wasn't much governing what the networks would run, especially when it came to made-for-tv movies. along with trilogy and don't be afraid of the dark, there were countless other movies (another favorite of mine is 'the ufo incident') that were slowly making the fcc take notice. it all came to a head, of course, with 'the day after', the movie depicting life--or what was left of it--following a nuclear attack.
sorry, got goin'...
as for the original thing, though i remember being scared by the concept, the creature--and he did look like a giant carrot, didn't he?--was another one that i knew i could outrun...