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View Full Version : Modern Horror Sucks: An Argument in Film Standards


CosmicPal
10-04-2006, 06:05 PM
I watched two films last night: The Omen and Amityville Horror (new)

Let’s begin with the recent Amityville Horror. It is a remake of the original Amityville Horror movie that quite honestly wasn’t very good either, but at least was better than the latest edition. Sadly enough, the book was much better than the movies.

The story, as we all know it- is a good one: based on a true story, the real-life Lutz family purchase a home that had earlier been the host of a mass murder whereas the son said he “was told to kill” everyone in the family. Further research discovers the house is sitting above sacred ground.

This is a great foundation for a movie. However, with the latest version of the Amityville Horror, I found myself quickly annoyed by the sudden subliminal images plastered every thirty seconds. I did jump a couple of times during the movie, but only because I had the movie on my home theater system and it was the sudden bursts of loud music, every damn five minutes, that made me jump.

Note: When the music is forced so loud to make people jump- you’re not watching a good movie. Music should be a compliment to the film as it is in Suspiria- a classic horror film with the most haunting of musical scores you’ll ever hear.

Here’s the thing about Amityville Horror: it’s based on a TRUE event! This in itself should automatically elevate the scare factor for the movie. True events are scary if you believe them to be true. But, they screwed it up with all of these “special affects” designed to keep you entertained rather than interested.

Why don’t they just start the movie off with a historical reference to the “sacred hollow ground” that it was supposed to be? And then have the DeFeo family move in, and little Johnny then goes on a rampage and murders everyone? And THEN have the Lutz family move in? Good lord, by the time the Lutz family moves in, the entire theater would be screaming at them to stay away. THIS is what separates the intelligence of modern horror films from the classics like the Exorcist which did start in Egypt and the historical references before moving the rest of the story onto Linda Blair and her demonic possession. That was good stuff.

Which then brings me to The Omen- much like the Exorcist, it spends a great deal of time developing the reasons behind the “monster” or the “horror” itself. The KNOW is what scares us the most. For instance, the scene at the Zoo when Damien is walking around and the giraffes run off, and then later, Damien and his mother are attacked by the apes. This isn’t terrifying, but it is creepy. There’s nothing creepy about Amityville Horror, the movie. But, there is everything creepy about the “real” Amityville story.

The inability of modern horror movies to tell a good story and instead rely too heavily on effects is why modern horror movies suck. And that’s my argument

JBucc
10-04-2006, 06:13 PM
For the most part, modern movies suck. Horror films do seem to have taken the largest drop in quality in the cgi era, however.

Nzoner
10-04-2006, 10:02 PM
I agree with your take 100%

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is my fav older horror movie as it didn't rely on gore or the like to try and scare instead the viewer is drawn in from the opening of the camera bulb flash illuminating the corpses and that gawd awful sound of the camera snapping the picture.Then the news on the radio in the background of grave robberies and disappearances and the like and the stage has been set that your dealing with some sadistic freaks here and all in the first 5 minutes.

To me it was a great hook and set the tone of what was to come.

Deberg_1990
10-04-2006, 10:08 PM
I agree with your take 100%

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is my fav older horror movie as it didn't rely on gore or the like to try and scare instead the viewer is drawn in from the opening of the camera bulb flash illuminating the corpses and that gawd awful sound of the camera snapping the picture.Then the news on the radio in the background of grave robberies and disappearances and the like and the stage has been set that your dealing with some sadistic freaks here and all in the first 5 minutes.

To me it was a great hook and set the tone of what was to come.

Agreed. The original Halloween also has very little gore. The camerawork is amazing in that film, along with the classic score.

listopencil
10-05-2006, 12:47 PM
I was just lamenting this fact recently. I wanted a good scary movie and headed off to the video store. When we go to the movie theatre we take our young children (9 and 11) so we go to "family" movies. The only chance I get to see movies for grown-ups is as a rental or if I go to a matinee when the kids are in school. Man was I disappointed. Again.

QuikSsurfer
10-05-2006, 12:50 PM
just picked up this 6 disc box set - CLASSIC http://i1.ebayimg.com/01/i/07/8a/9d/4f_2.JPG

NewChief
10-05-2006, 12:55 PM
I sort of like the whole grime feel of the Saws and Hostel, but I agree that nothing is really scary any longer. The Ring was somewhat scary, but its villain spawned this whole genre of "horror" that relies on a creepy monster wiht a creepy special affect (the Grudge) to creep you out, not scare you.

I haven't seen The Hills have Eyes or Silent Hill, but they both looked like they might be okay (I could be wrong). I can't believe that we don't have good horror out there, though, as dark as the rest of pop culture has become in musical and art tastes.

Fire Me Boy!
10-05-2006, 01:10 PM
This is a post on this very subject some time ago... it's appropriate, so instead of rehashing, I'm just quoting... the first part is the quote from Wallcrawler that spawned my reaction, followed by my post.



http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=139344

I dont know if any of you have seen this horror film advertised or anything, but this is one movie I recommend you pass on.

This is probably one of the biggest wastes of time you will ever see. Everything I read about it hyped it to be horrific and people shouldnt watch it if they had a weak heart and all that other bs.

Really, aside from about 6 frames, there's nothing to see. When the action starts, the camera cuts away and leaves everything to your imagination. Of the 3 main characters, you never see two of them die.

Thats pretty sad for a horror movie. I dont know about you, but I pay for a horror movie to see people getting offed in all sorts of nasty fashion. Not to see the killer, see his weapon, and then have the camera cut away and then see the body about 20 minutes later when another character happens to see it.

From the damage to the bodies, I can probably guess what happened, but if I wanted to sit and imagine what happened, I wouldnt have rented the movie. Id just sit around thinkin shit up.

Cheaper, yes. But its just not as entertaining you see.


I recommend you pass on this one. Theres a few good frames in there as I mentioned, but when you compile the entire movie, its one big waste of time.

This will be my rant for the month, apparently. Wallcrawler, please don't take this personally. I'll preface this by saying this is only my opinion...

This attitude is what is wrong with modern film audiences. Everyone wants to see bigger, badder, grosser – the horror and suspense genre today sucks for this very reason.

Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, once said that suspense is not the action – it's the anticipation of the action. Unfortunately, most audiences want to see the action, while Hitchcock (and few filmmakers since) believed the mind can imagine things so much worse than you can ever put on celluloid.

However, as Wallcrawler states, audiences want to turn their brain off and have everything handed to them on a platter, without having to think about the film. As such, this attitude spills onto all other genres, forcing filmmakers to generate reel upon reel of Fast and Furious garbage, intended only appease the masses – "Come one, come all! Check your brain at the door! Eight dollars, please!"

I blame the masses for the tripe Hollywood gives us year after year.

HC_Chief
10-05-2006, 01:18 PM
Best horror movies these days are coming out of Japan.

Unfortunately they keep being remade by Hollyweird into crappy copies. The one exception, The Ring, is the ONLY scary movie of the past 5-10 years that I deemed worth a shit. I thought they did a great job w/ that one.

Fire Me Boy!
10-05-2006, 01:20 PM
Best horror movies these days are coming out of Japan.

Unfortunately they keep being remade by Hollyweird into crappy copies. The one exception, The Ring, is the ONLY scary movie of the past 5-10 years that I deemed worth a shit. I thought they did a great job w/ that one.
Which is easily two times worse than Ringu.

DeepPurple
10-05-2006, 02:41 PM
I heard somewhere that the remake of The Omen was exactly like the original film verbatim in same way the remake of Psycho with Vince Vaugh was duplicated exactly. I see no reason to remake a film if the only change is the actors. The original Omen was on INHD channel about two months ago and I watched it again, I can see why I didn't remember too much about the original. I did see the remake of Psycho with Vince and it was OK, it showed that Vince is a capable dramatic actor but he is no Anthony Perkins.

I remember in 1974 I was in Oklahoma City on business and standing in a very long line inside a mall, the Exorcist was showing and it scared the heck out of everybody back then. Of course, today it's tame compared to the blood and gore that comes with many films, horror or not. In it's time it had the suspense buildup that Hitchcock was noted for, and the following summer it happened again with Jaws. Another film that kept the audience in suspense as the film moved toward it's finally.

I haven't checked this out, but I believe many of the directors and producers of today's horror flicks were making music videos ten or fifteen years ago, and they're use to visual images telling the story and doing so in a short amount of time. The art of real movie making has eluded many of these filmmakers. I rented a film recently called "Hard Candy", in which the director did say in the bonus section that he was a music video director and this was his first feature film. The guy did a remarkable job for a film made on a million dollars in 18 days. It's a film that I would highly recommend, it's not a horror flick but very creepy, go to Amazon and read some of the reviews.

Nzoner
10-05-2006, 07:25 PM
Best horror movies these days are coming out of Japan.


If you haven't seen this I highly recommend Audition


http://tinyurl.com/m58sx

KCWolfman
10-05-2006, 11:45 PM
Modern American film in general sucks.

Cookie cutter remakes, type-cast actors, and big dollar budgets with great special effects do not make a movie, IMO.

Chinese films are actually catching my attention. There is one being made into an American version - Infernal Affairs. The Chinese film is great, I am hoping the American one is as well.

KCWolfman
10-05-2006, 11:48 PM
Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, once said that suspense is not the action – it's the anticipation of the action. Unfortunately, most audiences want to see the action, while Hitchcock (and few filmmakers since) believed the mind can imagine things so much worse than you can ever put on celluloid.



You never see the knife strike Janet Leigh's body. You never see a single wound, only the chocolate syrup swirling down the drain looking like sticky thick blood as she dies in the shower in Psycho. Yet this scene is more gut wrenching and upsetting than any modern scene I can think of.

Halfcan
10-06-2006, 12:02 AM
Wolf Creek was not too bad. Hills have Eyes was very Stoopid.

Halfcan
10-06-2006, 12:02 AM
Halloween is my all time fav.

Fire Me Boy!
10-06-2006, 08:14 AM
You never see the knife strike Janet Leigh's body. You never see a single wound, only the chocolate syrup swirling down the drain looking like sticky thick blood as she dies in the shower in Psycho. Yet this scene is more gut wrenching and upsetting than any modern scene I can think of.
I've studied more Hitchcock than any other director... probably the biggest influence on my own style.

NewChief
10-06-2006, 11:10 AM
Chinese films are actually catching my attention. There is one being made into an American version - Infernal Affairs. The Chinese film is great, I am hoping the American one is as well.

Reviews are out for "Departed," and they're overwhelmingly positive. Some say it's the equivalent or slightly inferior to the original, others claim it surpasses it. Could land Scorsese the Oscar, but good lord it's packed with "stars," almost to the point of turning me off. Still, I'm looking forward to it.

chagrin
10-06-2006, 11:27 AM
I am not a Film Student or anything, but my opinion:

Special effects tak so muhc away from the acting, which the actors of years ago were better at delivering their messages by body language, screams and dialogue.

2) f*cking remakes, if I have to be forced to watch a bunch of 90210 look-a-likes try to act both smart, and scared, I'd kill MYself!

Special effects, political correctness and focus on looks (beauty level) of the actors killed it for me, there's not much I watch, but there are still few good horrow movies around, they come out about once every 5 years or so - SAW was huge and I enjoyed it, not so much part II, but SAW 3 could be very cool.

chagrin
10-06-2006, 11:27 AM
One more thing - obviously the focus is not much on storytelling anymore, rather then visual stimulation

HC_Chief
10-06-2006, 11:45 AM
If you haven't seen this I highly recommend Audition


http://tinyurl.com/m58sx

That is a gut-wrenching movie to watch. That chick is the epitome of "pscho bitch".

Baby Lee
10-06-2006, 12:00 PM
Reviews are out for "Departed," and they're overwhelmingly positive. Some say it's the equivalent or slightly inferior to the original, others claim it surpasses it. Could land Scorsese the Oscar, but good lord it's packed with "stars," almost to the point of turning me off. Still, I'm looking forward to it.
I haven't been as jazzed for a theatrical release since Kill Bill V.2. I might even go to the theaters.

QuikSsurfer
10-06-2006, 02:26 PM
If you haven't seen this I highly recommend Audition


http://tinyurl.com/m58sx

eh
the movie was a total let down.. the last 20 minutes were intense though.
i like the director but this movie didn't do it for me.

"The Eye" - this is a good horror movie

Chiefnj
10-06-2006, 02:49 PM
Best Horror Movie - The Shining.

Halfcan
10-07-2006, 11:01 PM
Halloween is my all time fav.

I agree-Halloween One and Two Kick ass.