This is so me at the moment…Which is why I haven’t written much for a month! Been having a horror detox.
The Blog Witch
This is so me at the moment…Which is why I haven’t written much for a month! Been having a horror detox.
The Blog Witch
It is not unknown that the horror genre loves a good cliché- Alcohol and drug-fuelled parties in isolated locations (cabins are a plus), a female survivor or the fact that sex=death. We have all come to accept this as an integral part of the genre, but there are a few horror clichés that I just can’t get along with, no matter how many times they crop up. Here I will attempt to list a few that get me shaking my head in front of the screen…
1. Crap Cops
Why in every horror, especially the slasher kind, are the police force so utterly incapable? Normally taken out by the bad-guy as soon as they come to inspect the scene (see: The Collector), they do more harm than good. And another thing…I don’t know how true this is…But I thought officers were always meant to turn up in twos? Well this idea is clearly disregarded in a good horror flick as he examines the cabin/house/car park, alone, with armed with a torchlight and alarmingly bad training.
Of course this stereotype has been mocked in films like Scream, but it’s actually no laughing matter. The incompetence of those who are meant to be there to protect us leaves the viewer feeling in a very vulnerable state, there’s no one else to turn to but yourself to get out of this bloody mess. Would you be up to it? Probably not, and that’s terrifying. So maybe I could forgive this annoyance as it helps scare the shit outta us.
2. Not killing the killer
I’m not talking about Michael Myers here, or other supernatural antagonists that can’t be stopped… I’m talking about when your opponent is clearly flesh and blood and hell-bent on taking your life in a horrific way, and you get your chance to take him down but you give him one lousy hit over the head?! Or you shoot him anywhere that isn’t IN HIS FACE?! There is no excusing that stupidity and you clearly deserve to die. This is one thing that really grinds my gears. Ok ok, I know that it’s to help the plot keep going, otherwise the movie would just end there…But it’s not believable, ok?
3. Falling over NOTHING
Ok so the same IDIOTS that don’t kill the killer when they have the chance are also the same morons that manage to fall over flat ground. I mean, I haven’t fallen since I was 8 years old, WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING?! and why on earth do they take so long to get up?! Look where the hell you’re going. Maybe they have to do this because horror villains don’t run…And they have got to catch up somehow. (P.S these are the same geniuses that suggest the group ‘splits up’ when it’s far from what they should be doing)
4. Trying to bargain with the killer:
Ok, ok I’m sure that if I were strapped to a chair being tortured in the same situation I’d probably be begging for my life too- but it’s stupid and pointless.Just because you say “Why are you doing this!?” or even worse “You don’t need to do this!” it doesn’t mean Leatherface is gonna put down that chainsaw and think…Why AM I doing this?! and walk away. No, that’s not going to happen. Also when they lock you in a room, banging on the door screaming “let me out!!!” ain’t getting you nowhere fast either, so save your energy.
I hope you have enjoyed this short list, I’m definitely not done there so let me know what annoys you guys about horror movies and I’ll be sure to include them next time.
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As we only have 5 spots going in this article, I’m going to leave the Big 3 (Michael Myers, Jason and Freddy) out of it. They are perfect horror villains, but we’ll give some of the other guys a shot!
I remember when this came out, I was very young, and somehow the story of the Candyman had reached my innermost circle of friends and was told at many a sleepover. I would never say his name 5 times when looking in a mirror, or when anywhere else. I still wouldn’t now to tell you the truth…Hooks look like they really hurt.
Bagul, Mr. Boogie, whatever you wanna call him, this villain’s movie title describes him perfectly: Sinister. His sadistic killings are cruel and creepy- a child soul-eater makes for a pretty badass villain. I mean, he can even travel through worlds! Through film, on photos, in your garden- this guy can be where he wants to watch over you and your family before he destroys you in a very unique and gruesome way.
3. The Creeper
This villain from Jeepers Creepers definitely deserves a mention. More than that- he deserves my number 3 spot! This guy eats human body parts to strengthen his own. He is not only non-human but distinctly superhuman. He can fly, tear the flesh from your bones and sniff you out. He’s an ancient demon for God’s sake, how terrifying!
Ghostface is here for his sheer versatility. Always changing and even being 2 people at once, this villain is likely to find himself among your closest friends. It’s a scary thought not knowing who to trust, but it’s one that is all too common for poor Sidney Prescott. There’s something so brutal about being hacked at with a knife, and the film puts it better than I could “there’s something really scary about a guy with a knife who just… snaps”
1. The Collector
This guy is a recent villain and we can see definite Jigsaw elements to his character but I think I’d much rather take on Jigsaw, who at least, in some way, wants you to have a go at it, at surviving. The Collector is a sadistic killer that wants to give you no chance at escape…But likes to make you think you can. He’s a master of booby-trapping and horrific killing. His mask and spider-eyes just make the experience even more terrifying. There’s nothing supernatural about him…He’s human, he exists, and somehow that’s a lot scarier…
1. Devils Due
Devils Due will becoming out in January of 2014. From the trailer it definitely seems worth a watch, it looks like a cross between Paranormal Activity and the old-school Rosemary’s Baby. They have some creepy creepy scenes in the preview already, including a man constantly watching the pregnant couple (the whole plot circles around what appears to be some demonic pregnancy) so I hope they haven’t let out their best material. it looks like it might be a worthwhile horror, even if the plot isn’t that refreshing.
2. Open Grave
This movie’s trailer really leaves you wanting to see more. A man wakes up in a deep pit when a group of strangers help him resurface. He soon finds out that they too were in the pit. Paranoia then takes its grip when people believe that so;e of the others have been in on the plot the whole time. I love horrors where you don’t know who to trust (films like Dead Mary do this really well). We also don’t fully know where to categorize the movie- it appears to have zombie elements as well as gore/slasher….I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
As if being stranded in mid-air, miles above ground, on a 10 hour flight to Tokyo wasn’t scary enough, the director of the Grudge has added an element of what appears to be the supernatural. A flight to Tokyo has set off on its journey, but complications arise- as to what these complications are the viewer is none the wiser. The trailer grabs your attention enough to want to find out, however, when people start flying around and something black and mysterious grabs a flight attendant from within the overhead compartment.
This film has an awesome premise. A whole bunch of girls have been captured and are being held by some sort of organization that want them to fight to the death- with their bare hands. You couldn’t kill someone like that I hear you say? Well how about this for encouragement: your refusal means a family member of yours will die. This seems like it will be a pretty intense plot that is quite different to a lot of the other stuff coming out in 2014. It may not be scary in the sense that little dead children or demon possessed men are, but it’s a hell of a lot more real.
5) Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
The fifth installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise is mainly in this list out of my loyalty to the series. I’ve really enjoyed the other 4, even if at times they were predictable or cheesy. They make for light horror viewing. This trailer however seemed to disappoint me, there were some scares (mainly cheap jump ones) but the plot has got far-fetched. We have moved really far away from the original film and really deep into religion and cults. Maybe this will clear things up and tie-up some loose ends- or maybe it will just ruin the whole franchise…We’ll find out January 2014
Imagine this: a horror movie featuring hot cave-chicks slaughtering each other in a BC era- sound good to you? Well only YOU can make this film a reality. Entitled ‘The BC Butcher’, this slasher shows movie-making skills far beyond the director’s 17 years (Kansas Bowling).
The filmmakers are currently trying to raise funds in order to bring this short into a full-length reality. From what has been filmed so far it is evident that this tongue-in-cheek horror will both disgust and delight you with gore and humor whilst bringing you an original plot- Prehistory is yet to be touched by Hollywood.
‘The BC Butcher’ has managed to raise an impressive amount already (not far off $1500) and needs a little help to reach their target total. Fundraising has brought horror fans great indie films in the past such as ‘Absentia’ (crowd-funded at kickstarter), and now you have another chance to make Kansas Bowling’s dream come true. This is a really fun project that I suggest that you all go check out at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-b-c-butcher-a-prehistoric-slasher. Please re-blog this when you can to get the word out there!
Good luck to everyone at ‘The BC Butcher’ !
Chances are, if you are on this blog it is because you are a horror fan, a shriek geek if you will. Well boy have I got some good news for you. Those hours curled up on the sofa or behind a pillow are not wasted! Oh no, Horror movies are in fact GOOD for you! And here’s why….
1. Good for your health
It has been noted that watching a horror movie can have amazing effects on the human body. The watching of these images on a screen can spike your blood pressure, tense up those muscles and get your heart racing- the same effect as exercise. In fact watching a horror film has been proven to burn calories, with a movie like “The Shining” burning just under 200 calories!
2. Good for your mental well-being
Horror movies allow for a feeling of catharsis. This basically means that we are able to release strong emotions allowing relief to wash over us. We know when the movie is over we will be safe, with all our limbs and arteries in tact. Another reassuring aspect of horror movies is their predictable nature. We know that the girl will survive at the end, the two teenage lovers will die and the harmony of the universe will be restored by the time the credits roll.
3. We need the release:
“If we have a relatively calm, uneventful lifestyle, we seek out something that’s going to be exciting for us, because our nervous system requires periodic revving, just like a good muscular engine,” says Fischoff, professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. Our bodies need the stimulus!
4. Good for enjoying yourself
Horror movies are a great way to escape the monotony of existence and experience something you (hopefully) never will in real life. Also it’s a great way to take our mind of our own problems and put things into perspective when watching that poor girl being stalked and killed.
5. Because Stephen King says so:
The mythic horror movie, like the sick joke, has a dirty job to do. It deliberately appeals to all that is worst in us. It is morbidity unchained, our most base instincts let free, our nastiest fantasies realized … and it all happens, fittingly enough, in the dark. For those reasons, good liberals often shy away from horror films. For myself, I like to see the most aggressive of them – Dawn of the Dead, for instance – as lifting a trap door in the civilized forebrain and throwing a basket of raw meat to the hungry alligators swimming around in that subterranean river beneath. Why bother? Because it keeps them from getting out, man. It keeps them down there and me up here.
This is an honest call to all my tumblr readers to let me know what they think…Is my apartment haunted or have I finally watched too many horror movies? Here’s the story…
So I moved into my apartment about 2 months ago with my partner. Now, not to sound cliché or anything but I really had an uneasy feeling after spending my first night there. I can’t explain why I felt that way, but it was just a feeling of not wanting to be alone in the apartment…Like some presence was there. Anyway I’ve been avoiding staying here alone ever since…Especially seeing as things got…worse. Or maybe this is just all in my head? But about a week after moving in I started noticing little droplets of water on the floor. It wasn’t anything enough to scare me, or even really make me question it…But the droplets started changing into puddles, in the middle of the floor. Puddles in the bathroom when I hadn’t even been there…Then in the kitchen.
Ok ok, it’s only water, right? Right, so I didn’t work myself up over it too much…but then the bathroom door started opening on its own. Sometimes it creeps open, sometimes flies open. A drought maybe? I hope so. Water on the floor, the bathroom door opening…All seems to be linked.
Then the shower started turning itself on when I was falling asleep. Am I dreaming it? Well my boyfriend hears it too… This has stopped happening for a while though. But the incidences don’t stop there… Sometimes I come home after being out for the day and I see things that had been on the shelf lying quite far away on the floor.
But the worst of all was one evening, and it has only happened this once, but it was chilling… One evening my boyfriend and I were sleeping, he was facing away from me, and moved his foot and felt what he described as “a head of hair”. Sleepy as he was, his brain told him that I had turned myself around in my sleep, so he started to drift back off, tugging the hair caught between his toes and putting it on the floor. The next day he asked me why I had slept the other way round. “I didn’t…” I told him. We looked to the side of the bed and found long, black hairs. About 4 of them. This is definitely not my boyfriend’s (short hair), and it’s definitely not mine (long but blonde).
So what do you think? I have been trying to explain away all this, but it’s creeping me out! Am I being paranoid? Please Re-blog so I can get more opinions!
Scream, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien…I could continue my list of films with female survivors at the end, but instead I will attempt to analyse why there is a surprisingly common usage of what Carol J. Clove coins “the Final Girl”.
Why do the likes of Sidney Prescott, Laurie Strode, Nancy Thompson or Ripley live to tell their horrific tales? Clover distinguishes several characteristics that all these females normal posses, that set them apart from the killers victims. Typically she is virginal, or at least sexually unavailable, lives a life free of vice (drug abuse, over indulgence etc), Clove also notes that she normally dons a name that isn’t always very feminine: Sidney, Ripley, Laurie. A theory as to why their non-sexuality lets them live is the rise of feminism in the 70s and 80s which corresponds to the rise in the slasher film genre. During the 60s horror films often portrayed women as the victim, normally sexualised and always killed-off. A great example would be Marion Crane in “Psycho”, she is killed-off at a moment that focuses purely on her sexuality- while she is in the shower. She is the victim of a penetrating knife and is not the pinnacle of feminine strength.
Women wanted more substantial roles in horror films, so could the virginal “Final Girl” just be a defense mechanism to the over sexualised scream queens in previous slasher films? Although this is a convincing idea, and may have been the case early on in Horror history, I feel that modern horror doesn’t have this motive behind their chosen survivors.
Although the “final girl” is still often sexually unavailable she still appeals to Laura Mulvey’s idea of the “male gaze”. She is attractive
and ends up having her clothes ripped to shreds, clinging to her body and she bounces around in the rain. Does this contradict the feminist idea of having a strong woman survivor? In some ways the answer is yes, she is often there as eye candy for a male audience- but she can have a positive effect too. I feel that the use of the “final girl” is to take the audience through a journey. From weak and vulnerable, to strong and brave. Such a transition is strongest when we start off with the biggest opposition to the final product, a female perfectly fits the bill. She allows us to feel the full weight of terror and strength of the often male killer, and her journey to defeating him allows the movie to really make use feel like we have been on a journey too. The fact that you think she will fail against a man, who is naturally more powerful than she is, allows the movie to be a lot more scarier for an audience, who relates to the protagonist and therefore becomes unsure whether they will live, or die.
Whether the “final girl” exists as a big “fuck you” to female victimisation and sexualisation, or so as to feed the male gaze or even to make the audience feel the full force of the terror before them, is still up for debate. I would love to hear your comments and views on the topic!