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  1. #61
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadOctopus View Post
    Man, I really need to watch Pan's Labyrinth again. What a depressingly beautiful movie.

    I don't watch more horror films during the Halloween season, but I do watch a lot of The Twilight Zone. I also read more Hellboy and BPRD. (Anyone? Anyone?)
    I'm not much into the Hellboy movies despite loving Del Toro, but I'm a huge fan of the comic and even have the Hellboy artwork hardback. Mignola sucked when he was doing conventional comics for Marvel, but Hellboy was a huge breakout for him... great art, great tone. It was such a great idea and the art captured it perfectly.

    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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  2. #62
    Suave y Fuerte BadOctopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not much into the Hellboy movies despite loving Del Toro, but I'm a huge fan of the comic and even have the Hellboy artwork hardback. Mignola sucked when he was doing conventional comics for Marvel, but Hellboy was a huge breakout for him... great art, great tone. It was such a great idea and the art captured it perfectly.
    Agreed. I wasn't too crazy about the movies, either; although they had their high points. (And I love Doug Jones in just about any role.) The Hellboy and BPRD comics are awesome, though. So many great characters and storylines.
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  3. #63
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, as Halloween approached, nothing much really resonated with me. There are very few movies that scare me outright, which is disappointing, and I was just feeling out of it with the weather shift so I wasn't even in the mood to watch my old standbys.

    So I ended up watching a few movies over that span of days that weren't necessarily terrifying but I do find interesting:

    ---

    "Flatliners". An old favorite of mine, despite its flaws. There was some bitching years after about how Julia Roberts' plot thread ended up being significantly different from the "guys" in the movie due to the producer not wanting to sully Roberts' pristine image. I won't spoil it here, but I actually liked the fact that each thread played out differently; it gave the movie variety, and it didn't diminish her journey, as Rachel (her character) had been tormenting herself for years over this event in her life, and those scenes played beautifully with the lighting and tone. I really don't like Schumacher much as a director, especially his action and Batman crap; but here is probably some of the most finesse I've seen him use as a director, dramatically. You also see a very very young Hope Davis as a supporting character with a good 5-10 minutes of air time, and she shows her promise even then. (Kimberly Scott makes an appearance too, as well as Beth "I'm beginning to doubt your commitment to SparkleMotion" Grant.) The ideas are cool, the science a bit dubious, but the ending boys choral / orchestral piece by James Newton Howard has been one of my favorite pieces for a long long time.

    ---

    "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (Donald Sutherland version). I haven't seen the movie since I was a teenager and maybe not in total altogether, I streamed it off Netflix. There was kind of a curio factor in that it had lots of actors I know today, early in their career [and darn it, but doesn't Veronica Cartwright do anything but shriek insanely?]; glad to see Goldblum was always rather quirky.

    I didn't like the opening sequence that kind of gives away the movie; I like keeping stuff like that secret; but then again, I found it to be a kind of blend of early American cinema + later cinema sensibilities, kind of a "bridge" movie. Another example: The music. There were scenes that should have been shot more dramatically but in essence the music was handed the job of making a scene tense (like when the one couple flees as a decoy to allow the two main protagonists to escape), so it was more noise to me rather than real psychological drama.

    The real money shot happens a little over halfway through the movie, when Matthew falls asleep in the garden and
    I like how they just went balls-to-walls with that scene and pulled it off within view of the camera for a prolonged period of time.

    Great handling of the last 15 minutes or so as well, including the famous conclusion in Wash DC. It was heartbreaking to finally observe what happens to the human host when duplicated, and then a great ending. But there's some great philosophy that ends up being discussed near the movie's end, which is where it brings the "science fiction" into the horror -- about the nature of being independent and isolated from the group, and why Matthew and the others are so terrified of a transformation that in some ways could be very liberating. Are they truly dying or are they being perfected? (Interestingly, the final movie I watched also addresses this to some degree, and it was made around the same time.)

    ----

    "The Thing" by John Carpenter was the third movie I watched over Halloween season. Again, some decent actors earlier in their career: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley (where's the walrus moustache??), a slimmer Richard Masur, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat.

    Carpenter's been a "hit or miss" guy with me too. One famous quote about him: "If you give him six million dollars, John Carpenter will make the best six-million dollar movie that you have ever seen. And if you give him fifty million dollars, John Carpenter will make the best six-million dollar movie that you have ever seen." That's kind of how this movie does come across. But damn, Carpenter can build tension just with a simple repeated synthesizer beat. The whole first 10-15 minutes is just a bit unnerving, without you having really seeing anything, just because some characters are doing things that seem really weird, lives are threatened, and that damn beat just continues to pulse.

    I have mixed feelings about the special effects, which when they were "in motion" were not as effective as I found them to be when we were looking at them in still. For example, when they find that twisted alien-looking carcass at the Norweigen camp early in the movie and the cast is looking at it back at their HQ, the camera generally doesn't show it all at once, it is slowly panning around to capture only pieces of the corpse + the look on people's face... and as the camera pans, you realize that the body they are looking at can't possibly be human or... rather... it incorporates pieces that looking human but are configured in such ways that it's like a screaming distortion of human beings melted together. Some of the lingering shots on the "running tallow" faces melting into each other were as unsettling as anything Giger ("Alien") has done.

    Some of the camera edits are choppy; not all the acting is great. But the jumping through time actually adds to the disorientation; we're trying to figure out which humans might have been infected, and with the time jumps, where we KNOW we we are missing parts of the chronology (and even during the shooting, where certain characters are "off-screen," we can't even trust the protagonist any longer. Anyone might be a "thing." Everyone is suspect. This makes the "blood test" scene extremely tense, as we really have no idea who will be discovered to be an alien or even if the test works. Which is the beauty of this movie, as some of the "best" scenes are pretty basic at core, and don't even need the special effects. (Of course, there are a few scenes of an active "thing" on film, and Carpenter there seems to cover up any silliness in the shots by extensive use of blood and gore so if you aren't scared to death, at least you'll feel sick to your stomach.)

    The movie does end perfectly. I heard there was a "happy ending" filmed, where a survivor is picked up and determined to be human; instead Carpenter did the right thing and went with the open ending
    .

    Peter Watts (not the character on "Millenium") was issued awards for a short story he wrote in 2010 or so from the "thing's" perspective, and while a little long in spots, the ideas in it are definitely worth a read, and that's where the connection is back to the 1978 "Body Snatchers" flick... Is absorption and transformation into the collective really a bad thing after all? We see it as cannibalism, being devoured by the "other" -- but the thing views it differently and comes to some realizations about humanity as the movie progresses.

    Clarkesworld Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy : The Things by Peter Watts
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #64
    Member Surr's Avatar
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    I'm a bit late, considering Halloween came and went already but I like to stick to the theme and watch some horror flicks. I'm a sucker for older movies and my favourites include Rosemary's Baby, Psycho, Shining, Pet Sematary (only the first 3/4 or so, then it goes bananas) and of course Alien movies. At times I also watch a few Treehouse of Horrors episodes but only every few years or so. Most recent positive surprises were Insidious (again, only up until the very end), I also somehow weirdly liked Dark Skies. This halloween, I also gave Orphanage a shot but it wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be, the same applied for Antichrist and Mama. When it comes to horror mockumentaries, my vote for the best one would probably go to Poughkeepsie Tapes, though I have a hard time singling out why I consider it better than e.g. Blair Witch Project or Rec.

    I should really get in the habit of watching horror anime though.. Only watched a few series so far but they seem to rely more on the gore side of things rather than atmosphere.
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  5. #65
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I am finishing up my second annual 13-horror-flick hallowscream session, and tonight i watched The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. (1974)

    i am not really one for slasher movies per se, and I find most pretty slow, uninteresting, and derivative. And I don't even do well with old movies in general, the sensibilities are different. But finally i have seen the original slasher film (or one of them, one that contributed many tropes), and damn now I can understand what inspired some people to even make slasher pics. This movie is slim in terms of time, with little dead space once it gets moving, and it's got high amounts of energy and is maddening-crazy.

    And the ending? The way it's shot? I can't even believe I'm using this term for a horror movie, but it almost feels freaking transcendent. I'd like to subtitle this movie, "The Exhilaration of Madness." I mean, wow. I'm both laughing and blown away, it's so ridiculous... but this movie really did sell the goods. If you see this, there's little reason to watch other movies like it; this is the original and easily at the top of its class.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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  6. #66
    metamorphosing Flâneuse's Avatar
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    I've found most horror movies I've seen either unintentionally funny or snooze-inducingly boring. In most it seems like 90% of the focus is on presenting gratuitous violence for shock value/gross-outs (and sometimes plenty of sex & nudity for no reason other than titillation), rather than crafting a decent story with interesting characters and themes that taps into a deeper psychological horror and genuinely disturbs rather than just giving the audience a bunch of jump-scares and gross-out moments. (I have no problem with violence and sex in film - just when that's basically all there is to the movie.) When the characters just feel like a bunch of boring cardboard cutouts whose sole purpose is to be gruesomely murdered for our entertainment, it just makes me roll my eyes when the death scenes roll around, or even giggle if they're really unrealistic and melodramatic. Sometimes a horror movie can get away without having developed characters, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, if it has other strengths like a disturbing mood and atmosphere, strong themes, or even a sense of humor.

    Anyway, here are a few I think are really good.

    classics:
    Audition
    The Exorcist - this one and Audition are my top two favorites, though I can't decide in what order
    Carrie (Stephen King's story (loosely, at some points) + Brian De Palma's visuals + Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie = brilliance)
    Silence of the Lambs (probably not technically a horror movie, but it's scary as fuck so I'm listing it anyway)
    Nosferatu
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    The Shining

    new and new-ish (post-2000):
    The Ring (US version. I can't speak for the Japanese version because I haven't seen it.)
    The Descent
    28 Days Later
    Shaun of the Dead, if that counts as horror

  7. #67
    Black Rose Krim13's Avatar
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    Now mine is not technically horror but...

    The Burbs
    "A life that lives without doing anything is the same as a slow death." - Lelouch Vi Britannia

    Alignment: True Neutral/Chaotic Neutral (Rational Neutral - Rebel Neutral)

    Eclectic Oddball, that I am
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  8. #68
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I'm always expanding my horror library, but there are different types of horror and not all is scary. In fact, I changed my lineup this year partway through because while I was watching some classics or trying out new films, I just wanted something that would freak me out.

    Ones that I would rewatch after my first view:



    I know I forgot some.

    There are various decent countdown lists. Here's one:
    100 best horror films of all time: best scary movies - Time Out



    Quote Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
    I'll probably finish up my Friday the 13th marathon this week. I just suffered through part 5 (Fuck you, Roy Burns), now it's on to JASON LIVES. I always preferred running hillbilly Jason but Superzombie Jason is also fun.
    Damn. I'm more of a Saw fan, and last year I couldn't handle more than three back to back.

    I did buy almost all the Hellraiser flicks cheap on DVD, but I've only ever seen the first. I have heard trying to binge through them is like a tried and true method of self-harm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
    Netflix's horror selection is garbage. It used to be better--they'd have a decent mix of new and classic horror but lately it feels mostly like a lot of IFC horror (very hit or miss) and shitty B movies in the vein of sharknado. I might sign up for that horror only streaming service. It's always Halloween in my house. HalloWIN.
    I did watch "The Host" off Netflix this past weekend.

    To be honest, I was kind of disappointed... and a little surprised it won so many rave reviews. Maybe it was a different pool of reviewers. I felt like it was kind of aimless in the middle and about half an hour past its optimal running time. However, I was happy to see Bae Doo-na, I didn't realize she was in it and of course I first ran across her in Cloud Atlas a few years later where she won a deep spot in my heart. Anyway, accepting the graphics quality for what it was, I didn't mind it... and it had a great comedic undercurrent, but not enough for a two hour runtime.

    I'm having trouble finding consistently good horror on Netflix. I usually have to go through HBO or another movie network, or I download off a site I'm on, or I rent off Amazon Prime or FIOS.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #69
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, I did find Nightmare on Elm Street pretty scary -- parts of it, still. Some is campy (like the animated skeleton). But it's something to realize you might or might not be asleep and completely at the sadistic mercy of a psycho. Poor johnny depp. Johnny, meet Cusinart; Cusinart, Johnny. Most of the later films got more campy/fun (with dark humor) than scary per se.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
    I've seen the first and third but my memory of part 3 is hazy. Apparently Jadzia Dax is in it.
    Yeah, Terry Farrell... I heard she was in one of them.

    Craig Sheffer is in another. Lolz.

    Apparently the studios kept pumping them out and changed the character of pinhead to fit whatever the script du jour was.

    I tried to binge on Child's Play/Chucky series. The first is a classic but getting through the sequels is difficult unless you enjoy the increasingly silly tone and cheesy one liners. Chucky is like Freddy...very creepy and just the right balance of tongue-in-cheek humor in the first films, but they went too far with the silly stuff in the follow-ups.
    How did Bride of Chucky fare?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #70
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    American Psycho
    The Shining
    Halloween (Mike Myers is enjoyable simply because he is such an abstract stand-in for everything evil. You can only evade. Never overcome him.)

    I like AMC during Halloween as they play all the 80's horror movies.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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