Scare Me Gently

No one seems to make a good scary movie like they used to.  I don't know about you, but me, I enjoy being scared witless while watching a movie.  There has to be some psychological defect in humankind that makes this a pleasant activity, because on paper, it certainly doesn't seem like a party.

Thing is nowadays, "scary" seems to equate short, sharp, shocks and a large, demented man with many knives jumping out of a dark space and carving up a teenager in a disturbingly inappropriate and unnecessary manner, preferably in some deserted location that creaks a lot, complete with lots of blood spatter, totally gratuitous torture and all the usual cliches heaped on top like mustard.

And I will freely admit I enjoy some of that on occasion.  I mean come on, who hasn't wished someone would reek some sort of havoc on teens?   I'm kidding.  Sort of.  Ask me later...

Anyway, those movies usually bore me with their formulaic plots and overly bloodlusty villains who can only kill in uber violent and unlikely grotesque ways, while maintaining the ability to be at every exit at all times as the heroine runs around like a skittish cat, trying to escape.

What happened to suspense?  I miss suspense.  Horror movies nowadays are all gore and little suspense.  You know the scary psycho guy is going to bust out of certain places.  You know the chick's going to lose her brain and run in twenty different wrong directions right into his path.  NEVER GO BACK INTO THE HOUSE, IDIOT!   How many times can you see a woman check herself out in the bathroom mirror, bend to splash water on her face then stand up to see the killer's reflection behind her?

I like the movies in between horror and thriller, where the villain has one foot somewhere in the continent of reality.  Where he is plausible, you know?  Eerie or creepy rather than downright horrific.  Where things are implied rather than bludgeoned into you with a mallet.  Where you are terrified out of your head because the villain could actually exist.  He could be waiting in the parking lot after your night class, or in the basement of your apartment building.  Where the fear comes from sounds and silence and cunning camera work and paranoia and not from scenes of wanton bloody madness.  Where things build slowly and hit you at the end with a little jolt of "What the hell!" rather than, "Well, that was disturbing and they are never getting those bloodstains out of that carpet!"

I guess I like my horror gentle for the most part.  Isn't that sweet?

6 Responses to “Scare Me Gently”

Macy said...

Now if you like a slow build of horror you must have seen The Innocents - the Black and White version with Deborah Kerr.

I still can't look at reeds in a shady pond without imagining ghostly figures just standing there...

It's funny you mention "The Innocents" because it's my brother-in-law's favorite movie and we were just yakking about it recently. It's an old school creeper but a good one.There's nothing like some creepy kids to liven up a horror.

In more contemporary terms, I'm fond of "The Orphanage" as well. Creepy foreign movies rule.

Eva Gallant said...

Did you ever see Cape Fear? That was a good one!
The first Halloween movie was good, then they went to just gore!

Linda Medrano said...

I hate slasher movies. They don't scare me, they bore me. I love a good suspense movie. "The Jagged Edge" was one of my favorites of all times. It was scary and hard to figure out the real killer all the way through. Really a good scary flick! The stupid "Elm Street" nightmares are just not my thing!

Eva, so weird, my boyfriend and I watched the "Cape Fear" remake just the other day (the DeNiro one) and I hadn't seen it since it came out and was surprised it still stood up pretty well apart from that atrocious foray into standard horror movie stuff at the end on the boat. Still good though.

Linda, most of them don't scare me much either, they seem more out to disturb with their over the top crazy violence and gore. Give me some suspense anyday as well. Jesus, I haven't seen "Jagged Edge" in a long time. I remember Jeff Bridges being satisfyingly creepy and suave in it though. :)

Anonymous said...

Very true! I'm not into gross and gory. (But I sure wish I was the person who invented fake movie blood and alien slime, because man, that guy has got to be as rich as the dude who invented Post-it Notes.)
Congratulations on starting a new blog. I'm glad to be here and looking forward to more of your funny posts! Cheers! - G