Jump to content

Inspirational Horror


Recommended Posts

Sounds wise to me, Christian. The cinematographer of The Innocents was Freddie Francis, who was a director in his own right and shot films like The Elephant Man, Dune, and The Straight Story for David Lynch; trust me, you don't want to compromise his compositions. The film's enveloping space is one of its most unnerving aspects.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 159
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Has anyone mentioned The Wicker Man yet? Such a weird, strangely disturbing film.

"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic" - Vladimir Nabokov

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen any of the American remakes of those three titles you mentioned, but if I had to rank to Japanese originals, I'd say Ju-on, Dark Water, and then, at a slightly distant third, The Ring.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone mentioned The Wicker Man yet? Such a weird, strangely disturbing film.

I finally caught this two nights ago. I would say that The Wicker Man works precisely because it is so foreign to us, to modern society, that we forget that people actually believed this stuff, in the early 3rd and 4th centuries. It was rather ingenius to bring that to a modern, isolated context. I would gather that it was this authenticity that makes the film work. It's the anti-horror horror film.

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen the American Dark Water and it is an abomination. I mean REALLY bad! The American remake of The Grudge is fine, but the Japanese original is superior.

Unlike Opus, I rate the Japanese originals this way:

1. Dark Water (a personal favourite - the little girl breaks my heart)

2. Ju-on (The Grudge)

3. Ringu

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen the American Dark Water and it is an abomination. I mean REALLY bad! The American remake of The Grudge is fine, but the Japanese original is superior.

Unlike Opus, I rate the Japanese originals this way:

1. Dark Water (a personal favourite - the little girl breaks my heart)

2. Ju-on (The Grudge)

3. Ringu

Having watched the American remakes, but none of the Japanese originals, has been an interesting experiement. These are strange films, much preferable to the scares offered by American "slasher" films, but curiously unmoving. They're telling me something about Japanese culture -- the relationships between parents and children there -- but I'm not sure what they're saying. It doesn't translate so well to Americans, unless the films are saying that troubled parents raise up troubled kids -- in which case, it's saying that just fine in the American versions, but that's not exactly groundbreaking.

What impresses me is that so many of these films are rated PG-13, and manage to scare us without use of R-rated gore.

I was more intrigued by "Dark Water." As noted above, the American version flat out does not work. But it has elements that are more interesting than anything in any of the other horror films I've watched recently.

Most surprising of my recent viewings: "The Boogeyman" was the spookiest of the lot, but also the stupidest (is that a word?) thematically. Still, that film generates chills simply with its "Evil Dead"-like camerawork and stage-setting.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tended to rpefer the Americanizations to the originals in Asian Horror. I find Asian Horror big on weirdness, but low on chills. In fact, I saw the Ring and thought how powerful the atmosphere was...and everyone said the orignal was even better. Boy was I disappointed. It was boring. And the Samara character was not interesting at all-nor creepy. Although, part of it is that I liked a friends suggestion for her origina way more than the film's. He had read something about an old Japanese believe in some kind of demonic creature that would steal a baby and replace it with it's own (or that the creature would simply take the baby's place). And I thought, how creepy is that???

Anyhoo, I keep randomly trying various Asian horror films and end up going "what?"

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

Link to post
Share on other sites

But for me, the wierdness of Asian horror films -- be it due to cultural differences or whatever -- is a large part of why I find them so chilling.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love horror and especially some of the older classics. I recently did an interview with Rob Zombie I was hoping would run on Hollywood Jesus but for some reason never did. I especially like The Devil's Rejects and look forward to Rob's rendition of Halloween which comes out next October. Of the classics, Night of the Living Dead, House on Haunted Hill and a variety of others stand out. Then there are the classic Dracula Movies I remember watching as a small child. Then Wolfman with Lon Cheney, and the older classics.

As of recent, I think Rob Zombie has a lot of potential to take over this genera, I really appreciate his artistic and intentional commentary he desires for the viewer to seek out. Anyone wanting to see the interview with Rob, not deep and somewhat reflective can visit it at one of the following links

http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/comments/fur...w-with-rob.html

or with various comments at:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseacti...81-d943c282a87c

Mike

www.thekeystonekid.com

www.furches.org

Find me at Facebook & Twitter

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not into horror at all, but my friend Kim Paffenroth has recently published a book on George Romero's zombie films, Gospel of the Living Dead, and is blogging on the subject of zombies and horror generally. He teaches at Iona College.

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
A few of my favorites that haven't been mentioned:

The Hitcher

Did you know that this movie is being remade (actually "updated," according to the studio behind the new version)? I just received one of the most disturbing, and, I would argue, tasteless press releases I've ever seen:

THE HITCHER SWEEPSTAKES OFFERS MOVIE FANS CHANCE OF A LIFETIME

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites

Christian wrote:

: I just received one of the most disturbing, and, I would argue, tasteless press releases I've ever seen:

Disturbing? Tasteless? Is this another "litmus test"? Personally, I always enjoyed playing death scenes in school plays and whatnot, going all the way back to elementary school.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian wrote:

: I just received one of the most disturbing, and, I would argue, tasteless press releases I've ever seen:

Disturbing? Tasteless? Is this another "litmus test"?

No fair. I admitted that I had thought of treating that other movie as a "litmus test," but caught myself and backed off before making any such assertion.

Personally, I liked the original Hitcher and saw it a few times back in high school. But I wonder now if I could stomach the ripping apart of arms, etc.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites
A few of my favorites that haven't been mentioned:

The Hitcher

Did you know that this movie is being remade (actually "updated," according to the studio behind the new version)? I just received one of the most disturbing, and, I would argue, tasteless press releases I've ever seen:

I did know they were remaking it. From the trailer it looks like they were sensitive to Ebert and reversed the gender on the truck pull apart scene (see Ebert's incensed review of the original). I dunno, it will probably be a horrible film but I've been surprised before (Dawn of the Dead remake).

Also, I would love, love, love to be killed on film. If I'm allowed to let the 13 year old horror geek living in me speak: "That would be soooo awesome."

Stealing! How could you? Haven't you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church? Captain whats-his-name.

- Homer

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I confess I did NOT read every last post in this thread. So if what I'm about to ask has been asked above, I apologize.

But I want to know if everyone here agrees upon the definition/classification of "Horror" films. I personally would not include the Left Behind film as "Horror" and I also don't truly classify Jaws as such either.

I see some films as "Occult Horror" and/or "Supernatural Horror". Then there's the "Thriller", sub-categorized into "Suspense-Thriller" and "Action-Thriller" (and a few other sub-sub-categories I won't get into right now). Silence of the Lambs is--in my estimation-- a "Psychological Suspense Crime-Thriller. Frank Paretti's angel books have been labeled by the Christian publishing industry as "Christian Horror", but I disagree with that designation. I would more classify his works as "Supernatural Suspense-Thrillers."

My own criteria is that I very simply ask myself if the PRIMARY SUBJECT MATTER of the story is "horrifying." To me, a continuous focus upon blood and guts, and gratuitous violence are automatic qualifiers for "horror." Extreme cruelty, sadism, particularly viscious murders--those to me are the essence of true horror. Silence of the Lambs was more concerned with solving the crime, not with showcasing violence. While I admit that the violence and cruelty of that movie was not watered down to a mere PG or PG-13, it still wasn't the main focus. Solving the crime was, and the method of solving it heavilly centered upon exploring--in admittedly grusome detail-- a dark corner of criminal psychology.

Halloween was more "Horror" to me. But very good horror, and even very admirable horror (it was just a brilliant film). While it also dealt with a dark corner of criminal psychology, the focus was NOT solving a crime, but escaping the villain's latest rapage.

INT. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - SANCTUARY - NIGHT

FATHER LORENZO

So now that you've told me all of this: why do you hold such a deep aversion to discussing angels?

PASTOR DAVID

Because I don't wanna get it WRONG! To stand up in front of my congregation--AND in front of God-- and screw it up! Do you hold much stock in that passage from James that says "We who teach will be judged more strictly"??

FATHER LORENZO

Yes... in fact .... I consider that one scripture to be an occupational hazard.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

Jackie Earle Haley IS ... Freddy Kruger.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Well, this thread seems particularly relevant about right now.

I will also say that I'm still trying to keep the goals of Arts and Faith in mind. After all, so far I haven't been able to rationalize nominating my favorite horror movie of all time - Army of Darkness, let alone something as cool as Bubba-Ho tep.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will also say that I'm still trying to keep the goals of Arts and Faith in mind.

Agreed. Which is why I haven't seconded several films, and will totally understand it when Antichrist doesn't make the final twenty.

For future reference, we're talking about This.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this thread seems particularly relevant about right now.

I will also say that I'm still trying to keep the goals of Arts and Faith in mind. After all, so far I haven't been able to rationalize nominating my favorite horror movie of all time - Army of Darkness, let alone something as cool as Bubba-Ho tep.

I'm having this same problem in nominating films. I can't figure out how Reanimator fits in with the idea of the Top 20, although it IS sort of an update on the Frankenstein story, which did make the cut, so...

And, Stef: Everything I've read about Antichrist makes me think it's a worthy choice, but I've not seen it and so don't feel like I'm in a position to second the nomination.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites
And, Stef: Everything I've read about Antichrist makes me think it's a worthy choice, but I've not seen it and so don't feel like I'm in a position to second the nomination.

The case has been made that it is a worthy choice, and I'm certain many here could choose to write eloquently about it. But the problem with that particular film is that it is too graphic for our list. As an individual, I don't have much of a problem with the content. It's R, it's horror, it's Von Trier, I should know what to expect when walking in. But for this group and our purposes, I may have seconded it, but I almost hope it doesn't get voted in. It's a case where a particular film would actually bring the point of the list down. I think its inclusion would effect the list's credibility, at least among those who value a list made by people of faith.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think fretting about ANTICHRIST is kinda pointless. The cut-off date will almost certainly keep it from making it on the list. (And, I must confess, I'm glad; I think it's a lousy film, even by secular standards. That said, a part of me would welcome something as controversial and provocative as ANTICHRIST making the list. I just wish it would actually be better than ANTICHRIST happens to be.)

Edited by Ryan H.
Link to post
Share on other sites

You obviously didn't see it on the big screen. Even still, I would think the first five minutes would have you sold on it purely by its form.

This, to me, is close to the conversation you were having with SDG the other day in comparing "Favorites" vs. "Critically Best," or as I like to think of it, subjective favorites vs. objective favorites, and your mention about how the two do blend, but one hopes for the best guess at each. I have always loved Von Trier's films, and Antichrist is no exception, but I can see from an outside point of view that it can be considered "too much," and even by some Christian standards, "sinful."

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Even still, I would think the first five minutes would have you sold on it purely by its form.

I general, I like "Style," but the opening of ANTICHRIST I find deeply irritating; instead of compellingly grand, I find the opening of ANTICHRIST pompous and portentous. I'd have preferred something that didn't try so hard. This kind of showy theatricality is often more palatable when you can detect a sense of playfulness, of delight, behind its creation; when it's as terribly earnest as this, it comes off as a bit overwrought.

ANTICHRIST has its effective moments, though, once it moves past that opening and develops a pretty effective, eerily aesthetic. In those sections, the film actually hints that it might be about something, that it might go somewhere fascinating. But then it reveals that every clue about meaning and purpose little more than a red herring, that the film has little genuine purpose or insight at all, and self-destructs in unpleasant excess.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever Antichrist means to you, whatever Antichrist means to me, it means something entirely different to its creator. Somewhat out there, somewhat surreal, it is an artistically therapeutic piece in which the creator processes and confronts years of depression. That would be the "genuine purpopse" of the film. Does it alienate its audience? Sure, some of them will be left behind. But you're dealing with a filmmaker who has always been willing to alienate the many for the few. Is it really "unpleasant excess"? There are moments that are unpleasant, absolutely. Whether it is excess really has more to do with what was already happening in LvT's mind, because this is a movie that's more about his condition than it is ours. (And even so, I've had my own readings of it that I think work quite well, for me, and I'm sure many others find their own readings, too.)

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...