Posts Tagged ‘suspense’

I Don’t Like Horror Films

September 1, 2011

This past weekend, while Hurricane Irene was creating havoc up and down the east coast of the United States, a remake of the made-for-television horror film Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was released. The film starred Katie Holmes and was directed by none other than Guillermo del Toro. Yet, no matter who’s directing or starring in the film, I must admit that I was never a fan of horror films. Yes, that’s right, while the people I grew up with saw Friday the 13th Part Whatever, I either saw E.T., the latest Star Wars re-release or was working on my book that was destined to become the Great American Novel. Now that Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is in movie theaters, I thought take the opportunity to highlight the reasons why I don’t like horror films.

All that Blood and Gore
The old time horror films such as Dracula with Bela Lugosi and Frankenstein with Boris Karloff were built upon good acting and suspense. The violence happened off screen. Since the 1970’s, the unofficial motto of horror films is “We give you BLOOD!” All that slicing and dicing does nothing for me. I don’t think it is thrilling or even funny. It just seems like a big waste of acting, special effects and film. A car chase, as implausible as it is in a horror film, would be a much better use of all those things.

Too Many Damsels in Distress
Why is it that the chicks in the film are always the ones who are being chased and killed by the villain? If you are going to portray someone who kills indiscriminately, why discriminate against guys? Don’t guys get in the villain’s way?  So how about having a few guys sliced and diced, just to even out the body count? After all, it’s only fair.

Eddie Murphy Was Right
If you are of a certain age, you will remember when Eddie Murphy hosted Saturday Night Live in December 1982. He did a stand up routine in place of a monologue and during the routine he talked about the horror film plot device of the haunted/possessed house. The routine goes like this:

“Wow, baby, this is beautiful. We got chandelier hangin’ up here, kids outside playin’, it’s a beautiful neighborhood, I really love – this is beaut–”

[demonic whisper] “Get out!”

“Too bad we can’t stay.”

Exactly. Horror movies that utilize the haunted/possessed house plot device beg the question of “Why don’t the characters just leave?” The obvious answer is that it would end the movie without much of a dénouement. Still, lots of times in these films the characters heard the stories about said house or place, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise when things start go wrong. Dudes, they put a “Keep Out” sign for a reason. Don’t you think it would have been a good idea to stay away.

Of course, even with these “corrections” I still won’t like horror films. So, if you are in the mood for Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street don’t bother inviting me because I’ll either be working on another blog entry or watching Star Wars on DVD.

Sources:
http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/don-t-afraid-katie-holmes-182915204.html

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/82/82imono.phtml

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My Moviegoing Pet Peeves

June 16, 2011

The Flavorwire blog put up a list of what not to do when going to the movies. This came about after news about a patron who was kicked out of a movie theater for texting, even though she was warned repeatedly to stop. Well, that got the wheels in my brain turning. (Uh-oh, you must be saying now). So, here are a list of my moviegoing pet peeves.

Comments about the action/characters/plot during the movie
In December 2010, I took my nephew to see Tangled. In one scene Rapunzel’s boyfriend is mortally wounded by the evil stepmother. As he lay dying, one person in the theater blurred out, “He can’t die. This is Disney.” Yes, I was thinking that too, still that comment ruined the suspense. Of course, there are films where audience participation is a part of the experience (i.e. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, campy B-movies) and, I admit it, I blurted out “Do something!” during a key scene in Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader looked on as Luke Skywalker was being zapped by the Emperor. Still, loads of people worked very hard to make the film you are watching believeable. Also, loads of people gave up their hard earned cash for a few hours of escape from their troubles.  Don’t ruin it for both parties. During the movie, keep your comments to yourself. Loads of people will be very grateful.

Overpriced snacks
Yes, the movie theaters make their money on the concessions, not on the box office. Still, do they have to charge so much for a small tub of popcorn and a drink. Also, do they have to sell such big tubs of popcorn and buckets of soft drink? Consuming oversized portions is one reason why so many are obese in the U.S. So, theater companies, redo your product mix. Go easy on the portions and how about offering some healthy snacks for a change, such as granola, dried fruit, maybe even sushi would be nice.

Sticky Floors
This peeve is directed at both movie theater management and the moviegoer. To the moviegoer, if you must get the supersized soft drink and the humungous tub of popcorn special, please be careful. Some of us, present company included, like to get moderately dressed up for the movies (nice shirt, nice pair of jeans or khakis, nice shoes). We don’t like having to either wade through sticky and crunchy floors, or fall victim to someone else’s carelessness and mess up our nice shirt, jeans, khakis and shoes. To the movie theater management, please remind your staff on the importance of keeping the movie theater clean. Not only will doing that improve the moviegoing experience for the patron, but it could also reduce the risk of lawsuits from people who slip, fall and injure themselves on sticky and crunchy floors.

Well, those are my pet peeves. What about you, gentle reader? Do you have any pet peeves regarding the moviegoing experience that you would like to share? Leave a comment and if I get enough peeves, I’ll share them in a future entry.