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Hard to be Scary?

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message 1: by Alisha (new)

Alisha | 34 comments I know this isn't a zombie movie, but...

The Chernobyl Diaries. I watched it tonight and think it lacked delivery of the potential it had.
The ending made no sense to me. Characters did stupid things. The setting was perfect.. but despite some gore, I wanted more and I felt sad.

Is it hard for a movie or book to be scary? Do you deaden yourself after so much and nothing satisfies you?

What I've come to conclude about horror/scary movies/books:

-it's hard to be scared and live in the moment when you don't believe what you're seeing/reading and can't relate to any of the characters

-Being an annoying character and doing things that don't make sense creates lack of pity. In fact, people will celebrate their death as though they deserve it, and hell, maybe they do. Killing them off first though is somewhat predictable and killing them last and you have an aggravated audience finally engaged rooting for someone that matters to them.

-a good story in my opinion will not allow a completely predictable death. I watched a movie with my dad about a giant crocodile in Australia and he guessed the dog would be the first to die... when infact it was the last. Entertaining.

Is it hard to be scary? What gets your blood pumping? What freaks you out?


message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian McClellan | 294 comments The Chernobyl Diaries was definitely a lot of wasted potential. I just saw Insidious and thought that it was really good, but the very predictable end ruined it for me.
I've watched so much horror that I am kind of desensitized to it. At this point it's rare that anything gets my heart pumping. I watch more goofy b-movies than anything now, like Black Sheep or Troma movies.


message 3: by Elizabeth, Zombies! Mod (new)

Elizabeth | 497 comments Mod
Confession time - I don't actually watch most scary movies, or the whole torture deal. I'm a chicken, and they freak me out. Freak. Me. Out.

I DO watch zombie movies. Especially the B-movies. I find them very entertaining, especially if they don't take themselves too seriously. I actually like SOME predictability. I want head shots. I want a bit of gore. I want a stupid person or two who gets chomped. Which doesn't mean I love ALL zombie movies. I get some enjoyment out of most of them, though.


message 4: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) Now I kinda differ from Elizabeth here in that I like an occasional "B" movie.
I do not have high expectations from them. They are not supposed to be grade A, Hollywood movies.
WWZ was and was supposed to be grade A. It was flat!
I paid to see it and want my money back :`{


message 5: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 2119 comments Tammy K. wrote: "WWZ was and was supposed to be grade A. It was flat!"

I figured it would be. I see the thought process as this -- a bunch of Hollywood bigwigs see the zombie craze going on, and ask, "How can we take advantage of that?".

They buy the biggest name book out there, SIMPLY for name recognition, then do their own zombie movie. They know they'll get a lot of suckers in the seats just because they liked the book, and are using that name. Then they throw in expensive CGI and an expensive actor, just to top it all off.

Think of how many decent zombie flicks they could have made with the same amount of money.

Same goes for Disney and John Carter.


message 6: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 2119 comments Alisha wrote: "Is it hard to be scary?

The best way is to make the reader CARE about the characters.

When we read Mountain Man, I got scared of what would happen to Gus at the end, because I had gotten involved with the character. He was a good guy, and I liked him.


message 7: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) Randy
Wait until its free, then lower your expectations before you watch it.
I agree 100% with your evaluation of Hollywood's train of thought.
The things that got me was all the screaming and melodramatics (mostly by women and young children).
In the beginning, yes I could see it and understand it. Yet by midway it became annoying to hear the screaming and carrying on in the very loud volumes that the movie house uses.
In fact the volume of the whole movie goes from quite scenes interrupted by loud screams/blaring airplane engines/gun discharging.
I think they relied too heavily on that tactic to build hype and shock the audience.


message 8: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) What scares me?
I have to be in the mood for a movie (or book) to scare me.
So that is my first requirement: mindset
Next element would be the settings. Cheesy settings or unrealistic settings (things that I can not relate too or that are too vague) pull me out of the 'world' of the movie (book).
I need to be so engrossed in the setting that I'm one with the scene.
The same goes with the characters, as Randy has already commented.
For me, characters believability, likability, reliability make or break the movie (book).
So if each of those elements have been met, than what scares me or freaks me out.
Ghosts
Creepy children
Innocent seniors who become rabid
Insects on anything.. I once seen a movie where flies were eating a baby's face off as it slept... Still creeps me out to think about it.
Crawling things...rats, spiders, snakes (OK they don't crawl but they're still creepy)
When the character you trust the most is fighting for his life (more suspenseful than frightening but it can get my blood flowing).


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