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Movies, DVDs, and Theater > Do U enjoy horror movies? Why?

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message 1: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Aug 15, 2009 04:52AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I knew a gal who said she loved being scared by horror movies. I could never understand liking to be scared. How about you? Do you enjoy horror movies? Why?

Do any special horror movies stand out in your mind?

NOTE: This topic is a spin-off from Messages #558 - 565 at the following topic in this group: ====>
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/9...


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments I'm not much of a horror buff. I like the fantasy & SF elements of them the most. Fantastic horror doesn't usually scare me & true horror I often just find grotesque. For instance, I never could watch "The War of the Roses" with Michael Douglas & Kathleen Turner. I really like both, but it was the ultimate horror movie for me.


message 3: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Aug 15, 2009 06:10AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: "I'm not much of a horror buff. I like the fantasy & SF elements of them the most. Fantastic horror doesn't usually scare me & true horror I often just find grotesque. For instance, I never could watch "The War of the Roses"..."

"Grotesque" is a good word to describe horror.

Netflix categorizes "The War of the Roses" as follows:
"Genre: Dark Humor & Black Comedies"
http://www.netflix.com/Search?lnkce=i...

I don't think I've seen it. Not sure I want to after reading your post. :)


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments It's about a couple having a messy divorce that escalates into violence until I think they kill each other. It's serious, not fun or funny. Just shameful & horrible.


message 5: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: "It's about a couple having a messy divorce that escalates into violence until I think they kill each other. It's serious, not fun or funny. Just shameful & horrible."

Whew! Not my cup of tea either.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I've never cared for horror films, and fully agree with y'all regarding The War of the Roses, I only saw a few minutes of it once on television, and couldn't watch it. I don't consider that "black comedy", it's just plain mean. /shiver/

Re true horror films, I can't stand the blood and gore stuff. A good suspense film is a good thing though. I recall a film about 25 or so years ago with Angie Dickenson and Michael Caine...wait, I'm off to Google.....
~
~
Found it...Dressed to Kill, here is an explanatory link. http://www.citizencaine.org/films/dre...

At the time it literally scared me silly. And the ending was unhinging to me. I'd never seen anything like it. Yes, as the link says, it was sexually forward for the time [IMO:], now it wouldn't be that shocking.


message 7: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Aug 17, 2009 01:44PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Pontalba wrote: "I've never cared for horror films, and fully agree with y'all regarding The War of the Roses, I only saw a few minutes of it once on television, and couldn't watch it. I don't consider that "black..."

I have found some interesting clarifications about the "Horror Film" genre at Wiki, where they explain the sub-genres within the main genre. See below:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Early horror movies are largely based on classic literature of the gothic/horror genre, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

More recent horror films, in contrast, often draw inspiration from the insecurities of life after World War II, giving rise to the three distinct, but related, sub-genres:
1. the horror-of-personality film (e.g., "Psycho")
2. the horror-of-armageddon film (e.g., "Invasion of the Body Snatchers")
3. the horror-of-the-demonic film e.g., ("The Exorcist")

The last sub-genre may be seen as a modernized transition from the earliest horror films, expanding on their emphasis on supernatural agents that bring horror to the world.

ABOVE INFO WAS FOUND AT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horror_film
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't like any of films in any of the sub-genres above, but when I think of horror films, I usually think of the kind described above in the sub-genres #2 and #3, i.e., films with characters like ghouls and zombies.

As for the sub-genre #1 above, I think of them more as horrible thrillers.


message 8: by Werner (new)

Werner The discussion above points up an important fact: "horror" is an emotional reaction engendered by certain films (or novels or stories), not a particular category of subject matter. A filmmaker or writer can treat almost any subject matter horrifically (supernatural, sci-fi, mystery, everyday life, whatever), or approach it in a way that isn't horrific. And an element of danger or physical suspense in a storyline doesn't necessarily engender "horror" as such. (Boris Karloff distinguished between horror, which he felt had an element of revulsion or disgust, and terror, which he regarded as "clean," --that is, unalloyed-- fear.)

Strong emotional reaction to a work of creative art is a good (and enjoyable thing); fear is one of the stronger, and more easily engendered, emotions, so it's a popular one to appeal to. I don't think that enjoying that frisson, to a moderate point, is necessarily pathological (if it is, then I'm one of the fans who has a psychological problem :-)). But I find that a lot of so-called "horror" films are simply nauseating exercises in gross-out and/or celebrations of the triumph of evil, created by and for people who, in Dame Edith Pargeter's words, "take pleasure in evil." Personally, I don't get into films (or books) of that type.


message 9: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Werner wrote: "The discussion above points up an important fact: "horror" is an emotional reaction engendered by certain films (or novels or stories), not a particular category of subject matter. A filmmaker or ..."

Werner, you've made some good distinctions regarding the meaning of horror, as applied to stories and films. I like Boris Karloff's idea that horror has 'an element of revulsion or disgust" whereas terror does not.

As for the emotion of fear evoked by a film or a story, I don't enjoy the "frisson" when the feeling is cranked up too high. I don't mind suspense in a story, but if it raises my anxieties too much, I can't stand it. It's a matter of degree. We all have different thresholds.

As for taking pleasure in evil... that is REALLY scary!


message 10: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6067 comments I agree that even films that are not catagorized as strictly horror films can be viewed that way. I am thinking of when I read the book/saw the movie, "Sophie's Choice," starring Meryl Streep. Her "choice" of which child to leave behind for almost certain death from the Nazi's cruel hand to me was horrifying. I must have put it out of my mind as to which one she chose, her son or daughter? nina


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments Seems like we all have a few favorites like this. Have you ever seen 'Ironweed' with Jack Nicholson & Meryl Streep? It wasn't a 'horror' movie, but pretty horrible. Very, very well done. Good book, too.


message 12: by Nina (last edited Aug 18, 2009 07:19PM) (new)

Nina | 6067 comments Haven't seen that one but it sounds familiar. Jack N. is really great at aggravating in an almost sinister way without really trying. He is a great actor even if I don't like him. He seems to snear even in "comidies." nina


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments I either love or hate his movies. The only one I've ever been ambivalent about is "About Schmidt".

His role in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was a classic one. I don't know that anyone could play McMurphy better than he did, so I'd never watch a remake of the movie. Like "Gone With the Wind" or "It's a Wonderful Life", some movies & characters are just too well done to be redone.

Nicholson's done a few of these; "The Shining", "Ironweed", "The Witches of Eastwick" & the above, to name 4 off the top of my head. The characters are all crazy & driven, but so 'Jack Nickolson', that I couldn't see any one else playing them nearly as well.


message 14: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6067 comments Did you see, "Five Easy Pieces,?" It was one of his best characters. And yes, THe cuckoo couldn't have been played by anyone else. Just like Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird couldn't have been anyone but Gregory Peck..nina


message 15: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I LOVE Jack Nicholson, but I didn't like him in "The Shining". I prefer him in movies where he uses his comedic talent as well as his acting talent.


message 16: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments "5 Easy Pieces" was one I don't think I've ever caught early enough to watch. Never rented it, either.


message 17: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: ""5 Easy Pieces" was one I don't think I've ever caught early enough to watch. Never rented it, either."

I've never see it either. Below is the Netflix description:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Five Easy Pieces (1970) R
In director Bob Rafelson's penetrating character study, a promising concert pianist (Jack Nicholson) chucks it all to work on a California oil rig but returns home to confront the cultured and dysfunctional family he left behind when he learns his father is ill. With Nicholson's famed "chicken salad sandwich" scene, Five Easy Pieces catapulted him into Hollywood's big leagues and helped cement him as an A-list star.
Genre: Classic Dramas
This movie is: Understated, Emotional, Dark

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ABOVE FROM:
http://www.netflix.com/Search?v1=Five...
http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Five_Eas...
(The above link shows the awards it got.)

I wonder what the "five easy pieces" referred to. Guess I'll have to watch the movie. :)
Hmmmm, perhaps they're pieces the pianist played on the piano. Could be!


message 18: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I used to watch horror movies with my dad, it was just something we did together. When I was young I liked every stupid gory, grotesque, bloody, cut-em-up movie you could imagine. But I haven't watched that kind of horror in a long time.
My preference in horror is psychological horror, scenarios that could really happen. That's frightening.
I loved The Shining, it followed the book for the most part and Jack was outstanding in it, he scared me. I couldn't stand his wife in that, though. I think if I were snowed in with her, I'd probably want to kill her too, LOL
I like ghost stories, vampires, werewolves, etc., but it has to be done correctly. If its all blood and nastiness, then I don't care for it. There has to be a good storyline.
There's many different types of horror, but in general, I'd say I'm a fan.


message 19: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie wrote: "I used to watch horror movies with my dad, it was just something we did together. When I was young I liked every stupid gory, grotesque, bloody, cut-em-up movie you could imagine. But I haven't w..."

I couldn't remember who played the wife in "The Shining". So I checked IMDb.
It was Shelley Duvall who played the wife.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081505/
For some reason, she reminds me of Tori Spelling.

Tori Spelling photos:
http://www.usmagazine.com/files/tori-...
http://assets.gearlive.com/celebritie...
http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/famecr...

Shelley Duval photos:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Fyu_KVrW2yA...
http://us.ent3.yimg.com/movies.yahoo....
http://thehighhat.com/Potlatch/007/nu...



message 20: by Arnie (new)

Arnie Harris | 185 comments "but it has to be done correctly. If its all blood and nastiness, then I don't care for it."

That ssays it all jackie.

the best horror/sci-fi films are made by directors who know that things left to the imagination are more frightening that having buckets of blood tossed in one's face.


My favorite sci-fi film is 1951's The Thing. Howard hawks who was listed as producer appears to have directed the film also, as it bears all his hallmarks.
The film is 90 minutes and you see the Alien creature maybe only a total of 6-7 minutes in the whole film, but the sense of dread and suspense Hawks
generates makes the neck hair stand up.
You don't need millions of dollarsworth of special effects to make a truly scary flick. Hitchcock knew that also


message 21: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Arnie wrote: " ... My favorite sci-fi film is 1951's The Thing. ..."

Arnie, I agree. Well said.


message 22: by Arnie (new)

Arnie Harris | 185 comments We're going to see "District Nine" today, which the reviewers have fallen all over themselves praising.
Hope it lives up to the hype.


message 23: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments You've got to let me know how it is, I definitely want to see it. Let me know if it's a must-see on the big screen or if a DVD will suffice.


message 24: by Werner (new)

Werner On the subject of "blood and nastiness" thrown in one's face in (too) many modern horror films, I heartily agree with Jackie and Arnie!


message 25: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments It depends on how the gore, nastiness & violence is handled. I've never cared for the Halloween or Jason series. They're the porn of the horror genre - senseless, no story.

"Night of the Living Dead" was non-stop gore & horror, but was fantastic.


message 26: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I was pretty young when I saw Night of the Living Dead in the theater. It was bloody and gory, but being in B&W, it wasn't as gross as today's movies. Even with all that gore, that didn't frighten me so much as the idea of family members and friends turning zombie and eating me.
The night a friend and I went to see it, on the way home, halfway down the block, there was a power outage, everything pitch black. We screamed all the way home, sure zombies were after us. It's funny now, to think of it, but we were really scared. I was creeped out for months. I will never forget it.


message 27: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Arnie wrote: " We're going to see "District Nine" today, which the reviewers have fallen all over themselves praising. Hope it lives up to the hype."

Below is a link to the Netflix description of "District Nine":
http://www.netflix.com/Movie/District...


message 28: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Werner wrote: "On the subject of "blood and nastiness" thrown in one's face in (too) many modern horror films, I heartily agree with Jackie and Arnie!"

I can understand what people don't like about certain horror films (e.g., too much gore, etc.) but what is it exactly that they DO like about them? I'm still puzzled. Is it more than the suspense they create? Do fans really enjoy being scared? If so, what is so enjoyable about being scared? How can the emotion of fear be enjoyable?


message 29: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I wouldn't say being scared is enjoyable, but it's not quite unpleasant either.
Maybe it's the relief of it not being real. Like, get scared, but then breathe a sigh of relief because it's on the screen and not in your living room. LOL
I really don't know what it is that appeals to me.

I don't go in for the Michael Meyers or Jason movies either, Jim. A lot of the newer horror movies are that 'slasher' crap, no good storylines, just a bunch of people getting killed in gruesome ways.


message 30: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments What do I like about horror flicks?
- "Thank god it's not happening to me!" is part of it. (Things could be worse. Look at how good I have it.)
- Odd situations/circumstances that can highlight portions of humanity in ways that mundane circumstances don't always do. It seems much more heroic to slay a zombie than work 2 jobs & keep a happy, healthy household.
- Strange 'what ifs' that stretch the mind & imagination.
- Adrenaline rush &/or vicarious excitement. This is the same as a suspense movie, but the strange circumstances allow greater license & more distance with & from the story.

The distance is important. There is a lot of horror in our daily lives, if you watch the news. I don't want any more real horror.


message 31: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Aug 30, 2009 09:51AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie wrote: "... Maybe it's the relief of it not being real. ..."

OK, I can understand that, Jackie. Relief is always good.


message 32: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Aug 30, 2009 09:55AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: "What do I like about horror flicks?
- "Thank god it's not happening to me!" is part of it. (Things could be worse. Look at how good I have it.)
- Odd situations/circumstances that can highlight portions of humanity in ways that mundane circumstances don't always do. It seems much more heroic to slay a zombie than work 2 jobs & keep a happy, healthy household.
- Strange 'what ifs' that stretch the mind & imagination.
- Adrenaline rush &/or vicarious excitement. This is the same as a suspense movie, but the strange circumstances allow greater license & more distance with & from the story.
The distance is important. There is a lot of horror in our daily lives, if you watch the news. I don't want any more real horror."


Excellent listing, Jim! I see what you mean.
Besides, my imagination probably needs stretching. :)


message 33: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Jim put it in better words than I could, and yes to every one of them for me.


message 34: by Arnie (last edited Aug 30, 2009 02:07PM) (new)

Arnie Harris | 185 comments
Well, my wife and I went to see "District Nine" --- I think we may have missed warnings "Not for the Squeamish", which my wife is.
Some pretty ghastly stuff on the screen---she walked out after about 35 minutes and went over to the other theater in the duplex to see "Julie and Julia".
Being pretty grossed out myself,I decided to join her
or face a short sentence in the same doghouse I was incarecerated in after I insisted she see "Natural Born Killers " with me about 14 years ago.

Anyway, it turns out that "Julie and Julia" was an absolute charming delight. So charges against me were dropped.


message 35: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Aug 30, 2009 02:30PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Arnie wrote: "Well, my wife and I went to see "District Nine" --- I think we may have missed warnings "Not for the Squeamish", which my wife is.
Some pretty ghastly stuff on the screen---she walked out... ... Anyway, it turns out that "Julie and Julia" was an absolute charming delight"


Arnie - All's well that ends well. :)

I searched out some clips of "District 9". (Clips begin after short ads.)
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi5262...
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3896...
From IMDb summary:
"An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent that is exposed to their biotechnology."

Roger Ebert, in his review says:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The alien beings in “District 9,” nicknamed “prawns” because they look like a cross between lobsters and grasshoppers, arrive in a space ship...
...I’ll be interested to see if general audiences go for these aliens. I said they’re loathsome and disgusting, and I don’t think that’s just me."

FROM: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/p...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


message 36: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments She's trained you well, Arnie. So has mine...


message 37: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Ah, that's too bad you didn't enjoy it, but you did get to see another film. I finally saw the commercial for Julia which I didn't think I'd want to see. Like, how interesting could it be? But once I saw the commercial, I changed my tune, it looks really good and I do love Meryl Streep.

I liked Natural Born Killers and even made my husband buy it for me. Not a role I could have ever pictured Woody Harrelson in, it changed my view of him as an actor. And Juliette Lewis is an outstanding actress. If you ever want to see her standout as an actress, watch The Other Sister. And Giovanni Ribisi is just as wonderful an actor as she is.


message 38: by Arnie (new)

Arnie Harris | 185 comments Hey Jackie,

Don't get me wrong--- I liked Natural Born Killers, but Pam, like I said, is disinclined to see movies (as am I generally) that use more than the government-allowed amount of fake blood.
I thought NBK was a dark masterpiece---really to be seen as a nightmare riffing on what America has become, violence/media wise.
(I don't know whether you knew or not but Juliette lewis is also a singer. I just became aware of that myself a few days ago when i saw her give a concert on cable---she is damn good!)
Julie and Julia was terrific---something I never imagined myself saying about a Nora Ephron film (okay, go to your corners and come out fighting.)
Some critics said that the Julia half surpassed the Julie story, but I totally disagree.
Amy Adams is just adorable and plucky and the two halves of the film complement each other perfectly.





message 39: by Arnie (new)

Arnie Harris | 185 comments Yep, I always get the last word with Pam---"yes dear!"




message 40: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6319 comments Arnie wrote: " Yep, I always get the last word with Pam---"yes dear!""

That's strange. Those are the exact same ones I get in!

;-)


message 41: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments NBK was extremely violent, but it has an important story to tell.

You guys are so funny. Now tell me: Yes, Jackie. LOL


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