THE VAULT OF ILX Top 100 HORROR Movies Poll Voting Thread (voting closes May 9)

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the scariest thing, imo, are the inchoate shapes the evocatively sculpted unknown can conjure in our minds.

see, I think the scariest thing is subject-verb disagreement

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol THINGS

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

I actually think we're agreeing in a weird way, contenderizer. When I say 'matter of fact' in this context, I'm not talking about bluntness or jump scares or realism (crazy dude vs. Lovecraftian Other) but rather the method of presentation. Camera tricks and spoooooky scores and anything OTT and showy are always, AFAIC, going to undercut any scares that a horror movie might've otherwise delivered. I'd argue that, by the definition I'm utilizing, Lynch's films are incredibly 'matter of fact' and, as a result, super effective. I suppose 'subtle' is a better word? It's about creating a substrate of normalcy that lulls the viewer into a false sense of security before letting things go horribly awry.

Harried Ice Craw (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

agreed, contenderizer. mystery/the unknown is much more effective than laying everything out. making something familiar/normal/matter-of-fact takes away what makes it frightening - or if it's something sadistic or disgusting that really shouldn't be normalized/made familiar, then it's just cruel and depressing

Chris S, Monday, 16 April 2012 20:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

Camera tricks and spoooooky scores and anything OTT and showy are always, AFAIC, going to undercut any scares that a horror movie might've otherwise delivered.

i'm even more lost now. lynch relies heavily on effects and music to generate a sense of dread.

figure you're drawing a distinction between that which reads as "horror cliche" and other means of generating atmosphere. on that level, i agree. old-fashioned "spooky" organ doesn't seem scary anymore because it's become familiar.

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean, I can see the horror of being forced to face some abject condition, like Cronenberg-style body horror, but if it veers too much in to some demystified, scientifically-clinical, almost sociopathic perspective on the condition then it's taking away the alienation and repulsion that actually makes it horrific and becomes a sociopathic gaze

Chris S, Monday, 16 April 2012 20:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

re apaches: LOL death by drowning in animal shit

onibaba o'reilly (Eisbaer), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

on the subject of Ingmar-horror, i'll also stan for the virgin spring ... you get to see a young, buff Max von Sydow uproot a birch tree, rip off its branches and flog himself before doing his ass-whuppin'. it's also available on HuluPlus.

Does its availability on HuluPlus make it horror too?

Kevin John Bozelka, Monday, 16 April 2012 20:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think Through a Glass Darkly is the creepiest of the Bergmans I've seen. (Whether or not it's a horror film.)

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's what i get by forgetting english composition basics, i suppose.

xpost

onibaba o'reilly (Eisbaer), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

ah didn't see Deric's response xxp.

Chris S, Monday, 16 April 2012 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean, I can see the horror of being forced to face some abject condition, like Cronenberg-style body horror, but if it veers too much in to some demystified, scientifically-clinical, almost sociopathic perspective on the condition then it's taking away the alienation and repulsion that actually makes it horrific and becomes a sociopathic gaze

this is an interesting distinction, though i'm not sure about the "sociopathic gaze" part. i strongly dislike what i consider sadism-as-horror, where the horror element is simply the spectacle of prolonged suffering, dehumanization and despair. this type of horror is often very matter of fact, but i rarely find it scary or otherwise compelling.

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

figure you're drawing a distinction between that which reads as "horror cliche" and other means of generating atmosphere. on that level, i agree. old-fashioned "spooky" organ doesn't seem scary anymore because it's become familiar.

Yes, this is what I mean. Me am no good describe things today. Standard horror movie scoring, for example, often detracts from scariness, whereas the use of source music or Lynchian sound effects/scoring (or no music at all) tends to be much more effective.

Harried Ice Craw (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm starting to suspect that our ballots won't be too stylistically dissimilar from one another, contenderizer.

Harried Ice Craw (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

that apaches film is something else ... it's one part dry horror, one part critique of American cultural imperialism (the flower of British youth playing Cowboys and Indians and running around w/ popguns imitating Starsky & Hutch), and one part surrealism. i also just found out via Wikipedia that it was directed by the same guy who directed the long good friday (one of my favorite British films of all time).

onibaba o'reilly (Eisbaer), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

I've been pretty busy w/ lolwork of late & missed a lot of activity on the previous thread.. I'm just curious is Mr. Hal Jam has chimed in on any of this. I have much love for all yall ilx horror stans, but that dude's ballot is the one I'm most curious about (if he submits one, that is).

picture jean rollin (Pillbox), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

the girl who tastes the poison and then dies screaming later that night was the one that REALLY got to me

that, and the parents solemnly emptying the dead kids' dressers

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm just curious is Mr. Hal Jam has chimed in on any of this. I have much love for all yall ilx horror stans, but that dude's ballot is the one I'm most curious about (if he submits one, that is).

yeah, i'd be interested in hearing from HJ, too, but i don't think i've seen him posting on horror threads since i returned a few months back

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

when we were in grade school, we had one gross-out contest where we had to answer whether we'd rather drown in a tubful of shit or a tubful of vomit.

onibaba o'reilly (Eisbaer), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

"I would prefer not to."

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

I said mr hal jam's name 3x into a mirror at midnight on the nom thread and he still didn't appear

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh, y'know, I shoulda nominated Burnt Offerings. That movie creeped the hell out of me.

I mean, I don't think it's probably a good movie. But as a teenager, it spooked me.

― something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Monday, April 16, 2012 4:04 PM (1 hour ago)

same here, it's not a very good movie but it has some super creepy parts. namely:

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

this is an interesting distinction, though i'm not sure about the "sociopathic gaze" part. i strongly dislike what i consider sadism-as-horror, where the horror element is simply the spectacle of prolonged suffering, dehumanization and despair. this type of horror is often very matter of fact, but i rarely find it scary or otherwise compelling.

― BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, April 16, 2012 4:36 PM (31 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

This seems like a very tricky distinction to make wrt horror in general. Anything short of an actual snuff film that is made w/ respect to the genre, even tangentially, will generally have at least some element of the macabre - I would say this is true of even the most sadistic examples of recent 'torture porn' & 70s exploitation. I could see rejecting something like Salo or I Spit on Your Grave on such a basis, but both of those are on the far-flung fringes of the genre anyway, and might not even constitute inclusion as legit 'horror' by many (though I tend to allot fairly wide parameters personally).

Also, p sure you came to the defense of Cannibal Holocaust when I ranted about the turtle scene some years ago - and if CH doesn't epitomize what you're talking about, what would?

picture jean rollin (Pillbox), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

Standard horror movie scoring, for example, often detracts from scariness, whereas the use of source music or Lynchian sound effects/scoring (or no music at all) tends to be much more effective.

agreed on this. I'd say the problem today is an overreliance on a certain kind of jumpy post-Mtv editing and color treatment (that originated in late-90s Marylin Manson/nu-metal videos) that tries really hard to be cool/edgy (in a Hot Topic/mallgoth/WB/CW-series/Slipknot way) rather than scary (maybe the horror version of the raised-eyebrow-poochie-Pixar-film problem?), and especially a lazy fallback on loud booms and cracks and jumpscares (not to be confused with Lynch's nightmarish use of sound and atmosphere). horror trailers almost completely rely on loud cracking noises and lame Korn aesthetics

Chris S, Monday, 16 April 2012 21:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

speaking of which, have y'all seen rob zombie's woolite commercial???

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

^ tops the list of things I'd never thought I'd say back when I was blasting white zombie's soulcrusher in my bedroom in 1988

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol

picture jean rollin (Pillbox), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

'don't let your laundry get tied up into a Slipknot"

Chris S, Monday, 16 April 2012 21:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

Also, p sure you came to the defense of Cannibal Holocaust when I ranted about the turtle scene some years ago - and if CH doesn't epitomize what you're talking about, what would?

I'm not a Cannibal Holocaust defender and never have been (unless I'm forgetting something). The animal cruelty is bad enough, but I find the whole thing infuriatingly hypocritical, pretending to condemn what it flagrantly wallows in. Plus it's slow, ugly and boring.

I'm not a big fan of the seedy underbelly of exploitation cinema, tbh. I've seen a lot of it, but have few favorites that fall into categories like 'torture porn', 'extreme horror' or '70s exploitation'. There are certain visions and attitudes that I just can't enjoy, and they seem all but inescapable in certain subgenres. Wanton cruelty, misogyny, prolonged torture & rape, brutal nihilism: these things are almost always dealbreakers for me, unless distanced by means of camp (thinking of HGL's Blood Feast and the Findlay's Her Flesh films, for example).

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

but more importantly what do you think of rob zombie's woolite commercial

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

that, and the parents solemnly emptying the dead kids' dressers

Dan, you need to watch Testament. It's basically about solemnly dealing with inevitable horror. I was just skipping through clips on YouTube (the whole thing is available in sections) and feeling very intensely overwhelmed by the remembrance of certain scenes (a mother quietly sewing her dead daughter up in her bedsheets, LUKAS HAAS IN THE SINK). No one can tell me this isn't horror!!

Harried Ice Craw (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

I did not realize Rob Zombie directed that, but I'm completely unsurprised. Which is the opposite reaction I had to seeing that commercial in prime time.

Harried Ice Craw (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd say the problem today is an overreliance on a certain kind of jumpy post-Mtv editing and color treatment ... that tries really hard to be cool/edgy ... rather than scary ..., and especially a lazy fallback on loud booms and cracks and jumpscares... horror trailers almost completely rely on loud cracking noises and lame Korn aesthetics

yeah this. the scratchy film, twitchy fonts and industrial tones approach is absolutely THEE WORST thing about contemporary horror aesthetics

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, I hate that shit

Jilly Boel and the Eltones (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm not a Cannibal Holocaust defender and never have been (unless I'm forgetting something). The animal cruelty is bad enough, but I find the whole thing infuriatingly hypocritical, pretending to condemn what it flagrantly wallows in. Plus it's slow, ugly and boring.

hmm.. sry baout that then. Maybe your were playing devil's advocate, or maybe I'm completely mistaken!

picture jean rollin (Pillbox), Monday, 16 April 2012 21:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol nu-metal horror

onibaba o'reilly (Eisbaer), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

speaking of which: no-one bothered to nominate either of Insane Clown Posse's movies (both of which could be considered "horror" i suppose).

onibaba o'reilly (Eisbaer), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

nu-metal horror is only horror in it being an extremely unpleasant aesthetic experience

Chris S, Monday, 16 April 2012 22:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

anyone see the lordi movie?

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha no, it was in my netflix queue but I think it expired

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

wth was it called lonely floors or something

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

DARK FLOORS

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

should've used spic n span!

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

keep meaning to watch it, then forgetting, or thinking of something better

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean what could possibly be better than the lordi movie

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

good question

BEMORE SUPER FABBY (contenderizer), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I had no idea Lordi were in that! I've been skipping past it on the Lovefilm menu but i'll have to watch it this weekend.

Une semaine de Bunty (ShariVari), Monday, 16 April 2012 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

don't forget abt DEATH BED ppl!

fyi the death bed is the bed that EATS

picture jean rollin (Pillbox), Monday, 16 April 2012 23:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

Finishing off my ballot, and I realize that even though Jaws is one of my favourite films of the decade, it doesn't feel like a horror film to me. I can't really make a credible argument as to why--I can't say it's because there's no supernatural element, as I'll be listing other films that don't have that either. I can't even say it's because so much of takes place during daylight hours; that's true of The Birds, too, yet that feels more like horror to me. I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm just wrong--but I'm leaving it off.

clemenza, Monday, 16 April 2012 23:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

No, I get that. Jaws doesn't feel like horror to me. A thriller, sure, but not horror (although the difference between the two could take all day to parse). It has something to do with directorial choices, at the end of the day. Compare, for example, the emergence of the shark in the "We need a bigger boat." scene with the emergence of the tripods in War of the Worlds (one of the only real "horror" sequences I can think of in Spielberg's oeuvre). In the first instance, Spielberg directed the scene so as to invoke surprise and exhilaration in the audience. In the second, he directed it so as to invoke panic and dread.

Harried Ice Craw (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 16 April 2012 23:59 (2 years ago) Permalink


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