“Every film should have it’s own world, a logic and feel to it that expands beyond the exact image that the audience is seeing.” – quote by Christopher Nolan
I was reading that director Lars von Trier has a new film, “The House That Jack Built”, and stars actor Matt Dillon. It’s described as a psychological thriller (not as a Walt Disney film) about a serial killer over a 12 year period. The director himself has said, “the idea that life is evil and soulless.” So, I don’t think I’m wrong to say that I’m thinking that this film is going to be pretty dark at times, and scary, and bloody. Maybe really bloody too.
So, I read that at the Cannes Film Festival a few days ago, that over a hundred people in the audience walked out during the premier. BUT, there was then a six minute standing ovation that followed after the screening.
I happen to enjoy watching movies that can be somewhat disturbing. The creepier, the better. I also enjoy reading books in the same categories. The spookier and the creepier, the better! I can’t say that I’ve ever walked out of a film for being “too gory”.
Remember when the classic movie, “The Exorcist” came out in 1973? I remember that my father wanted to see it, but my mother, a devoted Christian woman, would have nothing to do with it and would not go, so he took my older sister. I was not allowed to go, my mother thought that I was too young and that it would give me dozens of nightmares. So, off my father and sister went to the movies, while me and my mom stayed home watching the “I Love Lucy” show. Well, when them came home after the movie, they both were so scared, that they had nightmares for the next few days. Drove my mom crazy!
There are so many, SO MANY, horror films out there. And they range from really, really awful, to just bad, to not too bad, and then to that was decent, all the way up to “I loved it! It was so scary!”. Here’s my option on a few “horror” films:
“Saw.” There’s the first movie, a second, a third, etc. The story appears to never end. It’s based about a sick guy who likes to play “games” with his victims, and see just how much torture they are willing to put themselves through to survive, and perhaps be rehabilitated in the process. I liked the first three, but then got tired of them after that. Not that they were “awful”, but I’d just rather see something else now. Now, I did go to the Universal Halloween Horror Nights, and went through their Saw maze, but that was pretty lame. In face, I hated the whole Universal Halloween event! It was all pretty bad, and would never, NEVER spend that much money to NOT be scared. I’ve had more fun going to small neighborhood home made haunted houses! (save that for another blog). Back to the Saw movies, I do think that they show a lot of blood, are somewhat gory, and some of the torture scenes are really bad, in a good way. And horror does sell, because over all these films have grossed over $950 million dollars. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being best, I’d give the first three films a solid 7.5.
“Hellraiser.” There’s quite a few of these also. Main focus is on a puzzle box that can open the gates to hell. There are these Cenobites monsters that will appear once someone has opened the box, and they all look horrible, like dead walking, and probably smell really bad. (their looks would make for some great Halloween costumes) But they live to take the souls of humans and use them to be tortured and experiment. So again, as in the Saw movies, there’s a lot of torturing going on here. And then, they introduce one of the best, most known horror icons of all time….Pinhead. Pinhead is the leader of the Cenobites, and let me say, I’d hate to run into him in real life. He’s one badass! I’ve even got a t-shirt of Pinhead that I enjoy wearing during October, and yes, I’m proud to say that! The Hellraiser franchise is pretty good, but I can’t watch more than two in a row. They are more gory than other films, but that’s fine. I don’t mind. On my scale from 1 to 10, overall they get a 7 from me. (they are just fun to watch).
“Paranormal Activity.” More of a supernatural horror type of film, and there are a few of these as well. These are based on innocent families that for some reason are haunted by demons. These demons also like to play little games with the families, and don’t show their faces until almost the end of the movie. The families have security cameras that catch strange activities going on in their homes. Kitchen cabinets opening by themselves, bed sheets coming off people as they sleep, etc. The films are connected, so I like that, as the story is more interesting that the films. In almost all of them, only the last 15 minutes of the movies are scary, and there’s a few images that are flashed on the screen quickly, but just enough that I can still see it in my mind, and it’s not pretty. Nothing I’ve seen is too gory or bloody, but there’s a intense thrill factor that keeps you interested. These movies aren’t great, but they have something about them that keeps me going back for more. I give them overall a strong 6.5 overall.
Now, let’s talk about one of my favorite directors (Alfred Hitchcock being at the top of my list), Quentin Tarantino. Some of his films include “Reservoir Dogs“, “Pulp Fiction“, “The Hateful Eight“. I love, absolutely love his movies. “Reservoir Dogs” is amazing! Now, it’s super-duper gory, bloody, sicking, and beyond violent. One of my favorite scenes is when the character, Mr. Blonde is dancing while torturing a police officer, and then proceeds to cut off his ear. Very sick, but also very telling of who Mr. Blonde really is inside. But I don’t think the story could have been told any other way, and I wouldn’t change anything about it. He picks the actors perfectly for each film. Every last detail is perfect. Watching them, we are left devastated with horror, grief, sadness, and fear. There’s blood dripping from his movies, and they leave my emotions also dripping on the floor. I know when I go to watch one of his movies that my soul will never be the same. Watching “Django Unchained“, breaks your heart, but yet you can’t stop watching any of it. I couldn’t. I think Quentin Tarantino’s talent is platinum graded, and that he’s one of the most gifted directors of this generation.
There’s a type of film for everyone. Some will watch horror, some only like comedies, other’s like more action films. Just like anything else, there’s something for everyone. I love my horror films, zombies, vampires, supernatural, but I also enjoy watching the comedies, the independent films, etc. I’ll give anything a try when it comes to movies, and even when critics totally trash a movie, I don’t let that stop me from seeing one, but I may wait for it to come out on Netflix. I’ve only walked out on a handful of movies, and they had to be really, really bad for me to do that.
But for me, I’ll watch a Tarantino film ALWAYS. And probably a von Tier film too. It’s all up to the viewer’s discretion. And if I hear that people are walking out on a film because it’s too gory or violent, then I know for sure that I’m going to go and watch it. Popcorn, a blue Icee, and maybe some peanuts, and I’m set! Horror films, take me away! I like my entertainment to sometimes be a little on the evil/bloody side anyway!