Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scary-O-Types: Part 1

Also spelled "Scariotypes" by people of the highest authority in this sort of thing (or I may have just made it up), scary-o-types are the different sorts of scares that our good ole horror films throw at us.

According to my craaazy hardcore research that I've been working on my entire life, there are about five different categories of Scare: The Stylish Scare, The "Boo!" Effect, The Psycho Attack, The Gore Shot, and The Skincrawler. The different types of movies also have a tendancy to use certain types of scares. Let's have a look-see at what the heck I'm talking about.

P.S.: In part 1, I'm going to start us off with the two main types. Part two will have the other three.

Type A: The Stylish Scare
Oho, yeah. Scaring ya... with style! This is probably one of the most respectable but overlooked types. Time to sound like a dictionary: it usually involves using a scene or the overall atmosphere of the movie to unnerve or frighten the watcher with overwhelming or subtle images. It does not resort to the "Boo!" Effect (see Type B), but is often mistaken for it because something called the Delayed "Boo!" Effect, a version of the Stylish Scare. This is done by having something scary appear on the screen without immediately drawing attention to it, leaving the watcher time to say "Oh my gawd, am I seeing this right now? WHY ISN'T THE MOVIE TELLING ME I AM??"

Another example is having something fast but gradual happening with no way of stopping it. It leaves the watcher with time to dread what is happening, helplessly. One way to do this is with a creature moving in quick but small movements, or even a large creature with long drawn out movements (which are still pretty fast considering how big it is). The Uninvited had at least one of the fast small movement scares, causing the object of terror to take longer to do its thang. Cloverfield was one that nicely mixed the giant monster with the horrific hopelessness in long movements.

Almost any sort of scary movie can have this, but it's something rarely included. Sadly. Still, I always have my eyes open for when it comes along.

Type B: The "Boo!" Effect
And now we flip right over to what is often considered the least respectable and most used type of scare. That's right, folks. It's the number one reason why many people are afraid of scary movies, the number one reason scary movies are resented, and unfortunately the type that seems to keep everyone's attention the most. It's also properly called the "cheap scare" and is probably the main cause of low reviews today, only rivaled by excessive gore (see Type D - Part 2).

Wow, sounds like a bundle of fun.

It goes a little something like this. Something suddenly appears on the screen, usually a frightening image, to make the watchers jump in their seats. The appearance draws attention to itself with a loud noise or a quick shift in the camera, and it usually follows a drawn out silence. In other words: ... ... ... BOO!

The reason people hate it so much is because the image itself is often not even that scary. The suddenness and the LOUDNESS are what catch the viewers off guard. What's worse is that for a large part of the movie, this happens at the stupidest moments. For example, the stereotypical frightened girl is alone... walking slowly into a room in her new possibly-haunted-house-or-something... no sound... then... OMYGOSH THERE'S A HAND ON HER SHOULDER, DON DON DON! "So, like the new place?" says her parent/sibling/friend. Oh wait, I just flew to the roof in fear for nothing. Thanks, movie.

Almost every single horror movie in existence uses this one by the dozen. Nay, by the two-dozen! But Slashers and Ghost Stories, oh they thrive on it.

Stay tuned for the next episode. We've got three more scares to cover! It'll be on at [later tonight/morning] (well, it's dark out anyways).

No comments:

Post a Comment