Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Scary-O-Types: Part 2

Aaaaand, it's time for Part two of our scare-sorting extravaganza! (Part 1, this'a way)

If you're starting here and haven't read the first half, I've been talking about the five main ways (according to me) horror movies try to scare us viewers. We've looked at the two primary types, and now we're moving on to the three others. When I say 'primary', I mean general.

Anyhow, enough dilly-dallying. Forward!

Type C: The Psycho Attack
Psychological attack, that is. This one is a little harder to specify. It's the type of scare that troubles your mind and usually leaves a lasting impression. I would call this scariotype the most misunderstood. And I don't just mean people can't appreciate it; I mean they don't know what the heck they just saw.

The major form of this type is a sort of dementia in the landscape, scenery or certain images. These things defy reality and spit in the face of the norm. Some examples can include solid objects, like walls, pushing outward as if rubber in the shape of hands or faces. Or maybe bloody footprints will begin walking a path across the roof. Maybe the landscape will drop off into nothingness, or perhaps there will be human-like beings with unusual or distorted features (like being gray, twisted, having no arms, no face, an acid-spewing stomach-hole, and making inhumane noises -- sound familiar, horror fans?).

The Nightmare on Elm Street series does nothing but work with trippy ways to throw the viewer's sense of security out the window. The Cell was a movie that took place in the mind of a psychopath for half the time, displaying strangely-shaped and -acting people as well as other fun things. Silent Hill is another good example and it's from there that I got the description of the monstrosity above. Say "Halloo", that's it on the right (head and upper-chest). You know what? You gotta see the trailers, these are all really cool films. Elm Street, Cell, Silent Hill. In general, this type of scare is seen in such supernatural horrors.

Type D: The Gore Shot
Blood, guts, and severed limbs. Ewwwww. Probably the second most disrespected types of scaring the viewers (or rather, grossing them out), it is also the new and popular fascination of those same viewers. Movie-makers are pumping out flicks that do little more than hack people to pieces and what do the viewers do? They eat them up as though they were starving and excrete criticism. I'm not trying to defend the Gore Shot, here. It's true that this type of scare has become overly abused and nonsensical. I'm just pointing out the fact that people can't get enough of the bloodiness... which is kinda disturbing to be honest. If I go to one of those movies, I wonder if the guy next to me is an axe-murder. :(

Let's give it a nice and neat definition, shall we? The Gore Shot is the excessive use of grotesque and violent images and sounds to disgust the watcher. Common depictions of this include penetration and dismemberment of the body with deadly objects, resulting in large amounts of blood as well as exposed bones and innerds.

There, that's putting it nicely, eh? Although this has been going on for a while, movies like Saw (trailer) really popularized it to another level. Movies started getting gorier more frequently. Hostel is a good example: a movie about a place where people pay to torture other people to death for fun. Wow. Was Saw gory? Yes. Was it clever? Also yes. But the same can't be said about its copycats. For the most part, they are made for nothing more than the violence.

The Gore Shot is mostly seen in Slashers, although they've made a subcategory for the more intense ones called Splatter or Gore films. It also tends to leak into Sci-Fi horror, bringing green or yellow alien blood to the party.

Type E: The Skincrawler
Although this is a little related to the Gore Shot, it's different enough to get its own category. Simply put? Disturbing images or ideas to make your skin crawl. Maybe it'll even unnerve you enough to make you want to rub or itch your skin. Makes you shiver, gives you goosebumps, makes your skin crawl. Okay, okay! I'll tell you how. Usually it's caused by scenes of insects or other things moving around on or... under a person's skin. The movies that use this take "it get's under your skin" seriously.

This one isn't done too often, and usually it ranges from moderate to well done. Most any insect horror movie will have it to some degree. Sci-Fi horror flicks about an "infecting" alien that implants itself or some substance into a person to transform the victim usually gives the same sort of willies. The Mummy, the action/adventure/comedy/horror movie, as I like to consider it, had a pretty darn creepy use of this. But one of the best instances of the Skincrawler has got to be The Ruins. If you want to be unnerved, watch that movie because it is intense and painful (in a good way -- good if you like horror, that is). Behold the trailer and shudder!

Well, then. We are all now more educated in what sort of horror we're watching. Hopefully you'll be able to tell more accurately what aspects you like and dislike. Here's what I think of them all. Stylish Scares, Psychological Attacks, and Skincrawlers are awesome (and disturbing). The "Boo!" Effect and Gore Shots are low-brow, but without them hardly anyone would watch horror, which is a shame. Time to go and enjoy our movies with a new outlook. Huzzah!

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