I haven’t watched a horror film in a while. That’s a bit weird for me. I definitely need to watch one soon otherwise I will forget why I love them so much. I’ve always wanted to make one. As you know I’m always thinking of horror situations in everyday life, because I am weird. But that’s only because of my stupid over-active imagination. Sometimes it’s on hyper-drive. Yet the things I imagine I haven’t yet come across in films. True horror for me is the unknown and the sudden. The horror films of now tend to be pretty predictable. You can sense when the scares are going to happen. There have been exceptions, The Conjuring, Sinister, The Babbadook etc. All these films did something different. They were unique in their story telling and delivered scares outside the formula. They were sudden and you never saw them coming. That’s what films need more. A normal situation that develops in to a nightmare. Imagine this.
A film starts off with a couple dining together out in a restaurant. You see them laughing and joking about their new house and living together for the first time. They finish their meal, pay the bill and then drive home. In the car they’re laughing again and joking. All seems normal. There is no dodgy music, no creepy images anywhere. For all you know this could be the start of a romantic comedy. They pull up to the house, the girl looking at it and it appears just how they left it. They get out the car and the camera follows them up the drive and into the house. When in the house they take of their coats and the man walks in to the living room while asking if she can make him a coffee. The camera doesn’t pan away and follows the girl in to the kitchen. She boils the kettle but wonders if her boyfriend wants any biscuits. She calls out but doesn’t hear anything back. She assumes he is watching the TV and can’t hear her. Once the kettle has boiled she makes the tea and brings the pack of biscuits with her.
The camera then follows her out of the kitchen, over the shoulder view, like 3rd person almost. She opens the living room door in to darkness. Expecting her boyfriend to pull a prank and jump out on her. So she calls out “stop being a dick Tom” but nothing. All you can see is the back of her head, with a little light on her from the hallway. The camera focused on the darkness. She turns on the light to find her boyfriend hanging from the ceiling. Naked, with his stomach ripped open. There are 4 people in robes, faceless, surrounding him. The camera then on the girl. She drops the cups and screams. But no sound comes out. She’s muted. The 4 people then all turn to face her, slowly, and start to laugh hysterically. They then slowly start to walk towards her and while doing so the camera fades to black. Now for me, if I saw that, that would literally shit me up. It’s a normal situation in that it started off so harmless. Just a couple dining together. Nothing scary in that is there? Well unless the food is crap! Only joking. But that’s the thing with horror. You need to lure the audience in to a false sense of security. When watching a film the audience are relaxed when there is no eerie music, or it’s day time, or there is humour etc. Take the Paranormal Activity films for example. At first, they were quite structured. The scares were always at night, when we, the audience, were watching the camera recordings. Every time the scene turned to night, you could hear everyone bracing themselves. Preparing for whats to come. We humans are so predictable!
Everyone then relaxes when the scene goes back to day and just normal things are going on. So what was clever in what I think was the 3rd Paranormal Activity, there was a scare during the day! Unheard of in horror, but it happened. The mum was in the kitchen, then BANG all the cupboards opened at once. It caught everyone by surprise. People were relaxed, thinking there wouldn’t be a scare during the day. Well never assume anything in horror, because quite literally anything can happen. It worked on so many levels though, not just because it was out of nowhere, but there was no build up to it. There was no music in the background to suggest that a scare could be coming. It was just normal, and because of that I feel it’s one of the best scares throughout the franchise. The Conjuring had it too. Have a little look, just a short clip.
See what I mean? There is some background music but not an awful lot. Again it’s a normal scene, and then bam, that happens. In the cinema I was like WTF, quite loudly. Was a bit embarrassing but oh well. What can people expect? This shit’s scary!
Speaking of The Conjuring, I can’t wait for the sequel! I read that it’s based on the Enfield Hauntings. Which is one of the most disturbing and documented paranormal events ever to happen! I can’t wait! And if the trailer is anything to go by, it’s going to be another pants shitter! Not literally….I hope.
That’s all from me folks. I’ll be here same time next week, catch you then.