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Movies/TV Why are older horror movies...for lack of a better term, scary?


TheMarkz0ne
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I was thinking about a movie like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and new horror in general. All those 70s/80s slashers and some atmospheric horror movies of old, just have this character and fear in them. I'm not saying these movies make me afraid of sleeping lol no. I'm, saying that these older movies are genuinely creepy and that remakes or new horror IP are just predictable and not genuine.

 

Watch the final chase scene of Texas Chainsaw. See the raw and low budget filming. No cgi or over the top music. All we have is stark noise, a chainsaw running, two lunatics chasing a woman who can't even run and an ending where the heroine just barely escapes, as she laughs in a pick up truck and goes home and has a psychotic episode. To me that is terrifying, even though it's a movie. 

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Because of modern audience reaction. Kids these days are so eager to get to the blood and guts, and eager for tons of it, that they don't have to patience for truly psychological terror. The Shining is one of my all time horror films and one of the scariest horror films I've ever seen. It scares me every time I watch it. My friends wanted to watch it and 10 minutes in they said "this is boring" and turned it off. Didn't even give it a chance to establish characters you should actually care about rather than a bunch of nobodies who are used for slaughter like in modern horror films.

 

Really, it all started in 1978 with a man named John Carpenter and a little shoe-string budget independent film called Halloween. Though there had certainly been "slasher films" prior to Halloween, notably Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but these films had been noir mystery and dark comedy gone violently wrong respectively. It was from Psycho, that Carpenter drew inspiration, even hiring the the daughter of Janet Leigh for his lead. That fateful October in 1978 changed the face of horror forever. Initially, the film was shredded as "cheap gimmicky horror" and although most critics thought Carpenter had talent, they found the film to be silly. Enter one famous Chicago critic, Robert Ebert. Giving the film a soaring review, Ebert saved the Halloween and the slasher genre. He praised the film for holding a tone like Spielberg's Jaws: a film that sucks you with horror and terrifies you once it's too late to leave. Jaws had certainly mastered the art of suspense, much like many of Hitchcock's films did.

 

With that late 70's film, the slasher genre was born. Friday the 13th came not too long after, in 1980, and Carpenter's phoned-in sequel to the original night He came home, Halloween II came out a yesr after that. The films set up a pattern: sexually charged teenagers find themselves at the mercy of supernatural and sadistic serial killers, who often are deformed, wear a mask, or both. They always use a unique weapon and always come at night. They stalk their teenage victims, and corner them once it's too late. To combat these films getting stale, more blood is added, cheesier kills are created, and more and more jump scares are made. It reaches the point where you either go back to the drawing board and reboot, or let the franchise die with pitiful, cheesy sequels. Most of the classic slashers: Leatherface, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, got both. Of those, the only one that managed to retain a shred of its original dignity was Rob Zombie's remakes, though they were far from masterpieces themselves. The rest got bloody, unimaginative films with plenty of jump scares, faux-scares, and predictability.

 

That brings us to the present. Slasher films are out, paranormal is in. What does paranormal excel at? The very same jump scares and false scares, and grotesque imagery that killed the slasher genre. Horror films nowadays use one-dimensional characters that the audience has no care to start to like in order to through together a pile of cheese and crackers, that aren't even a shadow of the great films that Hitchcock, Craven, and Carpenter could carefully craft.

Edited by Dinos4Ever
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Yup yup

 

It's the practical effects.

 

The John Carpenter's horror classic The Thing, for example.

Back then they used puppets and animatroncis, and enhanced them with lighting and shadows.

 

They were a REAL presence.

 

Now take a look at the newer one, the prequel.

It's all just so...fake. You can TELL they're CGI. It removes you from the experience with how fake they look.

 

Honestly.

How in the hell did they manage to make something in the 80's that looks like this:

JesterHead5.jpg

 

 

While the best the 2010's can do is this:

the_thing_2011_07.jpg?w=553&h=230

Edited by Dattebayo
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Well, atmosphere for one. It builds tension rather than skip to part were the blond bimbo gets her head cut off. So you have alot more tension, and build up for an event that leads to it having a bigger emotional impact rather than the "fast food" style you'd seed in a modern cinema.

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I was thinking about a movie like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and new horror in general. All those 70s/80s slashers and some atmospheric horror movies of old, just have this character and fear in them. I'm not saying these movies make me afraid of sleeping lol no. I'm, saying that these older movies are genuinely creepy and that remakes or new horror IP are just predictable and not genuine.

 

Watch the final chase scene of Texas Chainsaw. See the raw and low budget filming. No cgi or over the top music. All we have is stark noise, a chainsaw running, two lunatics chasing a woman who can't even run and an ending where the heroine just barely escapes, as she laughs in a pick up truck and goes home and has a psychotic episode. To me that is terrifying, even though it's a movie. 

I feel as though one major reason as to why the older horror movies are scarier because a lot of the time you could put yourself in the shoes of the character(s). In Friday the 13th, it's basically a camping trip gone horribly wrong. A lot of modern horror films put place you in ridiculous situations, usually having to do with an exorcism or demons. It's not all, but a lot seem to do that and it just gets rid of the immersion almost entirely.

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It's interesting. I too have found older things to be sometimes scarier than the new. Specifically in games. Realistic games of the present generation can be scary, definitely, but I find just the pixelation of older games can make things pretty terrifying. You see every bit of detail and color in the models.

 

Take Metroid for instance: Ridley as any fan would know is the arch nemesis of Samus. Look at him now in the current generation

 

 

Samus_grasped_by_Ridley_Plasma_Beam_char

 

 

And now look at him in Fusion:

 

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

 

You have to admit the older version is much creepier. Not only that, but if you actually know how the horrid thing sounds in Metroid Fusion...yeah it's way scarier in comparison to it's newest incarnation. (And just because we're on the topic of Metroid: Sincerely hope Ridley is actually much freakier looking and well done as he should be. His incarnation in Other M was really just bleh.)

 

Anyway, I know this isn't exactly horror, but it's still relatable to the idea that older things are creepier.

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Watch this scene.. It's quick and to the point and the way these people chase each other is coming off as unscripted even though it has a script. 

 

The we have the 2003 chase scene... Which one of these is not like the other?

 

 

It's forcing shadows and lighting when the original film didn't need it. The characters are also idiots for going into a shed like building and hiding, where the 1974 female was intelligent and ran for the roads. Leather Face is also slow in the remake.

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I think one of the scariest things about the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was how human Leatherface was, In the remake, he's a big, brutish beast with no subtly and even less wit. In the original, when Pam escapes through the front door, the first thing the original Leatherface does isn't bust through the door after her like he does in the remake, he sits in a nearby chair, his head in his hands, panicking with body language that says "Oh god, oh god, she got away, oh god what am I going to do?!". It seems very reminiscent to what Dahmer and Gacy say they went through during their downfalls. It's bone chilling seeing such a realistic reaction like panic from such a grotesque being, and that's what makes it scary. 

Edited by Dinos4Ever
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Spoiler You have to admit the older version is much creepier. Not only that, but if you actually know how the horrid thing sounds in Metroid Fusion...yeah it's way scarier in comparison to it's newest incarnation. (And just because we're on the topic of Metroid: Sincerely hope Ridley is actually much freakier looking and well done as he should be. His incarnation in Other M was really just bleh.) Anyway, I know this isn't exactly horror, but it's still relatable to the idea that older things are creepier.
 

 

Slightly off topic, but that wasn't the real Ridley, but still, it does look pretty freaky.

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I think one of the scariest things about the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was how human Leatherface was, In the remake, he's a big, brutish beast with no subtly and even less wit. In the original, when Pam escapes through the front door, the first thing the original Leatherface does isn't bust through the door after her like he does in the remake, he sits in a nearby chair, his head in his hands, panicking with body language that says "Oh god, oh god, she got away, oh god what am I going to do?!". It seems very reminiscent to what Dahmer and Gacy say they went through during their downfalls. It's bone chilling seeing such a realistic reaction like panic from such a grotesque being, and that's what makes it scary. 

I wish I grew up in the 80s, because these movies were dark and real. There's no cleanliness or structure in the classics and that's what I love about them. I'm watching Monster Madness from James Rolfe and he has gotten me much more into horror movies over the years. Granted I was 11 and I was genuinely intrigued with the original Night of the Living Dead. Me and my former friend Connor would make fun of the cheesy 60s anchor news reporting. But even as an 11 year old back then, that movie had and still has this atmosphere that will not be replicated again. 

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If you ever get the chance to, you should watch the 1922 silent film Nosferatu which is probably one of the creepiest movies I have ever seen in my life... and was further immortalized back in the good old days of Songebob Squarepants

 

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Slightly off topic, but that wasn't the real Ridley, but still, it does look pretty freaky.

It's still Ridley. Just merely not the same Ridley. Ridley X.

 

Or Neo, if you will.

Edited by Felix
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Speaking of Ridleys, Ridley Scott's Alien is a great horror film. Even the trailer is terrifying!

 

 

 

Talk about atmosphere and practical effects. Those were amazing in Alien!

Edited by LZRD WZRD
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