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Scary Monsters and Super Freaks…

D’you know what would have been scarier than nothing?

What?

Anything!

– Bart and Lisa discuss Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, The Simpsons

The week before last, in reviewing Insidious, I made the observation that director James Wan made the mistake of “showing too much” in his horror film, and that movie itself suffered because it didn’t show any restraint in how it handled its creatures and monsters. The always wonderful Justin, in fairness, called me on my assertion correctly – who ever stated it was a rule that horror films can show too much? Surely it’s possible to show as much of something as you might want, provided you have enough talent and skill to do it well? Surely showing too much only becomes a problem when you aren’t skilled enough to deliver something genuinely terrifying?

Or is it something more primal? Is what you don’t see scarier?

Do I have a point?

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Non-Review Review: Insidious

I’m of two minds about Insidious, the latest entry in the “haunted house” horror subgenre. On one hand, I definitely respect its attempts to return to the roots of these types of films without dwelling on gore for the sake of gore. On the other, it doesn’t seem like the film is entirely certain what to show you when it can’t fill the screen with fountains of blood and guts erupting. Film is obviously a visual medium, but horror is very much an exception to the old maxim “show, don’t tell.” The problem is that Insidious shows too much.

A (para)normal family?

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Saw Franchise Dies a Painful Death…

What makes this particular painful about this story is that they’ve caused all the fuss over director Kevin Greutert over what is essentially a lame duck film. You could make the case that the writing’s been on the wall for the Saw franchise since the second movie which began a steep decline into ridiculous torture porn (so I enjoyed the first one, so sue me) or even since the last one which underperformed financially. Which is tough to do on a film that has a budget of your average 1970s Doctor Who serial, to be frank. Anyway, despite the seemingly large investment that making Saw VII in 3D would seem to represent (even crappy 3D ain’t cheap), it looks like Lionsgate are calling it a day. Saw VII will be the last of the franchise.

Brace (geddit?) yourself...

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See-Saw: Lionsgate Torturing Saw VII Director

This is the kind of Hollywood dickishness that you can’t imagine really taking place, but it seems that it is. Apparently a turf war between the Saw and Paranormal Activity franchises has brought out the inner childish jerk in everyone, and left director Kevin Greutert stuck in the middle. For a series which is devoted to torture porn, it seems that life is imitating art.

Apparently Lionsgate have been taking lessons from Jigsaw...

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Try Harder, Von Trier

Okay, I get it. We’re sick. We need help. We’re a culture obsessed with violence and pain and suffering. I miss the days when the gory slasher (or torture porn or gorn, depending on your preference) was solely the affairs of one-week-wonders produced on shoestrings and making a bit of money for studios to pump into other projects. However, with the autuer circuit’s growing fascination with paracinema (making the low brow high brow), it seems that these disturbing little films have become an arthouse favourite. Lars Von Trier’s effort at Cannes with Antichrist seems to have shown that critics are growing tired of it, but what on earth convinced artsy directors that this was a good genre to tackle?

This is another sort of gorn. It is also the only worksafe image we have on the topic.

This is another sort of gorn. It is also the only worksafe image we have on the topic.

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