Posts Tagged ‘Rosemary’s baby’

Don't look in there! The state of Scary Movies


Angus Niven doesn”t scare easy, this is a lie. I scare easier than something that scares easy. Even so I struggle to get myself scared at the current “horror” section of my local Blockbuster. Scary films are on the most part lame-zo snorefests. Saw I-IIV are testament to the guff churned out, much like American Pie 3 through 26, Saw shows cinematic formula”s are exploitable. Lots o gore, a couple of pale English school girls and perhaps an unsuspecting cheerleader with unsupported boobies. Look at that I just wrote a horror film.

Renowned pedophile Roman Polanski riled against this formula with Rosemary”s Baby (1968). This was over 4 decades ago, Polanski”s psychotic Mia Farrow terrified but did so intelligently. We have seen many examples of smart thrilling horror since then but also a suffocating barrage of sewage.

I scare easy but what is scary about watching a couple in an empty house? Doors open and close and you rightly shit yourself, but thats when you are home alone not when you are watching a couple of muppets with an scarily incompetent cameraman. The focus on bums leaving seats has lead to me jumping out of mine to change the channel (I don”t have a remote in this scenario). Despite moments of genius, horror is a genre in free fall. Not unlike Keanu Reaves we are expected to accept Horror on the back of a few good films despite an overwhelming majority of nonsense. Why is that? Why aren”t more filmmakers trying harder? Why was there three Matrix and only one Point Break?

I can”t help but wonder what if horror wasn”t deemed a genre? What if filmmakers were forced to draw more out of 90 minutes than a few scares? Horror films, or at least the good ones, provide good scares but a little more.

Take zombies, a horror staple since Mr Romero showed the world how it was done. Of course they are scary, but they are only scary when used properly. As shown in the sensational 28 Days Later (2002) where Zombies are used for some truly thrilling action sequences and more importantly engaging character development. Using the horror and scares to build characters and tell a story of humanity is something we could use more of. If the scares aren”t the focus would this make a difference? I think 28 Days Later proves that taking the focus of seat jumping leads to much more worthwhile cinema. Sadly it is apparent that few filmmakers took this lesson on board

Personally the scariest film I have ever seen is Fatal Attraction (1987). It may not have kept me up at night like It (1966) but good grief Charlie Brown is it scary. Fatal attraction is a slow psychological thriller, from mundane beginnings director Adrian Lyne presents a very realistic and terrifying descent into complete insanity. Glen Close is phenomenal, her monstrously believable depiction of a regular person”s descent is terrifying. It is the lack of mysticism and magic and the embrace of simple horrifying humanity that makes Fatal Attraction so scary for me. Even the hint of the unexplained in Rosemary”s Baby can remove you, Fatal Attraction is nothing but humanity and there is nowhere to turn for comfort.

Yet you probably won”t find Fatal Attraction under horror, why not? It”s a good deal scarier than Saw or Paranormal Activity. It is an engaging and terrifying film, the fact that it wouldn”t be described as “Horror” says more about the state of the genre than enthusiasts are willing to admit.

So this Halloween when you are deciding on what scary film you should watch let your mind wander. Don”t neccesarily accept what the suits in Hollyweird classify as Horror, find something that engages you as much as it terrifies. Find a film that scares you the more you think about it. More importantly remember to stay prepared for some personal character growth, you never know there might be a zombie apocalypse tomorrow.

Star Wars VII Reaction (UPDATED)


I woke up this morning with two things on my mind 1) eat breakfast and 2) an interesting terrorism project I should have been working on for days. Breakfast taken care of (toast and a banana which was eaten like a monkey) I moved onto the terrorism project. A productive morning I’m sure you’ll agree, my terrorism work took me most of my day but is entirely irrelevant to what I have to tell you. This was an interesting day, but nothing to write online about however at 21:30 pm today my day got exciting to a shareable degree.

George Lucas made a statement, not a “I’m releasing more toys” or “Hayden Christensen is playing Ron Howard in an American Graffiti prequel” sort of statement. George Lucas made this kind of statement:

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Lucasfilm is being sold to Disney

This is a fact

Star Wars: Episode IIV is set for a 2015 release.

This is a rumour (The Hollywood Reporter and Associated Press are possibly confirming but at this hour we aren’t sure)

I am working on a terrorism project

This is an essay.

I’m not a terrorist and I cannot confirm the 2015 release of Episode IIV. I can at the very least confirm that the sale is really happening and that is enough to be getting excited about for now. The sale of LUCASFILM will set back Disney a cool $4.05 billion but it is happening, as confirmed by Stephen Spielbergs’ BFF George.

This is exciting for two reasons, Pixar and Marvel. Pixar and Marvel have produced a selection of the highest grossing films for the past 20 years. The Toy Story franchise alone is worth billions and lets not get started on the work of Marvel studios Avengers is 2012’s blockbuster it busted blocks. These feats were reached firstly with a great creative team and secondly under the Disney umbrella.

Now putting money aside (Something Mr Lucas has struggled with since 1983) these films were also critical successes. They were helmed by the best, Thor (2011) was directed by Kenneth Branagh for crying out loud. Take a look at Pixar’s Rotten Tomato ratings, critically and viewer ratings off the charts and consistent. They are arguably the most consistently excellent production body ever.

LucasFilm has been floundering since 1999, if not before. LucasFilm was floundering, but not on the outlying franchises. Lego has produced excellent video games, the Cartoon Network’s a Clone Wars series and comic book out put from Dark Horse. These are critically acclaimed and financially successful outposts of George Lucas own brain. This shows that Star Wars can still be inventive and fresh not wooden and Hayden Christensen.

Just imagine if this potential was nurtured under Disney’s incubator, the same incubator used on Pixar and Marvel? Good lord can you imagine anything more magnificent? More importantly for Disney’s Mr Eisner, $4.05 billion may well be a steal.

Update from Finlay.

As a long time Star Wars fan, I was building a Star Wars Lego set just hours ago, I wanted to put in my two cents on the above news.

It seems that there will indeed be a Star Wars VII in 2015 which will be the first in a trilogy, for it is always a trilogy. This was my childhood dream. Before 1999 I used to imagine the possibility of prequel and sequel trilogies. I have long since become cynical about my once cherished childhood fantasy, a cynicism brought on by the release of the prequel trilogy. So when I heard this news I was interested but not exactly filled with the excitement that Angus shows above.

‘Do we need any more Star Wars films?’ was my initial thought. I would love to enjoy a film set in the same universe as the original films but that possibility seemed so remote, after the recent cinematic entries in the franchise, that I didn’t even humour it. Of course we don’t really need a new film in the series. The expanded universe stories that are currently being produced are pretty good whether in the pages of a Dark Horse comic book or on Cartoon Network. So why ruin it all with a new film.

Wait though. George Lucas isn’t in charge. Could this actually be good? This is a difficult question and one we won’t know the answer to until 2015. The history of Disney acquisitions have indeed been good over the last few years. Marvel Studios and Pixar are two of the most successful film studios of the last decade. However it is questionable how much Disney is responsible for this, both studio’s were creatively rich before Disney chucked money at them. The creative control that Disney have given Marvel and Pixar is the best thing they could have done. Where as Disney’s own live action properties have not been as successful of late, you don’t have to look much further than John Carter for proof. Lucasfilm is not a studio that has been excelling in cinematic artistry for a long time. How can we trust them to be completely rejuvenated by this development?

This above thought process was my genuine response. Then I remembered. I remembered The Muppets. Disney bought Jim Henson Studios which hadn’t produced any decent Muppet content in a very long time. Disney wanted a new Muppet film and they put Jason Segal in charge and the result was fabulous.

Now I am excited.

The best thing that could happen now is the attachment of a brilliant new writer/director to the series. Someone who hasn’t been involved in the franchise before. Star Wars needs to be taken in a new direction by new people and with new stories. Repeat what Marvel did by attaching Joss Whedon to the Avengers or what Disney did with the Muppets and Jason Segal or what MGM did with Skyfall

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director Sam Mendes. Just please don’t listen to Lucas any more.