Western Remakes of Asian Horror Films

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“Some remakes of J-horror films have since become western classics, whereas others would have perhaps been better left untouched. Either way, remakes allow stories to break through the language and cultural barriers that may deter certain audiences. Is this a good thing, or does it just enable the curses to spread and ensnare more victims than ever?”

Check out my full Creators.co post – Yūrei-lly Should Know That These 10 Horrors Are Remakes Of Asian Movies.

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The Gut-Churning Truth About Cannibalism Films

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‘The Green Inferno’ [Credit: Universal Pictures]

When it comes to standard serial killing or tedious torture we barely bat an eyelid, so what is it about the consumption of human flesh that sends our stomachs churning? Is it to do with the unsettling cases we have all read about in history books, or perhaps the scary psychological implications that drive someone to butcher one of their own? Maybe, we are just fearful that exposure to such a topic might trigger something within ourselves that has been lying dormant all our lives.

Read my Movie Pilot piece to find out why cannibalism films are hard to stomach.

Embracing Not Defacing Children’s Horror

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‘Goosebumps’ [Credit: Columbia Pictures]

While there are children’s films that attempt to pander to a darkly inclined audience, there are few that fall comfortably under the horror umbrella without defacing the genre. Most dilute it with comedy or dumb down the concepts so much that they become painfully patronizing, yet the scarier elements are arguably more beneficial to a child’s mental development. So, isn’t it about time that children’s films spook things up and embrace their audience of creepy kids?

What do you think? Read my Movie Pilot piece Embrace The Creepy Kid: Why Children’s Horror Movies Should Be More Accepted and let me know if you agree.

The Monstrous Mundane

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‘Oculus’ [Credit: Relativity Media]

Horror movies are famous for scaring audiences using an array of fictional monsters, but some are clever enough to take it that one step further and mold the mundane into something truly nightmarish. Whether it’s inanimate objects, natural bodily functions, or even our own family members, the mundane is made all the more horrifying by its inescapable nature. These are the things that lurk in the everyday and, unlike many horror villains, they are all too real.

In this Movie Pilot piece I list seven examples of movies that monsterized the mundane. What is the most ordinary thing a horror movie has made you fearful of?

The Ingredients For Good Horror

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‘The Autopsy of Jane Doe’ [Credit: IFC Midnight]

The key to uncovering what it is that makes a perfect horror film is to perform an autopsy on our own psyche; exploiting our primal instincts, dissecting the very foundations of human fear and finding new ways to project them further.

In this Movie Pilot piece I argue that the ingredients for good horror can be found through self-dissection. Have a read and see if you agree.

Social Media in Horror

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Smiley (2012) – Fever Productions LLC/MIJ Productions

“While horror films about social media often have the capacity to make our skeletons spring from our skins within the confines of their running time, they very rarely have a lasting effect on viewers that keeps them awake at night.”

You can read my Movie Pilot piece ‘Why Social Media Horror Films Struggle To Spook Us’ here.

Creepy Clowns

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Andrés Muschietti’s highly-anticipated remake of the Stephen King epic It (due for release this September) still has grown adults nervously rubbing their palms at the prospect of coming face to face with the petrifying Pennywise all over again.

With it being so long since our original introduction to the infamous clown, and after countless attempts by preceding writers and movie makers to exploit the notion of evil clowns even further, how are audiences not yet immune to the topic as they are with vampires or zombies?

For all you fans and fearers of clowns, I’ve just made my first post over at Creators.co. Check it out here!

 

Should parents embrace horror films for their children or keep them locked in the dark?

Article by Tyler Turner. 

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Gage Creed, ‘Pet Sematary’

Horror films, for many of us, act as a rite of passage. They’re what define sleepovers during the awkward era when you’re not quite at the age of sloppy Skins parties, but are well past pillow fights. Usually, it is about quenching the desire to do something a little naughty – of course, when you place a big red sticker on something that screams DO NOT WATCH ME, it is human nature to automatically want to watch it (The Ring, anyone?). But why should this be the case at all?

It seems incredibly unfair for Horror movies, in the mind of a child, be shelved alongside the likes of drugs and alcohol on the rebellion cabinet. It is degrading for a genre in dire need of respect and recognition to be stigmatised in such a way, and for children to be denied access to some of its most cherished treasures just because someone else has decided for them that they are incapable of enduring them.

The bottom line is, Horror films are designed to be scary. Not everyone is going to be comfortable with this – hence why some adults avoid them themselves or feel affected a long time after having watched one, prompting them to then ‘protect’ their children from the terror they showcase.

To me, it definitely seems as though susceptibility to Horror films is more down to personal preference rather than level of maturity, yet Swiss development theorist Jean Piaget argues otherwise. He states that children do not have the life experience needed to put Horror films into perspective. Because of this, exposure to such films can apparently lead to the development of anxiety disorders or phobias.

Here’s a little anecdotal input to help give this theory some perspective – obviously, I do not represent everyone, but as a child raised on horror, I can honestly say that I did not develop any phobias that came directly from watching said films. In fact, my one irrational fear is – rather underwhelming – chimpanzees. Believe it or not, this was influenced by Babe: Pig in the City, which gave me nightmares for days after watching. Hardly Horror’s fault.

So where do you draw the line? If it really is so hard for children to distinguish between fact and fiction, then how are fantasies and films that lull children into a false sense of optimism any less damaging? Maybe children need to be given more credit. As a youngster, I was certainly smart enough to know that mummies didn’t really come back to life and terrorise 1920’s Egypt, but I did know, however, that chimpanzees were all too real.

On the other end of the spectrum, psychologist Carl Jung promotes a relationship between children and Horror movies with his ‘Shadow Archetype’ theory. It talks of a collection of negative and socially unacceptable tendencies that are basic part of human nature. Jung suggests that periodically battling these tendencies is essential to our development. Arguably, Horror films can offer children an environment away from the real world where they can explore their darker instincts without compromising their real life. This is clearly a much healthier alternative to going out a wreaking havoc within the community.

Aside from all these clever theories, it is clear to see that Horror films can be highly beneficial for children both individually and within a social environment.By introducing children to Horrors at an earlier age, they are able to confront the more unpleasant aspects of society and the human psyche, and may, as a result, grow to have fewer fears. It may even fill them with a confidence that they would be able to take on any given situation after seeing it tackled in a Horror, unlike with typical ‘child-friendly’ films which refuse to acknowledge that such occurrences exist most of the time (the likes of Scooby Doo being an exception).

It is also worth mentioning that, generally, Horrors are viewed in groups, so naturally it is a bonding experience. With them being more physically stimulating, people could be brought closer to their kids through physically comforting them, or through discussing what they might do in that given situation, or – as is the case with my younger siblings – make light of the situation by joking about it. The latter suggestion could arguably enhance a sense of optimism within children, who may look at the brighter side of potentially stressful situations.

Understandably, there are certain topics that are undoubtedly inappropriate which parents may wish to shield their children from, but this should by no means damn an entire genre, especially since some of these topics (e.g. sex and nudity) cross a large range of films. Maybe it is time for people in general to test the waters a little more when it comes to Horror and gradually help relieve it of this unwarranted stigma.


What do you think? Would you, as Horror fans, allow your children to share in the scares? Let us know in the comments. 

Festive Fears: Père Fouettard

 

#4 Père Fouettard 

Père Fouettard, or ‘Father Whipper’ in English, is the French counterpart to Saint Nicholas. He is said to accompany him on his Saint Nicholas Day (December 6) rounds, administering punishments to naughty children by dispensing lumps of coal or hitting them with his whip.

He is described as being a very sinister character, taking the shape of a dark, scraggy man with dirty robes and an unkempt beard. In some instances, his face is said to be dirty with soot from going down so many chimneys. Of course, he is also equipped with his infamous whip, and, in some variations of the legend, a wicker backpack in which he can carry children away.

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Origin stories for Père Fouettard are also varied, but the most popular tale can be traced back as far as 1150. The details of the story itself are debatable, though they follow the same plot. In it, a butcher (or an innkeeper in some versions), along with his wife, captures three children, then drugs them, slits their throats, chops them up, salts them and stews them in a barrel. Proposed motives for the murders range from the man wanting to rob the boys and wanting to eat them… How festive! Saint Nicholas learns of the monstrous crime and decides to intervene, resurrecting the children and taking the man into his custody. As punishment, Saint Nicholas forces Père Fouettard to become his assistant for all eternity.