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Artistry in Horror

How do films and television shows utilize blood and gore in artistic ways to further the plot and to create a visceral reaction without going overboard. Where is the "sweet-spot" of horror and is it the gestalt of the production that makes it palatable?

Looking back to Peter Greenaway’s "The Cook the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover," the use of dynamic lighting, opulent costumes, and luxurious set draw the audience in while opening up all of the senses. It is as if you can taste, touch and smell this film. This, juxtaposition with filth and violence that follows creates a more dramatic sensory shift thus intensifying the horror of the film.

Currently, "Penny Dreadful" utilizes some of the same production values to appeal to the senses of the audience before flooding ballrooms with blood.

What are other examples of transcendent use of blood and gore and how are directors achieving high levels or artistry within horror.

  • examining the horror media in early 20th century and others could be useful. Also, the essays from horror writers like H.P Lovecraft or Stephen King could help – idleric 2 days ago
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The absence of modernised communication methods in horror and suspense.

The most common film related outbursts occur in the viewing of horror and suspenseful movies and more often than not begin with the words "Just use…" or "Why does no one have..?". This is the question I pose to you now; Why is it nobody in these movies seems to have access to modern methods of communication and utility? And how long can these films continue to entertain with such an obvious character deficiency?

  • I would find examples of films to back this up. – BMartin43 3 months ago
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  • Seconded - there are horror films which revolve entirely around modern technology. The convenient writer's trick of destroying people's phones or rendering them lost or useless cropped up most often when mobile phones were relatively new, and it was a broader issue which included comics and fiction outside of film.This could be an interesting article if you could attach a bigger issue to it, like the borderline unrealistic weakness, lack of common sense or hysteria which mysteriously overtakes individuals or groups of individuals in life-threatening scenarios. – smoldoggo 2 months ago
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  • Funny Games is the first example that came to mind. There's a lot to unpack with that film that may make it a complicated example, however. – daniellegreen624 1 month ago
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  • I don't if there any films that fit this category, but it would be interesting to look at examples where everyone has modern technology but it is rendered unusable by, say, magnetic pulses, and the characters have to react quickly without the devices they have come to rely on. – JudyPeters 4 days ago
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  • I think the "oh dear I can't use my phone or car to escape because it mysteriously doesn't work" is certainly another facet of the cliché mentioned by the OP. I agree with the point about the lack of common sense in life threatening scenarios being a key issue. Could it be that such clichés are not merely lazy writing but inherent in the genre and to a point, expected by audiences? – Dion 3 days ago
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Marvel Cinematic Universe: How much is too much?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is complex and fascinating, and like many fans, I love the crossovers among the films. However, with the addition of several TV series (Daredevil, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D., etc.), it seems nearly impossible to keep up with the intricacies of the world. With more TV content on the horizon for Marvel, I wonder if the platform is too much. It’s confusing for new watchers to fully understand the overall plot without having seen previous Marvel films. I think the argument can go both ways. On one hand, the multimedia platform is exciting and facilitates depth. On the other hand, is there a point when it will all be too much?

  • This is a very interesting point that you have brought up. With solo films for Black Panther, The Wasp and many other superheroes coming up too, it has become next to impossible to keep track of all the stories. One can also contrast the current times where a superhero film is released every 6 months and series like Luke Cage, Jessica Jones on Netflix ensure that we have stuff to watch all year round with say, a decade earlier when people used to have to wait for a couple of years to get a Batman or Spiderman movie. – Vishnu Unnithan 6 months ago
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  • Is it possible that the constantly growing scale of the MCU won't necessarily kill it but force it to become more and more niche? A casual viewer may reach the point of superhero fatigue or throw up their hands and say "I can't keep up with this anymore", but the more hardcore comic book fans who've kept abreast of decades of comic book history as well as all the multi-verses, galaxies, and timelines would theoretically still support these stories coming to life in all forms (as long as they maintained their level of quality). – LC Morisset 6 months ago
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  • You can never have too much Marvel. Just like you can't have too much ice cream. – Munjeera 6 months ago
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  • Both are good arguments but to me that whether it is too much or not, people are and will still watch these Marvel shows and movies. It's interesting that maybe on some level these points to bridge the gap between the amount of consumption of watching these shows and imagining ourselves in the world of the superheroes. – daisy 2 months ago
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  • The market has definitely been flooded. They don't seem to hold the same weight they once did. It would be interesting to see if its because we are spoiled for choice, or is it a case of Disney choosing quantity over quality? Either way, I hope we stick to one Star Wars a year, Disney; any more would be overkill. – AGMacdonald 2 months ago
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  • I think we can see the stretch sometimes with Agents of Shield fumbling to connect but not spoil the Marvel movies that happen during its seasons, and Netflix's shows trying to ignore The Avengers (and, soon, Spider-man) in New York. – IndiLeigh 2 months ago
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Why are 'cinematic universes' so compelling?

You can rightfully think that franchises are an easy way to grab money nowadays. Instead of searching for new ‘forms’ to present a story, big studios are betting on established worlds where they can add another thing or two; yet, a lot of us -the audience- fail to find a harm in that. When I went to watch the newest Star Wars, I was conscious that it wasn’t going to be a breakthrough, but there was a bigger pull motivating me to follow the story. So I’ve been wondering: Why are we so compelled to get involved in these multi-film universes?

  • Probably because we like the idea of a moving world, constantly changing like our own. It gives a sort of balance and symmetry. That's my take at least. – SpectreWriter 2 years ago
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  • Part of it is character and story - we get invested in these characters and want to see them face new challenges and adventures. And though the universe may stay the same, we are exposed to different facets of it, which is part of the fun! Learning tiny new details through the different films of the Harry Potter universe, for example, makes things fresh and exciting (such as new magical creatures being introduced such as the hippogriff, which ostensibly were part of that universe all along, but we don't learn about them until the 3rd movie; or the textbook that growls and tries to hurt Harry in one of the films - we've seen textbooks by this point, but never one that was alive; the Knight Bus, and so on). With the latest Star Wars, the universe is the same, but we are introduced to an entirely new set of characters, new droids, new villains, and we get to see what has happened to our favorite characters many years later (which is part of the allure of Facebook, actually - finding out where your high school crush has been all these years, etc.). – Katheryn 1 year ago
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  • The Cinematic Universe puts me to mind of something that Turpster of the Yogscast once said in an interview - that there is currently a lot of interest in a non-linear form of storytelling (which is kind of how the most popular series in the Yogscast worked, specifically the Yogscast Complete Pack, Tekkit and Moonquest). I think outside of films you can see that in other kinds of YouTube series like Lovely Little Losers which uses multiple forms of media to convey story, or even TV shows like Doctor Who (connected to Torchwood, Big Finish, Novels etc). – Joshua Sammy 1 year ago
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Why is hollywood making so many remakes?

Hollywood is almost obsessed with remaking films despite previous success. Remakes of film though often flop in cinema’s begging the question; Why does Hollywoods keep making remakes? What’s the point? So many remakes face criticism before being released. Diehard fans make judgements of the film before it is even released, while the film itself has a bar often set so high that ‘failure’ is inevitable.

Perhaps companies are simply relying on the success of the previous films in a pursuit of profit. From changing casts to all female (Oceans 11, Ghost Busters) to changing the tone of the film (The Mummy), is Hollywood simply trying to find ways to justify remaking a movie that doesn’t need to be remade?

  • Being the art form that it is, film is just as prone to a version better expressed, so to speak. One director (or author) believes his rendition was final and releases it. Another director feels his release was not perfect, and remakes it as a sequel. Others simply cannot move on unless they've added their $0.02 to the squabble. No matter what the reason, 'priming the pump' never ends and must be tolerated. As long as there are disagreements, there will be remakes and sequels. – lofreire 2 months ago
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  • One thing I'd be interested in seeing someone explore is the Disney side of this topic, how they are doing live action remakes of so many of the classics. It is to appeal to the children of the children who first experienced these movies? Simply to make more revenue? Or is it to maintain copyright to prevent it from entering the public domain? This all is true for other franchises as well. – BreannaWaldrop 2 months ago
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  • I'm not sure if it's just because of the age of myself and my friends (mid 20s), but I feel like nostalgia is very much the "flavour of the month". Sequels that were 10+ years in the making, such as Scream 4 and American Pie:the reunion, kicked off an era of sequels and reboots. I don't think Hollywood has run out of ideas like I have heard some people suggest, I just think that there is so much money in remakes. by growing old, Disney is no longer appealing to the audience who helped to make it so successful. Sure they still make films that kids love but by remaking all our old favourites (Jungle Book, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast to name a few) they can also re-appeal to the older generation. – jackson2601 2 months ago
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Is popular "geek culture" infantilising a generation of adults?

A generation ago, merchandise for film/TV/anime/literature pitched at children and young adults was also aimed at children and young adults. In 2017, we are seeing a rise in merchandise pitched to adult aficionados – think Pokeball serving bowls and superhero-themed shot glasses. Do these trends mirror an entire generation that is unable to grow up? Is this just about rampant capitalism? Or is this generation of 20 and 30 somethings just passionate, and less ashamed than their Gen X and Baby Boomer family members?

  • Yes. But in a way it is nice to see people keeping their inner child alive. Last September I attended a ComicCon and was impressed by the quality of handmade items available by various artists. Also, in talking to some of these adults, I sensed that for them, their work was a real labour of love. It was an eye opener for me.I like your point that these are not shameful pleasures as in the past. I think Cosplay also could be included to support your point. "Embracing the Inner Child" could be a title here. – Munjeera 2 months ago
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  • Amazing topic. I've never really grown up, myself (my PopVinyl collection will tell you all you need to know about that😁). It might also be interesting to delve into the blurring of fact and fiction and how many young people on social media are using fiction to illustrate injustices in the real world. – AGMacdonald 2 months ago
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  • I think you'll need to make important distinctions between types of merchandise that have gotten more popular; there have always been statues and t-shirts, for example. But now you see leggings and underwear, pop figures, piggy banks, etc. There are Rick and Morty (and Mr. Meeseeks) plushies! It also, obviously, depends on the show. – IndiLeigh 2 months ago
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Taken by AGMacdonald (PM) 1 week ago.
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Fatal flaws of the Superhero films

Superhero movies are some of the most popular movies coming out today. After so many being released at this point, and two major comic book film universes, some people are getting "superhero fatigue". What that means is that people are starting to get tired of these movies, and are accused of being all the same. What are some patterns and flaws that are commonly seen in superhero movies?

  • I'd say removing the part about superhero fatigue from this topic would make it sound a bit better. It really has nothing to do with exploring the patterns and flaws of the recent superhero films that have come out. I'd say box office records and an influx of social media superhero presence would make the "some" people who are tired of the movies irrelevant. – Steven Gonzales 10 months ago
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  • A fatal flaw that should also be examined is their balance between trying to make differences with the superhero to draw in fans, but risk alienating fans of the actual comic. This attempt to balance between the two has been one of the defining factors for superhero movies. – shugo828 9 months ago
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  • To me it is the reliance on CGI at the expense of story. There come a point when I get bored watching computer generated bots fighting each other; it has to have meaning from a character/plot perspective for me to feel satisfied leaving the theatre. – Jeff MacLeod 2 weeks ago
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The Use of Music in Baby Driver

Analyze the use of music in the film. The music Baby listens to becomes a major part of the movie’s score and also serves to punctuate many of the film’s amazing chase sequences; it is often synced perfectly to the action, as Baby is meticulous in timing the music just right. A film’s score is always deliberately attuned to the story’s plot and themes, but do the musical choices, timing, and the fact it is usually coming from a character’s iPod produce a new or different effect upon the viewer?

    Taken by Els Lee (PM) 1 week ago.