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What’s your favourite scary movie?

As regular readers will know, I love my horror films. I’ve been particularly excited this week because Scream4 -or ‘Scre4m’ to be precise- is released in the cinemas, which is awesome news and I am very, very excited. Very.

But even more exciting is the trailer for a new horror film which is about to be released in the UK called Insidious. There is something about the trailer which has already freaked me out completely and suddenly I find myself itching for the film to be released ASAP.

The trailer’s at the end of this blog for those who want to watch it. But whilst you do, ask yourself, “Exactly how original is this film?”

In fact, is it going to be original at all? Because if you watch that trailer several times (which I have and yes, I know I’m a sad horror geek) you’ll notice they employed every classic horror film trick to freak you out and ensure that all horror film geeks (such as myself) are eager to see it.

Not sure what I’m going on about? OK, so here’s a few examples:

Firstly we have ‘spooky child’. Most great supernatural horror films have a spooky child in it somewhere. If spooky child is a bit ill, then so much the better, a la The Exorcist. And so, in the trailer, we have ‘spooky bed-ridden child in room upstairs’ as seen here (very Exorcist):

(ignore the little white arrow – these images are screen grabs from the trailer)

Secondly, we have spooky twins in the hall way. This is massively borrowed from The Shining. Evidence as follows:

Then we have the seance. Seances have been used in too many ghost films to be mentioned, but The Orphanage is a good example of a modern ghost story that used it very well but without conforming to expectations

Then we have strange glimpse of person flying through air which is very Poltergeist

And then we have the child’s bedroom that’s been smashed to bits – again very Exorcist / Poltergeist inspired…

Then we have strange shadow behind the window: Psycho anyone?

And then we also have the scientists rocking up with the creepy female clairvoyant… Again, rather much like The Orphanage (which also has a marvelously freaky seance scene by the way), Poltergeist or a billion other haunted house stories

And don’t even get me started on the deep booming voice in the trailer that Rose Byrne hears coming from her son’s rooms – again, The Exorcist, Amityville… and on and on we go.

So whilst you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be first in line to see this, maybe the bigger question is, “Are there any original ghost and horror stories left to be told?”. Or maybe Hollywood’s run out of originality in this area. Which would be a shame, because I bet there’s a million very talented writers out there struggling to get their screen plays read. Something tells me this is more a case of Hollywood churning out a film which ticks all the right boxes and will please their target audience (teenagers who haven’t seen the really good horror films of the seventies and eighties).

But all is not lost. The film does boast some pretty good credentials; the producers of Paranormal Activity and the writers of the original Saw film. I’m not a huge fan of the Saw films (in fact, not a fan at all) but the first one was very well written and really quite original. So there is hope yet that Insidious will turn out to be more original than the trailer indicates.

So why, you ask, am I then freaked out? Simple. Keep your eye out for this shot in the trailer. If you can’t see what I’m mean straight away, then let your eyes focus on the left of the screen. Freeeeeeeea-ky!

And finally, just before you watch the trailer I’m also going to point out one last very good reason to be excited about this film: It stars two of my favourite top-notch actors; Rose Byrne (who managed to hold her own whilst acting opposite queen bitch actress Glenn Close in Damages, and is therefore awesome) and Patrick Wilson, who  is unbelievable cute as well as a great singer (he was in Phantom of the Opera, helloooo) and is also an awesome actor (check him out in Angels in America or Little Children with Kate Winslet). We’re talking proper actors here, and they don’t sign up for any ol’ shite, so there must’ve been something decent in the script when they read it. Finger’s crossed.

So then… Insidious. Here’s the trailer. And if you want to make your own judgement call on how far supernatural horror films from Hollywood have developed over the past 20 years, afterwards watch the original 1983 trailer for Poltergeist (also below) and see if you can spot the difference… Not massively different I’d say in terms of structure and format.

Anyway, you decide…

Poltergeist trailer:



One thought on “What’s your favourite scary movie?

  1. I saw this trailer an thought exactly the same; the film does look incredible. Not sure I could cope with watching in a darkened theatre without a pillow to hide behind though.

    On your point about original Horror films, the reason I personally love the Scream Franchise is that it’s all based on revenge! Not some man in a mask trying to make people grateful, or auctioning off random Hitch Hikers to the highest sadistic bidder (Saw and Hostel). It’s suspense horror, not needless gore-horror. Scream 4 was a 15, I’m 20, and I was TERRIFIED. It was suspenseful which made it incredible.

    Personally, I don’t need guts hanging from Chandeliers, or heads perched on a fire poker… Just another franchise as good as Scream.

    Excellent post by the way! And apologies for the long comment!

    Posted by Dom | April 17, 2011, 10:48 am

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