Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I want to see them punished

Hands up who else watches movies to see characters get punished?  If you're a horror fan you'll be totally comfortable with this.  Yes I like to see characters endure all sorts.  Torture, murder... you name it.  I get a sadistic kick from watching characters squirm, plead for their lives and just occasionally come out the other side of their horrific ordeals at least partially intact.

Films are full of conflict, tests, confrontation and challenges.  If characters don't clash with something, then what the hell am I watching for?  If you want to keep an audience hooked, a screenwriters got to pile on complication after complication.  What would be the fun in having a character acheive his/her goal easily?  No drama, no complications, no crisis, no climax.  Even a rom-com piles on the barriers and obstacles to the couple getting together.  It wouldn't have much of a climax or resolution if the characters just got together without any fuss, arguments, break-ups or complications.

Horror fans are generally a particularly sadistic bunch.  We love to see blood, sweat and tears spilled.  Half the time the characters suck so bad, I'm not even sure I care if they survive by the end.  But the best horrors are the ones where we do care.  A couple of examples spring to mind;  Drew Barrymore in the opening of Scream, her parents so close to saving her as she clings to the phone unable to scream.  The lovely trio in Wolf Creek who endure all manner of nasty shit at the hands of a very nasty Aussie bloke with a bigger knife than Crocodile Dundee.

So you could say I'm a bit like the Saw franchise's Jigsaw.  I like to watch.  I like screenwriters to set up my characters in the worst possible circumstances and I want to see what they'll do to get out of it.  If that means sawing a leg off, so be it.  Sacrifice makes a great story.  Just look at the sales of the bible! 

With this in mind, I present two trailers.  The Cabin in the Woods is my most anticpated horror of 2012 (along with World War Z) and this trailer looks like a nice mix of the conventional and something new.  It also had the line that inspired my above musings.  Be warned: it seems to give a lot away but hopefully there will still be a wholesome WTF??? element.  And it's bound to be better than the Evil Dead remake (even if that is written by Diablo Cody).

Then there's The Grey starring Liam Neeson and pitting him against some hungry (hopefully nasty) wolves.  It's got a plane crash (having been in one(!), I'm always curious to see screen versions) and Neeson with a soppy reason to survive his grim circumstances.  The last time I saw characters threatened by wolves was in Frozen, featuring three characters stuck in a ski chair lift overnight as hungry wolves circled below.  That one didn't end so well but it will be interesting to see how hard-man Neeson fares against his own peckish tormentors.  Let's just hope the wolves aren't painfully awful CGI creations that distract from the drama.

Looks like there'll be plenty of sadistic pleasure to be gained from the trials of these characters.  Kids in a cabin in the woods up against who knows what... reality TV?  Or if you don't like horror so much, Liam Neeson up against hungry wolves.  Either way, the characters are in the middle of who knows where and there's sure as hell going to have to be sacrifices to be made if any of these characters are going to survive.  Bring on the pain I say.  Anyone else getting bloodthirsty?


  1. Hang on... you were in a plane crash?

    Elaborate please!

    I too can't wait to see Cabin In The Woods, but am a little ambivalent to The Grey, even if there's a lot of love around at the moment for Liam Neeson.

  2. I am with Rodney, I want to know more about this plane crash!

    Cabin in the Woods looks ace! I knew nothing of it when watching the trailer for the first time, and BAM it hits.... great concept

  3. @Rodney and Scott August 2009 Ko Samui island, Thailand. Plane skidded off the runway on landing and crashed into a building killing the pilot and injuring others. Somehow, my partner and I escaped unharmed despite being in the front row, probably about a metre behind the pilot. Absolutely terrifying! Check it out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8182962.stm

    Not too sure about The Grey either but hoping it might be good. Yep Cabin looks very intriguing, thanks for reading!

  4. wow you have been in a plane crash..thank god you and your partner are safe....i'm hitting myself for judging cabin in the woods quickly to be a low quality film..it looks different...and now i'm looking forward to watch it...i heard liam's performance was great in the grey

  5. I've already been hearing about Cabin in the Woods, and I would probably see it, despite not being a huge horror movie fan. I am highly anticipating World War Z with Brad Pitt though. Supposedly it is going to be his last movie and he will retire, but we all know that's not going to happen. And as for the Saw movies--made my way through the first 3 and then stopped. I'm not interested in seeing people get tortured. It's too much for me. It's definitely one of those types of things that are acquired over time, or it's just a fetish with some people. Thanks for the interesting post!

  6. @Franklin yeah I'm still a bit torn, Cabin might be crap but at least it looks like it's trying something new with a tired formula. I think if nothing else is good about The Grey, Neeson's bound to be good!

    @alleyesonscreen let's hope Pitt keeps going, just watched Tree of Life and though I wasn't a massive fan, Pitt is still great and making great choices. The Saw movies were getting much worse by the third and never really recovered. I think they are many a horror fans dream come true.

    Thanks for reading!

  7. Cabin In The Woods looks great! And I agree with your points about horror characters - if we as an audience know that the character is a person just like us, then when they feel pain (best and most scary, I think, when inflicted by another human) we can relate to that, even if they're in a stupidly inflated situation. Great post by the way; really interactive.

  8. @Matthew Yeah I'm very intrigued by CITW. And completely agree. Other humans are the scariest... Leatherface, the guy from Wolf Creek... blood sadistic and terrifying!


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