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?