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Sunday, November 01, 2009

My October Experiment in Review

So I did better than I thought; I saw 24 films, coming 7 short, and was able to see other non-horror films as well, and not eat into my school work (well mostly).

So what did I learn?

Of the 24 films only 5 or 6 dealt with the supernatural, at least in the classical sense of supernatural forces like ghosts, the occult or monsters. Most of them were, and this wasn't planned, films of evil perpetuated by humans, and even more were psychologically based, or pseudo-psychologically.

I wonder if it would be more of use to have a division in the genre between:

hor⋅ror

–noun
1. an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear: to shrink back from a mutilated corpse in horror.
2. anything that causes such a feeling: killing, looting, and other horrors of war.

ter⋅ror
–noun
1. intense, sharp, overmastering fear: to be frantic with terror.
2. an instance or cause of intense fear or anxiety; quality of causing terror: to be a terror to evildoers.

fear

–noun
1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.
3. concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone's safety.
4. reverential awe, esp. toward God.
5. that which causes a feeling of being afraid; that of which a person is afraid: Cancer is a common fear.

It seems to me that the division would be in what aims the film has in terms of its audience. If horror, it is a more passive presentation of some thing which causes a sensory reaction in the audience to that object of horror.

A terror film would be a far more aggressive film which aims to terrorize its audience, not so much through grotesque images but anxiety; situations.

A Fear film would be a film in which the audience is caused fear on behalf of the characters or the protagonist of a film, which would, in turn, feed or converse with their own personal fear. It seems that the ultimate expression of the fear film is related to the fourth definition, the biblical definition of fear, that of awe toward God. In this sense, the fear is far more than a loss of life, but one where one's soul is in the balance.


New Favorite films: Long Weekend, The Hitcher, and Pontypool.
Scariest film I saw: Paranormal Activity followed by Noroi.
Biggest Surprise: Pontypool, Shock, Pandorum.

The subgenre that most needs a shot in the arm: The religious horror film.

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