10 January 2008

The 10 Commandments of Horror

What makes a good horror film?

A difficult question. Many a man has lain awoke at night, pondering such a question. Many a woman has burnt her bush in agony. Many a man has lain awoke at night, after being burnt by the bush of a woman in agony over such a question. Some women too, but those aren't the kind of films under scrutiny here. Thankfully, He who walks behind the rows has given us His commandments. Stick to these, up and coming producers of gore filled horror, and thou coffers shalt be full, and thine jacuzzi frequented by buxom beauties.

10. Thou shalt have buckets of blood

And why not? It is a horror film. Most people find bleeding horrific. Horror films should not only exploit that feeling, but also reinforce the idea that bleeding is horrific. People should think before they make other people bleed and before they make themselves bleed. It is similar to cathedrals showing images of hell on the interior. If horror films had enough buckets of blood, no amount of listening to Marilyn Manson at an impressionable age could bring one to cut your own thighs while feeling sorry for yourself. Save the emo, put buckets of blood in your horror films. Buckets of blood work particularly well when combined with inexplicable boob shots.

9. Thou shalt have inexplicable boob shots

Exhibit A (or more like exhibit 32C): Kelly Brook from Ripper, a letter from hell.

I think we're all agreed on this one.

8. Thou shalt have as thine antagonist a male, middle-aged and unsettling

The original (and only) Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is the benchmark for all slasher flicks. While the speckled teenage hitch-hiker is unsettling, he is not nearly as unsettling as the middle-aged chainsaw wielding unsettling Leatherface. Observe how effectively that film combines not one, but a few female protagonists. They did not break the fifth commandment, which made their eighth commandment much more sensible. Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street continue with this tradition.

There are some very successful horrors that incorporate children as antagonists. The Omen (1976) series comes to mind. This is because children are evil and we should destroy their souls. Do your bit to prevent a real-life The Omen today: tell a kid Santa is short for Satan, he's just trying to trick them.

7. Thou shalt have fake latex heads

Yes, computer generated imagery (CGI) does have its place. For morphing, for making people leap from tall buildings, for adding explosions, for underwater or outer space scenes. Even for the occasional beast, to give it a radio active glow, or to enhance the buckets of blood. However, nothing can replace real fake latex heads. Imagine Lady Frankenstein without the real fake latex heads. I couldn't. If you could, you should go study 3D animation. Come to think of it, latex tentacles are a great idea too. There's a small yet dedicated niche market for live action hentai out there, and I want to see those people pleased. Not see them being pleased in the physical sense, but pleased in the metaphorical sense.. but those aren't the kind of films under scrutiny here.

6. Thou shalt have ooze

Thanks to the invention of K-Y Jelly, no latex monster needs to be without ooze ever again. People who are afraid of snakes, incorrectly describe them as being slimy. Being slimy is one of those properties that still reverberates within our subconscious minds with something distasteful and unsavoury. We associate slimy not only with cafe Greeks, but also with disgusting creepy things that want to get into your pants. Come to think of it... oh never mind. The point is ooze makes latex more horrific. Slime must remind us subconsciously of Vincent Price's Brylcreem hair. Blood, sweat, tears and K-Y Jelly. It makes all the horror fit.

What is the fifth commandment? Why are there only five commandments, when the topic clearly states there are ten? Rest assured, for those who write commandments work but one day per week. The rest of thine commandments are hither - sooner than you could find a talking donkey. I post with much haste!

1 comment:

Chelle B. said...

OK, you are good at this so maybe you can please explain to me the movie the Shining?

I mean, it didn't have *buckets* of blood, but it did have the whole 'redrum' thing, it had some boob shots, a middle aged lunatic man "Heeere's Johnny!", and maybe there was ooze in there somewhere..so it fits the criteria for horror...but what I need to know is wtf was with the part toward the end with the guy in the big dog suit in the one room?

How the hell is that scary??

And why do people act like it is one of the best classic horror films? I fall asleep before the twin girls ever make an appearance.

Teletubbies scares me more than the Shining, to be honest. :p

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