Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

October 13, 2008

the scary rules

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:05 pm

i live in japan. when i came here, i got into japanese cinema. one of the movies that made a big impact on me was “the ring”. that was scary. about the same time, i saw “jason X”. which wasn`t scary. it was fun. made me jump. grossed me out. but it didn`t scare me.

which got me thinking about what makes a movie scary.

here is my attempt at getting these random thoughts into a coherent, written down form.

i present to you – the scary rules.

rule #1 – the protaganist has to accept the dangerous situation. they have to go looking for trouble, or be trying to help someone else. or protect someone they love. if bad stuff comes out of the blue, well, thats just bad luck. it`s not scary. you might as well get hit by a car.

rule #2 – the protaganist cannot live happily ever after … if they do, then the audience can feel relaxed and comfortable – which is not the point of a scary movie

rule #3 – the antagonist (bad guy) is always a warped version of us. it`s hard to be repulsed by something that isn`t connected to you – could a white ball be an antagonist in a scary movie? probably not, its just too WTF? it`s gotta be something connected to us, e.g. a vampire (mankind`s bloodlust), a ghost (a fear of a joyless, soulless life), or something else … a werewolf (mankind`s animal side), whatever. the monster is always us. a warped version of us that we don`t like. which leads to rule #4 …

rule #4 – the antagonist is giving the protaganist a hard time, because, well, we are alive, and human, and good, and they are not. dracula – waged war on god, made a deal with the devil etc etc and now hates humanity, god`s children. ghosts – either want to take over your body or want you to join them as ghosts.

rule #5 – the antagonist`s danger has to be worse than death. just dying? people do that all the time. see the point about getting hit by a car in rule #1. its gotta be worse than death.

and the weirdest thing of all? scary movies are uplifting. uplifting? yes, uplifting. they make the point that you have something special. something more than just being alive. its something worth protecting. something worth fearing losing. and you do. if you didn`t, why get scared?


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