#1 Posted by kre8havoc (174 posts) -

Lately I have found that I don’t like watching movies too often, however my friends are able to drag me to them from time to time. Last night a few of my friends wanted me to see the movie Mama. Watching I came to a realization…horror video games have ruined horror movies for me. I remember in the past they would get at least one jump scare out of me, but this movie…nothing. Even awful movies usually have SOMETHING that I liked. Now the fact that it was pg-13 didn't help it either; however, I've never had a movie that had such little affect on me. This has been a problem with passive media for me for a while…I can’t ever get out of my mind that “this is a movie” and “the main character will be okay/the movie will have a nice resolution.” This creates a problem, I never truly feel tension in situations and the movies/shows become kind of boring.

Games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender: The Eight Pages have made me understand how effective the horror genre can be. Also that good horror games have colons in the titles. Those games actually make me feel stressed, and I am the one who has to go through that situation. If I don’t move, the story will not continue. Also, there is no way of knowing (at the least the first time through) if I am even able to be successful. Horror movies will continue the same way every single time you watch them, regardless if you want them to or not.

Now this doesn't mean I will give up on horror movies. If I hear that a horror movie is great, I will likely watch it. But they really need to raise the bar. They rely too much on jump scares rather than finding new ways to create tension in the audience. Fundamentally the formula will have to change for assholes like me to make me feel that tension. Perhaps break “the rules” more often so I don’t fall into my “this character will be okay” mindset. Games as of now are able to do so much more, and make you the avatar of the tense situation. You as the player are able to fail, and you are responsible for continuing the journey.

On a side note...the movie Total Recall has also ruined the phrase "two weeks" for me. I can only think of this scene when I hear it.

tl;dr: Horror games are so much more effective than horror movies because of how you control it, and how it is different every time. Movies are losing the shine because they’re predictable and will always be the same no matter what you do.

#2 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

go watch jack frost and come back and say that!

#3 Edited by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Your first mistake is watching American Horror moviesAlso it's Del Toro...

it's probably not meant to be all that scary.

Del Toro "Horror" movies are usually fantastic and purposely avoid using jump scares and instead create a mood and atmosphere to make you feel nervous and uneasy.

The Orphanage is a masterpiece.

#4 Posted by Ducksworth (662 posts) -

If you want jump scares, watch Sinister. It's an hour and a half of jump scares with some talking in between.

#5 Posted by kre8havoc (174 posts) -

@Ducksworth said:

If you want jump scares, watch Sinister. It's an hour and a half of jump scares with some talking in between.

I think jump scares a cheap. I want to feel tension! I was just saying I get a jump out of them sometimes

#6 Posted by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

@kre8havoc said:

@Ducksworth said:

If you want jump scares, watch Sinister. It's an hour and a half of jump scares with some talking in between.

I think jump scares a cheap. I want to feel tension! I was just saying I get a jump out of them sometimes

Actually, sinsiter is pretty creepy, up until the last thirty or so mintues. Then it quickly deteriorates into typical Hollywood garbage.

#7 Posted by Solh0und (1825 posts) -

@StrikeALight said:

@kre8havoc said:

@Ducksworth said:

If you want jump scares, watch Sinister. It's an hour and a half of jump scares with some talking in between.

I think jump scares a cheap. I want to feel tension! I was just saying I get a jump out of them sometimes

Actually, sinsiter is pretty creepy, up until the last thirty or so mintues. Then it quickly deteriorates into typical Hollywood garbage.

This basically.

#8 Posted by CaLe (4039 posts) -

Developing a rational mind ruined horror movies for me. That said, horror games still get me and I love them for that.

#9 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Foreign horror films tend to be much better at actual horror, IMO. American horror movies seem like they're made specifically to trick people into spending $11 at a theater.

#10 Posted by Hilbert (349 posts) -

@kre8havoc:

I'm the same with this.

After playing the Silent hill games etc., most horror movies don't scare me anymore.

The exceptions being The Shining and The Ring (Japanese version)

#11 Edited by matti00 (674 posts) -

It's all well and good saying jump scares are cheap, and what you really want is tension but I agree with - I don't think anything from a movie can beat the tension I felt playing Amnesia. As far as horror experiences go it can't be beat in my opinion.

#12 Posted by Athadam (701 posts) -

Great blog/thoughts. I share your sentiment in a lot of ways, but I've always thought that bad horror movies only consisted of jump scares. The really good horror films stay with you even after you've left the theater and make you feel vulnerable whenever you're alone.

#13 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

Try to find something that is real and is scary in real life, thats what gets me, it's why I love and hate shark movies.

#14 Posted by notdavid (841 posts) -

Agreed. I never found a movie that had me feeling constantly unnerved and on edge like Silent Hill 2 did. It might have something to do with timing. Much like how comedy is difficult to do in games because writers can't count on the timing being the same each time, tension and dread are easier to evoke for the same reason.

#15 Edited by rentfn (1283 posts) -

The Shining is amazing. So much flippin tension in that movie. I thought Mama looked wicked scary. I'm trying to get some friends to go to it.

#16 Posted by kre8havoc (174 posts) -

@Hizang: It's just difficult for me because I can never get absorbed into the movie. I always know it's a movie, and it's not real/everything will resolve. I can't think of anything that I am scared of that would play well in movies...like heights. Just doesn't capture the feel of being high up in real life. But I'm a Jaded asshole so I might be in a small group here anyway :O

#17 Edited by SeanFoster (882 posts) -

I know what you mean, but some European horror films can still rattle me. Check out [rec], Eden Lake or Inside.

#18 Posted by stryker1121 (1566 posts) -

@SeanFoster: REC's a great choice in terms of creating that sense of claustrophobia and tension that makes a horror movie tick. The Descent captured some of that, too, but does have its share of jump scares. It's a brutal little flick, though.

#19 Posted by AlexW00d (6386 posts) -

@matti00 said:

It's all well and good saying jump scares are cheap, and what you really want is tension but I agree with - I don't think anything from a movie can beat the tension I felt playing Amnesia. As far as horror experiences go it can't be beat in my opinion.

This pretty much sums it up for me. No film has ever 'scared' me, but goddamn if Amnesia didn't nearly give me a heart attack.