Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Express Yourself: Scary Movies

Today I'm participating in the Express Yourself Meme, hosted by Dani and Jackie.




The challenge? Discuss the scariest movie or book you've read that made you unable to sleep. That's complicated for me, since today's horror movies seem very gory to me. I usually like the concepts, like this one coming out later this summer:




The preview seemed sufficiently terrifying, but the movie itself will undoubtedly involve a lot of blood and disassembling of people.



To me, the scariest horror movies are the ones that stay with you long after you've seen them. No, I'm not talking about the image of Lindsay Lohan's fingers being slowly cut off by some psycho. I'm talking about those movies that don't actually show you what happened. They work on your mind.




Sure, Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling had that ability, but more recent filmmakers have done that, as well. The first one that really got to me was this one... 




When they could hear the sounds of their friends screaming out there...somewhere... Well, I'll just say that was the spookiest thing ever. You never saw anyone dismembered or killed in that movie. Real fear is like that. You have no idea what's out there...waiting for you.



But hope wasn't lost with The Blair Witch Project's inevitable oversaturation of the American consciousness. Later...much later...came Paranormal Activity and its ensuing sequels. While there was a little gore spread throughout, those movies were pretty darn scary. You see, it was what you couldn't see that was scariest of all...




To me, these movies that capture everything on surveillance video or handheld documentary cameras are terrifying. Why? Because the audience feels like we could be on the other side of that. And when someone leaves the room and we hear that scream...what we imagine is far scarier than what a director can show us. In fact, once they show it, it stops being scary and just becomes yucky.

Am I right on that?

What's the scariest movie/book you've ever experienced? Do you know a non-gory horror movie that uses imagination rather than violence to scare people? If so, recommend in the comments. 

If you'd like to join in on the blog hop, post your link below and start writing!


56 comments:

  1. I just can't watch them. Otherwise, I'd never be able to go to my basement again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're right that the really effective ones don't need the blood and gore. I'd say the Ring was a really creepy film. That came from the imagery. And I think that's what makes a film creepy for me - the images. Which is why I'll also say Event Horizon and The Exorcist were effective, as the images were creepy and disturbing.
    As for scary, none really scare me, as real life is scary enough...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good morning Stephanie! The scariest movie I've ever experienced was the original Halloween. Scary stuff!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I saw The Exorcist, Halloween, The Chainsaw Massacre, RoseMary's Baby and was disturbed by them and I really like to sleep in peace so I just can't watch horror movies anymore.

    But you're right, it's the fear of the unknown that is scarier.
    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
  5. Those low res camera movies annoy me, popping up everywhere now. Some are creepy, but none scare me, all scripted haha

    ReplyDelete
  6. yep, it's the genre I don't watch. Gorriness and violence are not my cup of tea

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't mind a little gore in my horror movies but I do prefer the more subtle ones, like the Paranormal Activity movies. And The Blair Witch Project totally terrified me!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with you, gore is not interesting, it's the suspense that keeps me watching. I know what you mean about Paranormal Activity - it is really scary (although #4 is one of the most boring movies I have ever tried to watch, I think, because it just took longer to get to the scary bits that were the same as the previous movies). I'm a big fan of The Woman In Black as well, the new movie has a bit of gore, like paranormal activity, but it is the bits where it's just the ghost(s) and Arthur in the house - that absolutely terrified me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So true. MY favorite movie that I still think about is Hide and Seek. There was little violence (a cat dies tragically, but we must remember no animals are harmed), but the scare effect was awesome.

    I can't watch movies that present violence like Chainsaw Massacre (I saw). I like those that make me "think" something is about to happen.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Silence of the Lambs
    Carrie
    Rosemary's Baby
    Psycho
    The Shining
    Cujo

    Those are just a few, but I loved them all.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
  12. i don't like scary. but i did watch blair witch and DID NOT LIKE BEING SCARED! i spend too much time in the country alone to watch movies like that!

    ReplyDelete
  13. The scariest book I ever read -- I had nightmares for two weeks after I finished -- was The Shining. That was the book that made me decided to NEVER read or watch another Stephen King anything. There's a little gore in it, but it really isn't about that. I don't like gore at all. It's lazy man's horror and not good storytelling.

    I haven't really watched many scary movies. Blair Witch didn't scare me at all, not even a little. Again, Stephen King, though -- It and the made-for-TV version of The Shining were pretty bad, though.

    The Book Thief gave me nightmares and I didn't sleep the entire time I was reading it. The book itself wasn't scary, but I kept dreaming vividly about the Holocaust.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The first movie that scared the Bejeeses out of me was the 1960(or is it 1961 or 62) film "The Haunting". This never dealt with gore but only sound and images. Don't even bother to watch the remake as it sucks. The 2nd film is "The Shining"-those 2 little girls(I nicknamed them the Olsen twins) scared the hell out of me and still do. The 3rd film is "The Others" with Nicole Kidman. It was eerie and spooky. "The Ring" creeped me out. I cannot read scray books because my imagination is so high that I will have nightmares

    ReplyDelete
  15. After reading over these, I wonder if it's a writer thing? We have vivid imaginations and our imaginations take it from there. People with little creativity/imagination like it all spelled out? I'm just perplexed at people who like to watch maniacs take people apart on screen. I can't imagine how that would ever be enjoyable to any human being. Not judging...just saying it doesn't fall within my realm of understanding!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Blood, gore, dismemberment, serial killers... don't bother me. Really doesn't. So same with stuff like Paranormal Activity and The Ring scare the crap out of me. A while ago I couldn't sleep, it was like 4AM so I put on the TV and guess what was on? Yeah. The Ring. Where she comes out of the well and through the TV, safe to say I didn't sleep that night, haha.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yeah, The Ring--that creepy girl coming out of the TV was one of the scariest movie moments in history.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gory effects don't impress me all that much. The famous "blood under the door" scene from 1943's The Leopard Man is my idea of implied horror.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I completely agree with this! I don't mind a bit of gore, but I find the scariest movies are the ones where you don't get any answers. There's something about not knowing or seeing what is causing the terror that makes it feel so much more chilling. This has made me want to go on a movie binge now. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. There are three that come to mind for me.

    One may have been a TV movie-it was in the early 70's and was called The House That Wouldn't Die and although I have not seen it for decades, I remember it used to creep me out-it was always on late night on a weekend.

    Ghost Story and The Omen are two others that still can make me rethink turning the lights out when I watch them.

    Of the three, only Omen overdoes the blood factor-the others use plain old fashioned story to scare you.

    Never saw Blair Witch-one of these nights....

    Larry

    ReplyDelete
  21. I remember being totally creeped out by a TV movie called Burnt Offerings when I was a kid. I saw part of it recently and, while it was creepy, it was way too cheesy! I think as a kid, what creeps you out might lose something over time...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnt_Offerings_(film)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm not a big fan of the scary. And I especially dislike the gory. I think the one thing that I've seen lately that scared me the most was an episode of Doctor Who. It's called "Blink".

    ReplyDelete
  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The only movie that I can recall that ever really scared me was The Astronaut's Wife. It's not even a gory movie, but I was scarred as a children when I saw bits and pieces of alien (and astronaut) movies my parents were watching. And then this movie scarred me even more! If there's an alien in it, I won't watch it. The astronaut thing I'm thinking comes from a past life. lol Because even though Gravity looks good, it still freaks me out.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The Grudge... *shudder* Creepy cat boy.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm not good with scary. The most frightening movie I've ever seen is Night of the Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum. Favorite Young Man loves that movie so much that he has love and hate tattooed on his knuckles. The re-make of Cape Fear is really scary, too.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Stephanie! I did enjoy Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch Project. I also thought that girl crawling out of the TV in The Ring was one of the creepiest things ever. My fave all time scary movie, however, is Halloween I. I think it's the music.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my... I used to watch those kinds of movies and then I stopped watching them because they just became gory like you said.

    I can't remember one that I think would be scary like that..

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love horror movies, but I do agree they don't necessarily need gore/blood to make them scary. What is left to the imagination is much scarier. The scariest movie to me is Signs. It made too much sense.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Blair Witch is not fun to watch when you know it's not real. The three people later when on to act in movies and tv in small roles

    ReplyDelete
  32. All of what you've described is exactly why I don't watch scary movie. I keep thinking all the horrors I watch are gonna turn up somewhere in the house.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love horror movies. The only movie that actually scared me was The Exorcist. And then with Exorcist 3 and The Changeling with George C Scott..wow that was a good one.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I don't love scary!!!
    Baci bellissima!!!
    http://expressypourselfbypaolalauretano.blogspot.it

    ReplyDelete
  35. Scary movies freak me out, but I enjoy watching them.

    Paranormal Activity scared me.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sometimes I see scary movies with my
    teens ! I love someones but the funny I always more scared then them.
    They find all funny!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I haven't seen a scary movie in years! I do like all the Hitchcock films, but they never causes me to lose sleep!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Stephanie,

    I have to totally agree with you in regards to the scariest horror movies are the ones that stay with you, penetrate your thoughts and linger on and on. Ones that play tricks with your mind and make you wonder what that was all about.

    The original, uncut version of "The Exorcist" impacted my mind.

    Thank you for your thoughtful post on this.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  39. Paranormal Activity, all of them, stayed with me for a long time. Paranormal Entity, an imitator, also scared the heck out of me. Those handheld and home cameras make it seem real.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think The Sixth Sense is excellent. The gore does creep in occasionally but the gore isn't why the movie's scary. It's just there for punctuation, essentially.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Roommate's Baby is one I just couldn't finish. When they all started devil chanting around the baby crib, I was like,"I'm out!"

    Also, The Strangers with Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. No gore until the end, but the idea of being terrorized by strangers in a house for no reason whatsoever...let's just say I would have left the theater early if my legs didn't feel like they were made out of jelly.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I really love a good scary movie as soon as it's not with a camera wideo becuase I really hate movies like that.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I use to watch them all the time, but this new breed of horror like those awful Saw movies..no just no! I prefer the psychological thrillers that freak you out long after the movie ends.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Totally agree with you... Rather than seeing blood and scary ( sometimes funny looking ) faces, i did rather watch what's not shown :) Paranormal activity being one of my favourites :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I am not a big fan of scary movies :)
    kisses
    http://www.milanotime.net

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Stephie,
    Sorry but I don't like scary movies :(
    Kisses
    Maggie D.
    The Indian Savage Diary

    ReplyDelete
  47. I don't watch scary movies since a bad experience with being unable to sleep after watching the movie Ghostbusters. I know, that was a long time ago. That shows how lame I am!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'm terrible with horror movies, I don't usually watch them haha. I think the last scary book I read was The Diviners by Libba Bray, it had ghost and cults and definitely not the kind of book I wanted to read at night!

    ReplyDelete
  49. The scariest book.... That would be Rosemary's Baby. I was scared sh**less.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm really hard to scare, because I watch a ton of horror movies. Hostel and Wolf Creek were gorier than I like, but they both stayed with me for a long time because they were so believable. I actually thought Hostel was a true story at first (and Wolf Creek was based on one).

    I agree with you about the suggestion of something scary being more powerful than seeing the monster. My favourite scary movie of all time is "The Sixth Sense." There were some moments that made me jump, but it was just such a great story with incredible characters. After the big reveal, I was devastated. Didn't want to talk to anybody for a while.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh goodness! I can't watch them in the evenings, and if I must, it's never alone! :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Paranormal Activity made my list, too. I couldn't even watch the GIF thing on your page because that movie frightened me so much! LOL I'm a wimp!!!
    Thanks for participating in EYM!

    ReplyDelete
  53. One day, I'm going to watch one of the Paranormal Activities. When, I'm not sure...

    ReplyDelete
  54. I don't normally watch scary movies as I'm a total wimp but I've never totally recovered from The Shining. That hotel scared me to no end. And The Exorcist was also terrifying to me. I can't watch the gory slasher movies.

    Fun hop! :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. I agree with you that what we imagine is scarier than when they show why the characters are screaming. Tow of the scary movies that stayed with me are Watcher in the Woods (Betty Davis gives me the creeps in that movie) and When a Stranger Calls. Both did not have a lot of gore- but a lot of suspense.

    ReplyDelete
  56. If those movies got to you, try White Noise. It's along the same lines.

    Blair Witch was better for me once I watched "Sticks and Stones" - which was the related film with all the info. But the movie itself, I was only intrigued by the final thirty seconds. Then it ended. Just when I was finally into it! Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete