Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Back to Too Much

New Schedule: Welcome to Horror on Hump Day, replacing my former every 4-day schedule. That's right, one post on Wednesday every week, only.

I'm back to thinking about things that cross the line, that are just to graphic, or sick, or plain annoying rather than scary, that some filmmakers insist upon doing. I'm going to start by pointing a finger. That finger is squarely aimed at a movie I was going to watch right up until the point I decided to do a little reading on why so many people claimed it to be controversial, or banned, or similar for being too much. That movie is called "Audition" from a Japanese director.

By all accounts the movie is anywhere from mildly interesting, to lacklustre, to dull for apparently two thirds of the movie then it's all gonzo with a tonne of stuff people would rather not see. Some of it made some viewers ill, one of those things at least one person nearly stopped breathing over because it was so gross, and then there was what could be either good or just plain meh depending on how it was done and what you've seen elsewhere. I can't say that I have much interesting in wasting my time with it, whether I'd find it over the line, or dull in its entirety. I've seen some things that are over the line and there are others I can imagine well enough not to have to actually see them with my eyes.

Often times the things in a movie that would cross the line are pulled out. It used to be they were never seen. Now on DVD some of them are seen in the extras. These bits are sometimes in the featurettes, sometimes in camera tests, and once and a while in properly formatted deleted scenes. Such an example is the raw, soundless, and long test shot for the scene from Last House on Left with, let's just say, Sadie playing with Phyllis after she tried to run away. Likewise in the extras of the super-duper DVD of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre there is a long lingering camera test shot of the one body from the beginning scenes.

Some things are just more effective, like those above, in the short term as the length of time involved volleys between dull and "hey that's actually really gross". Remember gross comes when all other modes of horror have failed. This of course only true if the auter is capable of greater things than the gross out. Not to say that I consider all gore to be in this vein. I'm not against gore; in fact it should be a staple. At least, in that where something happens and the result should be gore then by all means do it, but adding it where unnecessary or unrealistic don't use it. Finally of course there are spots where I say don't over do it, because unreality breaks both ways. There's only so much blood, etc. to be had in a body.

Mood: compressed.
Music: Always by Bon Jovi and Made In Heaven by Queen.

Bon Jovi: Cross Road
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Queen: Made In Heaven

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At 8:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Funny, I always took you for the type to take critical opinion with a grain of salt, or even ignore it entirely. I'm kind of dismayed to see that you went and did a whole lot of unnecessary research before seeing a movie that I'm sure you would have enjoyed had you gone into it without any preconceptions. And now you've gone and totally denied yourself the experience because of the opinions of others... You should make yourself a little time capsule; containing only the message "watch Audition," and not open it until maybe five years from now when you'll have forgotten what you've read about it. I can't guarantee that you'll like the flick, but I do think that people who linger over the end have totally missed the point of the movie.

At 4:33 AM, Blogger Robert G. Male said...

What you say is true about critical opinion. I don't put much stock in it, I'm a huge fan of one of the seemingly most loathed horror film ever, The Mangler (the original based off of King's short story, not the sequels which I haven't seen yet). As for Audition, actually what I was reading, even the one comment maker who felt endangered watching it, weren't particularly critical of the film. In fact they all seemed not to overly regret seeing the film. I may change my mind, or forget even, but something made me go looking to see what all the hubbub about the movie was in the first place, I can't recall what. At this point though there are a tonne of other movies I'd rather spend the time on--picking sub-genres with better fits to my tastes.


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