Does gore in horror film show a lack of ability and talent?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by WaveCrest, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    Been meaning to start this thread for ages, as it's something which needed discussing. The question as the thread title stems from a Home Cinema @ The Digital Fix review of The Survivor (1980). Below is the link to the review:



    The Survivor (1981) - Home Cinema @ The Digital Fix review



    and an excerpt from the review which is the origin of this discussion:






    The first example I can think of is the original Friday the 13th (1980). It takes some imagination to come up with the death scenes, and Tom Savini is one of the best in the horror genre. I don't believe they're taking the easy option, as when these horror franchise films have a formula and people know what to expect, coming up with something different in each entry I assume is difficult.
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yeah, a movie doesn't live or die (no pun intended) on the level of graphic violence. I've seen effective movies that are extraordinarily violent and I've seen effective movies where all the violence is suggested and I've also seen very violent and non-graphic violent movies that are completely ineffective. In short, like almost everything in life, there's no black and white answer. :)
     
  3. Eric_M

    Eric_M Stunt Coordinator

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    In the case of Friday the 13th, it also takes ripping off the superior Bay of Blood. 9 out of 10 times you can only take these review sites so seriously and even less so when it tends to be a site that is not very knowledgeable or focused on any one genre. If the makers of Sole Survivor decided to make it a gore film it would defeat the entire purpose of what they were trying to make(supposedly it was inspired by Carnival of Souls). That's also a pretty generalized view by the reviewer to infer the reason so many horror films went right for the gore was a lack of talent or ability on the filmmakers part.
     
  4. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    Whether one horror film is superior or not to another film in the genre, is down to personal preference. Friday the 13th (1980) was or may have been an imitator of Halloween (1978) for example, but it was still a very good effort on a small budget.


    Have seen Friday the 13th a few times now. but it still gives me the heebie-jeebies. Some of the death scenes weren't even shown on screen. One of those didn't use any gore, but it had an implied look to it.


    Much prefer CGI not to be used in gory scenes in horror films. Prefer the use of plastics and puppets for example in the creation of death scenes.


    Thanks for adding to the discussion.
     
  5. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    I prefer a horror film with less gore and more on scaring you with acting, directing and cinematography. Two of the scariest films around are The Haunting (1963) and The Innocents (1961). The Uninvited (1944) leaves you with an eerie feeling also. Of the 70's films, the original Halloween is pretty scary film and the blood is at a minimum and also the same with The Omen (1976). While I dearly love the original Friday 13th and the next two sequels that followed, this was the beginning of the mainstream Horror/Gore film. The Herschell Gordon Lewis films of the 60's were, IMHO, not horror films, but gory, bloody films to shock the viewer and were great Drive-In programmers. Nothing like a double feature of Two Thousand Maniacs and Blood Feast. Just add Color Me Blood Red and you go a weekend winner at the ozoner. And the concession stand did huge business even with the blood splattering the screen.
     
  6. Orlac35

    Orlac35 Auditioning

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    HGLewis is basically grand guignol with worse actors! David Cronenberg is the defintie proof that mucho gore does not mean lack of intelligence.
     
  7. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Yes. 97% of the time.
     
  8. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    As a writer I'll say it is hard to pen a tale where the "gore" is suggested. That does, to some extent, take a certain talent. I'm still working towards that myself. Which is why I don't pay attention to 99.9% of the horror movies made these days that revolve around ghosts. Ghost movies are NOT about gore, they are about dread, which is also why my list of favorite ghost movies are slim as hell.
     
  9. ScottHM

    ScottHM Second Unit

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    I refuse to watch gore-filled films, so I'll never know.


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  10. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    Have never heard of The Uninvited (1964). Ray Milland being in the cast is an incentive to see it. The only other recognisable name in the cast (to me) is Alan Napier (Alfred the butler in the 60's TV series Batman).


    A horror film not using much gore and one using a lot of the tomato sauce can both be effective. Films which don't use as much gore, combined with acting, cinematography, lighting and writing can make for very effective scares and atmosphere. Some franchise horror films may not always have the best of scripts, but (and maybe I'm being biased) the makers of these films do tick all the right boxes when it comes to a creating a scary atmosphere and setting, even with daylight scenes

    (example being the killing of Ned in Friday the 13th (1980).




    Having that eerie feeling helps a lot to create an effective horror film with not much gore. And the sense of foreboding, where you know something bad is afoot, but you can't quite put your finger on it, is another ingredient for an effective horror movie.


    Halloween (1978) is perfect example of a horror film using the fear of shadows and suspense (the thought of not knowing where Michael Myers is, with the supernatural edge, makes the film a near perfect 10 out of 10 for me). A horror film need not have a lot of gore, when you can have a score/soundtrack which adds to the eerie atmosphere and mood of the setting.


    Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) upped the amount of gore on the first film. Have seen the 1980 original a few times, but this and the next nine films in the original series of Friday the 13th films not so much. That's not because I dislike the films, but because some films need to be savoured like a fine wine (you might think this is strange for a horror film or a B-movie picture, compared to a film in the drama genre). Have this thought that if I watch a horror film (either a gore-less or a gory horror film) too many times I'll get fed up of them. Yet if I see Friday the 13th (1980) in the TCM listings, will watch some of the film.


    Don't think I've seen any Herschell Gordon Lewis films but Two Thousand Maniacs (1964) (looking at it's IMDb synopsis it does sound rather good) and Blood Feast (1963) ring a bell. Were the William Castle films, including those in the Region 1 boxset, particularly gory? Definitely going to get the set at some point, but I like to read people's comments on horror films I've not seen.
     

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