i am done with ghost stories

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by felix_suwarno, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i have tried to watch "ghost movies" lately and i think i dont want to watch that kind of movie anymore. with the exception of "the others", "the sixth sense", or "the exorcist", they are too formulaic.

    it is always about the ghost who ask the main characters a favor or two because the ghost ( when still alive ) was killed. and it always involve a house. at first the main char would be frightened to death, but later he / she would manage to "survive" it, and help the ghost to do what she / he wants.

    too formulaic to my taste.

    i watched :
    the changeling
    what lies beneath
    stir of echoes

    i dont think i am interested to see another ghost movie!
     
  2. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I saw the words "The Exorcist" and "formulaic" in the same sentence and about swallowed my tongue [​IMG]
    I think that Stir of Echos is good...even rivaling The Sixth Sense, but I've never been that big of a fan of "ghost movies."
     
  3. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Sorry, but i'm going to have to defend The Changling here. It's one of the finest ghost stories ever made! It goes a lttle deeper than the ghost asking the main charactor for "a favor", the ghost child 'Joseph' knew that George C Scott's charactor 'John' lost his daughter recently and knew that he would be willing to help him to move on.
    'Josephs' motivations are completly understandable considering his terrible fate and current situation, I mean his own father drowned him in a bathtub for money
    for goodness sake, that would certainly piss me off enough to hang around and make sure the guilty party gets what's coming to them. He saw his chance and he took it.
    There's nothing formulic about this outstanding chiller.
     
  4. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    A few excellent ghost stories that DO NOT follow the type of story you mentioned are classics such as the following:
    THE FOG
    THE SENTINEL (Half ghost story, half demon/hell story)
    THE HAUNTING (The original of course)
    CARNIVAL OF SOULS (Again, the original of course)
    THE INNOCENTS
    LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE
    THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
    All excellent films in my book! For what its worth, I loved STIR OF ECHOES and THE CHANGELING.
     
  5. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Yep, there are a lot of bad ghost stories out there, just like there are bad action movies and bad dramas.
    I also think Stir of Echoes and The Others were excellent additions to the Ghost story genre. Especially due to the concept of ghosts as non-malevolent forces, but instead just trying to live their existence or resolve a perceived wronging
    . They're also damn well crafted films to boot.
     
  6. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I like ghost stories, BUT I can sort of defend Felix's point here with a little tweek.
    The formula is not usually "a favor", but rather "revenge". Be it justified or not, it seems that almost all ghosts want revenge on someone which is why they are back.
    Stuff like The Fog falls under that umbrella. It definately is a recurring theme. And he does have a point that there is also a sub-formula in which the ghost is implied to be bad, but in the end wants to be friendly with the main character.
    A better defense of The Changling might be to say that this film helped ESTABLISH this formula, so it can't really be faulted for being "yet another". [​IMG]
    Now another ghost story that doesn't have the main ghost turning friendly, nor does it have revenge on the brain, is The Frighteners. Of course it slips a bit into action and might even be better labeled as fantasy, rather than horror.
     
  7. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    All genres have their great films and their horrid, unoriginal tripe. Ghost story movies are no exception.

    There are more bad war movies and westerns than you can shake a stick at, but it doesn't mean you should discount the genres entirely. Otherwise, you'd miss a hell of a lot of good movies also.
     
  8. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I'm anxiously awaiting DEAD OF NIGHT (Britain 1945), which may come out on DVD next year.

    Great ventriloquist dummy routine, and atmosphere extra eerie, for the day.

    Is more than referred to in the Avengers "Too Many Christmas Trees" episode.
     
  9. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well there's also:

    Scrooge (1951)
    Scrooged
    The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
    The Ghost & Mr. Chicken
    Topper
    The Ghostbreakers
    Ghostbusters
    Ugetsu

    and lots of other different types of ghost films.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Casper!
     
  11. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Seth Paxton wrote:
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Don't say you're fed up with "ghost stories" until the two finest films ever made about the subject, The Haunting and The Uninvited, show up on DVD.

    Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, of course, is in an altogether different category--but you really, really need to screen that one big time.
     
  13. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Felix,

    I don't know where you live, but there will be a theatrical screening of Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING in October at a location in Northern New Jersey (official announcement to come later this week - stay tuned, folks). If you're in the area, you should come and see it!
     
  14. LouieT

    LouieT Extra

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    I don't know if you guys are up for it, but some of the greatest horror films I've seen in recent years are non-U.S. and are primarily Asian. A few good ones I've seen are The Ring (Japan), The Eye (Hong Kong), and Nang Nak (Thailand). These are definitely worth checking out if you're tired of the U.S. formulas of ghost or horror films. There are way too many to list, but these are definitely my top three of all time.
     
  15. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    Continuing Louie's theme of international ghost tales, I'm suprised to see a ghost story thread and not one mention of The Devils Backbone?[​IMG].
    It follows the "revenge" motif mentioned above but the acting is superb, the film genuinely creepy and well, its just a fantastic movie IMO.
    Also, not so much a "ghost story" but nonetheless worth mentioning as an aside to the genre is Session 9. I was blown away by the movie when I first saw it and to this day hold it within my top 10 most enjoyable horror/ghost story/thriller films.
     
  16. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i was going to try the shining, but netflix didnt have the special edition / the better edition or whatever. and i think i am still going to try black christmas.

    and those three movies i mentioned were actually good movies in their own right. i could imagine watching them first without seeing ANY other ghost movies... i am sure i would enjoy them all and get scared like a little girl. but it was my fault to watch 6 ghost movies in a week!
     
  17. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    I'll second Romier's recommendation of Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone. I finally managed to view this film last week, and enjoyed it immensely.
    del Toro creates a palpable atmosphere of tension that runs throughout the film. Additionally, the film has a fine cast of actors, excellent cinematography ( especially in terms of the film's use of light - some of the exterior shots are wonderfully realized ) and a storyline that works on several levels. Easily one of the better films that I have viewed of late.
    I also find myself in agreement with Romier's other recommendation - Session 9. While not a "ghost story" it does work as a thriller. The film's primary strength is its location, a deserted mental institute, which the film employs very effectively. Fans of horror literature such as Stephen King's The Shining or Dan Simmons' Summer of Night - books which center on the concept of malevolence absorbed or distilled by the location of its occurrence - will be right at home with Session 9.
    - Walter.
     
  18. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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  19. Gabe D

    Gabe D Cinematographer

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    As long as we're on the subject, have any of you guys seen Ghost Story? Is it any good?
    I bought the DVD right after I read the book, which I loved. I've put off watching it so I could forget some of the details from the book. It's been 3 or 4 years and I'm probably ready to give it a spin. Am I going to be disappointed?
     
  20. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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