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View Full Version : "Talking Dread" - A Place To Discuss Dreadful Things



Stephen Mick
08-11-2013, 07:51 PM
Got your own "dreadful" ideas and inspiration to share? Thoughts on "The Daily Dread?" Share it here!

Brandon Rice
08-12-2013, 02:20 PM
And now, "The Daily Dread" offers up our Seven Steps To Writing A Dreadfully Great Horror Story…

1. Hit Us Hard. Modern audiences want to know what's at stake from the first frame of film. Bring us in to your world quickly. It doesn't have to be all about scares, but we need to embrace the environment of your story, and it has to start right away.

2. Make The Hero Hurt. Everyone has their vulnerabilities, their fears, and their flaws. Give your hero one or two of their own. Perhaps they've tumbled down society's ladder a few rungs for one reason or another. Or maybe there's a reason they're so nervous around cats. Whatever it is, make your hero interesting, and we'll be interested.

3. Block The Exits. Nothing heightens our sense of horror and dread than being trapped in a place we either can't get out of, or don't want to leave. In "Alien," the crew is trapped on the ship with the embodiment of evil. In "The Evil Dead," the forces unleashed by the Necronomicon destroy the bridge, the only way out for Ash and his friends.

4. Make Your Location A Character. Again, look at films like "Alien," "The Shining," and "The Evil Dead." In each case, the film takes place largely in one main location, and it becomes a part of the story, making the hero's journey impossible at times, and saving the hero's life at others.

5. Let Evil Be Evil With A Purpose. Listen, this is horror. We want to see very bad things happen to people who (usually) deserve them. And we want to see those things ALMOST happen to our hero. What we don't want or need is completely arbitrary horrors, or evil that serves no purpose. In David Fincher's "Seven," the brutal acts carried out by Kevin Spacey are meant to send a message. Even in Eli Roth's "Hostel," the horrific abuses of the Elite Hunting Club serve to underscore how inhuman the most genteel-seeming among us can be.

6. Finish Strong. Give the audience a confrontation worthy of the characters you've worked so hard to give life to. Our hero faces not only the evil, but the fear he carries with him. And don't be afraid to create a confrontation that ends in conflict. In "Seven," for example, our hero gets the bad guy, but in the process his wife loses her pretty head and the baby she's carrying.

7. Send Us Home Thinking. This one isn't always easy to do, but the best horror films don't always wrap things up in a nice, clean package. We wonder exactly how the Overlook Hotel could communicate with Jack, Danny, and Dick. We wonder how we might react if we found ourselves running from Rage-infected masses. And we wonder how we ever could have overlooked all of the signs pointing to the fact that Bruce Willis was dead all along in "The Sixth Sense."

Great post. Loved looking through your points and comparing to what we've written! Great food for thought!

Stephen Mick
08-12-2013, 02:28 PM
Glad you enjoyed that one, briceman! It's interesting to watch horror movies and think about them in the context of works like The Hero's Journey or Blake Snyder's Save The Cat. In most ways, they stay very true to both the character arcs and the plot movements, but with a few notable exceptions.

In an upcoming installment of "Dread," I may do a beat-by-beat analysis of one of my favorite horror classics. (I may also watch it while listening to "Dark Side Of The Moon," but for very different reasons.)

Brandon Rice
08-12-2013, 02:36 PM
Glad you enjoyed that one, briceman! It's interesting to watch horror movies and think about them in the context of works like The Hero's Journey or Blake Snyder's Save The Cat. In most ways, they stay very true to both the character arcs and the plot movements, but with a few notable exceptions.

In an upcoming installment of "Dread," I may do a beat-by-beat analysis of one of my favorite horror classics. (I may also watch it while listening to "Dark Side Of The Moon," but for very different reasons.)

Which film would that be? My favorite horror film currently is The Shining. I am going to try to watch a few more in preparation for the shoot, to get in the "mood"

Stephen Mick
08-12-2013, 02:38 PM
Which film would that be? My favorite horror film currently is The Shining. I am going to try to watch a few more in preparation for the shoot, to get in the "mood"

Sorry, no spoilers. You'll just have to wait for it. But I'll give you a hint…it has either vampires or werewolves in it, and it's not Twilight.

Brandon Rice
08-12-2013, 02:45 PM
Sorry, no spoilers. You'll just have to wait for it. But I'll give you a hint…it has either vampires or werewolves in it, and it's not Twilight.

Right on. Looking forward to it!

Elton
08-12-2013, 03:49 PM
That was a fantastic post, Stephen. Eatin' it up!!

Elton
08-12-2013, 03:51 PM
Thoughts on "An American Werewolf in London?" Still my all time favorite horror...and it's probably more comedy than horror but damn I love it!

Stephen Mick
08-12-2013, 03:59 PM
Thoughts on "An American Werewolf in London?" Still my all time favorite horror...and it's probably more comedy than horror but damn I love it!

My thoughts are as follows…



Hellz yeah!

AAWIL is easily one of my top five favorite horror films, superbly written and directed by John Landis. With unbelievable practical effects by the master Rick Baker (and wife Elaine), and a pitch-perfect score by Elmer Bernstein, AAWIL is as close to horror perfection as you can hope to get.

It has humor, tragedy, gore, and romance. It has one of the best scenes ever in a horror film, with the decaying Griffin Dunne trying to convince his friend (David Naughton) to kill himself. And it has one of my favorite lines ever in any movie, when the little British kid says, "mommy, a naked American man stole my balloons."

Absolutely classic.

The sequel, on the other hand…

Elton
08-12-2013, 04:15 PM
Can you believe Landis wrote his first draft of AAWIL in 19-freakin'-69?!! He was 19 and damn, it is sharply written.

Supposedly the financiers thought it was too too frightening to be a comedy and too funny to be a horror film.

I watch the Blu-ray on my projector about every month. Never gets old.

There is no sequel. Yes, I deny it's existence.

ZazaCast
08-12-2013, 04:52 PM
Been doing a little research and watched this gem the other night.... "Act of Vengeance" (AKA Rape Squad). A classic 1970's drive-in film. True inspiration!
Thoughts?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BlMVASLwFY

Elton
08-12-2013, 04:58 PM
Grindhouserrrific!

Stephen Mick
08-12-2013, 06:31 PM
Hmmmm… That opens an interesting debate, Z. Are grindhouse films like this true horror movies? Or are they more action-sploitation films? There are certainly elements of horror in many/most grind films, and they can be disturbing and brutal. "Cannibal Holocaust" and "I Spit On Your Grave" are also in the same mold, straddling the line between horror and pure exploitation.

"Zombi 2" (aka "Zombie") is also a grindhouse classic, but also a more traditional horror movie.




Been doing a little research and watched this gem the other night.... "Act of Vengeance" (AKA Rape Squad). A classic 1970's drive-in film. True inspiration!
Thoughts?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BlMVASLwFY

ZazaCast
08-12-2013, 06:49 PM
Hmmmm… That opens an interesting debate, Z. Are grindhouse films like this true horror movies? Or are they more action-sploitation films? There are certainly elements of horror in many/most grind films, and they can be disturbing and brutal. "Cannibal Holocaust" and "I Spit On Your Grave" are also in the same mold, straddling the line between horror and pure exploitation.

"Zombi 2" (aka "Zombie") is also a grindhouse classic, but also a more traditional horror movie.

I think you're right...they would be exploitation...or better yet sex-ploitation films (with a little horror) that were designed for the kids at the drive-in's.
I also watched "American Grindhouse", a documentary all about 'grindhouse' and the history of early films. I never knew there were some very racy
films made in the early '50s before there were any laws as to content (or a rating system). Very interesting stuff....well worth a watch on Netflix if you haven't seen it.

I'm looking to get that same type of feel for my HorrorFest film...and seems to me the DVX100b is the perfect camera for the job.
Oh...and "I Spit on Your Grave" is in my que!

Stephen Mick
08-12-2013, 06:53 PM
I'd also check out "Sleepaway Camp." It's more of a slasher film, but it's very grind in its style, and sounds like it's right up the alley of what you're working towards.



SM



I think you're right...they would be exploitation...or better yet sex-ploitation films (with a little horror) that were designed for the kids at the drive-in's.
I also watched "American Grindhouse", a documentary all about 'grindhouse' and the history of early films. I never knew there were some very racy
films made in the early '50s before there were any laws as to content (or a rating system). Very interesting stuff....well worth a watch on Netflix if you haven't seen it.

I'm looking to get that same type of feel for my HorrorFest film...and seems to me the DVX100b is the perfect camera for the job.
Oh...and "I Spit on Your Grave" is in my que!

Elton
08-12-2013, 06:59 PM
Sleepaway Camp. So Grindey

ZazaCast
08-12-2013, 07:08 PM
"Sleepaway Camp".... thanks!

Matt Harris
08-12-2013, 10:10 PM
thanks Stephen, so many posts, so much to process... this fest got awseome right off the bat.

Elton
08-12-2013, 10:46 PM
Love today's post, Stephen. Manna from hell!

Elton
08-12-2013, 10:48 PM
And, I believe we should all call you Professor from now on. ;-)

Stephen Mick
08-13-2013, 06:07 PM
Check out tonight's dread…

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?311506-The-Daily-Dread-HorrorFest-Inspiration-Every-Day!&p=1986351528&viewfull=1#post1986351528

That one took a lot of work. :D

Elton
08-13-2013, 07:55 PM
Diving into it right now. You are a beast!

Brandon Rice
08-14-2013, 07:25 AM
Check out tonight's dread…

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?311506-The-Daily-Dread-HorrorFest-Inspiration-Every-Day!&p=1986351528&viewfull=1#post1986351528

That one took a lot of work. :D

I need to watch that movie NOW!

Stephen Mick
08-15-2013, 07:23 PM
TDD just passed 666 views. :evil:

Brandon Rice
08-16-2013, 06:49 PM
I've got a lot of listening to do!

Stephen Mick
08-17-2013, 06:50 PM
The latest "Dread" has been dropped…

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?311506-The-Daily-Dread-HorrorFest-Inspiration-Every-Day!&p=1986352956&viewfull=1#post1986352956

Brandon Rice
08-17-2013, 08:04 PM
Thanks for the Cabin in the Woods recommend. Awesome!

Brandon Rice
08-19-2013, 09:13 AM
The short you posted shows how a simple concept can work so well.

jc10182000
08-28-2013, 05:39 PM
i totally agree, AAWIL is hands down one of the best horror films.. I just watched it again and it is amazing how well it holds up. I will take practical effects over CG any day.

Stephen Mick
08-28-2013, 06:18 PM
i totally agree, AAWIL is hands down one of the best horror films.. I just watched it again and it is amazing how well it holds up. I will take practical effects over CG any day.

Amen on the practicals, brother!

ZazaCast
08-28-2013, 06:34 PM
Aawil?

Stephen Mick
08-28-2013, 06:36 PM
An American Werewolf In London.


Geez, get with it Zaza. :D

ZazaCast
08-28-2013, 06:38 PM
An American Werewolf In London.


Geez, get with it Zaza. :D

Thanks... I can't keep up with this...too many great films being talked about...and what ever happen to plain English?
TTYL! :grin:

Movie_Dude_3
08-31-2013, 08:12 PM
This thread, and the ones it links to, are pure gold! I'm tagging this so I can give all the Dread updates a thorough reading. Thanks for the excellent posts!

Just 45 minutes left to September (Eastern Time here), then it's officially one month until Halloween season!

Elton
10-04-2013, 10:58 AM
My thoughts are as follows…



Hellz yeah!

AAWIL is easily one of my top five favorite horror films, superbly written and directed by John Landis. With unbelievable practical effects by the master Rick Baker (and wife Elaine), and a pitch-perfect score by Elmer Bernstein, AAWIL is as close to horror perfection as you can hope to get.

It has humor, tragedy, gore, and romance. It has one of the best scenes ever in a horror film, with the decaying Griffin Dunne trying to convince his friend (David Naughton) to kill himself. And it has one of my favorite lines ever in any movie, when the little British kid says, "mommy, a naked American man stole my balloons."

Absolutely classic.

The sequel, on the other hand…


I just thought I'd bounce this up again. I could talk about this film endlessly. If I could only have one--- s****y Super-8 transfer with a broken down projector of which I had just a crank generator to power it by, (Gilligan style) and which to project inside a cave on my "Castaway" desert island---this would be the one horror film I would choose. :)

To me, it is the horror equivalent of "Sgt. Pepper's" or "Dark Side Of The Moon."

Kinda missing my daily dread, Stephen. Come back, we miss you. ;-)

Stephen Mick
10-04-2013, 06:49 PM
Man, I had to bug out for a while. Started a new gig, had some shoots that took me out of town for a week, and otherwise just been slammed. But I'll get back in the groove tomorrow.


I just thought I'd bounce this up again. I could talk about this film endlessly. If I could only have one--- s****y Super-8 transfer with a broken down projector of which I had just a crank generator to power it by, (Gilligan style) and which to project inside a cave on my "Castaway" desert island---this would be the one horror film I would choose. :)

To me, it is the horror equivalent of "Sgt. Pepper's" or "Dark Side Of The Moon."

Kinda missing my daily dread, Stephen. Come back, we miss you. ;-)

Jassim
10-22-2013, 08:49 AM
very informative . Thanks