Storytelling…The Visual Element – 1


I thought I would try something a little different.  Considering that I am working on trying to master storytelling by means of the written word. I would take a look at the visual counterpart, being movies. I am going to share with you some of my faves, and the ones I consider catastrophes and why they had this impact on me.

After all, movies are in effect telling a story and just as books have various genres, film does as well of course.

Let’s talk about genres for a moment.  Easily my least favorite would be horror movies.  Not a fan and in a moment I will disclose why this is.

I was out for dinner with a friend Friday evening and when I got home I found my daughter watching the latest version of ‘Amityville Horror’.  So I sucked it up and watched it with her.  Why don’t I like the bejesus being scared out of me?

Yeah! Let’s share!

For one thing horror flicks are stupid.  Their point is not tell you a story but to scare the shit out of you.  Think about Jason (of Friday the 13th fame) or Michael Myers (of Halloween fame).  These guys lumber about slowly killing everything in their path. Why?  I have no idea.

Always they seemingly meet their demise only to be resurrected once more to scare the crap out of us.

There are certain things formatted into these movies that I know I  am not supposed to be considering as I watch this drivel.  These movies really don’t have a storyline, no plot really, just a lot of killing.  That is the first thing that bothers me.  Certain factors always seem to come up as well with these movies. Here are some of the occurrences that just drive me batty.

1) The characters always ‘split up’ to look for the mass murderer. I don’t know about you, but if I knew some guy was running around slicing and dicing up people at random I will be the first to admit that I wouldn’t go looking for the guy.

2)  Of course they creep about with a spoon in their hand.  A cat will jump out and scare the hell out of them.  Um…don’t look behind you.  But they do and find the dude with a machete or some humongous weapon and they scream then try to run away. Can any of them ever open a freakin’ door?  No. They stand there rattling the stupid thing.  Try turning the doorknob!  But they don’t.  Our perpetrator is lumbering along so what do they do? They always run up the stairs.  And what do you think happens half way up the stairs?  Say it with me.  THEY FALL DOWN!  They look back sobbing now and begin crawling pathetically up the steps.  And many meet their death on the stairs.

Others make it into the bathroom or bedroom.  They hide in the tub or a closet.  Meanwhile killer dude has a weapon that can take a door off its hinges with one swipe.

3) Some fool always goes down into the basement.  You know there is nothing but evil in the basement yet they go down there, don’t they?  There is no way out of these basements other than by coming back up the steps, so in effect, they are trapped.  They are always really creepy looking basements too that look like no one has been down there in a century or so.  Typically a single light bulb dangles from the ceiling.  Ideally the light begins to flicker and as it does you’ll see killer dude in the background ready to make mince meat out whomever was foolish enough to go down there in the first place.

4) Finally some of them get out of the house and jump in a car or truck. The vehicle always breaks down or won’t start at some point.  They’ll be tearing along the road and something will happen.  Why do they stop the vehicle and get out?  Just keep going! But no, they get out then they see killer dude and scream jumping back into the vehicle which of course now won’t start.

So they run through the bushes or back to where they came from.

5) Now they are back in the house trying to set a trap for our villain. The wires have often been cut and the phone isn’t working. Still oddly enough some other electrical thing is still functioning but you’re not supposed to notice.

At some point the hero / heroine of the movie manages to off the killer dude.  And as they walk away you see our perp pop open an eye.  He’ll be back.

Horror movies are, as I have outlined, very predictable.  They follow a format that for me personally, doesn’t challenge my imagination.  I seldom develop a relationship to the characters in the film and therefore have very little empathy when they do die such horrific deaths.

In fact, I find myself say ‘You idiot!  You deserve to die.’

I also don’t like to see evil reign supreme and I’m not a fan of blood and guts and gore.

In terms of being frightened in a film I do enjoy a good suspense film from time to time. I like movies that play with my imagination by suggesting the carnage that has occurred rather than the physical gore and guts laying about everywhere.

There are horror movies that I’ve watched and enjoyed but typically these are films that I don’t go out of my way to watch.

I’ll be back with a list of my favorites and their categories next time.  Hope you check it out.

Peace.

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