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Author Topic: Scott: I think the Beast is almost run out, person...  (Read 35418 times)

Jonesy1974
Nov 16, 2017, 08:33:43 AM
Reply #330 on: Nov 16, 2017, 08:33:43 AM
Q
Firstly, men with knives aren't scary. Its the character holding the knife that's scary and once that character becomes too familiar they are no longer scary. Michael Myers was a scary man with a knife the first time round but he hasn't been scary since.

Having characters you care about in a film doesn't make it scary either. It generates tension because you are fearful for the characters survival but that's not the same thing as being scary. I didn't give a damn about any of the characters in the original TCM but it still frightened me. Again, Leatherface hasn't been scary since.

The Alien suffers the same problem, its too familiar to frighten people. That doesn't mean you cant make an effective movie featuring the Alien and for me that's exactly what Ridley has done.


SiL
Nov 16, 2017, 08:43:43 AM
Reply #331 on: Nov 16, 2017, 08:43:43 AM
Q
The novelty of the threat is the least important thing to consider.


Scorpio
Nov 16, 2017, 09:16:52 AM
Reply #332 on: Nov 16, 2017, 09:16:52 AM
Q
There's so much you could still do with the alien to make it scary again.  Egg morphing, for example.  Seeing how an alien captures a victim and starts to turn it into an egg.  That could really bring back the horror of the alien.  Rather than just a slasher type villain in space.


Jonesy1974
Nov 16, 2017, 09:22:55 AM
Reply #333 on: Nov 16, 2017, 09:22:55 AM
Q
There's so much you could still do with the alien to make it scary again.  Egg morphing, for example.  Seeing how an alien captures a victim and starts to turn it into an egg.  That could really bring back the horror of the alien.  Rather than just a slasher type villain in space.

I agree on the Egg morphing, I'm hoping it plays a big part in a possible sequel.



Highland
Nov 16, 2017, 11:03:03 AM
Reply #335 on: Nov 16, 2017, 11:03:03 AM
Q
Was there ever an excuse not to have good characters?

Anything can be scary with the right mood, shots and audio. I find parts of Alien 3 genuinely scary just because of how the scenes unfold. Watching two guys pet a snake beast or someone having a shower with Dr Dre playing full blast definitely isn't on the list though.


Paranoid Android
Nov 16, 2017, 11:31:47 AM
Reply #336 on: Nov 16, 2017, 11:31:47 AM
Q
They no longer are. That's why the slasher genre has faded into obscurity, and why the law of diminishing returns has hurt all Halloween/Friday the 13th/etc. sequels.
You missed the point entirely.

I was talking about simply featuring a person with a knife in your film. Those things haven't faded into anything; They are still heavily featured in horror films. The Babadook, for example. This was to counter the argument that knowing what your movie monster does makes it not scary. People have seen men with knives kill people in horror films since at least Psycho. The very fact that slasher films were created in the first place counters the notion that once you know what a monster does, it stops being scary.

You're talking about a film genre, which is an incorrect comparison because the comparison was to the alien as a monster, and the alien isn't a genre. It's just a monster. What bores people today isn't a man with a knife - it's the tropes of the slasher genre.

I could've made my argument with Ghosts and Demons and the point would've still been the same: Just because you know what a monster does, doesn't make it not scary.

Firstly, men with knives aren't scary. Its the character holding the knife that's scary and once that character becomes too familiar they are no longer scary. Michael Myers was a scary man with a knife the first time round but he hasn't been scary since.
Michael Myers is actually a fun example because you knew what he does after the first 5 minutes of Halloween. He stopped being scary in sequels, when people started explaining him away and telling people who he is. He was scary when he had a vague backstory, and stopped being scary once filmmakers started making a point out of telling his backstory. This is very similar to another movie monster we know.

« Last Edit: Nov 16, 2017, 11:34:25 AM by Paranoid Android »

Kane's other son
Nov 16, 2017, 11:45:28 AM
Reply #337 on: Nov 16, 2017, 11:45:28 AM
Q
Covenant featured the best alien-bursting-from-a-human-body scene since 1979. It's no longer scary (and more importantly disturbing) because we've seen it before. The same with aliens stalking people in dark corridors and shafts or swarming a barricaded compartment. It's all familiar. You know how it will play out.
I don't think there' anyone against good characters, but keep in mind that in Alien the characters are archetypes. It's not like the chestburster scene succeeded because Kane was such a compelling character.


Paranoid Android
Nov 16, 2017, 11:53:55 AM
Reply #338 on: Nov 16, 2017, 11:53:55 AM
Q
Actually, the only part people from both the fanboy and hater camps seem to agree on is that the backburster scene in Covenant was scary (in my case, at least to a point).

And yes, of course the chestburster scene in the original Alien succeeded because Kane was a likeable character. But it wasn't just about him; The scene succeeded because everyone else were likeable characters. It wasn't just Kane dying in that scene - it was everyone else watching him die.

Likeable characters is what sets the stakes. If you don't care about the characters, there are no stakes to them dying. If there are no stakes, there is no threat. If there is no threat, your horror film has failed.

« Last Edit: Nov 16, 2017, 11:56:16 AM by Paranoid Android »

Jonesy1974
Nov 16, 2017, 12:05:24 PM
Reply #339 on: Nov 16, 2017, 12:05:24 PM
Q


Firstly, men with knives aren't scary. Its the character holding the knife that's scary and once that character becomes too familiar they are no longer scary. Michael Myers was a scary man with a knife the first time round but he hasn't been scary since.
Michael Myers is actually a fun example because you knew what he does after the first 5 minutes of Halloween. He stopped being scary in sequels, when people started explaining him away and telling people who he is. He was scary when he had a vague backstory, and stopped being scary once filmmakers started making a point out of telling his backstory. This is very similar to another movie monster we know.

I get what you're saying and agree to an extent but giving the audience too much information isn't the only problem. Familiarity and the use of a movie monster also lessons the impact. The Alien has been so over exposed and often misused that its lost its power to generate fear in audiences. This problem set in long before the prequels.

Its possible to make a scary Alien movie again but its a huge ask and the fear has to come from something fresh because the egg - facehugger -
 Alien isn't going to cut it anymore.

I'm more than happy with Covenant but if you want an Alien movie which has broader appeal then I don't think tying to go the horror route will work. It needs to go down the action route for me and I don't have a problem with that providing its not the Blomkamp route of writing off 3 and creating Aliens 2.0 or the silliness of resurrection/AvP.

I still feel Ridley can deliver that film if he gets the chance to make a third.


SiL
Nov 16, 2017, 12:08:46 PM
Reply #340 on: Nov 16, 2017, 12:08:46 PM
Q
Everyone knows what a shark is and what it does. Jaws was still terrifying. It stopped being scary when the sequels got dumb and the craftsmanship in the filmmaking disappeared completely.

The wheel doesn't need to be reinvented, someone just has to treat the creature with the same tact and care it was given at the start. That's where things go to shit: the filmmakers stop caring about the presentation and start thinking more about cool set pieces they can try out.


Paranoid Android
Nov 16, 2017, 12:29:10 PM
Reply #341 on: Nov 16, 2017, 12:29:10 PM
Q
I get what you're saying and agree to an extent but giving the audience too much information isn't the only problem. Familiarity and the use of a movie monster also lessons the impact. The Alien has been so over exposed and often misused that its lost its power to generate fear in audiences. This problem set in long before the prequels.

Its possible to make a scary Alien movie again but its a huge ask and the fear has to come from something fresh because the egg - facehugger -
 Alien isn't going to cut it anymore.
I definitely agree that focusing on the lifecycle itself isn't going to cut it. Focusing on it was scary when it was new. Now that it's established, the horror should focus simply on the threat behind it. This is something Alien:Isolation got and one of the reasons it worked so well: They didn't waste your time following the alien's lifecycle; You arrive to Sevastopol, and it's already there and fully grown. Now that you're stuck with this monster - what do you do?

Quote
I'm more than happy with Covenant but if you want an Alien movie which has broader appeal then I don't think tying to go the horror route will work. It needs to go down the action route for me and I don't have a problem with that providing its not the Blomkamp route of writing off 3 and creating Aliens 2.0 or the silliness of resurrection/AvP.
I definitely prefer the horror route, but I agree that as an action film it has more of a mass appeal potential, and I'm fine either way. I don't really care what genre the film will be, as long as they don't misuse the alien in it.


Jonesy1974
Nov 16, 2017, 12:38:53 PM
Reply #342 on: Nov 16, 2017, 12:38:53 PM
Q
I get what you're saying and agree to an extent but giving the audience too much information isn't the only problem. Familiarity and the use of a movie monster also lessons the impact. The Alien has been so over exposed and often misused that its lost its power to generate fear in audiences. This problem set in long before the prequels.

Its possible to make a scary Alien movie again but its a huge ask and the fear has to come from something fresh because the egg - facehugger -
 Alien isn't going to cut it anymore.
I definitely agree that focusing on the lifecycle itself isn't going to cut it. Focusing on it was scary when it was new. Now that it's established, the horror should focus simply on the threat behind it. This is something Alien:Isolation got and one of the reasons it worked so well: They didn't waste your time following the alien's lifecycle; You arrive to Sevastopol, and it's already there and fully grown. Now that you're stuck with this monster - what do you do?

Quote
I'm more than happy with Covenant but if you want an Alien movie which has broader appeal then I don't think tying to go the horror route will work. It needs to go down the action route for me and I don't have a problem with that providing its not the Blomkamp route of writing off 3 and creating Aliens 2.0 or the silliness of resurrection/AvP.
I definitely prefer the horror route, but I agree that as an action film it has more of a mass appeal potential, and I'm fine either way. I don't really care what genre the film will be, as long as they don't misuse the alien in it.

This is the key point that makes Isolation work. Its very different when the question is what do the characters I'm watching on screen do because the answer will always be pretty much the same things iv'e seen before.

Everyone knows what a shark is and what it does. Jaws was still terrifying. It stopped being scary when the sequels got dumb and the craftsmanship in the filmmaking disappeared completely.

The wheel doesn't need to be reinvented, someone just has to treat the creature with the same tact and care it was given at the start. That's where things go to shit: the filmmakers stop caring about the presentation and start thinking more about cool set pieces they can try out.

Sharks will be scary again next year when the Stath starts punching them!

I take your point but this is for me the inherent problem with sequels to films like Jaws and Alien. They were never meant to have sequels, they were designed as thrill rides based on a singular, simple premise. When you start making sequels its forcing things that were never meant to be because you can only see a shark stalk and eat someone so many ways before it becomes stale.

What Cameron did with Aliens was genius but its an exception to the rule.


« Last Edit: Nov 16, 2017, 12:57:00 PM by Jonesy1974 »

TheBATMAN
Nov 16, 2017, 02:02:29 PM
Reply #343 on: Nov 16, 2017, 02:02:29 PM
Q
Aside from Isolation, when was the last time they were even attempted to be scary from the point of view of the story?

Resurrection had them locked up and experimented on, meaning the creature was given a lot of exposure whilst locked in a cage.

AVP decided the best way to portray the Alien and the Predator was have them wrestle around the floor like two drunken yobs who had just been thrown out of a pub.

In Requiem they were just cannon fodder in an attempt to make Wolf look cool.

And Covenant we have a director who didn't want the Alien in the film at all, so what chance did it have?

The creature can easily be redeemed if put in the hands of a competent director who actually understands what made it great in the first place.

The problem with Alien is that you get so many copycats trying to emulate its success and many get the basics right but they lack such an ingeniously designed creature. Alien on the other hand already has an iconic monster but instead of treating this as a blessing it seems to be a weight that drowns the franchise and encourage filmmakers to decide they need to do something drastically different from the norm.

« Last Edit: Nov 16, 2017, 02:05:25 PM by TheBATMAN »

tleilaxu
Nov 17, 2017, 05:40:41 AM
Reply #344 on: Nov 17, 2017, 05:40:41 AM
Q
Because you form an emotional attachment and feel bad when they're killed, or abducted like Newt was in Aliens, but then later when she's saved and all the bad monsters are dead you feel happy because the "decent characters" are alive and well. Then as the movie ends you sit up and clap until your hands are sore.
Or some bullshit like that.

Good to see that your dislike of Aliens doesn't get in the way of at least understanding why the film is so effective.
I don't dislike the movie, I quite like it, but there are things in it that annoy me. Also, Titanic was also an "effective" film. Doesn't make it less dreadful to watch.

Covenant featured the best alien-bursting-from-a-human-body scene since 1979. It's no longer scary (and more importantly disturbing) because we've seen it before. The same with aliens stalking people in dark corridors and shafts or swarming a barricaded compartment. It's all familiar. You know how it will play out.
I don't think there' anyone against good characters, but keep in mind that in Alien the characters are archetypes. It's not like the chestburster scene succeeded because Kane was such a compelling character.
That's right. Why the f**k would I want to see the same f**king thing and the same predictable ending all over again? The "decent character" protagonists make it through hell and back -> oh no the Alien is still here  -> enter boss fight -> Alien is killed and humanity is saved.

Covenant finally offered something different from this stale ending. The Xeno, through David, actually WON in Covenant. I'm eternally grateful for that.

« Last Edit: Nov 17, 2017, 05:51:17 AM by tleilaxu »

 

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