So this was unsettling and utterly, utterly brilliant

Legends Never Die, posted at LJ and posted at Dreamwidth by [personal profile] fan_eunice/[livejournal.com profile] fan_eunice - Nightmare on Elm Street - I'm still kind of watching and thinking about how much this one just gets to me. The beginning is brilliant, and the narrative is--IDK. Like, unsettling.

Which is why one day I want a challenge done just for horror movies; I mean, don't get me wrong, for a movie buff there is meaning in tons of movies, but I hate and fear horror movies as much as I'm drawn to them. Wait, going under cut, please watch before reading because I don't think this is a vid that I'm interpreting as pretty much anyone else would.



[personal profile] sisabet reviews it in comments here and is probably the best walkthrough you're going to get.

I have a thing for horror movies; I can't watch them. I try. Every so often, I sit down with a new one, a good one, and I watch it, and I pay for it with nightmares for six months. Not sleeping nightmares either; I get them because I'm prone to insomnia and three in the morning, I can't even get out of bed sometimes I'm so damn sure something is under there. I get hit with this shit in the bathroom, okay, these things follow me. Everywhere. If I ended up in a horror movie, I'd die of a heart attack before the first half ended; I am that freaked out by them.

So what I can't watch, I read; I internalize written horror differently, no idea why, and the effect is less powerful, but it's there. All of them. I know the basics of most major horror movies in the last fifty years if they have a coherent working mythology, because that's what makes them stay. Fuck Hostel and Saw; I'll defend Jason Versus Freddy until the end of goddamn time even though it's stupid and horrible because the mythology of horror is so huge that it doesn't even matter. Hostel and Saw are horrible and give me the gross out and occasional obsessive flashback to how people die in horrible ways; The Ring will follow me until the day I die.

Humans are scary, but you can kill them, eventually. But what do you do with something that isn't human, may not even be sentient, doesn't see you at all and doesn't share the basics of human existence with you? Even a sociopath has to breathe, eat, sleep. Serial killers are terrifying because they don't value human life in the basic way most of us do; they're still human. Freddy, Jason, goddamn Cthulhu, anything appearing in Hellraiser (which dear God would I kill for someone to vid the sexual psychodynamics of that one and why that one has an entire subtext that makes the victims more unsettling that the monsters, but I'm not sure I could watch it with the entire--skinning thing. Maybe careful editing? But Jesus. What a rush). Humanity scares us in that they are like us; monsters scare us because they can never be us and what the fuck do you do with something that has it's own rules and doesn't even have to follow those?

But I have a thing for them, because they do this thing that is unspoken but crystal clear if you watch them enough; there is no win in horror. It is a standing engagement that you can only hope not to lose. That's it. This time, this one fight, this one moment, that's all you have and may be all you have, and the inevitability of it in the end usually hits me the hardest; sure, he's dead now, but he'll be back. There aren't any rules a monster has to follow. He can break them all. And you have to do it again, even if the next time, it won't be you. Or worse, it might be; there are second chances in horror to fight if you don't lose. There is no win. Every time.

I don't read horror because I'm hot for hopeless causes, though sometimes I love them, too. I read it because they're the only genre ever created that has this one absolute at the end; fight it anyway. Fuck realistic expectation of surviving something that never eats, never dies, never sleeps, never rests, never; fuck that in the end, everyone before you gave everything they had and died anyway; fuck that this time he's gone but he's going to come back, no idea when or where and it will start over again and you may have to fight again and everything that happened before won't help what will happen now. Fight anyway. And if you can't, if this time you lose, if this was the one time you couldn't stand up any longer--someone else will. Someone else will. They won't win either, but this time, this one time, they also won't lose.

The beginning of this vid was utterly gorgeous, but it's the theme of repeating history that really gets to me, as each victim fights over and over and every time he dies, he comes back. He always come back. And there's always someone to fight him, even then, and in the end, always, no matter what, someone will kill him.

Perfect pacing, and pretty damn perfect scene choice, using suspense and innuendo better than the movies ever did, starting with the the beginning, the origin of Freddy, and moving through with a slowly building tension that explodes into violence, quick and shocking and more horrifying for being only glimpses, moments ripped from time, rolling back to something not calmer, but slightly less frantic and something more like inevitability--the ways he died, and came back, and in the end, he's only a shadow hovering for long, painful moment because yeah. It's not over. It will never be over. It can't be over until everyone's dead, and monsters don't follow any rules; they don't die. But someone will always be there to fight him.

I have a very complicated relationship with horror. Suffice to say, I love this vid like no words to describe.
rani: (Default)

2010-07-12 04:37 pm (UTC)
You MUST see Never Sleep Again, an amazing 4 hour long documentary about the Elm Street movies that was released earlier this year. I'm in the same boat as you - I can't watch horror movies (I'm still having nightmares after making the mistake of reading a 30-page Japanese horror comic 2 weeks ago), but I love to hear people talk about them. I found out about Never Sleep Again from fourfour, which is the blog I turn to for all my horror-fans-talking-intelligently-about-horror needs.

(Hi, by the way, I'm here because I enjoy your writing! Just so you're not creeped out by random people commenting in your journal.)
reginagiraffe: Stick figure of me with long wavy hair and giraffe on shirt. (Default)

2010-07-12 06:14 pm (UTC)
*hides from The Ring*

Seriously, we have the DVD and I really want it THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!

I had nightmares for two solid weeks after watching that. (And I don't usually have nightmares.)

2010-07-12 04:21 am (UTC)
great rec!

2010-07-12 02:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
grammarwoman: (Default)

2010-07-12 04:25 pm (UTC)
I have a thing for horror movies; I can't watch them.

Yes!

So what I can't watch, I read; I internalize written horror differently, no idea why, and the effect is less powerful, but it's there. All of them. I know the basics of most major horror movies in the last fifty years if they have a coherent working mythology, because that's what makes them stay.

YES, oh fuck YES.

Horror movies have such a train wreck appeal for me; I have to know how they end (bless those Wikipedia summaries), but GOD, I cannot watch them - my mind is way too fond of psyching me out at the least provocation. And after binging on a glut of reading about them, I'm usually left with a destabilizing queasiness and a vow to stop, until I do it again. (Why, self, WHY?)

Nightmare on Elm Street is the absolute worst; I saw it during a sleepover in my teen years, and that unkillable fucker has haunted me ever since. I mean, you can follow the rules for all the rest (don't have sex in the haunted house, don't go to the summer camp with a body count, don't let your parents weasel out of telling you about murderous siblings), but how the hell do you avoid going to sleep? Then Wes had to go and make a meta statement about horror, so I can't even comfort myself with Freddy's evil being fictional.

NYARGH. My issues, let me show you them.

2010-07-13 05:46 am (UTC)
That meta statement? Is all the more horrifying in that he pretty much states (as I remember) Freddy exists because so many people believe in him. So, what else have we brought to life?

2010-07-13 01:33 am (UTC)
I get hit with this shit in the bathroom, okay, these things follow me. Everywhere.

This. So much this. I'm fascinated by horror and supernatural stories, but I can't watch the movies or shows; some part of my mind starts screaming about what was that shadow behind the shower curtain and was that a sound on the roof, and I get very, very twitchy and jumpy.

I do like watching Japanese horror games. They tend to have the slow build of tension and plot that I really like and do some really creepy psychological stuff (camera angles, soundtrack, eroding of safe space), and while I'm familiar with the basic architectural and landscape structures they use though media, the horrifying and creepy events are happening in a place that isn't like where I am. If it's happening someplace clearly different, I'm not looking up at the attic hatch and wondering if something is lurking, just like that attic hatch in the movie.

2010-07-13 05:48 am (UTC)
I love horror movies and am pretty much immune, aside from general nervousness for a few hours after some, but dear god there are some things that have haunted (ha!) me. The Grudge made me leave the lights on in the stairwell for weeks; it was the way the ghost moved on steps. Wrong wrong wrongwrong ::shudder::
fyrdrakken: (Dexter)

2010-07-21 10:21 pm (UTC)
Coming here a week and a half behind (and downloading that vid to see for myself), and, yeah, I'm in the same boat regarding not watching that shit at all but generally being just fine reading it. (Mostly. Reading some Stephen King at a young age gave me a few creeped-out moments, especially spending a week during the summer at my grandparents' out in the country with no streetlights where it got genuinely dark at night the way it never was back home in the suburbs...)

But mostly I'm just commenting because that comment above about getting creeped out by the shadow behind the shower curtain led me to think A) yeah, I've had that, too, the one time I was taken through a haunted house (a Halloween attraction with costumed actors, not a real or "real" one) and a few other times I saw something scarier than I should have watched, and B) you know, it's really ironic that I have this shower curtain in my bathroom when I don't watch that kind of film at all. (The "shadow of Norman Bates" Psycho shower curtains would have been cute, too, though way back when I was redecorating my bathroom I couldn't find any of those.)

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