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rabkala
01-30-2008, 09:46 PM
What have you learned from horror movies good or bad? What movie techniques work in your horror game? What movies are best for inspiration?

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 10:07 PM
Horror movies have definitely taught me that no matter how big your budget, a bad story is still a bad story at the end of the day. They've taught me that novels adapted into horror movies are usually quite inaccurate and disappointing. There are a few of course that are utterly amazing, The Green Mile, Dreamcatcher, and Phantoms for instance, but generally speaking I don't think many make the cut for fans of the novels.

Several movies really emphasize that the level of detail a setting provides is absolutely key to making a setting scary. HellRaiser 1 and 2, Silent Hill, Resident Evil 1 and 2, and even Sphere are great examples were the level of detail in the setting really help set the tone for suspense. I know not all of these movies are standard horror but all include terrifying elements that I think are extremely useful in setting the stage for a suspenseful and thrilling encounter.

TAROT
01-30-2008, 10:33 PM
What movie techniques work in your horror game?

You only get to reveal the monster once, so, make it count as best you can. Build up to it with smells or distant sounds. The first viewing is distant, shadowed, or a blur.

Drohem
01-30-2008, 11:55 PM
Well, I am not a fan of gore and hack type movies. I am more a fan of suspenseful horror films.

Horror movies for inspiration:

Alien
Aliens
Rosemary's Baby
The Exorcist
Carrie
The Thing
Poltergeist
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Shining
The Fly
Bram Stoker's Dracula
The Sixth Sense
Ringu
The Ring
28 Days Later
Dog Soldiers

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 01:14 AM
Adding to Drohem's list of suspensful horror films that are inspirational:

Eight Legged Freaks
A nice mix of comedy and horror. Giant insects have been a cleche since the early days of cinema but this is one of the rare instances when they really come across as scary, yet retain the natural comedy that seems inherent to all insect smashing stories.

Serenity
While this is classified as Sci-Fi I think several points of this movie are along the lines of horror. The movie remains suspenseful and scary and I never once doubt the blood lust of the Reavers.

Van Helsing
This is pretty much all the classic horror movies rolled up into one. Everything in this movie is done well and if you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to. Inspiration will flow freely while watching this.

Saw (series)
While I'm not the biggest fan of this series I do think that it is a great horror film. This film really goes for that "that is ****ed up" theme that many horror films seem to instill in their audiences.

Dawn Of The Dead
This is a classic zombie movie. I am a big fan of the Zombie genre and I feel that a great deal of films really screw up. This is one of the best zombie movies I have ever seen and I cannot recommend it enough.

Land Of The Dead
Dawn of the Dead is movie 2 in a five film series that was released back in the 80's. Dawn Of The Dead was remade and released in 2004. Land Of The Dead is movie 4 and was released in 2005. Day of the dead will be movie 3 and is due out in 2008. Once you've seen Dawn Of The Dead you won't hesitate to watch this gem. Just as good as the first in my opinion.

boulet
01-31-2008, 08:20 AM
There's a very specific movie : Man Bites Dog (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103905/) that comes to my mind. It could fit the thread "comedy in horror" too. The movie is built like a fake documentary, not so much as in Blair Witch Project, it's much older anyway, more like a mockery of TV reality shows. The movie shows a very interesting main character who is much of a monster but try his best to appear a civilized sophisticated man. The more he tries to appear friendly, to include the movie team into his criminal activities the more the horror of his corruption sickens the audience.

That's a type of horror I've tried to use in WoD. PCs meet this charming guy, with a friendly demeanor. He's got this sick gross kind of humor but he knows his way around and is willing to be a sort of mentor. But the more the PCs get involved the more his paranoia and cynicism build a pungent atmosphere. Remember the Last King of Scotland ? It's a similar character. The horror isn't hidden, it's well too known ! But how to escape the ticking bomb ?

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 09:16 AM
The Blair Witch Project is a questionable horror movie, no doubt. But it is a prime example of keeping your audience in the dark as much as possible. The majority of the movie was very suspenseful. A great deal of it was sadly disturbing but the kind you can't look away from. Regardless of what you think of the movie, it is a wonderful example of "setting a very believable atmosphere".

Drohem
01-31-2008, 10:24 AM
The Blair Witch Project was craptastic. Even though I watched it for free, I am pissed because I can never regain those two hours of my life back.

I did enjoy Eight legged Freaks; although I think mostly because my wife has an extreme fear of spiders and I gained a twisted pleasure in seeing her squeem. :D

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 01:07 AM
I did enjoy Eight legged Freaks; although I think mostly because my wife has an extreme fear of spiders and I gained a twisted pleasure in seeing her squeem. :DI have a pretty extreme fear of spiders myself. That is why this movie, while amazing by itself, is just so friggin awesome! Nothing like seeing somebody take a chainsaw to a giant spider. Mall + Spiders = Dead Rising Arachnid Edition :cool:

trechriron
06-29-2008, 05:54 PM
I concur with Drohem on the movie list suggested and an approach you learn from those types of movies. Hack and slash gore is harder to pull off at the table. It becomes silly and has little impact. Suspense and horror (helplessness) are much easier to pull off. Erie music, whispered speaking, descriptive monologues punctuated by sudden shouting, all help to build suspense.

I love dangling the results of the horror in front of the players without letting them actually confront it. Finally it builds to the point where the encounter is mind-numbingly terrifying.

Example: The players keep finding mutilated bodies that look like they died of a rapid Ebola plague. The faces of the deceased are contorted in agony and some have ripped their own flesh from their faces\bodies.

Later, if they return to that same spot, they find the bodies are now missing most of their flesh, with a significant amount of clean yellow bone showing.

Eventually the group runs into a person who is surrounded by a spore cloud and melting in intense agony right in front of them with the sounds of some creature running off.

Eventually they can hide and observe the creature in action as it stalks prey and spits spore clouds to melt them and later returns to slurp the flesh up (maybe something that looks like a mutated Ant Eater).

you know, stuff like that. :biggrin:

mrken
06-29-2008, 06:35 PM
Simply put, I can be scared.

agoraderek
07-01-2008, 12:57 PM
There's a very specific movie : Man Bites Dog (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103905/)

if you haven't seen this movie, it is what "natural born killers" wants to be when it grows up.

"man bites dog" may be one of the best "crazy serial killer" movies ever made...

boulet
07-01-2008, 01:25 PM
I love Man Bites Dog. It's one the most influential "cult" movie in French speaking Europe. I'd swear when I hang out with friends someone will quote it at some point or another (a bit like Holy Grail).

Though I question the main character being representative of the serial killer genre. He's more like the craftsman of murder : no political or moral agenda, no message to society, no cat and mouse game with a clever policeman. He's more like the quintessential prick who has absolutely no respect for anything and still tries to justify his way of life. I'd say the movie in a way is more about reality TV and the corruption it comes with than serial killers.

agoraderek
07-01-2008, 01:32 PM
I love Man Bites Dog. It's one the most influential "cult" movie in French speaking Europe. I'd swear when I hang out with friends someone will quote it at some point or another (a bit like Holy Grail).

Though I question the main character being representative of the serial killer genre. He's more like the craftsman of murder : no political or moral agenda, no message to society, no cat and mouse game with a clever policeman. He's more like the quintessential prick who has absolutely no respect for anything and still tries to justify his way of life. I'd say the movie in a way is more about reality TV and the corruption it comes with than serial killers.

i was referencing serial killers irl, actually. with a few exceptions (zodiac killer, the dude from kansas), very few serial killers engage in any "cat and mouse" with the cops, have any political or moral agenda, nor are their actions done with any thought of a "message" for society. they kill. for pleasure. period.

and i loved his poem, btw: "pigeon, pigeon, clothed in grey..." (dont know the belgian french, took that from the subtitles...)

boulet
07-01-2008, 02:58 PM
and i loved his poem, btw: "pigeon, pigeon, clothed in grey..." (dont know the belgian french, took that from the subtitles...)
Yeah that's one of the typical quote I was talking of :) I don't know how it sounds for Anglo-Saxon listeners after translation, but the original had a comedic effect more than poetic :rolleyes:

agoraderek
07-01-2008, 03:31 PM
Yeah that's one of the typical quote I was talking of :) I don't know how it sounds for Anglo-Saxon listeners after translation, but the original had a comedic effect more than poetic :rolleyes:

i dont do dubbed, just subtitled. when we quote it, its in the original french, i just dont want to type it, as i dont know how to spell in french ;)

of course, we just think its some incongruously weird poetry stuff coming from the psycho, so we may be missing some linguistic subtext, but it is funny :)

boulet
07-01-2008, 04:45 PM
It isn't about any hidden meaning or joke. He just sounds like a wannabe poet, a poseur and a jerk :)

[edit : bad English]

agoraderek
07-03-2008, 01:55 AM
It isn't about any hidden meaning or joke. He just sounds like a wannabe poet, a poseur and a jerk :)

[edit : bad English]

no kidding, but he was an EVIL wannabe poet, poseur and jerk! ;)

Dimthar
07-03-2008, 12:52 PM
What have you learned from horror movies good or bad? What movie techniques work in your horror game? What movies are best for inspiration?

One thing I use from time to time is the "Infected" NPCs, depends on the party resources, they will take the "victims" with them risking that they may turn into a Zombie/Mutant/Crazy(28 Days) dudes that will turn and attack them anyminute.

Darkness, there is nothing like having the party in complete darkness.

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