Horror Movies And The Random Blabber Of A Scattered Mind

This blog is basically me rambling on about good, bad and scary bits about horror. It is one of the very few genres that can be as clichéd as it wants, yet if done right nobody cares about the clichés. The base to create a horror film is not tricky, rest everything is. The first act let’s you get away with lot of things that other genres won’t. You can play around with pace and timing, you can create scenes with nothing in it yet make it engaging. However, it will fizz out if you can’t get it to rise above that initial set-up. There are huge varieties within it, from your atmospheric ghost films (Omen, Exorcist, The Conjuring), creature features (Zombie movies, The Thing, Anaconda) to pure shock & awe gore fest (Hostel, Wrong Turn) characters based (The Shining, Friday The 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street). Of course the preference varies for every person but people live to be scared and they want to be scared. The biggest challenge is not to scare people, it is to scare them throughout which makes it a dicey genre to handle.

Horror has evolved over the years in terms of themes. There are your Asian films which broaden the horizon and then there are your rare out of box films like Final Destination (Just the Original), The Cabin In The Woods, It Follows. However, it has not evolved as you had expect it to considering how long it has been, which is one of the reasons that we hardly see a big director or a prolific writer entering the horror genre. Most of them are still old school style (Mama, Insidious, The Women In Black, Sinister). And since old school subtle changes don’t always work throughout, redoing something over and over again is going to wear it out and that’s where the film lacks novelty. Many of the above
mentioned films (Mama, Insidious, The Women In Black, Sinister) suffer majorly in the final act thus making it an okay watch, when you’re done with them rather than something that holds you in rapt attention. Consistency is the catch here, however most of them have dropped it. What makes horror such a tight rope is you have to constantly keep the scares going without repeating the tropes more than once and yet keep something monstrous in the final act, otherwise the audience will eventually lose interest. The plot is old fashioned in most of the movies consisting of demons, dead people, spirits, so that is always out of the way and not something that surprises you. So the makers have to work around with interesting characters and creative scares. What all these movies have done well is creating a brilliant premise, amazing locales, haunting score and good performances. But where it lacks is in creating inventive scares that the Omen gives or an The Shining presents you with. Lack of surprises in horror is causing this which is the exact reason why The Cabin In The Woods was a breath of fresh ghost.

nightmare on elm street

While on the other end of the spectrum you have a Hostel depending on the gore to score a goal. Hostel though stands out in this gore pool of horror mimics like Wrong Turn & utterly disguising The Human Centipede, because of the concept and how till the very end had something to offer in terms of twist and not just flesh and blood, it had enough venom to go for the kill, and that exactly what The Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn lack. Gore with good dose of twist and hint of story is a brilliant tool for horror Saw (Original, again). But, too much gore makes it a tedious-yucky-uninteresting-boring affair with nothing much to look forward to unless you are writing a encyclopedia on how to kill people creatively. As weird as it might sound people love watching this gore fest just to show how bad-ass they are and that they can sit through a movie with that much gore. But, isn’t that just boring and gross?

The best ones are the ones which plays with your mind and for that to come through it has to be combination of good writing, direction and editing. It’s incredible how some of the scariest scenes are the real simple ones, or so it seems and that’s the beauty of horror. You can do everything with nothing and nothing with everything. One movie that scared me is A Clockwork Orange[1971] it isn’t even your traditional horror but the whole psychological impact that it leaves is done with such perfection from the brilliantly twisted mind of Stanley Kubrick, it will scare you than most scary films. And that’s the genre we need to dwell into for a more wider horizon of horrors, not that it has not been attempted before, but psychological thrillers if done right can be really scary. Pacing is very crucial is well. It becomes very tricky when it comes to pacing for horror, with action/thrillers it has to be fast & zappy but with horror it is very difficult to judge the pace right, you can’t breeze through every scene and you can’t slow it down too much. Ever been on a thrill ride on a amusement park? The pacing of a horror film is quite similar to that. It has a slow beginning with the thrill in the middle, giving you a false sense of relief before unleashing the endgame and scaring the living lights out of you.

The Thing

CGI to a certain extent has effected horror and not in a good way. We are so hell bent on making everything look pretty but look at old school, horror should disgust you, make you uncomfortable sort of scar you, that’s what John Carpenter, Wes Craven did with their movies. They created brilliant canvases that were hauntingly beautiful and real but not glossy or perfect in any sense of the way. Look at Halloween or The Thing, just the empty canvas will tell you something is wrong. The perfect example would be comparing the A Nightmare on Elm Street original with the remake. The remake fails at every level and a huge chunk of the blame must go to CGI, all things considered.

Horror needs a shot in the arm by some top-notch writer or director to draw a whole new blueprint and give a new direction to horror rather than just belting out stuff like Annabelle and Jessabelle. It is just more of the same stuff with different wrapping. Horror is one genre where no one gives a dime about who the writer, director, actors, producers are in most cases. They just want to be scared. And it’s high time that they are.

Best 5: Modern Comedy TV Series

The emotion of humor always makes me chuckle. With humor you can score with chicks, make friends, become a life of parties & get out of a uncomfortable situation. It is one emotion that everyone has and never complains saying oh! I am too humorous. Ask every beautiful girl what they want in a ideal man, and the answer will be sense of humor Though over the years I have come to believe that it is a joke in itself. Every person has his/her brand of humor which tickles. From sex comedy to dry humor, it’s amazing the mammoth variety of humor that exists though I have to take a side and say the best of it has been exploited on TV. Below are 5 of the exciting stress relievers out of the Godzilla size variety of shows that exist and being my favorite yet are some of the thoroughly most defiant shows at this time.

  1. Community

Creator : Dan Harmon

Humor gelled with incredible creativity will be the best way to define Community. We always remember a show by their characters and as much I remember the characters it’s just the mental creativity of the show that steals it for me. With episodes where every character is portrayed as Clay Animation, in one episode it had a end of the world Mad Max kinda set-up in the college with paintball and my personal favorite is the one where they are animated as 80’s 8-bit video game characters. This show is everything you want it to be. It’s set-up as a sitcom without the irritation of studio audience laughing every second. The humor is fresh and wildly imaginative, which happens rarely.

  1. Key & Peele

Creator: Keegan-Michael Key & Jordon Peele

This Sketch-Improv is something that will take a while to get used too. It isn’t as accessible as Modern Family or a Big Bang. Key & Peele makes things funny which you never thought can be this hilarious. This one crosses the limit of everything. With references from Pop Culture to Barrack Obama. It’s no holds barred fun with the production values and camera work of a Hollywood blockbuster.

5 TV Shows

  1. The Last Man On Earth

Creator: Will Forte

The most original TV series at this time. We always have had a serious take on post-apocalyptic world, now get ready to laugh a lot. Will “Nebraska” Forte  creates and acts in this self-explanatory title comedy. This one is funny for all the reason it was serious. The punches are based on from references to being the only man on earth to doing what you want to do and where you want to do it (if you catch my drift).  But where is excels is the humor which is fresh and takes to parts where you taught oh ya, this will definitely happen if you’re the last man on earth.

  1. Arrested Development

Creator: Mitchell Hurwitz

This is one comedy show where you have to have your complete and utmost attention. Arrested Development is busier than a bee with punches coming right-left-center-diagonal-uptop-cross and every other angle you can imagine. It is so easy to miss jokes in this one as there is so much happening simultaneously and just the pure cleverness of it plus considering how dark the theme is, it is easily the best written series in this list.

  1. Silicon Valley:

Creator: Mike Judge, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky

HBO’s (sirf naam hi kaafi hain) Silicon Valley is a story of nerds and geeks. Unlike other comedies, Silicon Valley sets-up the jokes it builds up to the point where you laugh out so loud that you might even pee a little. The jokes have a good balance in terms of situations, one-liners and gags. The performances of the stellar cast is a clincher for me in this. With top-notch production design and techy references which even a layman can grasp on to stitched together with beautifully crafted story of an underdog trying to make it big. Silicon Valley is the best one for me.

Baby: Childish Effort

Ever seen a Rohit Shetty film and how he pulls of 80 minutes of good footage spread across 150 minutes of bad film and he has pulled off many such gems over the career with his Comedy. Welcome the one film wonder Neeraj Pandey do a Rohit Shetty to a Thriller and pull off 90 minutes stretched across for 160 with the largest collection of un-suspenseful-nothing to achieve-blank-nothing is going to happen walking, driving and sitting. Not to mention the absurd name for a supposedly taut thriller, which I can look past by considering it raises curiosity. What I cannot look past is what is the director trying to achieve here. What the film achieves is never clear it’s about stopping attack and then it becomes of catching and killing K. K Menon and eventually ending with catching Maulana Mohammed Rahman, with the attack never seeing the light of the day or we knowing exactly what this attack was which leaves out the important ingredient of making a thriller. End of the world scenario and anyone’s life ever being in any danger.Continue reading “Baby: Childish Effort”

Best 5-Modern TV Series

Television amazes me with everything that comes out and just leaves me gasping as too why movies can’t be this good. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that some of the most creative writing, mind-blowing direction, performances and refreshing & completely honest to the story cinematography that we can see comes from television. Without any further blabbing these are some of my favorite Crime/Drama modern TV shows that I have been obsessed with the loads that I have seen and some which does not make it cos haven’t done watching with them. This is my list and these are my favorites and I don’t mean to be insulting towards what you like so don’t go all gangsta troll on me by shoving down your opinion not being in the list. However, I would love to know your favorites. Will try and keep the spoilers to the minimum. So with much further ado here we go:

Continue reading “Best 5-Modern TV Series”

Television: No Longer a Idiot Box

Television 2.0

It’s a golden age for television and as I say that the mind wanders to think of Game Of Thrones and True Detective. But to be really fair to the numerous people who thrive and strive on small screen there is equally exciting and overtly creative shows coming from all directions. Television is more cut-throat than ever, where shows as exciting as Firefly (Joss Whedon), Alphas, Almost Human (Producer J. J Abrams)gets cancelled based on the obnoxious Nielsen Media Research. That being said Netflix has come as ray of hope for all the people doped on TV (and doom for the networks) with their original series which are so top-notch in terms of everything that it’s baffling. Shows like Orange is the new Black, House of Cards . What we have on television is equally or more superior than anything that goes on movies in terms of plots and stories. The obvious terrific ones I have mentioned above and then there are stuff like The Newsroom, Boardwalk Empire, Ray Donovan, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, Silicon Valley, Person Of Interest, Louie, Justified, Veep, Deadwood. All of them unique in the true sense not just in genres but also in terms of tone and feel, yet I feel that I have barely scratched the surface here. I have not mentioned some more obvious ones which I will, when I do my top 5 television shows post.Continue reading “Television: No Longer a Idiot Box”

Superhero Movies Depravity in Indian Cinema

There are some things in life that we are never too old to do. Like, feeding fishes, because the way they feed upon the food always fascinates us for some reason, ringing bell of some random doors and running away or enjoying a superhero movie with utmost gusto. Men fantasize more about being a Superhero than Kate Upton, and even though we convince ourselves that these films cater mainly to kids, the legacy of a Superman or a Batman is not something to kid about. They do inspire you in whatever way you see fit. This being said, we don’t really have a superhero. Superman, Neo & Batman should ideally be an inspiration to create our very own superhero. Unfortunately our superhero is a clone of them.

Continue reading “Superhero Movies Depravity in Indian Cinema”

10 Most Anticipated Hollywood Movies Of 2014

Most Anticipated Movies Of 2014

Without wasting further time, let me write about the most anticipated movies of the year 2014.

22_jump_street_movie_poster_1Kindly note that this list is purely compiled on the basis of my personal choices and preferences.

10. 22 Jump Street : Co-Written by the multi-talented actor/writer Jonah ”Superbad, MoneyBall” Hill  he teams up once again with Channing ”G.I Joe”Tatum in 22 Jump Street. 22 Jump Street is a story of 2 undercover cops who are so good at being incapable that in the 1st film they had to let go of a criminal because they couldn’t read him his rights. The film which is directed by  Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs) is a sequel to the hilarious 21 Jump Street. This time they are going undercover in a local college, so expect some more funny one liners and insane gags.

9. A Million Ways to Die in the West : Written & directed by an absolute mental Seth”Family Guy, Ted” MacFarlene, this film promises to push the limits of  comedy which range from  gross to the most creative gags. See the fight scene between Mark Wahlberg and Ted in the movie Ted to know what am talking about. A Million Ways To Die In The West tells the  story of a cowardly farmer who seeks the help of a gunslinger’s wife to win back the woman who left him. It sounds serious but trust me it’s going to be madness and knowing Seth’s work it maybe something out of the box.Continue reading “10 Most Anticipated Hollywood Movies Of 2014”

Edgar Wright: Cornetto, Pints & Friendships

Edgar Wright
Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright is a Writer/Director from UK. Most of the average moviegoers might not know who he is,  but for some of us movie zombies he is a fresh meat,whom we can’t get enough of. Edgar Wright is one of the few geniuses who still makes movies which has immense repeat value (which rarely happens today wherein “One time watch” is the new motto for 100 crore success) just to make sure that you squeeze out every bit of fun. Most of his films are drugs that you feel blessed to be addicted to. It has so much to offer and every time you re-watch you tend to notice little nuances and references that you might have missed the last time.

Edgar Wright started his career with A Fistful of Fingers (1995) which in his own words is not the greatest thing that he ever made  and burst out laughing while confessing this. But learning what not to do while making  that confession ,he moved on to doing a TV series one of which is Spacedan absolute brilliant sitcom which paved the way to what will turn out to be “The Cornetto Trilogy“. The first of which is Shaun Of The Dead. Edgar’s storytelling style is fast & zappy. He is like Quentin Tarantino on crack. One of the reasons for the repeat value is the insane style of unveiling details because when you watch it you might miss something with all the multiple camera cuts & quick exchange of words. Even a simple bar conversation is not spared, it has multiple camera cuts and rapid exchange of words.  But it’s done with so much finesse that you will rarely be distracted by it and mostly you will be on track. What is credible is that despite the amount of multiple cuts that is used in a scene, you rarely miss a expression of an actor or a moment, every bit is captured. Also, the conversation seem so spontaneous but all of it is rehearsed 2-3 weeks before the shooting actually begins which makes it look all so easy.

His stories have a very unique way of unveiling always hinting about what it eventually is going be about. Like in Shaun Of The Dead the news broadcast, the man eating a bird while Shaun’s traveling in the bus, it is always teasing you. It generally takes the end of first act to say viola that’s the direction its going to go into. Be it in The World’s End which while at the end of first act you do fully realize that it is a alien’s invading, same is the case with Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. This is one of the points that binds this Trilogy is well apart from of course friendship, pints cornetto & comedy which eventually merges the movies Shaun Of The Dead(Zom-Com) Hot Fuzz (Action/Comedy) & The World’s End (Sci-Fi/Comedy). He’s very old fashioned in a way that he keeps film-making very simple yet creatively it’s original, fresh and cool to watch without spending 250-300 million and yet technically it makes all the right noises.

To be frank, his movies are in a way a parody of different genres. Yet it is not  is insulting in anyway nor is it unintentionally

Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Scott Pilgrim vs The World

funny. He is always on the mark and the main reason for that is the Story/Screenplay which is tight and is slightly more tilted towards being a  homage rather than a parody. The guy has a  passion for Cinema & Pop culture and this  is visible in all his films through the homage and references especially in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World . In fact, he is the  first to admit that he is influenced and inspired by a lot of movies and he watches a lot of movies before beginning the scripting process, yet what you see on screen is so Edgar.

What never ceases to amaze you is that, though his movie might have a high dose of humor but sometimes it hardly has any dialogues. By just looking at their antics you burst out laughing. The prime example was Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World , the films captions were funnier than the dialogues. It is easily one of the busiest film I have seen given the fact that there is so much happening simultaneously. That being said the emotional content is rare as they are still pitched out perfectly without it being jarring and forced resulting in some of the more memorable scenes. The scene of Shaun killing his mom in Shaun Of The Dead comes straight to mind. Creating an impacting emotional scene in a primarily a comedy film is risky,  it’s like you’re watching a scene where heroine is about to strip and the power cuts off as she’s about to drop her clothes. Where Edgar gets it right in terms of dark passage is that it he always builds it up from the start of the movie rather than just being a random scene to add that serious touch.

Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead

Be it his relationship with his mother & Nick in Shaun Of The Dead or the issues that Nick has with his father in Hot Fuzz, or Simon’s obsession of staying in the past in The World’s End. You always know that at some point in the turn of events this emotion will be unleashed and when it does, it is handled in such a mature and dark way that you almost feel you’re all of a sudden watching something completely different. One thing about Edgar is he doesn’t hold back for anything, if he does something he will make sure that it is laid out perfectly in terms of color tones, atmosphere and brutality.

The brutality of course comes from the heavily violent action set pieces. It is gory, bloody, messy but beautifully crafted on celluloid. Be it the tight shooting sequence in Hot Fuzz to the WWE kind of fight sequence in The World’s End or the most artistic and beautiful masterpiece kind of video games meets comic book meets Da Vinci kinda action sequence in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. They are constantly evolving in terms of action sequences as well and not surprisingly something new crops up.

There are elements of films that we love and the elements which we just can’t forget and the quick cut editing is something that is just signature Edgar Wright. Guy Ritchie was the dude who got us hooked to those quick zappy editing patterns. But, Edgar just seems to have made it his own. He uses it not just to make it funny and stylish but primarily to jump through narration and get the pace of the story going, but also uses it very effectively in a conversation.

The World's End
The World’s End

It is such an effective manner to move the story forward but if not done right it can feel unwanted. But the way it is done in Edgar’s film it is right on the mark and you wait for it to come in his films. It has become his signature of sorts in his films. Also it suits his style of filmmaking as it is always at a pace and the quick editing style gels together beautifully.

He bought back old school style of film-making with a modern twist where stories are still a core of a film, yet he has diversified technically, stylishly and manages to entertain us in very creative and unforgettable way. He has now moved on to bigger things after coming to Hollywood. Edgar’s next is supposedly Ant-Man but the one that has really caught my attention is a full fledged horror feature minus any comedy that he is planning with Bad”J. J. Abrams”Robot. Big industry and big studios comes with its own baggage and I hope that he won’t succumb to it and will manage to keep the honesty and creativity intact with which he makes his films.