Tears for Fears

Like Shamus, I seem to lack the horror movie gene, and his piece on why he wasn't doing the horror blogging thing this Hallow's Eve really spoke to me (and also had some broader implied points about blogthink that I thought were interesting). However, Jonathan's piece about horror-films-that-aren't-really-horror-films also made me think: what do we really get scared by when we go to the movies?

"I like, I don't like," Roland Barthes wrote. "All of this has no meaning," he admitted, except that it meant "my body is not the same as yours. Hence, from this foam of tastes rises a bodily enigma which requires complicity, or irritation." Sounds like a horror film to me. Hence, a list (in no particular order) of films whose preachy sanctimoniousness, overwrought visuals, smug hipsterism, sappy sentiment or sheer awfulness scare the bejeezus out of me (no links-- I'm not that mean):

1. Crash
2. Pay It Forward
3. Requiem For A Dream
4. Forrest Gump
5. The Ladykillers (Coen version)
6. Pirates of the Carribean 2
7. On The Beach
8. Rent
9. Planet of the Apes (Tim Burton version)
10. Shakes the Clown
11. Swept Away (Madonna version)
12. the opening credits to St. Elmo's Fire
13. Sin City
14. Batman and Robin
15. Battlefield Earth


Greg said…
I don't even know who you are anymore. Forrest Gump is one of the most profou... Ha haaaaaaa!!! Oh crap I really thought I could get through that without laughing. And as for On the Beach I'm always glad to see older movies listed in whatever capacity. I feel like too many movie blogs ignore them too much. Fred Astaire's mangled accent is a riot in that big stinking hunk of cheese. Although frankly I'd have a hard time not including every other Stanley Kramer production ever made!

I read the list thinking there might be at least one we disagreed on that would make this comment more interesting but, alas, I'm with you on all fifteen. My only slight disagreement is that you didn't include the entirety of St. Elmo's Fire. That movie gives me stomach cramps and Andrew McCarthy's character is in desperate need of an honor killing.

Since I included Jesus Camp on my list that you linked above I should note that as a part of Broken Projector's Double Bill-a-thon I have just written an expanded piece on it. Hope you enjoy it as well as your break (I despise you) in Gainesville.
Brian Doan said…
Jonathan-- I almost left On The Beach off. It's pretty horrible, I agree, but so fascinating as a totem of the period's psychosis (and how it was dealt with cinematically) that I can almost forgive it in ways i can't other kramer films. But it was putting astaire in a race car-- as David Thomson notes, a travesty for the most graceful man in american movies-- that pushed me over the edge.

Yeah, you could put all of St. Elmo's Fire there, but it's the credits that scare me the most: "Ally Sheedy...Judd Nelson...Rob Lowe..." If, by the time "Directed by Joel Schumacher" appears on the screen, you're not running from the room screaming, then you simply have no soul. (:

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