Author Topic: What do you look for in Horror books/Movies  (Read 14747 times)

lowky

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on: May 02, 2007, 11:16:56 AM
What are your preferences in Horror Books and/or movies.  for example are you looking for lovecraftian themes, traditional monsters (Frankenstein, Vampires, Werewolves), Slasher type (and if slasher, supernatural like nightmare on elm street or Friday the 13th type, or more human slasher stuff like Saw, House of 1000 corpses). 

Personally I like all of it.  I prefer books to be more along the lines of lovecraftian or traditional monsters.  I like human slasher type stuff, but it usually winds up in mystery not horror sections of the book store.  Unfortunately there haven't been many good movie adaptations of Lovecraft's stories to movies.  The fan made Call of Cthulhu that came out a year or two ago being one of the few exceptions.  Not sure if it's studio pressure, budget restraints, or what. 

Movies I like Monster movies (though outside of Universal and some Hammer studios alot are cheesy), Slasher stuff though I prefer the human slasher stuff. 


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Reply #1 on: May 02, 2007, 08:17:27 PM
I'm pretty easy, I think, I just want a good story.  Supernatural thrillers are probably my favorite but I like monsters, too -- the X-Files remains one of my favorite TV shows ever.  (Bonus points for SF/Horror.)  Dark Fantasy is good, too.  I guess I like the spooky/creepy stuff that has a bit of a mystery to it the best -- I don't have to see a lot of blood and guts and gore, I just need to be creeped the f*ck out. 

You didn't mention comics but I have to say some of my favorite comics in the last decade are Hellboy.  Mignola does the monster as tough guy thing really well.  I also enjoyed Grant Morrison's Frankenstein mini-series.

Post-Apocalyptic is good, too.  28 Days Later is probably one of my favorite horror movies.  I loved the Walking Dead comics I've read and Y the Last Man just rocks (although it's probably the least horror out of all the other stuff I've mentioned).


lowky

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Reply #2 on: May 02, 2007, 08:28:26 PM
I'm pretty easy, I think, I just want a good story.  Supernatural thrillers are probably my favorite but I like monsters, too -- the X-Files remains one of my favorite TV shows ever.  (Bonus points for SF/Horror.)  Dark Fantasy is good, too.  I guess I like the spooky/creepy stuff that has a bit of a mystery to it the best -- I don't have to see a lot of blood and guts and gore, I just need to be creeped the f*ck out. 
I liked xfiles but not the government conspiracy stuff.  I liked flukeman etc.


You didn't mention comics but I have to say some of my favorite comics in the last decade are Hellboy.  Mignola does the monster as tough guy thing really well.  I also enjoyed Grant Morrison's Frankenstein mini-series.

Post-Apocalyptic is good, too.  28 Days Later is probably one of my favorite horror movies.  I loved the Walking Dead comics I've read and Y the Last Man just rocks (although it's probably the least horror out of all the other stuff I've mentioned).


I would love to see more of Constantine, as well as see Watchman made into a movie.  I think one of the few that might stay true to it Rodriguez given how true he stayed to Sin City.  I would like to see more of that as well.  I also liked Swamp Thing, Faust, Sandman, alot of the Vertigo line from DC actually.



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Reply #3 on: May 02, 2007, 08:50:51 PM
Ah, how could I forget Constantine?  I love the comic (especially the stuff I've read on Mike Carey's run) but felt like something was off with the movie (and no, I'm not really talking about Keannu Reeves).  It had more to do with the plotting, I think.  Something just felt off.  But yeah, the idea of Constantine (both the movie and the comic) is something that totally appeals to me.  I think it's his character...he's kind of a cross between Fox Mulder and Indiana Jones (yeah, I know he was around before Mulder). 

I haven't read very much of Swamp Thing unfortunately but I love Sandman.  Preacher was also kind of cool although I never made it to the end of that one. 

I'd like to see some of the origials of the Japanese foreign films the US has been remaking.  I really really liked the Ring and I've heard the original is amazing. 


Alasdair5000

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Reply #4 on: May 02, 2007, 09:26:17 PM
Ah, how could I forget Constantine?  I love the comic (especially the stuff I've read on Mike Carey's run) but felt like something was off with the movie (and no, I'm not really talking about Keannu Reeves).  It had more to do with the plotting, I think.  Something just felt off.  But yeah, the idea of Constantine (both the movie and the comic) is something that totally appeals to me.  I think it's his character...he's kind of a cross between Fox Mulder and Indiana Jones (yeah, I know he was around before Mulder). 

I haven't read very much of Swamp Thing unfortunately but I love Sandman.  Preacher was also kind of cool although I never made it to the end of that one. 

I'd like to see some of the origials of the Japanese foreign films the US has been remaking.  I really really liked the Ring and I've heard the original is amazing. 

   The end of Preacher is one of the very few bits of comics that has ever made me cry.  It brings together everything in the series in a way which is about as close to perfection as you get.   Oddly, one of the others is the Neil Gaiman issue of Hellblazer 'Hold Me', which is flat out one of the best ghost stories, let alone comic ghost stories, I've ever read.



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Reply #5 on: May 02, 2007, 10:41:34 PM
Neil Gaiman writes my favorite take on Constantine (although Mike Carey's a close second) -- Hold Me, Books of Magic, even an issue or two of Sandman.  I'd love to see him tackle Constantine for an arc but I'm not going to hold my breath  ;) 


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Reply #6 on: May 03, 2007, 01:29:14 PM
   You might well like the graphic novel version of Neverwhere if you've not tried it.  It's Carey doing the adaptation so you get all Gaiman's intricate language mixed in with Carey's very wry sense of humour.  Good fun and worth checking out if you get the chance :)



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Reply #7 on: May 03, 2007, 04:09:56 PM
I might have to check that out again.  When I picked up the first issue, I remember being a bit frustrated with the art.  It just wasn't what I pictured in my head at all. But I really like Carey and I LOVE Neverwhere and with the recommendation, I'll give it another look. 


lowky

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Reply #8 on: May 03, 2007, 04:14:37 PM
Damn never realized there was a graphic novel of neverwhere.  I read it as a book, and bought the dvd as it was originally a made for BBC miniseries done with Dave McKean (for those not familiar he did many of the sandman covers).  I will have to check out the graphic novel now as well.





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Reply #9 on: May 03, 2007, 05:05:20 PM
It's pretty good, although I take DKT's point about the art not quite matching the characters (And for the record this has nothing to do with my Laura Fraser as Door crush.  Nothing.  Stop looking at me.).  Interestingly Gaiman has said the same thing, stating that Paterson Joseph who played the Marquis in the TV show is the definitive version.
   That being said there's some great moments in the graphic novel, especially the Beast and the floating markets.  Plus Richard is endearingly terrified and faintly crap as only he can be:)



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Reply #10 on: May 03, 2007, 05:25:14 PM
I saw the DVD series and thought it was alright.  The casting was pretty spot-on with what I imagined after reading the book (more-so than the comics, for sure), which I guess makes sense, since the DVD was the precursor to the book.  I'm still holding out for a feature film version, though.  Hopefully Stardust will be a big success and Neverwhere will be that much closer. 

And I remember seeing the Beast in the comics -- that did look very cool.   ;)


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Reply #11 on: May 04, 2007, 02:33:58 PM
   Oh yeah, forgot STARDUST was coming out this year:)  Looking forward to that a lot.  As an aside, and just to horribly derail the conversation even further, ANANSI BOYS would make a perfect TV series or small budget movie.  If nothing else because Gaiman has openly admitted that all three main characters are visually based on Lenny Henry and the sight of the uncool version of Henry arguing with the cool version would be very cool to see:)



lowky

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Reply #12 on: May 04, 2007, 06:48:14 PM
That's the first I had heard abouty stardust.  it looks good.  I shall be waiting in anticipation for it.  As for Anasi Boys, I would love to see that as a movie/teleplay.  I think American Gods would be another good one.  Hell lets face Gaiman is an awesome story teller, and most anything he writes, seems to be able to be adapted to other media. 

Now how bout some horror.
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Reply #13 on: May 07, 2007, 03:47:34 PM
One thing I can almost always go for is horror set in a historical setting.  There's been several that I really enjoyed on Pseudopod (Saving my Sister's Face, Stitching Time, Virginia Woods).  I'd love to see more horror movies with a historical setting. 


lowky

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Reply #14 on: May 07, 2007, 06:47:17 PM
What about Chelsea Quinn Yarbro?  writes historical fiction where the main character is a vampire, Count St. Germain. 

I always wondered if they would translate well to film or not.  Blood Games set in ancient Rome is one of my favorites.


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Reply #15 on: May 07, 2007, 09:00:30 PM
I'm not familiar with Yarbro or Blood Games.  I'll have to look more into them  ;)


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Reply #16 on: May 08, 2007, 03:27:31 PM
What about Chelsea Quinn Yarbro?  writes historical fiction where the main character is a vampire, Count St. Germain. 

I always wondered if they would translate well to film or not.  Blood Games set in ancient Rome is one of my favorites.

You know I've never really considered Yarbro's stuff to be horror.  It reads like paranormal historical romance (even though Yarbro's probably been doing it longer than most).  Do you think of it as horror?

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lowky

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Reply #17 on: May 09, 2007, 12:39:42 PM
What about Chelsea Quinn Yarbro?  writes historical fiction where the main character is a vampire, Count St. Germain. 

I always wondered if they would translate well to film or not.  Blood Games set in ancient Rome is one of my favorites.

You know I've never really considered Yarbro's stuff to be horror.  It reads like paranormal historical romance (even though Yarbro's probably been doing it longer than most).  Do you think of it as horror?
Not really horror, but that's the section you usually find it in.  Historical Fiction, I can see the romance, but not all of them have as much as others. 


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Reply #18 on: May 10, 2007, 07:36:32 PM
Not really horror, but that's the section you usually find it in.  Historical Fiction, I can see the romance, but not all of them have as much as others. 

Yeah, I was using romance kinda loosely, to describe that sort of attention to manners and chivalry and the loving details of earlier times that you often find in the historical romances.  It's not so much the love story aspect I was referring to which appears and disappears from book to book, as you pointed out.   I was a little jostled by the idea of Yarbro as horror because there's not usually a scary moment.

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Reply #19 on: May 10, 2007, 07:41:39 PM
The scariest story I have ever read was "The Sun Dog" by Stephen King.  I read it the first time and it scared the poo out of me.  I couldn't ever finish it again.  Just the plodding dread of the ending, where you don't want him to keep clicking the picture button but you know he's going to... *shudder*

I think it's a great King story because the monster doesn't actually do anything explicitly in the text.

As for horror films, I've never really cared for things that scare me that way.  I prefer to be scared by a postapocalyptic future, or worse, a utopian one where everything is controlled and looks perfect on the outside.

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Reply #20 on: May 13, 2007, 03:19:38 PM
I don't really have any preference when it comes to 'types' of horror (although I do have a penchant for Lovecraftian themes), what really draws me to a movie or a book is an interesting premise.

I think you can take almost any kind of book/movie, no matter how strung-out and over done it is, and make it into something good.



Planish

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Reply #21 on: July 10, 2007, 06:46:51 AM
Novels: The name "Stephen King". Anybody else's work just doesn't seem as "real", somehow, and I'm usually disappointed.
I'm much more forgiving with short stories though. (Like many of the pseudopod stories.)

Movies: David Lynch, post-apoc themes, and unpredictable villains/monsters. With post-apoc movies though, I mostly keep thinking "Now here's what I would do...".

I think the last movie I ever saw that scared me was "The Exorcist" when it first came out, so I've given up on expecting horror movies to actually scare me. Well, maybe "Threads" and "The Day After" were somewhat disturbing, but for different reasons.

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lowky

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Reply #22 on: July 12, 2007, 05:47:27 PM

I think the last movie I ever saw that scared me was "The Exorcist" when it first came out, so I've given up on expecting horror movies to actually scare me. Well, maybe "Threads" and "The Day After" were somewhat disturbing, but for different reasons.

Only movie I ever really remember being scared watching was Vamp with Grace Jones.  Not even sure why it scared me so much, though at a guess I was ten to twelve when I saw it, and lets face it Grace Jones is kinda creepy anyways.  I doubt it would have the same effect on me now.  Most modern horror movies don't go for scary so much as momentarily shocking.  IE something pops out of the dark kills someone and is gone, ala most slasher flicks.  It's startling not scary.  If I am not scared I would rather have some humor with my horror.  Kinda like Idle Hands.


Planish

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Reply #23 on: July 13, 2007, 12:27:52 AM
... lets face it Grace Jones is kinda creepy anyways. 
Gee. Whatever would make you say that?


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Reply #24 on: July 13, 2007, 10:00:14 AM
... lets face it Grace Jones is kinda creepy anyways. 
Gee. Whatever would make you say that?

http://www.gordonmunro.com/adm/photo/89_GraceJones2.jpg

Please put up a warning before you do something like that!



Planish

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Reply #25 on: July 20, 2007, 06:45:41 AM
Now here's a bit of video I had not seen before a few days ago, and I'm not sure what sub-genre you would call it. Sort of a "David Cronenberg does Music Video for X-files" thing.

All I know is that it was the most disturbing thing I've seen in decades (aside from the evening news, of course).

I discovered it while searching for the title asnd author of a story I'd read long ago (see this thread - http://forum.escapeartists.info/index.php?topic=938.0 - Which turned out to be "Born of Man and Woman" (1950) by Richard Matheson. The forum message (not on escapepod.org) where I found it invited comparisons between it and this six minute video:
"Rubber Johnny", by Chris Cunningham. It's probably on youtube, but I got better results (ie. no jerky video or choppy sound) viewing the .swf version, at http://www.wimp.com/rubberjohnny/
Fewer distractions on the page than at youtube too.

Best enjoyed if you view it with the lights out (how else?), wearing headphones, and don't look up any reviews or synopses ahead of time.

Not knowing what the hell exactly what I was looking at was the most enjoyable part, and the sorta' documentary look that gave it a surreal edge. When the music came up I thought it broke the mood like an actor stepping out of character, but it still kept my interest.

Okay, maybe that's what I look for in a horror book or movie. Surreality.
Like Grace Jones, up there.

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