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  • When watching a horror movie or reading a book, what type of creature design do you prefer: something that is concrete, tactile, based in 'reality' or easily identifiable

    OR

    an antagonist thats very abstract, indefinable, subtly off-putting or uncanny in some way?



    Examples for the former: The Thing, Michael Meyers, Chucky, Candy Man, The Grudge

    Examples for the latter: It (Follows), Color out of Space, Death (Final Destination)

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    • This is entirely mood-dependent for me.  Usually, when I'm in the mood for a horror movie, I go for a slasher with a defined, or at least specific villian.  But there are times when the premise of a movie that has the other kind of menace will be too good to resist.  The best found footage movies fall into this category, I think.

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    • Jdeschene wrote:
      This is entirely mood-dependent for me.  Usually, when I'm in the mood for a horror movie, I go for a slasher with a defined, or at least specific villian.  But there are times when the premise of a movie that has the other kind of menace will be too good to resist.  The best found footage movies fall into this category, I think.

      ​​​​I think I lean on the more "exotic" antagonists that have interesting rules and aren't something you can identify with usually. It Follows, some of the creatures from V/H/S, that sort of thing. I like the idea of things that completely defy normal conventions being mixed with mundane settings, it makes them seem exponentially more interesting. However I do appreciate effective traditional villains like the Body Snatchers or Cenobytes for example. 

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    • I guess I'd lean towards the latter. You could've used some better examples, though. I wouldn't call It (the clown) abstract and indefinable nor would I call The Grudge concrete and tactile. But yeah, the latter. 'What you don't know is always scarier' and whatnot.

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    • Cornconic wrote:
      I guess I'd lean towards the latter. You could've used some better examples, though. I wouldn't call It (the clown) abstract and indefinable nor would I call The Grudge concrete and tactile. But yeah, the latter. 'What you don't know is always scarier' and whatnot.

      It from It Follows, not IT. I label Grudge as 'concrete' example because its reminiscient of a corpse, its a recognizable and tactile entity, what with the death-rattling and crazy hair and its ability to breach one's personal bubble of safety.

      Technically the Clown would lean more towards the indefinable considering it is an eldritch abomination with an alien form. The Dead Lights are a good example of that uncanny element. Its a nice in between of the two.

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    • Ah, I forgot about that movie. What was the premise again? Something about a sexually-transmitted curse? I saw it when it first came out but I've forgotten a lot of things about it since then. I do remember the beach scene, the one with the girl in the rubber ring. That part stuck with me.

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    • Yeah, it was a curse-oriented being that stalked the latest person to have sex with the curse-bearer, killing as it went down the line. Generally a very uncomfortably paranoid film.

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    • Really presentation and narrative dependent. I'd say Babadook is an example of a terrible uncanny villain, while the Color out of space is a great example of one. 

      Same with the original take on Michael Myers being a great take on a concrete antagonist, while say the Predators suck as horror antagonists (they're not awful as characters or as more action based villains) but they're terrible at giving me the fear feels 

      It really depends on a lot of things, for example while I enjoyed Final Destination; it wasn't about fearing Death or relating to the fear of Death in the characters but rather the anticipation of "how they die next" for me. It's a horror flick mostly in name, cause it focuses on the concept of not being able to avoid your predestined death and uses a lot of graphic violence. 

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    • BloodySpghetti wrote:
      Really presentation and narrative dependent. I'd say Babadook is an example of a terrible uncanny villain, while the Color out of space is a great example of one. 

      Same with the original take on Michael Myers being a great take on a concrete antagonist, while say the Predators suck as horror antagonists (they're not awful as characters or as more action based villains) but they're terrible at giving me the fear feels 

      It really depends on a lot of things, for example while I enjoyed Final Destination; it wasn't about fearing Death or relating to the fear of Death in the characters but rather the anticipation of "how they die next" for me. It's a horror flick mostly in name, cause it focuses on the concept of not being able to avoid your predestined death and uses a lot of graphic violence. 

      I like FD as an example of antagonistic force of nature since its not like, entirely misunderstood...but just mysterious enough to be vaguely unsettling and anxiety-inducing.

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    • William See wrote:
      Jdeschene wrote:
      This is entirely mood-dependent for me.  Usually, when I'm in the mood for a horror movie, I go for a slasher with a defined, or at least specific villian.  But there are times when the premise of a movie that has the other kind of menace will be too good to resist.  The best found footage movies fall into this category, I think.

      ​​​​I think I lean on the more "exotic" antagonists that have interesting rules and aren't something you can identify with usually. It Follows, some of the creatures from V/H/S, that sort of thing. I like the idea of things that completely defy normal conventions being mixed with mundane settings, it makes them seem exponentially more interesting. However I do appreciate effective traditional villains like the Body Snatchers or Cenobytes for example. 

      I would recommend Await Further Instructions to you, then.  Really enjoyable.

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    • Yeah, I liked AFI a lot, too. Very stylised and engaging. Not perfect, but a great film nonetheless.

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    • I might do just that, thanks. Since Antlers has most likely been postponed due to quarantine I'm slrt of starved for new horror movies.

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    • For the other type, if you're looking for new horror, I can't recommend Creep enough.  The sequel is also good, but not as good as the first one.

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    • What a coincidence. I have also seen Creep 1 and 2 and hold the same opinions about both.

      To make a recommendation of my own, I would say to watch Session 9, if you haven't seen it already. It's on Netflix, same with both AFI and the Creep dilogy.

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    • Cornconic wrote:
      What a coincidence. I have also seen Creep 1 and 2 and hold the same opinions about both.

      To make a recommendation of my own, I would say to watch Session 9, if you haven't seen it already. It's on Netflix, same with both AFI and the Creep dilogy.

      Session 9 was gloriously batshit.  Loved that one.  I actually live very nearby the place where it's set.  The actual hospital got torn down, but there are so many stories about it, and everyone in these parts seems to have one.

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    • And where do you live, Simon?

      I live...in the weak...and the wounded...doc.

      It would seem we have very similar tastes in movies.

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    • Cornconic wrote:
      And where do you live, Simon?

      I live...in the weak...and the wounded...doc.

      It would seem we have very similar tastes in movies.

      This film forever changed how I saw knitting needles. Absolutely brilliant film. I'm not sure I've ever seen something quite like it since.

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    • A FANDOM user
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