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[personal profile] leethet
I just sampled Penny Dreadful. Cut because potential slight spoilers. I had medium hopes - most TV horror is ... well, like this.

When did Horror as a genre become just gore, vomit, excessive violence, close-ups of pus and maggots and innards, people fucking like dogs (as opposed to having sex) and lusting after children?

This is not horror. This is disgusting. Things that generate disgust in mankind are not horror. Close-ups of someone vomiting, or of someone's suppurating wounds, is disgusting. It is not, however, horror in the literary/artistic sense. Horror is psychological at its best. Graphic violence isn't horror just because it's extreme, or committed by vampires or something.

The show is dark for the sake of dark. Everyone is disgusting or freakish, which makes this kind of "horror" quite easy. You know, the only scene that struck me as effective horror was at the very beginning, when a woman on a toilet was snatched by ... god knows what. It happens in an instant, with only a hint of warning, and with no idea of why or what will happen to her. That is horror. The rest of it is just gore, just vomit-porn.

Date: 25 March 2017 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spikesgirl58.livejournal.com
I had some friends recommend it to me, but one episode was enough to tell me that it wasn't horror, just dreadful. Nope, I will stick with my old mummers and glory in 'The Gorgon' and 'Dracula' - both of which were one yesterday afternoon.

Date: 25 March 2017 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leethet.livejournal.com
Exactly. There seems to be a race to see who can make the most sickening films/TV. There's no art in taking everything that's repulsive and focusing a camera on it.

Date: 25 March 2017 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spikesgirl58.livejournal.com
I think it was in the 80's when it seemed to shift from let's scare people to let's gross them out and tell them they are scared. Or maybe it was Hammer and his gore-fest horror films, although now they seem tame when compared to 'Saw' and those films. There is a vast difference between scary and gory.

Date: 25 March 2017 01:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gilda-elise.livejournal.com
Thanks for letting us know about Penny Dreadful. I'd had a thought, a very small one, granted, about watching this show, but chose to pass it by. Unfortunately, this sort of thing has become a problem in the horror genre, and I tend to place the blame on all the "slasher" movies that became so popular, like Friday the 13th. It's as if people decided to change the meaning of horror to mean blood and gore, instead of suspense and fright.

I did enjoy The Woman in Black, but those types of movies are far and few between.

Date: 25 March 2017 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leethet.livejournal.com
Exactly. The movies were once censored of blood and gore, all well and good. Then that censorship went away and people started delicately experimenting in adding some blood and gore to their horror/suspense. Again, all well and good. Then the crowd of "more is more" - people with no artistic sensibilities - got hold of the genre. The first time I see a close-up, lingering shot of a wound, a rotting body, or something like that, I flee, because I know it's vomit porn.

You know the scariest scenes I've ever seen? No blood, no gore, no violence, no nudity. The scene in Hell House where they gather around the record player to hear the dead owner's recording welcoming them, and Roddy McDowell says, "Our attention was on that [the record player] just now. How do you know he didn't walk right past us?"

The scene in Exorcist III (not, overall, a good movie) that I won't say more about except that it's been extensively written about because it is blood-curdlingly terrifying without showing one drop of blood, one lick of violence, one naked body, one close up of anything vomitous. It lasts maybe two seconds. Every hair on your body stands up. That is horror. That is art.

This crap doesn't give you chills and make you look behind you when you're watching it alone. It makes you want to throw up. That isn't horror.

Date: 30 March 2017 12:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gilda-elise.livejournal.com
I think the scariest scene for me was in The Haunting, where Eleanor and Theo are in bed and they start hearing all sort of pounding and crying. I love that movie. You never see a thing, but it scares the hell out of me every time I watch it.

Date: 30 March 2017 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leethet.livejournal.com
At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy (which I am), they don't make them like that anymore. They do still make good movies, of course, but horror seems to have taken a turn for the absolute worst.


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