Thursday, March 29, 2012

Joss Whedon on putting the dread back into horror films

I bought MovieScope magazine just to get the Joss Whedon interview on Cabin in the Woods.  In it, he discusses his disenchantment with the tone of recent horror films:

"Somebody brought up Friday the 13th and to me that was the tipping point of 'Well, now it's just about the kill.'  As opposed to Halloween, which was a classic horror movie where the dread of the thing was the point, and not the act.  But in Friday the 13th, especially by the second one, it really was about 'in what inventive way can we dispose of this person.'  And it really took the fun out of horror films."

Take it from someone who reads a lot of bad horror films - what Joss says might seem elementary, but I have several hundred vehement PASSES that I've given to scripts that are just about the "inventive" kills.  I've honestly seen and read so many ways to kill people that the only way you can really expect to shock me is by going so far over the top to an incredibly depraved level.  (The current leader in that race - the seriously graphic and misogynistic vertical bisection of a terrified woman at the hands of a deranged psychopath.)  And let me tell you, when you reach that level, it's not just a PASS that you get, but a "there should be no need for us to ever review a submission from this writer ever again."

Be about the dread, the suspense.  But if all you bring is the gore, I will END you.

Think I'm kidding?  Try me.