The Instigator
person_16
Pro (for)
Losing
24 Points
The Contender
buletman
Con (against)
Winning
33 Points

There is no such thing as a decent scary movie these days

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2007 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,927 times Debate No: 139
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (19)

 

person_16

Pro

Seriously, there are NO scary movies that are truly scary. Better "scary" movies are more...suspensful, rather than frightening or "bone-chilling." Try and name one movie under the tag of scary that scared the living hell out of you without it being gross and gorey. Gross and gorey are not very good qualifications.
buletman

Con

Antonin Artaud talked about theatre as a means to move a person, to jar them. He called this the Theatre of Cruelty. That is, as stated in his essay An End to Masterpieces, theatre's creation was a result of a realization that "we are not free…the sky can still fall on our heads." What he means is that we are not omniscient, and there are things that we do not know that are still out there, and theatre is the place in which humans are capable of discovering, as well as making aware, of such new things. This jarring of people, this shock that comes with the new idea, is why Artaud called it cruel, because it moves us, whether or not we wanted to be moved. He goes further in this argument, stating: "I propose that we treat the spectators like snakes that are being charmed and that we lead them by way of the organism to the subtlest notions." Because "The theatre is the only place in the world and the last collective means we still have of reaching the organism directly and, in periods of neurosis and base sensuality like the one in which we are immersed, of attacking this base sensuality by physical means which it cannot resist"

Since we are talking about film, which on many levels is very different from theatre, at least is somewhat comparable in many other senses. I therefore use the movie "The Descent" to make my point.

**SPOILERS BELOW IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE AND DON'T WANT TO KNOW, DO NOT CONTINUE TO READ**

"The Descent" is a scary movie that scared me not because of the gore effect, but the idea that it just may be plausible for these monsters could potentially have evolved and existed in this environment. The movie was well filmed, well acted, and even more so, didn't rely on many of the techniques presented in the past. This would have pleased Artaud, because it would have shown a great understanding of using this idea of a completely plausible monster to scare the audience.

Of course, there is also the fact that when one enters a scary movie, they are entering into an agreement between themselves and the film maker: you must suspend disbelief. This is the essence of Theatre, and in some ways, the essence of film. If you think a concept stupid, or unreal, then yes, you will probably scoff at it than allow yourself to be immersed in the experience and allow yourself to be truly scared.
Debate Round No. 1
person_16

Pro

Yes, while this is a debate, I'll agree that you would have to truly let go of any skepticism in order to watch a scary movie these days if you really want the scary expirience. That is also why "The Excorsim of Emily Rose," while a few find it stupid, did frighten many of its viewers with the possibilty of demons or devils possessing a human and its effects on them.

However, while those movies based on true stories or storylines along those lines, many other movies of our day give you fals hopes.

I'll bring forth as an example one of the worst films I've ever seen; "The Village." The previews for said film were about the only thrilling aspect of the movie. Besides, we all love a good monster movie, if such a thing could exist one day. (Actually a bunch of the old farts in the village running around in costumes). The rest showed an obvious discontinuation in the director's thought process involving the ending. Cliff hangers can be frightening, when used properly. Overall, "The Village" was a total let-down.

Then there's "The Wickerman" starring Nicolaus Cage and "The Blair Witch Project." One is very similar to "The Village" and the other was a lie. (That infuriated me when I found out-I was convinced that the woods were haunted, no matter how obvious a fake the "documentary" was).

About the only prospect worth considering a scary movie to be scary in their history is that such things could be, as you said, plausible. But a majority of the time it's crappy storylines, bad special effects, overkill, too much gore, cliff hangers, occasional suspense, and just plain stupidity.
buletman

Con

I am a dramatic art major, so you're going to have to excuse me that I keep making theatre references, but part of theatre is that if you want the immersion, you must find some sort of verisimilitude, or truth-seeming qualities, in that, you must be able to identify with the reality in some way for it to seem truly scary. That is, you must imagine you are the woman running around the woods with that camcorder, not knowing what is going on. Or that you are the man brought to the island to help a woman find her daughter, only to realize you are going to be burnt alive.

This emotion felt when you allow yourself to identify, as Aristotle stated in his poetics, is both pity and fear, and this is Catharsis, the purgation of emotion when you can have pity and fear. Of course, the term Catharsis now is much broader, and it is being debated if one can have a cathartic experience anymore, or if it can be applied to comedies, and not just tragedies.

As for this debate, I do not know if it is as much a debate, since as you said, you agreed with me, and "scary" is completely subjective anyway. Subjective, because it requires the person to completely immerse themselves in the movie - so if you're unwilling, then yes, there are no more scary movies. But if you partake in a theatre-going contract, and forget that you are watching a production, and imagine you are the "victim," I assure you, it is scary.
Debate Round No. 2
person_16

Pro

Well, buletman, not everyone is a theater major or whatever it was you said. Some of, if not most of us, expect a movie calling itself scary to scare us without us having to "immerse ourselves" in the movie.

Scary movies, and I don't mean the parody, are all becoming tragically clich�d.

For example, there's a dude running around killing terrified teens for no apparent reason. No matter what these hapless youths do-stab him, impale him, drown him, set him on fire, run him over, or collapse a building on his head-he won't die. Instead, this seemingly immortal monster lives to kill off the last of the protagonists in a CLIFF HANGER ending.

That never-ending circle of a plot line is seen far too many times for it not to be called irratating.

The point of my argument is this; whatever scary movies Hollywood will dish out and waste our time with are becoming more and more unoriginal and more and more dissapointing.
buletman

Con

You're right, not everyone is a dramatic art major. It's a shame.

Anyway, I propose that this be over, because the title of your debate should have been "Hollywood movies are clich�." not "There is no such thing as a decent scary movie these days."

I say this for two reasons:

Scary is too subjective, and it depends on the willingness of the person to enter into a cathartic experience.

Secondly, every issue I bring up, you do not seem to address, and persist on referring back to the "clich�s" of hollywood and it's special effects. You are correct, the same story line does appear to be recycled over and over, but there are some few gems out there, the ones that make you think, and those are the ones I personally allow myself to be immersed in.

Thank you for the debate, Person_16.
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by person_16 9 years ago
person_16
I kinda wanna see "The Orphange." But it looks more weird than scary. I also kind of wanted to see "One Missed Call" and "The Eye" until I heard from a lot of people that they sucked...
Posted by Creed-Diskenth 9 years ago
Creed-Diskenth
My god, watch "Jack the ripper" at 3 in the morning if you really need some fright in your system.
Posted by nickymisseshowarddean 9 years ago
nickymisseshowarddean
f*&% all scary stuff. especially tornado's and spiders and for heavens sake' clowns
Posted by person_16 9 years ago
person_16
But has It ever become a tornado? Hmm...

I recently saw a preview for a movie-can't remember the name-about hearing your death on a voice message and then you die...and how you know it is there is a weird ringtone that plays when you receive the message but you've never heard that tone on your phone or something like that...
Posted by nickymisseshowarddean 9 years ago
nickymisseshowarddean
I also fear spiders and "IT" became a spider eventually haaaa
Posted by person_16 9 years ago
person_16
True, true. Even if they don't invade my dreams, clowns still weird me out...

And I know that the quote means that we should only fear the concept of fear because it can hinder us and our goals, but if anything I'm afraid of spiders. Seriously scared of spiders. Arachnaphobia, if you will. And bees/wasps and scorpions...and tornados...
Posted by nickymisseshowarddean 9 years ago
nickymisseshowarddean
kudos on quote but the fear of kamikaze pilots and communism had nothing on clowns that invaded your dreams.
Posted by person_16 9 years ago
person_16
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." XD
Posted by nene_cinci 9 years ago
nene_cinci
There are only so many things to be scared of. Think about it.
Posted by nickymisseshowarddean 9 years ago
nickymisseshowarddean
person 16- yeah the effects were crappy but it meshed well..and i think thats what made it kinda scary. i mean a evil clown out in the day time...what other horror villan is out and messes with you during the day...boy im soft haha.
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