BY: Ryan Touhey
When it comes to movies, I usually prefer sports films or comedies. I’ve been a sports fan my whole life and I enjoy laughing, so it’s pretty self-explanatory as to why I like those genres the most. But I’ve never been a big scary movie guy. That’s not to say that I dislike scary movies, but they’re just not my cup of tea. That’s primarily because I tend to get very squeamish or nervous during these types of movies.
I usually don’t like having those feelings. However, if those elements are mixed together with a solid plot that captures my imagination and allows me to think outside of the box, then I’ll enjoy the film a lot more. What I tend to not enjoy are “goofy” scary movies. These films desperately try but usually fail to get me into them. That’s because their plots are so nonsensical and the graphics that I see don’t faze me. For me, a film that falls under this category is the 2016 film, “Don’t Breathe.” I won’t put in any major spoilers for the movies that I mention in this piece.
But long story short, the plot is that three burglars break into a blind man’s home to steal a supposed fortune he has hidden somewhere. It goes horribly wrong for them, and the film then relies on suspense, action and storytelling that was laughably bad for me. For me, if you’re going to use suspense a lot in a movie, you have to do it in a way for the audience to connect with the main characters. The characters are burglars, and I didn’t feel any connection to any of them.
This led to me not rooting for them or having any sympathy for them if something went wrong. Another problem that I had with this film was the blind man character. That’s right, I didn’t like a single character in this film. In non-spoiler terms, the blind man is basically indestructible, and the ending of the film took the cake for me because throughout everything that happened, in the end, he lives.
Now I understand this film went for entertainment purposes, but that was solely it. Just entertainment. I wanted some kind of discovery or life-lasting impression leaving the movie theater after seeing it. But unfortunately, I couldn’t find any of that.
However, I mentioned that I tend to dislike “goofy” scary movies. There is one that I did enjoy though, and that was, “Get Out,” from 2017. Summing it up in non-spoiler terms, the main character discovers something highly unusual about his girlfriend and her family. Now this film intrigued me because the plot was so out of the ordinary, that it grabbed my attention.
Additionally, I could relate to the main character of the film and was rooting for him from start to finish. That, plus suspense and some humor, made the whole experience very enjoyable for me. If I’m watching a scary movie, I tend to go for very scary movies because I feel that they have better plots, sequences and characters. One movie that I put under this category is “Alien,” from 1979. Basically, the film is about humans versus an alien. This film captured my interest from start to finish because I thought the special effects and designs of the film were outstanding. It felt as if I was in the film firsthand.
The one thing that I wasn’t a fan of in the film was that it had a very graphic scene that made me cover my eyes. If you’ve seen the film, you know which scene I am talking about.
However, it was a good thing that I didn’t like that scene, because it got me into the film
so much more that I had to turn away in the first place. The film did it in such a way that got me behind the main characters for the rest of the film. I could relate to them and I was concerned for them. The film also mastered the suspense element and it got me very tense and anxioius, waiting for the next sequence to play out.
Another film that I put under this category is the 1980 film, “The Shining.” This film is about a man who agrees to look after a supposedly haunted hotel with his family for the winter. This film is right up my alley because it has one of my favorite actors in it, Jack
Nicholson, who in my opinion has a special gift for playing villains. Nicholson’s work plus the suspense throughout the film, made me root hard for the main protagonists, and hope for a peaceful outcome.
Overall, in order for a scary movie to succeed for me, there needs to be an interesting plot, suspense and characters who I can relate to.