Sunday, October 26, 2014

Experiments, Sunday Horror Films, and 8 Absolutes of Scary Films

I found a recipe that was just so weird to me, I had to try it.  Before giving you the recipe, I just want to say that I found this to be GREAT!  You have to like eating celery with peanut butter to fully enjoy this recipe.  I made mine with a side of toast and jam.

Cream of Peanut Soup

Makes 1 pot

2 TBSP Butter
1/4 cup Onions, minced
2/3 cup Celery, thinly sliced
3 TBSP Flour
4 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Cream, Half n Half, or Evaporated Milk
Salt, Pepper to taste
Peanuts to float

1. In your pot, begin by melting butter with onions and celery. You will want your onions and celery to soften, brown lightly. Once brown, add in the flour to create a roux.

2. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

3. Turn off the heat and add in the peanut butter, cream, and any salt or pepper. Add peanuts to individual soup bowls. You can serve this will toast and jam.


Sunday Horror Films

During the day I decided to watch a few films.

"The Last Man on Earth" (1968)

I love Vincent Price.  He pretty much carried this whole movie himself.  Very impressive.

 Patrick: Evil Awakens (2013)

This is an Australian film about a guy in a coma who is a little of telekinetic.  It's actually pretty creepy.  If you're into horror films that are set in weird old hospitals, you'll like this.

"Never Sleep Again" (2013)

This is a 3.5 hour documentary on the Nightmare on Elm Street series.  Its awesome!

8 Absolutes of Scary Films

I want to go over some of the key elements that make a scary movie scary.  I came up with this list a while ago and sure enough, if a movie has most of these elements (or all of them) then its scary.

  1. Isolationism.  Isolationism creates a base fear in most people.  From early on, this was a theme in a lot of sci-fi and horror films.  Name a few: Night of The Living Dead, The Invasion of The Body Snatchers, and The Crazies.
  2. Your POV is the same as the main characters, no real future knowledge.  If your point of view is the same as the characters, then usually you don't know what's coming next and it creates suspense.  If you know that the bad guy is around the corner, its not scary.  Name a few: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Conjuring, and In The Mouth of Madness.
  3. Don't let the music give away whats happening.  Sometimes there's a good use of music and background music, but sometimes the lack of music is scary too (like Texas Chainsaw Massacre).  Name a few: The Exorcist, Poltergeist, and The Frighteners.
  4. Some "freak outs" are okay, but don't over-do it.  A "freak out" is like a surprise moment that is supposed to make you jump.  This doesn't happen to me often because usually something gives it away.  "Freak outs" need to be quick and unexpected so you get a harsh break from what is normal, like when the mom is in the kitchen, turns around and the dining chairs are stacked high on the table in Poltergeist.  Name a few: Poltergeist, The Conjuring, The Possession, and Insidious.
  5. Don't give us too much of a pre-story.  A pre-story can really ruin a horror movie.  People try to give them to add to the depth of the characters, but its really not needed.  Pick a moment in time and have the story start from there.  Too much of a pre-story can ruin a film with too much information.  This is why a lot of remakes suck.  Name a few: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, Beetlejuice, and Dawn of The Dead.
  6. The Known Unknown.  We, as a whole, are scared of the known unknown.  This incorporates serial killers, mental asylums, the government, hospitals, morgues, funeral homes, old religions, old ways of living (farming, amish, etc), myths/legends, and the paranormal.  What makes it scary is that we know something, even if its just a rumor, but we don't know everything about it.  Give us too much and the film isn't scary (like Underworld, Van Helsing, and Hellboy)  Name a few: House on Haunted Hill (remake), The Abominable Dr.Phibes, The Crazies, 28 Days Later, Frankenstein, The Thing, and Dracula.
  7. Viable?  If the story is even remotely viable, then it can be scary.  Aliens from outer space, a viral outbreak, a haunting, witchcraft, etc are all perfectly fine.  Something really off the wall will always be silly, like Attack of The Killer Tomatoes.  Name a few: A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Craft, The Shining, and Close Encounters of The Third Kind.
  8. Simple is better.  In today's world the 3D graphics are getting so over-used its ridiculous.  I understand it for sci-fi and fantasy movies, but get real.  The original Star Wars trilogy was not done with super sophisticated 3D graphics.  You don't have to have them.  The following are some that feature low-budget awesomeness or minimal special effects!  Name a few: Night of The Living Dead, The Last Man on Earth, The Wolfman, The Mummy (original), The Birds, and Psycho.  Newer films that also feature low special effects: Silence of The Lambs, Wolf, Rosemary's Baby, and The Omen.

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