2056: Horror Movies

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sonar1313
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby sonar1313 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:08 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
sonar1313 wrote:It doesn't have to be.
Bad things are necessary, but often not sufficient.

Drama can have happiness contrast the sadness, and that can be very satisfying, but it's a contrast.

Comedy can be holistically intelligent, and that's done by finding novel or subtle ways to make the characters do/ say idiotic things. And even if the characters are all consistently intelligent in all aspects of their lives, when they crack a joke, they pretend stupidity, if only for a moment.

Happy endings are pretty common. But ask yourself which would be a better story: bad stuff without a happy ending or happy ending without bad stuff first? The ending isn't the story, it's where the story runs out.

Also note "bad stuff" doesn't need to be severe: My little pony plots all follow the plot: thing happens, bad things happen along the way, things are resolved. Seinfeld would often end with bad stuff unresolved, it's just easy not to notice because important things seldom happened in that show.

Bad things are necessary, but in general that's not why people go. Do people go see Taken to see the daughter get kidnapped, or to see bad guys get whacked? (Which, despite the violence and the gore, I file under "good things.") Didn't say you don't need the bad things, but I do say that's not what people mainly enjoy or the reason they go see the movie.

As for comedy, it comes in myriad forms from slapstick to cringe to absurd to insult comedy....and yes, to clever and intelligent. Stupidity is not required. Your average Mitch Hedberg or Groucho Marx quote is based on cleverness, not stupidity. A good double entendre is clever, not stupid. Stupidity (or absurdness, which I suppose you could say is the same thing) is the root of a lot of comedy, but it's far from a requirement.

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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby SuicideJunkie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:32 pm UTC

FOARP wrote:
sonar1313 wrote:... I also don't care for most movies or stories where the plot comes about because the main characters are making objectively stupid decisions. This covers a lot of non-horror stuff too.
You must find the real world a bit of a trial as well.
Yeah. You have to pay so much more for admission, and the characters are so frustrating.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:45 pm UTC

People watch tragedies though, and they do it on purpose knowing that the end will be tragic. Sure, that's not so popular in cinema, but it still is on stage. I thought Requiem for a Dream was outstanding. It was a powerful commentary, emotional, interesting. I felt connected to the characters, sympathetic, and worried for them. I enjoyed the pace of the movie and even the occasional chuckle they included. I can understand why a lot of people wouldn't want to watch it, but characterizing it as just a bunch of bad things happening really misses the point. Nobody would watch a movie just to see someone get kicked in the teeth over and over (well, unless it's The Passion of the Christ), but that doesn't mean we only watch movies to smile.

I don't find anything inconsistent about the idea of a good horror movie at all, I just think that in practice, the horror movies that come out year after year are absolutely terrible, with very few exceptions.

That said, I do find "cringe comedy" completely unwatchable, to the point that it makes me physically uncomfortable. It's a thousand times worse than watching a blank screen. Maybe it's because I feel more inclined to sympathize with the character than laugh at them.

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Soupspoon
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:35 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:That said, I do find "cringe comedy" completely unwatchable, to the point that it makes me physically uncomfortable. It's a thousand times worse than watching a blank screen. Maybe it's because I feel more inclined to sympathize with the character than laugh at them.
'Car crash' comedy, when two conflicting situations are telegraphed and you just know that the misunderstanding about whose dog is whose (or whatever) is going to come back to bite someone as a 'punchline'. Aye, I often will pause some scene in something I otherwise like, if I have that kind of control at hand (the intention being to offset the next small dose when I'm prepared to suffer it, or get that bit closer to the climax of the offending point), or find an excuse to get up, half-listen from elsewhere or the middle of a task, when I see the inevitability creeping up.

I'm not sure this is exactly the same thing as with you, and maybe not really the same reasoning behind it, but it spoils other humour (even if it's a 'classic' when I know every punchline that will happen, regardless) and has me mentally cringing.

sonar1313
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby sonar1313 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:03 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:That said, I do find "cringe comedy" completely unwatchable, to the point that it makes me physically uncomfortable. It's a thousand times worse than watching a blank screen. Maybe it's because I feel more inclined to sympathize with the character than laugh at them.
'Car crash' comedy, when two conflicting situations are telegraphed and you just know that the misunderstanding about whose dog is whose (or whatever) is going to come back to bite someone as a 'punchline'. Aye, I often will pause some scene in something I otherwise like, if I have that kind of control at hand (the intention being to offset the next small dose when I'm prepared to suffer it, or get that bit closer to the climax of the offending point), or find an excuse to get up, half-listen from elsewhere or the middle of a task, when I see the inevitability creeping up.

I'm not sure this is exactly the same thing as with you, and maybe not really the same reasoning behind it, but it spoils other humour (even if it's a 'classic' when I know every punchline that will happen, regardless) and has me mentally cringing.

I have this memory from when I was little of turning off a Flintstones cartoon the moment Fred put a lottery ticket in his coat and hung it up. You just know where that one was headed.

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Quizatzhaderac
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:13 pm UTC

sonar1313 wrote:Didn't say you don't need the bad things, but I do say that's not what people mainly enjoy or the reason they go see the movie.
Do you have a definition of "reason" that's separate from "cause"? Because they will not see or enjoy the movie without the bad things. True, it' s not typically in what people will think of first when they think of any good story they've heard/seen, but most people can't write a good story.
Do people go see Taken to see the daughter get kidnapped, or to see bad guys get whacked?
To see the father's desperate fury, to see the daughter's panic and despair, to see the villains callous indifference, and to see the villains plans and world fall apart. Then at the end of the day, be able to decide exactly how I want this to affect me, because it's fiction and I have that luxury.

Your average Mitch Hedberg or Groucho Marx quote is based on cleverness, not stupidity.
Name one. "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend and inside a dog, it's too dark to read" is clever, but it still involves the speaker pretending to feel the need to divide the world geographically by dog-contained-ed-ness. Which is as a whole very clever, but relies of a piece that is (in isolation) stupid.
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Reka
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Reka » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:39 pm UTC

sonar1313 wrote:And my disagreement here ends when movies such as Requiem for a Dream come up. Hated that movie because it's basically nothing but, as you put it, watching bad things. Over and over and over. In the end, I want to be entertained, that's the point of entertainment. Whether I have to think along the way is a bonus - it's great if yes and usually improves the product; if not it's probably fine as long as the entertainment is there. I'd rather see two hours of Liam Neeson casually wiping out the evil people who had anything to do with abducting his daughter - because the violence and the danger are interesting but it's the triumph of the just that makes it worthwhile - than two hours of people I'm supposed to care about doing progressively dumber things with predictable results.

Amen.

It's not just movies, either: Madame Bovary is just as craptastic as Requiem for a Dream, and Lord of the Flies is in the same "why would a rational person read/watch this willingly?" category as any horror movie.

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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby sonar1313 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:02 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
sonar1313 wrote:Didn't say you don't need the bad things, but I do say that's not what people mainly enjoy or the reason they go see the movie.
Do you have a definition of "reason" that's separate from "cause"? Because they will not see or enjoy the movie without the bad things. True, it' s not typically in what people will think of first when they think of any good story they've heard/seen, but most people can't write a good story.

They also will not see or enjoy the movie (in the theater) without paying for a ticket, but the experience of doing so is not why they go either.

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
sonar1313 wrote:Do people go see Taken to see the daughter get kidnapped, or to see bad guys get whacked?
To see the father's desperate fury, to see the daughter's panic and despair, to see the villains callous indifference, and to see the villains plans and world fall apart. Then at the end of the day, be able to decide exactly how I want this to affect me, because it's fiction and I have that luxury.

You're entirely welcome to experience and enjoy all those emotions, but I venture to say you're nearly alone in the world if you also don't experience a surge of satisfaction every time a bad guy gets whacked, or feel some admiration at the father's sheer guts and love for his daughter. And on the occasions you've read or heard someone talking about liking that movie, I venture to say it is not in the context of how callous the villains were.

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
sonar1313 wrote:Your average Mitch Hedberg or Groucho Marx quote is based on cleverness, not stupidity.
Name one. "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend and inside a dog, it's too dark to read" is clever, but it still involves the speaker pretending to feel the need to divide the world geographically by dog-contained-ed-ness. Which is as a whole very clever, but relies of a piece that is (in isolation) stupid.

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." (Groucho)

"I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too." (Hedberg)

"I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it." (Also Hedberg)

"I may be just a dumb bunny, but we are good at multiplying." (Zootopia quote; said while doing some quick math, i.e., hilarious double entendre - and no, the word "dumb" in the quote is not part of the humor)

It's kind of a stretch at best to say the dog quote relies on stupidity for its humor. It relies, like a great deal of comedy and most one-liner comedy in particular, on the unexpected, which is in no way required to be stupid. Nor, for example, do you need to believe either the Amish or Gangsta's Paradise are stupid to find the humor in a song about the former to the tune of the latter.

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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Weeks » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 am UTC

Reka wrote:It's not just movies, either: Madame Bovary is just as craptastic as Requiem for a Dream, and Lord of the Flies is in the same "why would a rational person read/watch this willingly?" category as any horror movie.
It's truly fascinating how much people will self-degrade in the name of what they perceive as rationality.

Really, you'd think a big brain thinker like this would revel in their ability to understand people, not the opposite
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Eebster the Great
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:15 am UTC

The book Lord of the Flies just baffled me when I read it in ninth grade, but maybe I would like it better if I gave it a second try. I'll probably never know. It certainly doesn't represent the way people actually behave when in these types of situations (which actually happen occasionally in the real world), but maybe it's supposed to tap into something below the surface or whatever. And it has gallons of symbolism, allegory, metaphor, and everything else English teachers love. Then again, so does Heart of Darkness, and that book is a far better read and captures a few of the same themes.

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da Doctah
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby da Doctah » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:51 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:The book Lord of the Flies just baffled me when I read it in ninth grade, but maybe I would like it better if I gave it a second try. I'll probably never know. It certainly doesn't represent the way people actually behave when in these types of situations (which actually happen occasionally in the real world), but maybe it's supposed to tap into something below the surface or whatever. And it has gallons of symbolism, allegory, metaphor, and everything else English teachers love. Then again, so does Heart of Darkness, and that book is a far better read and captures a few of the same themes.


The moral of Lord of the Flies is "kids need adult supervision, because without it they end up acting like adults".

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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:56 pm UTC

sonar1313 wrote:However, there is no such corollary for horror movies. Not only does paying money to be scared sound kinda dumb, I also don't care for most movies or stories where the plot comes about because the main characters are making objectively stupid decisions. This covers a lot of non-horror stuff too.


I think horror movies are kind of an expression of privilege. If you're living in a first world country in a relatively safe, well-off environment, genuine, pulse-pounding terror is an emotion that you probably very rarely experience, especially outside of fairly young childhood. People find it novel to be able to be able to experience this, especially in an environment that is actually perfectly safe.

FWIW, I think horror is actually one of the genres where video games are able to push the experience a lot farther than movies can because rather than it happening to somebody else, it's happening to you, and you're the one making the decisions about how to deal with those situations. Something like Amnesia: The Dark Descent is far more intense than any horror movie I've ever watched.

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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Archgeek » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:38 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:The book Lord of the Flies just baffled me when I read it in ninth grade, but maybe I would like it better if I gave it a second try. I'll probably never know. It certainly doesn't represent the way people actually behave when in these types of situations (which actually happen occasionally in the real world), but maybe it's supposed to tap into something below the surface or whatever. And it has gallons of symbolism, allegory, metaphor, and everything else English teachers love.

I read that book in middle school back in 7th or 8th grade, and I hate-hate-hated it. I couldn't put it down because it was compellingly written, like a train wreck made of words, but it made me legitimately angry, and I think I ended my book report with a malediction against the author.
Sure, I could smell the indictment of "human nature" as it were, the commentary on British society at the time, the anti-war stance; but as a kid at the time, I also felt personally insulted by the portrayal of the boys. Yeah, kids can be terrible to each other, and bullying happens, but the swiftness which the kids fell to such extremes and the depths of idiocy they displayed seemed nearly alien, and like some sort of weird attack on a child's mindset.
It was the first time I found out I could consider a book good and despise it at the same time.

da Doctah wrote:The moral of Lord of the Flies is "kids need adult supervision, because without it they end up acting like adults".

HEH. HahHaa. HEHEHAHAeHHeaHEHAeHaeaEE! Quite well said. I like that way of putting it.
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Leovan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:04 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:FWIW, I think horror is actually one of the genres where video games are able to push the experience a lot farther than movies can because rather than it happening to somebody else, it's happening to you, and you're the one making the decisions about how to deal with those situations. Something like Amnesia: The Dark Descent is far more intense than any horror movie I've ever watched.


VR takes this to another level. I don't care for horror movies but usually don't mind them. But even a simple horror VR game made me quit and never look back. You forget how to reload and even that you should sometimes. I found myself desperately trying to pull the trigger and wondering why this gun won't shoot anymore. And that was a shooter that only had the horror portion added on as a side thing for people who wanted to try it. You're in a forest in the dark and there's some deer with glowing red eyes circling you, and occasionally one comes closer and bites at you.
Over time you get used to VR and don't immerse quite as much and so the horror aspects lose some potency, but I've never forgotten that brush with the debilitating effects of fear.

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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Old Bruce » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:36 pm UTC

Archgeek wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:The book Lord of the Flies just baffled me when I read it in ninth grade, but maybe I would like it better if I gave it a second try. I'll probably never know. It certainly doesn't represent the way people actually behave when in these types of situations (which actually happen occasionally in the real world), but maybe it's supposed to tap into something below the surface or whatever. And it has gallons of symbolism, allegory, metaphor, and everything else English teachers love.

I read that book in middle school back in 7th or 8th grade, ... the indictment of "human nature" as it were, the commentary on British society at the time, the anti-war stance; but as a kid at the time, I also felt personally insulted by the portrayal of the boys. Yeah, kids can be terrible to each other, and bullying happens, but the swiftness which the kids fell to such extremes and the depths of idiocy they displayed seemed nearly alien, and like some sort of weird attack on a child's mindset.
It was the first time I found out I could consider a book good and despise it at the same time.
...

Similar experience here but I saw the swiftness every day on the playground and couldn't figure out why the savagery was supposed to be "unexpected". Just despise that book here but there are several authors who can have a particular work which I will love and hate.

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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:32 pm UTC

sonar1313 wrote:They also will not see or enjoy the movie (in the theater) without paying for a ticket, but the experience of doing so is not why they go either.
If you make the movie free people will enjoy it. If you remove the bad things, people won't enjoy the movie, no matter what other things you change.

You're entirely welcome to experience and enjoy all those emotions, but I venture to say you're nearly alone in the world if you also don't experience a surge of satisfaction every time a bad guy gets whacked, or feel some admiration at the father's sheer guts and love for his daughter. And on the occasions you've read or heard someone talking about liking that movie, I venture to say it is not in the context of how callous the villains were.
Let me back up a little bit, because I think we may I gotten to talking past each other, and maybe I can communicate better.

I am analyzing things very differently from you. I doubt either of our actual emotions are all the special or different. While I'm watching the movie I want the characters happy, justice, and all those good things. After the movie, when I'm considering what made that a satisfying fiction, I look at things very differently. First of all I try to avoid any assumptions that the things I wanted within the context of the movie actually made it a good movie.

I do this because I find it to be more consistent. I seen with a hero beating interesting bad guys is satisfying, a hero beating up boring bad guys isn't, interesting bad guys screwed up by natural circumstance is.

Groucho Marx wrote:I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.
The posits a failure on all clubs to properly judge Groucho, or a failure of Groucho's character that he is aware of, but does not correct.

Hedberg wrote:I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.
This is deliberately communicating poorly. (in fact this is technically a contradiction, as the perfect aspect explicitly indicates the action is no longer occurring).

Hedberg wrote:I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.
A thought out anti-picketing position would include thoughts on appropriate ways of disagreement, or the idea that one should refrain from doing so. Holding this position and still desiring to picket is hypocritical.

Zootopia wrote:I may be just a dumb bunny, but we are good at multiplying.
There is no reason to presume rabbit's abilities to procreate indicate an ability to do arithmetic. The two definitions of "multiplying" are being deliberately misused by the authors (but not by the characters, since in apparently works that way in universe).

sonar1313 wrote:It's kind of a stretch at best to say the dog quote relies on stupidity for its humor. It relies, like a great deal of comedy and most one-liner comedy in particular, on the unexpected, which is in no way required to be stupid. Nor, for example, do you need to believe either the Amish or Gangsta's Paradise are stupid to find the humor in a song about the former to the tune of the latter.
The dog joke is unexpected for good reason. Our minds (below the level of conscious though) consider the meaning of "outside a dog" and discard the most literal definition as being useless.

Amish Paradise is, as a whole, clever. Many funny things actually are clever. Their parts of cleverly chosen and structured in a clever way. Within context of building a joke, the pieces are clever.

Without that context, at least one of the pieces will be stupid. With some of the great humorists, they find stupidity that everyone does, or educated people do, or that typical people can't articulate why something is wrong, even when they know it is. But still, the process of appreciating the humor relies on the audience seeing something wrong.

Archgeek wrote:Yeah, kids can be terrible to each other, and bullying happens, but the swiftness which the kids fell to such extremes and the depths of idiocy they displayed seemed nearly alien, and like some sort of weird attack on a child's mindset.
I agree that it's unrealistic, and exaggerated, but the kids were doing what they were trained to do. At that time, bullying wasn't something boy's schools failed to remove, but something they encouraged. If you read biographies in that same situation, they seem almost as alien.
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jewish_scientist
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:24 pm UTC

This is actually called the paradox of horror aka the paradox of tragedy.
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Re: 2056: Horror Movies

Postby xtifr » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:43 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Adrenaline junkies. 'nuff said.

Actually, it is possible to enjoy an adrenaline rush without necessarily being an adrenaline junky!

I love roller coasters, but find the urge to go skydiving very resistible, for example.

But yes, adrenaline rushes are definitely one of the things that some people (me, for example), find enjoyable about horror movies.

Ironically (since this is a science-oriented humor strip criticizing horror movies), science actually knows more about the reasons why people enjoy horror movies than they do about why people enjoy humor--or even what humor is. "Why do people enjoy xkcd?" is a much bigger mystery than "why do people enjoy horror movies?" And I say this as someone who is quite fond of both. :)
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