The Malevolent Deceased

Last week, we were talking about the real, physical killers in Killers You Can Touch. Their oh so menacing ways of getting you in  a corner with their revved up chainsaw or their sharpened knife, and then then making you pay for all those years of child abuse that they suffered or when they had their toys taken away, what have you.

But now onto what actually has the possibility of freaking me out. That would be the supernatural side of Horror. There’s a lot of crap out there for sure, but the stuff that affects you can really get to you.

Let’s start off with the more recent trend (of the past decade or so), the Asian ghost people. If it hasn’t been the films making it out over here, Hollywood remaking them, or us trying so hard to emulate them; they’re everywhere. The Ring and it’s sequel, The Grudge and it’s sequel, Dark Water, Shutter, The Eye. One Missed Call counts in the more specific topic of using Horror to analyze the effects of our use of Technology today the way Pulse does, albeit it terribly executed. Oh, and evidently a Ring 3D is coming out, so, y’know. Get ready for that I guess. There was also a Grudge 3 back in 2009 that went straight to DVD but on a five million dollar budget made near 40 million dollars. As bad as these movies are, I’ve gotta give it credit. The Cabin in the Woods did a great job at parodying this.

I’m thinking you could add all those films listed above as a combination of something new turned into laziness. The Ring really freaked audiences out while by the time we go to Shutter, I don’t know anyone who really cared, much less remembered. It just goes to show you that if you like something long enough, it will be mutated from the amazingly terrifying, original format to the horribly acted, product placement filled carbon-copy wannabe. But you might not know that until after you see it. Keep your eyes peeled, people. They’re everywhere.

…Like HERE!

Another type of supernatural includes of course, ta-da, demons. Yes, that’s right, DEMONS.  They come in all shapes and forms and origins but ultimately a djinn and a cenobite and a “demonic presence” are all demons in the end. Freaky little suckers, these guys are. Always making crazy deals with people where the benefit does not outweigh the cost. The victims on the end of these raw deals usually end up having their soul stolen or taken to hell or something. Those deal-making, slick demons are bad but I would have to say that the possessing kind are worse. Demons from Hellraiser and Wishmaster have certain parameters in which they work while the little girl from The Exorcist was just possessed without her knowledge. Actually, this movie alone is the only scary movie, having watched it alone in a dark room when I was twelve. Ah, memories.

The scary thing about demons, the supernatural, and possession is that you have no control over any given situation. There may be some way to defeat them, sure, but usually they end out on top and even before then, there’s any privacy for our protagonists. Heck, even in movies like The Grudge, the hands are all over what’s-her-face while she’s in the shower or you’re constantly being followed and watched, in many cases there being no real way to determine how these supernatural creatures keep tabs on you. Entering the body seems like the absolute worst kind of Horror. You’re not you anymore and the ones that are suffering in an equal but different way are the people that are trying to help you.

Army of Darkness almost turned possession into a joke and by the end, just about everybody who had been possessed by the evil had come back to normal. Evil Dead II treated it a little more seriously, playing on the creepiness of Ash’s dead girlfriend coming back to life while Ash himself would occasionally become a monster himself. But it’s original Evil Dead that took possession to crazy levels, as that small group of friends we’re all so familiar with become possessed one by one. It really was disgusting how they each became monstrous shells, laughing at their friends who were helpless to do anything. Mocking them, even.

“Hee hee…those pants totally clash with your shoes! Tee hee hee!”

Since my post/rant about remakes, specifically the Evil Dead, they’ve released a redband trailer for the new one. It looks interesting, like they’re taking many elements from the second (the evil hand, the chainsaw) while incorporating it into a more somber version of the first.See what you think if you haven’t seen it.

Looks like it’s got any of the freakier elements I was just describing that made the first one as unsettling as it was, as well as many of the things that make cinematic demons scary to begin with: The victims feel/are isolated, they have no control and are clueless to their situation, the demon inhabits them and mocks them because it truly doesn’t care about them and has no mercy.

In keeping with the last article, we can all get together on one thing, regardless of whether or not we find real killers or supernatural ones scary: someone trying to kill us is bad and we don’t like it.

See, we can agree on some things.

Discuss!

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