Carpenter. Suspense, Schock, Terror (German Edition)

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I thought he was just brilliant, and that script was really, really good.

‘Suspiria’ (1977)

He was the one who came up with a couple of reallykey scenes. He came up with the scene where the doctor tries to shock another character and The Thing comes out of his chest. They really go nuts becausethere it is in front of them. The critics really hammered that aspect of it.

I mean, the whole point of the monster is to be monstrous, to be repellent.

That was the part they really hammered on. The lack of hope is built into the story. I remember the studio wanted some market research screenings and after one I got up and talked to the audience about what they thought of the film. Which one was the Thing, and which one was the good guy? I hate that. We were dead. Dead in the water. It was one shot of Kurt [Russell] having survived and what we would have had to do was a fade out or some type of title card or something, so stylistically it would have been cheesy. We did test another ending where MacReady blows up the Thing.

He comes in and sits down by himself in the cold and then you go to black. There was absolutely no difference in audience reaction between that and the one we had.

Hockey team beating the Russians. A number of writers worked on this project before Bill Lancaster, and they all seemed to think the material needed to be larger, needed to be opened up. Why did you think this was a story best told in a bottle?


Yeah, he was the first. How did you two collaborate? Bill wrote the first thirty or forty pages and gave it to me. I read it and I loved it. And then he struggled with the second act and the rest of the script. When he finished it we went up to Northern California together for a weekend, just to kind of hang out and talk it through. What is this about? And it was interesting.

The greatest horror soundtracks

He had a different voice than the one I wrote with. He heard dialogue differently and had different ideas. So I talked to him a lot about how he saw things. How to you seeing this playing? How do you see this character? Is this a fast dialogue, or is it slow?

The 100 Scares That Shaped Horror

Of course all of that went out the window as soon as the actors arrived. But Bill did an incredible job on the screenplay. His original ending had both MacReady and Charles turning into the Thing and being rescued in the spring. It was a little too glib. Was there a draft after that, or was that the shooting draft you used? If you glanced at what's come out in the past 20 years, you might think it's the amount of diced body tissue flying around the screen. Horror has always depended on shock value, but what really unsettles us hasn't changed much: an ominous sound from around the corner, an indecipherable figure in the distance, a sense of impending doom as somebody opens a door.

Gore has its place, but only when it's attached to an idea. Hostel is less a spine-tingling chiller than an endurance test for ick along the lines of E! In the past few years, though, there's been a refreshing resurgence of old-fashioned craft in horror movies, and some are making profits that would make even Michael Bay envious.

The Witch keeps you sweating and guessing until the last few minutes. Don't Breathe adds a fascinating twist to the old things-popping-out-of-the-dark formula. It Comes at Night unravels its survivalist mystery so carefully that you, too, might start to feel like you're boarded up in a house warding off threats from all sides. And this year's Hereditary shows how horrifying inherited traumas can really be. People well, some people will always want to feel scared, and filmmakers keep inventing ways to screw with their sleep patterns.

Amazon iTunes. In the most stylish horror movie of all time, a masked killer picks off sexy but not always bright models at a fashion house. The perverse elegance of a model getting her face burned alive on a hot iron in technicolor is a iconic moment in giallo filmmaking. Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who is sent to earth to lure Scottish men back into her apartment, where they enter a black void.

This visually stunning thriller is a slow burn, but it's worth it to see what happens to the dudes when she's finished with them. The prequel to Twin Peaks , made after the original run of the show was cancelled, follows Laura Palmer Sheryl Lee in her last week on earth.

A serial killer who hunts children has caused city-wide panic all captured in extremely moody German expressionist photography. While police use modern technologies to track him, an underworld of criminals being targeted by raids decides to bring the killer to justice. You can thank M for Seven and all your other favorite serial-killer thrillers that have copied it—which is basically all of them. The one that set off the trend of postmodern scary movies about scary movies, for better or probably worse.

It's fresh, funny, and genuinely shocking when it came out—and it still holds up. Roth's first, and still by far best, movie dishes out Evil Dead -style camp, but it also significantly ups the stakes and cringe factor with a skin-eating disease spreading among drunk assholes well, except for Rider Strong, who of course plays the nice one who quickly turn on each other.

Zombie's artful take on the Salem witches who now seem to be haunting a recovering drug addict is ominous thanks almost entirely to its meticulous use of sound and set design. And—rarest of all for a movie like this—it has a lot of heart. The visions of a witch ritual and bodies heaped in a pile rank up there with anything Stanley Kubrick ever made. People encounter ghosts through their computers and suddenly vanish in this Japanese techno-horror gem that somehow makes the internet even scarier than it already is. Yes, this Roald Dahl adaptation is ostensibly a movie for kids, but it fucked me up when I watched it over and over on VHS as a child, and I'm still not sure why my mom thought that was okay.

Witches all over the world disguise themselves as normal-looking, professional women, but they lure children to their death using sweets. Anjelica Huston's head witch in charge—who has a full-on heaving, orgasmic reaction to the thought of turning children into mice and stomping on them—is a masterclass in scenery-chewing. An NYPD officer investigates a series of killings, in which the murderers say they were inspired by God, and gets roped into a mythology that is definitely the weirdest thing on this list.

A murderer Tony Beckley torments a babysitter Carol Kane over the phone.

Scared S#!tless: 54 Movies That Will Make Every Man Scream Like a Little Girl

Years later, an obsessed investigator Charles Durning follows the killer, who's escaped an asylum and drifts around, while Kane's character has to grapple with her guilt and anguish over what happened. The opening minute phone sequence is one of the most effectively creepy in movie history. Sadly one of the few horror movies interested in exploring black culture, Candyman follows a graduate student Virginia Madsen researching the legend known as the Candyman Tony Todd , who's supposedly the reincarnation of a black man killed by a lynch mob now taking out revenge on residents of Chicago's projects when they say his name three times in the mirror.

Madsen doesn't believe it, but you, smart horror viewer, know better. A year-old boy falls in love for the first time, and it's with a child vampire. The stark Scandinavian style gives the film a romantic and devious quality, and the tossed-off nature of the horror—a person suddenly bursting into flames, a swift poolside murder—is what makes it so scary. A rogue Great White Shark is eating people in a New England resort town, and a trio of brave men—a small-town sheriff, an oceanographer, and a surly sailor with his own past run-ins with sharks—are the only people who can stop it.

The films opening image of a woman being slowly tugged down by a shark in the moonlight is what made many people, including me, swear off nightswimming forever.