pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
[personal profile] pktechgirlbackup
I love to be scared by horror movies, but it almost never happens. The Ring is the high water mark of scary for me, and even that didn't reach great heights of fear, it just lingered for a while. Video games have done better, but I'm clearly the tail end of the bell curve when it comes to scarability. So when I tell you that I watched three movies from Rambling Beach Cat's first list of 10 short scary movies and am afraid to watch more alone, I want you to understand my full meaning.

I'm beginning to think that horror and comedy are alike in that they either need to be short, or serving something else. Everyone knows a good horror movie makes your brain do all the work for them, but I get resentful if I don't feel the movie is doing it's fair share. Maintaining pacing such that I feel the movie is rewarding me for my imagination, but giving suspense time to build, and not relying on jump scares, is almost impossible over a 90 minute movie. But it turns out to be ridiculously possible in a 2 minute period. They give me a seed, I work myself up over a myriad of possibilities, and they pick one before I've had a chance to acclimate, thus simultaneously giving me a sense of closure and one of fear.

It's also much more forgiving. Of the three I watched (Bedfellows, The Closet, and Red Balloon), The Closet was the least impressive. It was tense and then there was a jump scare and that was about it. But that is absolutely enough to sustain 200 seconds without my ADD kicking in.

Coincidentally, I also saw a live stand up anthology act last night (and by last night I mean Halloween, which is when I originally wrote this). The theme was supposed to be "comedians tell their dark secrets", but only some of them got the memo. The ones that did were my favorites. One of the sucky things about doing a lot of open mics and watching a lot of local comedy is that I'd heard a lot of material before. One of the neat things about doing a lot of open mics and watching a lot of local comedy is that I could recognize when a performer is capable of doing traditional stand up, but changed to "emotional story delivered with humor" for the night. I did not laugh the most at her, but I felt more emotionally fulfilled.

This reminded me of why I like British comedy: it's very slow burn. Where Americans are constantly trying to go for the laughs, British comics are constantly just-under-the-threshold funny, punctuated by something absolutely amazing. Like horror, I can appreciate a single short funny thing, and then I'm done. Or it can use horror/humor as a tool to explore something else. Christopher Titus and Mama are in many ways talking about the same thing.


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May 2014

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