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What Scares Us [Talking Images]

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St. Gloede
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What Scares Us [Talking Images]

#1

Post by St. Gloede » October 29th, 2020, 11:20 pm

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Halloween is almost upon us.

What better time to talk about what scares us.

You can listen here:

https://talking-images.sounder.fm/episo ... scares-us
https://open.spotify.com/show/3GhRXnb6OzOnfae2Uvkvus


Join in the conversation:

Are you easily scared?

What is the last time you remember being scared while watching a movie?

What was the last time you remember being scared in real life?

Do you remember a time you were really scared as a child? Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under the bed?

Do your biggest real life fears impact how scary you find any given film?

Jumpscares vs. Anticipation?

Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank?

What is the scariest movie monster?

What is the silliest movie monster?

The scariest film of all time?

Have any films lead to lasting real-life fears? (i.e. being scared of going to sleep after seeing one of the Elm Street films, or dreading swimming after seeing Jaws)

------

Oh, and if you want more horror episodes from Talking Images, we also have these ones.

Klaus Kinski Played Nosferatu in Two Films and the Second is Pure Trash
https://open.spotify.com/episode/6KRPENj1pAWLBJV5Umjujx
https://talking-images.sounder.fm/episo ... ms-and-the

Spanish Horror Films: The Complete History (1962-Present)
https://open.spotify.com/episode/2qbUWbKEbsiuCO7xt70AhO
https://talking-images.sounder.fm/episo ... ory-1962-p

Please Do Disturb: The Most Disturbing Films We Have Seen
https://open.spotify.com/episode/7C2uQUotMf0wAx7zjzl5EU
https://talking-images.sounder.fm/episo ... f-all-time

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#2

Post by Torgo » October 29th, 2020, 11:56 pm

Thanks for your podcast and that exciting topic - just in time :)
St. Gloede wrote:
October 29th, 2020, 11:20 pm
Join in the conversation:

1. Are you easily scared?
What was the last time you remember being scared in real life?

2. Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank?

3. The scariest film of all time?
1. I am always scared.

2. Imagination.

3. That's a funny one - 20 hours ago, I commented on Hereditary that it's among the scariest films of all time for me. And I haven't even seen it recently :)
Basically all other picks are modern hits of J-Horror, in descending order of scariness, all fantastic: Pulse (Kairo) - Ju-On (The Grudge) - Ringu
Off the top of my head, there follow The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity.
You see, these are all about atmosphere. I'd only have to add The Descent for more thrill and Mulholland Drive to add a touch of uniqueness and surrealism to the bunch.

I am not afraid sharks, and I am not afraid of clowns, by the way.

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#3

Post by Onderhond » October 30th, 2020, 8:16 am

Are you easily scared?
Certainly not while watching films. I started quite young with horror cinema and after a while you just get used to it.
In real life I don't get scared, but I am a very cautious person, which is also related to fear I guess.

What is the last time you remember being scared while watching a movie?
I think it was Hell House LLC or The Houses October Built. The found footage/haunted house films have a great potential for scares imo, though it's just moments or particular scenes. I think when it's being tense/scared for longer periods of time, Chernobyl Diaries and The Possession of David O'Reilly.

What was the last time you remember being scared in real life?
15 years ago, when I was fired from my previous job and didn't have any prospects for a new one.

Do you remember a time you were really scared as a child? Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under the bed?
The one thing I remember most vividly is hearing about how a building went up in flames after someone had thrown away a cigarette. That actually kept me up at night. As for films, most horror films scared me as a kid, but the ones that freaked me out the most were the ones like Halloween, where the killer is calm and in full control of a situation (the first Halloween for example).

Do your biggest real life fears impact how scary you find any given film?
On a broader level I think so (i.e. not being in control).
More practically speaking, I don't think so. The things that scare me most in real life aren't really typical horror material. It's more about losing stability and comfort.

Jumpscares vs. Anticipation?
This is a weird one imo. I think jump scares work best when directors play with anticipation. Which is what bothers me when people simply dismiss a film with jump scares as being bad. A good director understands jump scares well and uses that against his audience, building up to a climax, not delivering and letting that tension linger until the moment people stop suspecting. I really love it when a director nails that, it's far from cheap imo. That said, I enjoy both.

Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank?
It is definitely scarier to let the imagination fill in the blanks. But because I rarely scare anymore, it's also a bit unsatisfactory. A monster is also about design, creativity, creating something that didn't exist before, with that missing it often feels like a letdown.

What is the scariest movie monster?
I would say the Alien, the problem is that I don't think any of the movies do justice to Giger's design.

What is the silliest movie monster?
I saw a weird chicken-like bird pop up in the horror thread, that's definitely a contender. But I'm going for the sheep in Black Sheep. I actually lived next to pasture with sheep and they are truly the dumbest, most apathic animals ever. To make them the lead monsters in a horror film is simply hilarious (and absolutely daft/silly).

The scariest film of all time?
Either [rec] of The Blair Witch Project I think.

Have any films lead to lasting real-life fears? (i.e. being scared of going to sleep after seeing one of the Elm Street films, or dreading swimming after seeing Jaws)
As a kid, sure, but that never lasted long.

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#4

Post by Onderhond » October 30th, 2020, 9:14 am

Oh, and I'm definitely with the people who said it's way worse with horror games. Alien: Isolation for me was mostly sitting in a locker for 15 minutes at a time, waiting until all sounds have died down before I move ahead.

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#5

Post by mightysparks » October 30th, 2020, 9:15 am

I tried playing Alien Isolation but gave up before the alien even appeared because I was too scared lol. I’m terrible with horror games.
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#6

Post by Teproc » October 30th, 2020, 9:25 am

I've only watched LPs of Alien:Isolation, that was scary enough for me.

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#7

Post by Onderhond » October 30th, 2020, 9:26 am

I'm terrible with it too, but because it's something I don't get from horror films anymore it's something I treasure. And yeah, those first two hours are pure anticipation, which is absolutely terrifying. But once the Alien is there, it's worse :P

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#8

Post by Onderhond » October 30th, 2020, 11:03 am

Also, massive kudos for the energy in this episode. Feels way more like a conversation this time around, not just people telling their story and moving on to the next. Good job guys.

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#9

Post by Eve-Lang-El-Coup » October 30th, 2020, 11:08 am

Are you easily scared?
Not in regards to films. I'm got a somewhat great phobia of falling from heights. I have been thinking about taking up rock climbing to maybe, potentially, hopefully neutralize it. I've been unable to coerce myself into doing it for the moment.

What is the last time you remember being scared while watching a movie?
I think the last time I remember really freaking out was during the vomit scene in The Sixth Sense. I was 11 or 12 at the time and the scene stuck in my head until I watched the film again, probably when I was 22 or 23 and found it to be quite mild and not at all tense.

What was the last time you remember being scared in real life?
I'm not sure.

Do you remember a time you were really scared as a child? Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under the bed?
Not that I can recall. I did think I would develop Schizophrenia after watching A Beautiful Mind. There was a time when I went with my family to the local lagoon and there was this man I found strange who was doing weird things (I can't remember what) and yet no one seemed to notice yet he looked at me a few times (probably 'cause I was staring at him) then when we left he did too. From memory he had a limp, kind of dragged his feet, mumbled to himself and was walking just ahead of us for like 120 meters yet my parents and sisters didn't seem to even acknowledge him. Eventually he turned around a corner and we ended up stopping at a ice creamery. I was too freaked out to go around the corner and check if he was still walking down the street or if he had vanished from my imagination. I didn't mention it to them even to today. Suffice to say he was real since I haven't become schizophrenic.

Do your biggest real life fears impact how scary you find any given film?
In fictional movies no, in documentaries or things like or yes. On big screens especially this makes me feel quite close to being up there. I get a knot in my stomach and basically squirm to contain myself during some of the scenes.

Jumpscares vs. Anticipation?
Jumpscares definitely only make me jump. I don't know what you mean by anticipation. Suspense? I would say I rate Anticipation much higher.
The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Haunting of Hill House, both directed by Mike Flanagan, had a mix of pretty much every horror convention ever and they worked well.

Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank?
Neither and both, all depends and especially if it is an interactive experience and the atmosphere that's created.

What is the scariest movie monster?
Aside from serial killers and psychos that could easily be real I would say the scariest non humanoid monster is the substance that creates the monoliths in The Monolith Monsters. An honorary mention would go to the birds in The Birds and the rabies-like disease in 20 days Later...
The Monolith Monsters is number one because all living animals rely on water and the Monoliths or rather the chemical/substance that creates is set off by water. The Monoliths aren't the scary part, the scary part is that the water is consumed for their creation. Imagine the ocean being hit by a meteoroid, a rumbling begins, kind of like a mini earthquake, then you get tidal wave after tidal wave and then slowly most of the water on earth is transformed into rubble.

What is the silliest movie monster?
I do not know, I'm drawing a blank.

The scariest film of all time?
Blank on this one as well.

Have any films lead to lasting real-life fears? (i.e. being scared of going to sleep after seeing one of the Elm Street films, or dreading swimming after seeing Jaws)
I guess I kind of answered this already.
Last edited by Eve-Lang-El-Coup on October 30th, 2020, 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#10

Post by peeptoad » October 30th, 2020, 12:52 pm

Are you easily scared? no

What is the last time you remember being scared while watching a movie? The last time I can recall being truly scared by a film was in 1983 when I watched The Day After when it aired on live TV. I was 13 at the time and I had nightmares about the nuclear attack for a week after that.

What was the last time you remember being scared in real life? Not sure. Possibly in September 2017, but it was a rather brief feeling.

Do you remember a time you were really scared as a child? Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under the bed? Yes, and yes.

Do your biggest real life fears impact how scary you find any given film? No..my biggest real life fear, historically, is looking like it's going to become my reality when I'm older, so I've started coming to terms with it. The same fear (or circumstance), when/if present in films I've seen, does not scare me.

Jumpscares vs. Anticipation? Anticipation. I don't consider jump scares scary, but merely startling. The anticipation leading up to them can be, however.

Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank? Imagination by far... related to anticipation I guess.

What is the scariest movie monster? probably the alien from Alien.

What is the silliest movie monster? pick one. There are loads. Most recently the monster that's revealed at the end of It Conquered the World, but the overall movie is still a decent Corman flick, imho.

The scariest film of all time? I'll get back to you...would really need to think about this one since it's rather situational for me.

Have any films lead to lasting real-life fears? (i.e. being scared of going to sleep after seeing one of the Elm Street films, or dreading swimming after seeing Jaws) not that I can think of, unless you count The Day After, but the fear was present before I saw that, thanks to growing up during the Cold War

Also, one thing I'd like to add that has to do with fear and movies: based on several films I've seen over the years (and since childhood, when I first experienced this) I really believe that certain "fears" esp. those that are related to specific visuals have a genetic quality to them for larger groups of people. I.E. there are experiences that particular groups of people have undergone collectively in past centuries that probably have influenced future generations that descended from those people in terms of what those people find scary.
It would be interesting to research this on a global scale. Do people descended from European countries find different things scary vs. people descended from groups in Asia, or Latin America, for example... just something I've been thinking about the last couple of years or so.

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#11

Post by Teproc » October 30th, 2020, 2:24 pm

Onderhond wrote:
October 30th, 2020, 11:03 am
Also, massive kudos for the energy in this episode. Feels way more like a conversation this time around, not just people telling their story and moving on to the next. Good job guys.
Thanks! It's the first one we've recorded without muting mikes when other people are talking I think, glad it had the intended effect. :)

@peeptoad: Let's say I'm skeptical on the genetical argument there, but there are certainly cultural elements that come into play for sure. Some seem to be pretty universal though, like being afraid of the dark.

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#12

Post by peeptoad » October 30th, 2020, 4:10 pm

Teproc wrote:
October 30th, 2020, 2:24 pm

@peeptoad: Let's say I'm skeptical on the genetical argument there, but there are certainly cultural elements that come into play for sure. Some seem to be pretty universal though, like being afraid of the dark.
Yep, understandable to be skeptical... I wasn't think as broadly as being afraid of the dark since that seems to cover pretty much all humans, but my main point of reference for that line of thinking has to do with the plague doctor mask design (and overall garb), which was designed and first used in the exact area of most of my heritage.
Image
Image

You gotta admit there are some similarities, but maybe just coincidence... shudder. Ick.
Regardless, I do think that swaths of humans from times past that have shared collective experiences probably have some genetic traits or psychological leanings that have been passed down that are due to those experiences.

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#13

Post by Onderhond » October 30th, 2020, 4:58 pm

I really disagree with the framing or slashers like Michael Myers though. I do think they're genuinely scary, although I will say they're not flawless. But that's not so much due their being, but because of the way these films needs to end.

What's scary to me is that they appear out of nowhere, but don't really react to other characters around them. By just being there, not talking and drawing out silences they take away control from their victims, who sense the danger but can't grasp the situation. They are at the total mercy of their attackers, but because they're not being attacked right away it becomes really tense.

The problem is of course that they're never allowed to win, so in the end their image is always tainted as they start making stupid mistakes and break their halo of control and invincibility, simply because the good guy has to win. It's one of the dumbest clichés in horror flicks, usually I find myself rooting for the bad guy. It's my main hang-up with Alien(s) too, some weak-ass humans beating the Xenomorph makes no sense at all to me.

I do agree that their practical invincibility (standing up after being stabbed and such) is also a bit lame.

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#14

Post by OldAle1 » October 30th, 2020, 5:23 pm

Are you easily scared? I am full of fear and dread all day long most days, but not easily "scared" if that makes sense.

What is the last time you remember being scared while watching a movie? Not sure. I thought Mother! was very intense, unnerving for sure but... scary? I don't know.

What was the last time you remember being scared in real life? Just over a year ago when my mother had her stroke. My fears we justified unfortunately.

Do you remember a time you were really scared as a child? Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under the bed? Don't really remember; I didn't get to see scary movies as a kid and it was before video so I couldn't have found them even if I wanted to, and I never really read horror fiction - so in terms of culture, no. I was afraid of the dark for a while, I think that lasted into adolescence at least.

Do your biggest real life fears impact how scary you find any given film? Probably sometimes; fear of the way human beings, particularly men, act in our day-to-day world makes some of the anti-macho Filipino films I saw this month, like Kipasmata and Batch 81 more intense and unpleasant - they feel very real. "Scary" in a certain sense I suppose though that isn't the word I'd use.

Jumpscares vs. Anticipation? Anticipation, 99% of the time. There's a place for jumpscares but they are very difficult to pull off well.

Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank? Oh the imagination can always create something worse than what's on screen - except on occasion when we are talking real-life (human) horrors.

What is the scariest movie monster? I have no idea; I think the scariness of the monsters (leaving aside humans) nearly always has more to do with how the film is put together. Frankenstein could be really scary or really stupid, dependent on all the other factors. It's hard to come up with anything scary on it's own merits.

What is the silliest movie monster? Oh the Creeping Terror easily

The scariest film of all time? Geez I dunno. Maybe Psycho. Maybe Peeping Tom though it's been too long since I've seen that to be sure.

Have any films lead to lasting real-life fears? (i.e. being scared of going to sleep after seeing one of the Elm Street films, or dreading swimming after seeing Jaws)
Can't recall anything offhand.

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#15

Post by blocho » October 30th, 2020, 9:01 pm

peeptoad wrote:
October 30th, 2020, 4:10 pm
Yep, understandable to be skeptical... I wasn't think as broadly as being afraid of the dark since that seems to cover pretty much all humans, but my main point of reference for that line of thinking has to do with the plague doctor mask design (and overall garb), which was designed and first used in the exact area of most of my heritage.
I just bought this mask two weeks ago. Good fun.
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#16

Post by maxwelldeux » October 30th, 2020, 9:47 pm

Are you easily scared? I'm a bit like OldAle1 in that I'm generally filled with dread, but not often scared. Mostly about losing loved ones is when I get scared.

What is the last time you remember being scared while watching a movie? Last time I took a bit too much of an edible and watched a movie. :shrug:

What was the last time you remember being scared in real life? Don't recall off hand, but a recent-ish one was when Wife was wearing a sleeping mask with eyes on it, and I woke up to eyes I'd never seen STARING DIRECTLY AT ME and I freaked the fuck out. Did not need coffee to wake up that morning. Oh, and a more recent one was when we had a small earthquake here (rare for Seattle area) and I was convinced a car hit my house, but I could not find the car.

Do you remember a time you were really scared as a child? Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under the bed? Unsolved Mysteries. Monsters and whatnot never really got me as a kid, but real-life scary things did. I distinctly remember having nightmares after watching an episode featuring a mystery from my hometown. I was convinced this mysterious perpetrator was going to murder me.

Do your biggest real life fears impact how scary you find any given film? Yes, I guess. I find real things scary, but non-real things whatever. If it can actually happen, it will drive my fear in a film. If it's a fantasy element I'm not scare of it in real life, so film does nothing for me.

Jumpscares vs. Anticipation? I like 'em both. Anticipation more, but jumpscares have their place and are kinda fun. I do tend to agree with the Onderhond take on them.

Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank? I like seeing hints at the monster. Like the fin in Jaws. Or the arm in Signs. But no special effects designer can ever compete with whatever I build up in my head.

What is the scariest movie monster? Sharknado. Not for the film, but because it spawned all the sequels.

What is the silliest movie monster? No clue - but I'll go with Ghost Shark. The shark was killed by hillbillies and could manifest anywhere there was water. Like a rainstorm. Or a bucket of soapy water at a car wash. It was hilarious.

The scariest film of all time? Blair Witch Project. Freaked me out when I saw it in the theater.

Have any films lead to lasting real-life fears? (i.e. being scared of going to sleep after seeing one of the Elm Street films, or dreading swimming after seeing Jaws) Nope. My fear of ferris wheels stems entirely from my father and not from films. Beyond that, Amour probably is the closest to a film that engendered any lasting fears in me.

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#17

Post by prodigalgodson » October 31st, 2020, 3:09 am

Great questions gloede -- I've enjoyed reading these responses and look forward to checking out the episode. I really need to catch up on the podcast.

Are you easily scared? Something like Ale's answer, although I'd replace dread with anxiety. Between the weed, my constantly frayed nerves, a preference for my own company, and an overactive imagination, quotidian situations can easily get my adrenaline pumping, but I'm usually able to step outside that to some extent and recognize it's all in my head. There have definitely been times I've been straight-up frightened too, but not too often.

What is the last time you remember being scared while watching a movie? The new Twin Peaks series spooked me pretty good a few times if that counts.

What was the last time you remember being scared in real life? I've been out filming in the middle of the night by myself near Skid Row recently, during which I've been pretty guarded and jumpy. :shrug:

Do you remember a time you were really scared as a child? Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under the bed? No, and no; ignorance was bliss.

Do your biggest real life fears impact how scary you find any given film? I think so, yeah. Most of my fears are related to mental health insecurities, so I find movies where characters slowly lose their minds (eg Vertigo, The Shining, The Tenant) scarier/more effective than I probably otherwise would.

Jumpscares vs. Anticipation? Anticipation for sure, love that tingling of tension in my nerves, the startled-out-of-the-blue feeling does less for me.

Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank? The latter of course, my imagination scares me way more than anything I've seen in a movie.

What is the scariest movie monster? Nothing comes to mind really. Maybe The Thing.

What is the silliest movie monster? Night of the Demon, especially in contrast to its preceding sophistication.

The scariest film of all time? Inland Empire, probably.

Have any films lead to lasting real-life fears? Not lasting ones, but after I saw an episode of CSI where a building collapsed due to vibrations from a nearby airport I was terrified whenever planes went over the house, sitting in bed waiting for the roof to collapse (grew up a few miles from LAX). Oh, and my OCD really blossomed when I was 13, a year or two after I watched The Aviator, and I was terrified of going the way of Howard Hughes.

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#18

Post by filmbantha » November 5th, 2020, 10:30 am

I was gutted to miss out on the recording session for this episode and I must confess I haven't had the chance to listen to it yet but I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic.

It's also been fascinating to read everyone's answers to the questions posed by Gloede, here are mine:

Are you easily scared? No - a lifelong obsession with horror means that it takes something truly terrifying to scare me these days.

What is the last time you remember being scared while watching a movie? Death of a vlogger - this found footage film may resort to some cheap tactics to scare the viewer but they prove to be pretty effective in parts.

What was the last time you remember being scared in real life? At a horror maze I visited a few months ago.

Do you remember a time you were really scared as a child? Did you believe there were monsters in your closet or under the bed? I had a wild imagination as a child and my dad let me watch part of gremlins when I was only about 3 or 4 years old - that was a bad move. As such I was often afraid of monsters being in the closet or under the bed but I think it also sparked off a fascination/curiosity with things that scared me that developed into a passion for horror as I grew older.

Do your biggest real life fears impact how scary you find any given film? Not really, my biggest fear is being in deep water and not knowing what could be below you but apart from Jaws I don't feel like any films have been able to successfully emulate that sense of dread.

Jumpscares vs. Anticipation? I always prefer the anticipation, films that build an ominous sense of dread and creepy atmospheres usually have more chance of playing on your mind long after the film has finished.

Is it scarier to see the monster or to let the imagination fill in the blank? Imagination is usually far scarier although I am always fascinated to see the monster. I love seeing the twisted nightmares that filmmakers are able to conjure up.

What is the scariest movie monster? The thing in the attic at the end of [REC]

What is the silliest movie monster? Any time it is clearly a man in a rubber suit

The scariest film of all time? Probably [Rec] for the nerve shredding experience whilst watching it and Lake Mungo for the lingering sense of dread that stays with you for days afterwards.

Have any films lead to lasting real-life fears? (i.e. being scared of going to sleep after seeing one of the Elm Street films, or dreading swimming after seeing Jaws)
I think Jaws may have had an impact on my fear of deep water but other than that films haven't really led me to developing fears in real life.

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