(Ch. 9) Response Post due: April 26 before 11:59 pm.

Response Post due: April 26,  before 11:59 pm.

Engage in all chapter 9 materials:

Types of Horror Films

What Makes Horror?

What is a Mystery Film?

Blogging & Reviewing

Reviewing on Youtube, Podcasts, and Twitter

The Blumhouse Impact on Horror

Stephen King: The Grandmaster of Horror

Watch the first 16+ minutes of this interview with NC Film Critic Douglas Davidson (elementsofmaddness.com) and explore his approach to film criticism:

Address and FIVE of the following questions. Answering all six may gain you bonus points. In your response, you must should address a different idea than a previous class member, or add a different perspective or approach to each question. The key is making sure that you engage in the materials and share your own ideas:

  1. What insights did you gain from film critic Douglas Davidson on his approach to reviewing films. How can/or will that help you in reviewing?
  2. Based on the readings, which end of the horror spectrum do you fall (name the category)? What horror films are you drawn to, or which ones do you stay away from? Why?
  3. What insights did you gain from reading about the history and roots of the horror and mystery genres? Or, what knowledge was enhanced or strengthened? Why? How will that benefit you in reviewing?
  4. Some argue that certain suspense/mystery films cross into the horror category. After engaging in the readings (and videos), defend why that statement could be true. Provide an example of a film you may have seen that would match the criteria. Why do you feel this crosses genres?
  5. Offer some insights from any of the following:

A. the video segments (on horror and/or mystery) “How to Make a Horror Film”, “J.J. Abrams: The Mystery Box,”

B. The articles and video on Jason Blum of Blumhouse and Stephen King.

6. After exploring the readings about using YouTube, Podcasts and Twitter and Blogging & Reviewing for Money (and for free), what is the most beneficial (and the most challenging) aspect of placing review-related thoughts on these platforms for you? Why? 

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 6.44.39 AM.png
https://movieweb.com/captain-marvel-movie-review/

5 Comments Add yours

  1. katiecstone says:

    1. What insights did you gain from film critic Douglas Davidson on his approach to reviewing films. How can/or will that help you in reviewing?

    Douglas Davidson says his degree in Philosophy has helped him to look beyond just what he sees when watching a film. It has pushed him to figure out not only what the story/characters are doing, but to figure out what they are trying to do, and if they are serving the message in the process. Even though I do not (and will probably never) have my degree in Philosophy, this is a tip I can use to positively impact the way I view and review films.

    2. Based on the readings, which end of the horror spectrum do you fall (name the category)? What horror films are you drawn to, or which ones do you stay away from? Why?

    I am not a Horror girl, in fact, I try to stay as far away from the genre as possible (some of the horror trailers we have watched in this class have been a struggle…). However, when I do watch them, I usually gravitate towards Psychological Thrillers and Monster themes. I steer clear of Horror films containing demons and ghosts. Something about them seems more realistic and plausible to me, creating nightmares I would rather not have.

    3. What insights did you gain from reading about the history and roots of the horror and mystery genres? Or, what knowledge was enhanced or strengthened? Why? How will that benefit you in reviewing?

    I learned about the difference between an open and closed mystery, and how suspense is maintained as an important plot element. ‘The roots of a Horror’ supported my initial belief that dark places make for great mental/physical horror story locations. Fear of the unknown is usually related to the fear of darkness – for my reviews, this can help me to determine whether or not the fear of the unknown is related to the fear of darkness in a film.

    4. Offer some insights from any of the following:

    A. the video segments (on horror and/or mystery) “How to Make a Horror Film”, “J.J. Abrams: The Mystery Box,”

    After watching “How to Make a Horror Film”, I learned that not many elements have to be added into a film in order to make it frightening/suspenseful. Suspenseful music alone can be added in order to get the audience on the edge of their seats.

    In J.J. Abrams’ Ted Talk, he discusses how mystery boxes can be found just about anywhere. He thinks of a blank page or an Apple computer as a magic box that is just waiting to be filled with ideas and creations. Stories are mystery boxes – filled with fundamental questions that continuously draw the audience into the story (Abrams’ discussing Star Wars’ mystery boxes is quite hilarious – start in at 8:45 to hear it).

    5. After exploring the readings about using YouTube, Podcasts and Twitter and Blogging & Reviewing for Money (and for free), what is the most beneficial (and the most challenging) aspect of placing review-related thoughts on these platforms for you? Why?

    Placing reviews on platforms such as Twitter and YouTube makes it easier to market and access your reviews. Also, Twitter can allow for a quick snippet of your review, giving you the opportunity to reel the readers in. I think a big challenge of starting a film review blog is the lack of readers. You really have to get out there and market yourself, which is hard work; however, it is usually work worth doing.

    – Katherine Stone 4/19/19

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  2. What insights did you gain from film critic Douglas Davidson on his approach to reviewing films. How can/or will that help you in reviewing?
    One of the largest insights I gained from the film critic Douglas Davidson on his approach to reviewing films is when he was discussing how his study of philosophy helped him in reviewing. Douglas’s point that looking in the background and at the subtext is a very important aspect to focus on when he was reviewing the film. I think this will help me in reviewing future films because I sometimes struggle with looking beneath the surface of the film, and understanding what he universal message, or theme of the fim.
    Based on the readings, which end of the horror spectrum do you fall (name the category)? What horror films are you drawn to, or which ones do you stay away from? Why?
    Based on the readings, I think I would fall in the “Psychological (suspense) Thrillers”. I have little interest in horror films, but I have recently became interested in the show “Criminal Minds”, and that show involves a great amount of psychological mind games. I definitely try to avoid “Slasher films”. I am not a fan of gory, and brutal films, like slasher films. I remember being little and seeing “Saw” in the movie store, and just the sight of the box would terrify me.
    What insights did you gain from reading about the history and roots of the horror and mystery genres? Or, what knowledge was enhanced or strengthened? Why? How will that benefit you in reviewing?
    From reading about the roots of the horror and mystery genres I gathered insights that hope is a key detail in horror films. I never thought of hope in horror film, but when you think about the reason we sit through the two hours of suspenseful scares is because we have a small ray of hope for a happy ending, our brains are trained to search for a ray of happiness and hope amongst the fear and darkness. In mystery genres I was enhanced on the fact that the best mysteries are the ones where, the audience grows and learns with the protagonists, and the monster the is not revealed until later in the movie. I can use this to help me in future reviews because both of these things help reveal what the motivation is in the film. The motivation is the foundation of the film, without a good motivation there is not a good storyline. Understanding the greatness of the motivation in the film will help me decide on how great of a review to give a film.
    Some argue that certain suspense/mystery films cross into the horror category. After engaging in the readings (and videos), defend why that statement could be true. Provide an example of a film you may have seen that would match the criteria. Why do you feel this crosses genres?
    The statement that some suspense/mystery films cross into the horror category is true because mystery is almost always about catching the monster that is raging havoc amongst the savilians, and then the suspense builds up to the revealing of the monster. A monster that is going to terrify us with what will most likely be engaging in a horrific killing. Horror is all about driving fear into the audience, and boosting their adrenaline. Mystery/Suspense will almost always lead up to horror. The movie “Jaws” would be an example of a mystery/thriller film that crosses into the horror spectrum, because their suspenseful pursuit for the shark ends with the terrifying killing of Quint, and an attack on the Orca. This suspense ultimately built up to a monster that struck fear in our hearts, and raised our blood pressure. The film left us with a fear of water within the audience, a fear that is still there 40 years later.
    Offer some insights from any of the following:
    A. the video segments (on horror and/or mystery) “How to Make a Horror Film”, “J.J. Abrams: The Mystery Box,”
    B. The articles and video on Jason Blum of Blumhouse and Stephen King.
    From the video segment on “How to Make a Horror Film” I gathered that when you create a horror movie you should always start with some place that the characters would trust, and then taken happiness and trustworthiness of the place away from it, the video also reinforced the concept that much like other films, all horror genres follow the same basic structure, with little tweaks within them to give the film its individuality from other horror films. The video segment “Frame by Frame: Horror Films” gave me the insight that the reason that horror films are so popular among the population is because they provide an experience that we can not get anywhere else. In horror we are able to be given that thrilling feeling, that makes us jump in our seats, but s=we still remain safe because there remains a distance between the screen and ourselves.
    6. After exploring the readings about using YouTube, Podcasts and Twitter and Blogging & Reviewing for Money (and for free), what is the most beneficial (and the most challenging) aspect of placing review-related thoughts on these platforms for you? Why?
    The most challenging aspect of placing review-related thoughts on these platforms for me is the fact that I, and my parents are not comfortable with me posting Youtube videos, Podcast, and Twitter Blogging because of the privacy aspect of it. The most beneficial thing about reviewing in that manner is that it is much easier to speak your thoughts than to write them, when writing it can be a struggle to figure out the proper wording, and proper grammar as well. When speaking things seem to flow more fluently than they seem to do when trying to write my feelings and point of view on a specific film.
    Caitlyn Hamrick

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  3. 1. What insights did you gain from film critic Douglas Davidson on his approach to reviewing films? How can/or will that help you in reviewing?

    Film creators must consider the audience that the film is aimed at. “Quest for Peace” is aimed at a younger audience. “Superman 3” contained content that was intended for an older audience. The woman absorbed by the machinery scares younger viewers. Silly gags with a lower sense of humor target younger audiences and children. While magic and mysticism can be targeted to children and adults, it pushes a PG-13 MPAA rating. Films that are considered great films are due to their story storyline. These films start and end with the scripts. If there is not a solid story, then the film will not hold up. Douglas Davidson had great reviews. He included the tone and the mood of the films in which he critiqued. This made his reviews stand out and have a bigger impact. This made me realize that I have not included these on my film reviews. I plan to incorporate the mood and tone in my future reviews.

    2. Based on the readings, which end of the horror spectrum do you fall (name the category)? What horror films are you drawn to, or which ones do you stay away from? Why?

    I personally do not like any horror movies at all. I typically stay far, far away from ghoul, ghost, and unexplained phenomenon category. When I was on an eighth-grade trip the school voted on a movie, and the choice was “A Quiet Place”. Due to my fear of extraterrestrial life, I did not sleep for weeks. I thought something was going to come out of nowhere and get me if I spoke. I have not viewed a horror film since.

    3. What insights did you gain from reading about the history and roots of the horror and mystery genres? Or, what knowledge was enhanced or strengthened? Why? How will that benefit you in reviewing?

    From mystery genres, I learned that there are two types of mystery films; open mystery and closed mystery (also known as a whodunit). The closed mystery hides the identity of the perpetrator until late in the story. The open mystery reveals the perpetrator early in the story.
    The most important aspect from the roots of horror for me is how there has to be hope in the characters to make the protagonist and audience believe there is a way out. Without hope, there is no motivation to leave the scary place, other than fear alone.

    4. Some argue that certain suspense/mystery films cross into the horror category. After engaging in the readings (and videos), defend why that statement could be true. Provide an example of a film you may have seen that would match the criteria. Why do you feel this crosses genres?

    Psychological (suspense) thrillers fall into the category of horror films. Most films build suspense until they reach the climax. Take the Maze runner into consideration. That film builds a lot of suspense as Thomas runs through the maze, but if you have seen the film you know he gets stuck in the maze for only one night. What happens during that scene, the griever chasing Thomas, could almost be considered a horror. I feel that filmmakers cross the genre to make the films more interesting while keeping you hooked throughout the film.

    5. Offer some insights from any of the following:
    A. the video segments (on horror and/or mystery) “How to Make a Horror Film”, “J.J.
    A horror movie begins with an ordinary place that is not happy. A main character with a friend that does not want to be anywhere near that place is added along with a friend who does not believe in ghosts. The characters need a bad reason to enter the place. One character serves as a warning. Now let’s add the music and let the sound effects begin. As the story continues, things begin to move and characters disappear. Only the lead actor makes it out and the film ends with a cliffhanger.

    Abrams: The Mystery Box,”
    You don’t need modern technology to make a good movie. You begin with a teaser as the big question. (What draws the viewer in?) A good film represents possibility, hope, and potential. Mystery can be used as a catalyst for imagination. Holding information from the viewers is more engaging. The blank pages of a script are like a mystery box. “What are you going to write that is worthy of me.”

    B. The articles and video on Jason Blum of Blumhouse and Stephen King.

    6. After exploring the readings about using YouTube, Podcasts and Twitter and Blogging & Reviewing for Money (and for free), what is the most beneficial (and the most challenging) aspect of placing review-related thoughts on these platforms for you? Why?

    The most beneficial thing about making a podcast and reviews is being able to make money if you have the opportunity. If you can make money off of watching a movie that is a win-win situation, not only do you get to see a film but you can also make money from writing a review. The most challenging aspect of writing reviews is that writing them can be very time-consuming. It takes a longer amount of time to write a quality review. I am a very busy person in general and sometimes it is hard for me to find the time to write a good film review.

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  4. sugarymango says:

    What insights did you gain from film critic Douglas Davidson on his approach to reviewing films. How can/or will that help you in reviewing?

    I think the greatest thing I gained from Douglas Davidson was how he used philosophy in reviewing and critiquing. I think that if you learn how to look in more than one way, or how to think in more than one way, you can learn more about why the characters might do things, or why a person acted this way. It can help in looking at how certain on-screen things can affect the audience and why. I think thinking this way could help me explain things better, and be able to understand different point of views than my own.

    Based on the readings, which end of the horror spectrum do you fall (name the category)? What horror films are you drawn to, or which ones do you stay away from? Why?

    I enjoy horror, for the most part. Games, books, movies you name it! I’ll probably love it. I don’t usually watch “Monster” horror, or witches and curses for the most part, although I will sometimes and mainly it will be the old ones. (1950s to 1960s) I love Psychological thrillers and Slasher films. Those I could be watching (or playing) and I’ll get real into it and all of the sudden, something will happen and I’ll probably scream and jump. But the feeling it gives is cool. (Until it’s over and I’m afraid to walk down the hallway by myself) I don’t mind the witch or curse movies, I just don’t particularly watch those, not that I don’t like it, I just don’t give it thought. Personally, I think Asian horror movies are my favorite. I don’t dislike the others, it’s just my personal opinion. Asian urban legends are just overall pretty creepy, like the one about the woman with a mask on approaching people at night asking if they think she’s pretty. If they say no, she’ll kill you with scissors, if you say yes she’ll remove the mask revealing a mutilated mouth and ask again. If you say no, you get cut in half, if you say yes, she’ll cut your mouth like hers.

    What insights did you gain from reading about the history and roots of the horror and mystery genres? Or, what knowledge was enhanced or strengthened? Why? How will that benefit you in reviewing?

    I learned that horror can torture the mind, heart, and gut. For example, I played a horror game last night and this guy was chasing my character so I run up the steps to the 4th floor and try to open the door. Of course it’s locked. So I run back down the stairs frantically because I can’t see him and as I get to level 2 stairs I turn to go down…AND HE IS RIGHT THERE CHASING ME. I scream and end up dying on the game. My head is pounding and so is my heart, so to prevent a headache I turn off the game. This shows me that people have different tolerance levels. On games or movies (horror) I can’t stand the character being chased and hiding but you don’t know if it is safe or not. In another game (that is my favorite) the creator designed the first building to evoke a feeling of terror, even though you’re safe. You have places to hide, but you don’t feel safe. I can’t play the game for long because the antagonist will chase you if you make too much noise and it tears up my nerves. The fact that filmmakers and gamemakers can create certain effects that will scare almost everyone shows that they look at people’s buildup. This can be helpful in analyzing the effects someone will put into a film.

    Some argue that certain suspense/mystery films cross into the horror category. After engaging in the readings (and videos), defend why that statement could be true. Provide an example of a film you may have seen that would match the criteria. Why do you feel this crosses genres?

    I definitely agree with the statement. I feel like suspense is used in just about any movie but if the whole movie is suspenseful, it could fall into the horror category, the one that makes you think and messes with your mind. I also think mystery could be horror in some ways. If it’s a movie about a serial killer and who could it possibly be??? (Or just regular murder.)The I say it could cross into Slasher and psychological. Like “Psycho.” That movie was definitely a cross between mystery and horror. You didn’t even know the killer until the end, and throughout the story characters where dying, suspense was being used.

    Offer some insights from any of the following: A. the video segments (on horror and/or mystery) “How to Make a Horror Film”, “J.J. Abrams: The Mystery Box,” B. The articles and video on Jason Blum of Blumhouse and Stephen King.

    I learned from the “How to make a horror film” video about the importance of characters, sound effects, and having a happy place and sucking the happy out of it. I see all of that in each game or movie I watch/play. There is an example of a game I have played called “White Day”. This game had all of the qualities mentioned. There was a main character going into a usually safe school, there he finds more characters who either want to get out of there or is trying to find something too. The use of sound effects helps with jumpscares and suspense, whenever I play that is when I freak out the most. There are also random things moving, sudden phones ringing, and it is dark and scary. You have ghost appearing and danger everywhere. The video actually did a really great job at taking what you use for horror movies and presenting it out.

    After exploring the readings about using YouTube, Podcasts and Twitter and Blogging & Reviewing for Money (and for free), what is the most beneficial (and the most challenging) aspect of placing review-related thoughts on these platforms for you? Why?

    I think the most beneficial thing about using YouTube or Twitter is the how simple it is at writing the review on there, or doing audio. At first it would be difficult because you have to make it short and sweet but this, in the end, will teach you how to write better reviews that are also shorter. A challenging thing would be getting started. You are at a lack of views, followers, etc, so it would be hard getting yourself to be well known and able to put yourself out there. You’d have to work extremely hard, which is exhausting for the most part.

    ~Lucy Holland~

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  5. Cinema Scope says:

    Based on the readings, which end of the horror spectrum do you fall (name the category)? What horror films are you drawn to, or which ones do you stay away from? Why?
    I feel like I watch more ghouls, ghosts, spirits and unexplained phenomenon, slaser, and psychological thrillers the most out of the other categories of horror films. When I am picking a horror movie to watch it is always between these three genres, I feel like I watch these the most because they are more fun for me personally to watch, with the ghouls, ghosts, sprits, and unexplained phenomenons I think that I like those because of how the producers portray the evil, how they haunt you. For slasher films I love the suspense and the adrenaline I get while watching them. I know when the music plays that the killer is going to come out and kill someone, so with thrillers it is just for the suspense. For psychological thrillers I love them because it makes me think, and I am paying closer attention to the movie. Psychological thrillers aren’t really scary at least not to me it is more for the mystery and the thinking that I like to watch this sub-genre. The horror films that I usually stay away from are the monsters and the witches and curse. I feel like these movies aren’t as good as movies from the other sub-genres, I personally don’t like the movies with the horror monsters such as, dracula, frankenstein, werewolves, and etc. They just don’t appeal to me as much, going to witches and curses I honestly don’t like these types of horror movies. The witches and curses horror movies always seem so cheesy and fake, they don’t don’t even seem like they could be real or could happen. I just honestly don’t like these two sub-genres.
    What insights did you gain from reading about the history and roots of the horror and mystery genres? Or, what knowledge was enhanced or strengthened? Why? How will that benefit you in reviewing?
    What I gained from reading those articles was that horror movies used to be very different back then. Now it is really crazy how the horror films are now, we use all sorts of CGI and special effects and use concepts that people back then wouldn’t even think of using. The horror films back then wasn’t as bloody and gory as it is now it was more suspenseful and more about the actual horror character than what they were doing.
    Some argue that certain suspense/mystery films cross into the horror category. After engaging in the readings (and videos), defend why that statement could be true. Provide an example of a film you may have seen that would match the criteria. Why do you feel this crosses genres?
    I think that some suspense/mystery films could possibly cross into the horror category because of the suspense in the film. In the movie they use a surprising factor and scares the audience or they have very creepy and eerie scenes. Take for example the movie Seven, it could possibly cross into the horror category in some ways. One reason is the deaths, they look like they did come out of a horror movie and could make people very squeamish, just like a horror movie does. Another example from the movie Seven is when they are chasing the killer or when they take the killer out into the middle of nowhere. My heart rate accelerated and I was a bit scared, I was nervous to what the killer might do or if her might pop up out of nowhere and kill one of the characters.
    Offer some insights from any of the following:
    A. the video segments (on horror and/or mystery) “How to Make a Horror Film”, “J.J. Abrams: The Mystery Box,” B. The articles and video on Jason Blum of Blumhouse and Stephen King.
    I thought J.J. Abrams Ted Talk was really good, I liked how he was really free with what he said. I liked his stories it really added to his speech about mystery. I was really interested in his speech. I read the article on Stephen King, I absolutely love his works and I would have been surprised if he wasn’t mentioned in this chapter. Stephen King is one of the kings of horror to me I love his books and I love the film adaptations to them also. I am always surprised by what he does. When I read this article I was very interested in his history and I love that he uses parts of his own life in his books such as having writers in his books. I was also amazed at how many works he has written, I didn’t know he had so many, he has over fifty works, that amazing.
    After exploring the readings about using YouTube, Podcasts and Twitter and Blogging & Reviewing for Money (and for free), what is the most beneficial (and the most challenging) aspect of placing review-related thoughts on these platforms for you? Why?

    I feel like the most beneficial for me is to read others reviews and to write a lot of reviews to build up my portfolio. Because reading others reviews will help me improve, also writing more reviews will help me improve. The most challenging aspect is making a youtube movie review account, obviously you don’t have to have a youtube account for movie reviews but it really helps. I am extremely shy and it would be very challenging for me to have a youtube account, even if I am not seeing the people in person.

    -Jessica Randolph

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