How to write a better horror movie

I think there was something right about the censors in the early age of movies. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trampling on anyone’s freedom of speech or pen. What I am talking about is ingenuity. By restricting so much of what could be seen, writers and directors were forced to be creative in getting their audience to imagine the action. Simply showing everything is boring and lazy.

Look at JAWS it was a blockbuster hit “because” we didn’t see the shark often. And why was that? Because the darn thing was broken and forced the director to be more “creative”.

Tonight, I am in the mood for a good horror, mystery, or something dark but elegant; nothing with blood & gross out scenes. It seems that with modern day horror-mysteries there alway has to be the inevitable dumb blonde, topless slut, and death & dismemberment.

Watching the remake of The Fog is case in point. They had a wonderful basis for a searing, creepy trick-o-the-mind suspense: the fog itself. But, instead the director/writers take the easy route. They “gross-out” rather than allow the audience’s over active imagination do the heavy lifting for them.

Sure some of the scenes are beautiful: glowing fog eerily moving across the bay, cloaking everything in white. But then they go for the over-the-top knocking and brutal slayings of seemingly ordinary citizens. It all becomes a farce quickly.

I miss the days of Midnight Lace, when directors and writers had to be much more creative because of all the things they weren’t allowed to show.

In this day of anything goes, it’s too irresistible for the movie industry to throw everything but the kitchen sink in to try and tantalize the ever-shortening attention spans of the American movie goer, which grows lazier with each successive onslaught.

They leave the visual effects and CGI techniques to make up for a poorly written plot. What they have forgotten is that we viewers have a wonderful, lurid and paranoid imagination and we should be allowed to exercise it. If they would, they would find they have a far better movie.

Start with a good storyline, engage the audience’s imagination and then don’t cop out on the ending.

To that end I’ve issued a challenge to myself and my fellow writers to write a micro-fiction piece with the word Fog as inspiration. By it being “micro” it gives us only a precious 100 words to tell a complete story and engage the audience’s imagination. Results tomorrow.

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