Social Question

Trillian's avatar

Can we please do some rewriting?

Asked by Trillian (21126points) March 28th, 2012

When coming into a darkened room/warehouse/building or wandering out into a forest away from the relative safety of the cabin/campfire/vehicle and querulously asking “Who’s there?”, has any psychopathic killer in the history of ever said; “It’s me, Michael, I’m lurking over here behind the hydrangea bush with my machete, waiting to kill you” or “Oh, hey it’s me, escaped mental patient, down here under the crawl-space, please come closer so I can grab your ankles.”
Yeah, no. It doesn’t happen.
How ‘bout when someone gets lucky enough to get the drop on the killer? They conk them one on the bean and drop him, then run off without EVER prudently pounding their skull until the solid becomes mush, effectively preventing them from getting up again, or at the very least; disarming said killer. Take away his gun you dumb kid! Sheesh.
Remember 28 days later? How many times did Cillian Murphy holler “Hello” to an empty city? Snap out ot it pretty man. Can you say reconnoiter without giving away your position? Because, seriously. If you woke to a completely empty city, wouldn’t you be spooked enough to just slink along in the shadows until you determined what agency emptied the dang place?
Honestly. Let’s have some scary movies without the elements of ridiculousness.
Am I asking too much here? Any ideas for believable situations or rewrites?

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27 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

I have many ideas for screenplays that incorporate just this sort of realism (albeit with some believable non-realistic portions). I can’t agree with you more. I can’t stand movies like ” I know what you did last summer ”..It could have more aptly been titled ” I know what you’re going to say and do throughout this entire movie”.

fundevogel's avatar

Maybe it’s like and public service announcement in disguise. It guarantees every last lily-livered one of us is better prepared for serial murders and the zombie apocalypse than any dolt in the movies we watch.

I mean, you’ve already got your zombie preparedness plan right? Excellent! How much of it comes directly from the failures and successes of a rag tag group of survivors in the movies?

Jeruba's avatar

If characters didn’t do dumb things in those situations, the movies would be really, really short.

When have you ever heard a character say to his partner or his buddies “Let’s split up” and it turned out to be a good idea?

Trillian's avatar

@fundevogel blades don’t need reloading! Anyway, that’s a whole different ball of wax. You have to carefully decide who is even allowed in the group, because there are always those whose idiocy will get everybody killed. This also includes Tea Leone type nipple heads on islands filled with dinosaurs who have supersonic hearing and can’t wait to eat you. So act like you’re safe at the mall Tea, and stomp off in a snit over something petty. I’ll lean forward in my seat waiting for the velociraptor to eat you while you scream. Oh, wait… that totally didn’t happen, but damnit, it could have!
@Jeruba, exactly!

dappled_leaves's avatar

I have felt that frustration many times… I try to remember that it’s all part of the mythos. We sort of need to see certain types of stories play out in the same way over and over and over and over again. It’s part of our nature.

Doesn’t stop me from throwing popcorn at the screen, though.

Pandora's avatar

Oh, some of my favorites is when someone is running away from a murderer in the woods and they are mad fast and yet somehow the murder took a short cut and ended up in front of them without so much as a sweated brow or heavy breathing. Its like they can teleport.
Or you see the victim run through through a stream and the person is waiting for them on the other side, dry. (Guess the dummy didn’t see the bridge)
Or giant dinosaurs who are running down a person suddenly loses the scent. (guess he or she had a cold) Would be nice if it sneezed because then it would make some sense. Or at least have the person trip in a huge pile of dinosaur dung. (although I think Jurassic park did do that.) LOL
My biggest beef is when someone has a super power that could totally help them out and yet for some reason they don’t use it when they are getting the crap beat out of them when their opponent is obviously weaker or at a disadvantage. Guess maybe they get stunned like the audience and forget they can actually win. Or maybe they like beatings.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Trillian Out of curiosity, did you happen to see the trailer for Cabin in the Woods recently? ‘Coz in fairness, a lot of that is intentional.

Pandora's avatar

@Trillian Ah, yes the instant weapon reloader. Somehow those guys have some bad ass weapons. And if its a matter that they are reloading, I would think they would be slowed down carrying a trunk with all those heavy weapons. They must all be six feet at least and weigh 90lbs wet to look normal size carrying all that stuff under their coats. Really strong though.

Pandora's avatar

Oops, I somehow lost what I wrote. Don’t know where it went. But in short. 24,hours. Beaten, stabbing, shotting, eletricuted and hit by a car, poison, nuclear exposure, killer disease and still. Jack Baurer could take a licking and keep on ticking and get the job done in 24 hours. Not days. Hours. Let’s not forget being able to be on the west coast and beat the bad guy to the east coast within 2 hours. (Cool jets) They must pick him up at his front door. (traffic was never an issue)
Loved the show. Just sometimes it was a bit much to swallow. They should’ve made it 24 days.

fundevogel's avatar

@Haleth That is genius.

Bent's avatar

Sometimes it’s directorial/editorial decisions that ruin it.

I was once watching a horror movie and there was a spooky clock, and one of the characters very slowly went to touch it. I mean they dragged the scene out for ever and you just knew it was going to be bad. And I was like “Don’t touch the clock, you stupid ****!”

He touched the clock. He died. Quelle surprise. If they hadn’t dragged that scene out so much it wouldn’t have been so obvious, and it might actually have been a real surprise.

Mind you, the whole movie really sucked.

augustlan's avatar

This is why I loved Scream when it first came out. It openly touted all of the horror movie cliches, and still managed to be scary. I love horror with a little self-mockery going on.

Trillian's avatar

@Haleth That was hilarious. @dappled leaves, no. I haven’t seen it. Sometimes I can’t even bear to watch the trailers.

Keep_on_running's avatar

When the character sees the killer or attacker – whatever it is – and just stares or waits for what seems like 5 minutes and you think “where is your freakin’ fight or flight response? Get going dude!”. That is the most annoying.

rebbel's avatar

I don’t have a script changement, but I would like to see the following scene please:
The main character, a young woman, is residing in this big, empty house.
Floor boards creeking, appearing and disappearing shadows, moving curtains.
She is pretty spooked out because of these things.
In the bathroom she yup, you guessed right decides to freshen up.
We see her watching herself in the mirror as she then bends to cup some water to splash it over her face.
As she straightens up again…..........(well, you know what happens next, usually)…..............: the mirror is gone!

Berserker's avatar

Aaah, but a general slasher movie wouldn’t be a slasher movie without its reheated and absurd formula. I don’t think they would be as fun, at least, not for me personally. I would love to give suggestions, but I’m too busy exploring this very said formula in all its wondrous intricacies.

This is far from complete and needs quite a lot of work and re arranging, but I give you this list!

Boobs Not Brains

Female characters are always stupid, and shall trip, fall and scream while running away, basically doing absolutely everything one should not do while attempting to escape from a maniac.

Annex A; The Prom Night Exception
Unless she is the main character, or a sub character such as listed in Law III.

The Call of Cthulhu

The Fool
’‘Is anyone here?!’’ is the most common phrase found in the slasher film vocabulary.

Not the Terminator
’‘I’ll be right back’’ is the greatest slasher movie contradiction ever.

The Crow
’‘Stairway to Heaven’’ is a literal phrase in slasher films.

The Jason Imperative, Plots and Production, Last Two Words to be Used Lightly.

Suspense always includes dumb characters, a boring beginning, cheesy scares and countless movie production errors.

Annex A; I want my mommy!
The problem always lies at the root of some cliché and stereotyped psychological issue, in most cases dealing with an Oedipus Complex.

Annex B; The Edgar Allan Poe Syndrome
Rain and thunderstorms are the only type of weather a horrific incident shall see. Apparently, murderers and maniacs are great weather predictors.

Annex C; Love Sucks
Psychics or said to be mental patients are supposed to be an original replacement for the often found love story meant as a sub plot.

More often than not, these sub characters are the key to everything, however, their psychic or otherwise phenomenal disposition is never accurately explained, furthering plot degradation.

Annex D; The Multiply Like Flies
Multi-slashers are now all the rage, one is never enough. 2005 and forward is the unsung hero with remakes such as The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
(This rule is more prominent with the Multi Slasher genre, which 2005 and up decided to make countless remakes thereof, last one being The Crazies. More Invasion Film than Slasher, but other than the premise which affiliates itself with the Zombie genre, this is Slasher all the way.)

Annex E; The Dragon Lady
The entire history and past events which define a notorious killer may be witnessed, usually long after the protagonists should have vacated the premises, through old newspaper clippings obsessively collected and disturbingly posted all over said killer’s haven.

Annex F; I’ll Show you Fuckin’ Hardcore!
In a time of crisis and hopelessness, the protagonist(s) will meet a psychotic but fun loving old man who has nothing left to loose, and gives them a helping hand against the enemy, whether this is through obsession (Sam Loomis.) or necessity (Sam, but a different Sam.)
Either way, the aforementioned old man is always a tad touched in the head, usually used as comic relief.

Safety; as Irrelevant as Plot.

One must always enter the one place, weather it be an old, dilapidated house or dark, scary alley, completely oblivious to the beyond obvious fact that it is a sure death trap.

Further Doom Impending

° While exploring, doors shall always be unlocked.

° While escaping, all doors are always locked.

° Cellphones will never, NEVER work. (Originates from the Landline Slash, where in the old days, said cliché had to be performed by hand.)

° Cars shall never start when you need them to.

Death, as seen by “Chatelaine”

° Female characters always look pretty in death, ignoring the obvious realism in respect to the aftermath of murder.

° Exact amounts of blood, brains and innards found in the human body are completely disregarded in respects to medical reality. (Exception to the rule; The underbelly of the horror genre, as depicted by the 1970’s. And Japan.)

Annex A; Fashion Statement; A mechanic’s View
Jumpsuits, creepy Star Trek masks and forging equipment are the order of the day.

False Advertising; Stoner’s Pothouse

° Chainsaws are only for public attraction.
An exception to the rule; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

° There are more false alarms then actual murders.

Love Never Dies

Ending climaxes are rendered invalid as such, for despite the obvious exaggerations, the maniac shall always come back.

Annex A; HE’S NOT DEAD!!
A stunning blow which incapacitates the killer is never the end. This is known as the “Joyride II Mistake”, which also accommodates Law I.


Murderers and psycho killers are to be found at their best in the following places;

° Suburban towns and other posh but always out of the way small communities.

° Hospitals and asylums.

° Forests and abandoned campsites; abandoned over and over again.

° Unused, old and dusty American back roads or deserts, conveniently never marked on any map, or otherwise refrained from detection by convenient airline laws preventing aircraft to fly over them, usually for reasons barely explained.


What they could do though, is change this kinda stuff around so it would be funny…I mean it’s already ridiculous, so…from a user here;

Victim; Anyone here?!

Killer; I’m in the kitchen bro, makin a sandwich!

sorry for off topicing with this answer, but I did think it suitable to the subject. If anyone has any suggestions for the list, or things one thinks should be fixed, I’d appreciate the help

Trillian's avatar

@Symbeline…. I stand humbled and in awe. You fuckin’ rock.

augustlan's avatar

@Symbeline I hope you’re writing an article about all this!

Brian1946's avatar

@Symbeline is really a Fluther account shared by George Romero and Clive Barker. ;-p

Berserker's avatar

@augustlan Well, that could be neat. For about the past year though, I’ve been messing with the idea of creating a horror movie website. It would mostly be reviews, and I already wrote a few. (not nearly enough) I don’t know anything about web designing, and I’m going at it much too slowly for this idea to potentially be a site, but if it ever does become one, I’m certainly including this list in it. (after reworking it…for like the millionth time)

@Brian1946 I’m Stephen King! :D

@Trillian Thanks. :D

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Symbeline This is making me want to re-read Danse Macabre.

Berserker's avatar

@dappled_leaves Somebody should make one of those, but with a buncha famous slasher figures. :D also I barely know what it is, just looked it up. Damn interesting though, I gotta say

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Symbeline I meant Stephen King’s book about horror writing. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it. Keeping in mind it was published in 1981.

Berserker's avatar

@dappled_leaves About horror writing? The only non fiction book of his I know about is On Writing. Never knew he had that other one… and I call myself a fan

dappled_leaves's avatar

Ahhh! Something tells me you are going to love it. :)

augustlan's avatar

I’ve read Danse Macabre, too. Get on it, @Symbeline!

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