Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread! This is your place on the Avocado to discuss recent films and old classics. Have recent blockbusters finally enticed you to sit in the dark with numerous strangers spaced six feet apart? Or do you prefer the comfort of your own sofa and dropping $30 for premium access ain’t no thing? Or are you a Luddite who prefers DVDs? Come in here and talk all things movies!
Today’s bonus prompt: what is the goofiest thing you’ve seen in a “scary” movie?
There is a very fine line between horror and comedy. Play a terrifying moment wrong, and all of the sudden it comes off as silly. Look no further than M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, where all of the horror beats are there. Mark Wahlberg looks around in fright at the terror that is enveloping them. There is a slow turn. He screams to everyone to run and they scatter in a blind panic.
The only problem: the thing he’s scared about is the soft rustling of trees.
Italian director Dario Argento is known as one of the more influential international horror film makers out there. Yet all of his films have a strong strain of goofiness. Usually they star a foreigner, usually American, who seems to never really raise the suspicion of the local police despite being at the location of every murder in the film.
Deep Red provides some starling imagery the seems to come out of nowhere. A clockwork puppet that appears though an unseen side door, for example. A hallway full of paintings where perhaps one provides a glimpse of the killer. Walled off rooms with a corpse within. “Deep Red helped make Argento’s international reputation, even attracting the attention of Alfred Hitchcock, whose influence can be felt in nearly every scene,” Keith Phipps wrote at the AV Club.
And yet, there are moments you’re watching where you think to yourself, “Did Dario Argento intend this to be a comedy?”
There is one death scene in particular that recalls another from noted not-horror film, The Naked Gun.
Recently, viewers were split on whether Malignant and its bug-nuts conclusion was supposed to be intentionally funny, or if the goofy moments were completely by accident. Only James Wan knows.
Next week: Steven Spielberg