18 Jun (NOT) OF THIS EARTH?
Allow me to share with you what I think is flat out one of the best horror movies I’ve seen this year, something on Netflix called The Ritual. I’m just blown away on just how good it is, the quality of the story, the scenario and the “monster” (yes, it has a “monster”) is truly cool. The Ritual is a movie which straddles being really, really original looking while embracing a super-traditional concept. It feels fresh yet also like a movie that you would have seen maybe in the ‘60s or ‘70s, maybe even a Hammer flick or something. In that sense, The Ritual and The Witch (a movie I’ve talked about before) come from the same family.
The great thing about The Ritual and The Witch is that they keep away from all the usual trappings that are around in horror today. You know, zombie invasions, some technological glitch, horror movies related around small children. And now, some concepts that were really cool have been flogged to within an inch of their lives. The zombie thing is a bit tired now, right? Using children to base horror stories around, creepy kids, that’s totally a winner. But in almost every single horror movie that comes out? Especially the ones that have to do with spirits or possession or whatnot, other entities taking over? It dilutes the power of these concepts and renders them kinda boring What’s so refreshing about The Ritual (and The Witch) is they stay away from all that stuff. They stay away from the obvious, like technological paranoia, impending Utopia, whatever, and just concentrate on earthy, primordial horror. They tap into a deep-seated horror that I believe that all humans have, an inherent fear of things like the woods, the forest, the ocean, the dark.
Sometimes when I’m in Northern California, I’ll take a night-time walk just to creep myself out on a full moon, and that’s fun, I like doing that. I also love being at the beach at night, because I just imagine while looking out over the dark ocean that something’s gonna slither out that doesn’t usually slither out during the day and I might be lucky enough to see it! So it is in us all so far as I’m concerned (feel free to send in your thoughts and experiences on the subject by the way)…
I think what makes these films so fresh is that they’re just hitting really deeply away -going in the opposite direction – of so many other movies, the technological, futuristic type thing. They are a rebuff to technology both in storyline and technicalities, because they use the elements primarily to create everything, elements by the way that we can all relate to. The Ritual (and The Witch) are not “green screen” creations, they’re actually green creations, which again helps to gives them their edge in my opinion. Because it is definitely refreshing to see something very stripped down, organic and easy to comprehend and follow because it’s not so out of the ordinary visually, you know? You can tell that what you’re looking at hasn’t been created somewhere else and then put on a green screen or whatever.
I saw The Ritual on Netflix, and increasingly, I have to say companies like Netflix are producing some great stuff, they’ve been excelling. It’s almost like they have a way to look inside my brain and just pick out something that they know I’ll totally love. I totally and completely love Frankenstein Chronicles right now. I loved Stranger Things and The Dark, and it leads me to hoping that we continue to see development of the great primal, nature-based horror tales that are out there.
HP Lovecraft was a master of all things gothically horrific that slithered out of the elements , The Shadow over Innsmouth being a great example of what i’m discussing … four different directors have tried to make it and it just hasn’t been made because of the scope of the story. Innsmouth is a town basically taken over by Cthulhu devotees, and all these crazy things come crawling out of the water! The scope of the story is huge because it’s an entire town, which I guess means it’s difficult to make. But it would be incredible if they made that, or At The Mountains of Madness, which I heard was already being made. I hear about Cthulhu or Lovecraft stuff being made every year and then nothing pans out. I think it’s because of the nature of the Cthulhu mythos. Everything is multi-dimensional and usually underground, or Antarctica, or in some weird dimensional plane, and whenever the main character discovers something it’s always of Cyclopean size. And Cthulhu himself is like what, 60 stories high? Those are some pretty big elements to tackle in production terms. But personally? I would love to see all the Lovecraft stories made, all the major ones, and there’s a lot of great ones! You can add Call of Cthulhu and Shadow Out of Time to what I’ve already mentioned, but I guess CG is the only option to even begin to make these movies happen …
But what “earthy” or “natural’ based horror movie or show could a Netflix produce that would encapsulate my biggest primordial fear? Cockroaches. I hate cockroaches. I hate cockroaches.
They’re dirty, slimy, diseased ridden creatures and I guess my version of a movie or show would be all of a sudden, I don’t know, maybe AI and the roach merge and all of a sudden the next generation of cockroaches have as much intelligence as the AI cockroaches and then cockroaches take over the world, and then I die while fighting a six-foot cockroach!!!
Or maybe I am in a small cabin like that and something is out in the woods trying to get in, and I couldn’t find out what that “something” is and I knew it wasn’t human. That would that would drive me crazy, just the suspense and mystery of a what is it.
So what about you? How about sharing your horror nightmare with me? What could a Netflix or whoever make that would capture your fears best? Get back to me will ya?