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Thread: Films which elicit an unpleasant physical response

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    Default Films which elicit an unpleasant physical response

    I'm talking horror films with jump scares, anxiety-inducing thrillers. The films which trigger the fight or flight response. Do you enjoy them? What do you think the appeal is? Do you view those sensations negatively or simply see them as the markers of a successful film?

    I remember watching Good Time (2017) a while back and struggling to decide whether or not I enjoyed it as the whole thing felt like teetering on the brink of a panic attack. It was clearly designed to but it's such a negative sensation that I found myself asking whether I would watch it again and if so, why? Why would I knowingly put myself through that again?

    I think some of what's been discussed in the catastrophe thread re: the simulation of risk plays a part. You get to play at being in danger and that apparently appeals to some sort of urge in people but at the same time it doesn't really feel pleasant at all yet so many continue to do it for entertainment and recreation. It probably applies to very moving films too. It isn't a 'good' feeling to feel broken up and upset like that but that doesn't stop people watching the things they know will make them feel that way. Perhaps we're just gluttons for punishment.

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    Eyes Wide Shut and Repulsion were two more which had me 'on the edge of my seat'. The tension and dread in those films is palpable. It's remarkable really, that you manipulate the viewer into having such a visceral reaction to something which isn't really happening.

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    Gaspar Noe's use of infrasound and strobing was an interesting approach but gimmicky and not quite as powerful.

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    Haneke's Funny Games was intriguing and I still haven't settled on an opinion of it. It's very 'clever' and hostile toward its audience and kinda cheap but I thought he got his point across. The debate seems to be around whether he was genuinely making a point or simply looking down his nose at the audience and tutting.

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    Were the stories about people collapsing and vomiting during films like The Exorcist true? Has anyone ever been in a cinema and seen something like that? I can't picture it at all.

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    The whole cinema jumping when Ben Gardner's body appeared in the hole in the boat in Jaws.

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    What's Good Time?
    Anyway, like I said in the "Willing Apocalypse" thread there is a bit in Black Mirror where a guy goes to test compute games and the guy who runs the company says that people like horror films cos you are scared but at the end you survive and you feel relief and that justifies the whole thing. I dunno though, I don't think we really suffer through the whole thing just for that though, it's not as simple as that, I think we (those of us who like horror) actively enjoy the scary bits along the way. Probably cos even the scariest film doesn't really approach the genuine fear that you can get in a truly dangerous situation.

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    It's legendary that people fainted when Un Chien Andalou was first shown to audiences but I dunno if it's really true.
    Also wasn't there some work safety film or something that was so horrific that it caused more accidents than it prevented?
    Last edited by IdleRich; 27-08-2019 at 12:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    What's Good Time?
    The Benny and Josh Safdie film where Robert Pattinson plays a thief trying to get his handicapped brother out of jail. You'd probably be into it if you're keen on Refn; sleazy, neon-drenched, druggy thriller set in NYC with a Oneohtrix Point Never soundtrack.


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    When my brother and I were teenagers we watched Bad Taste, which was on TV a couple of days after Christmas. We were both hung over but I think it had more to do with several days of consuming huge amounts of rich food that caused my brother to rush out of the room to be violently sick at one point.

    Great film, as is Brain Dead, of course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    Were the stories about people collapsing and vomiting during films like The Exorcist true? Has anyone ever been in a cinema and seen something like that? I can't picture it at all.
    When I was a teenager my mate took a piss in the cinema right in front of the screen. He was drunk. He didn't get in trouble though. Maybe no one realised what was happening. Then there was that guy who pissed on Drakes shoe in a cinema.

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    Funny Games immediately sprang to mind.

    So skilful at building up this horrible tense nauseous feeling and then NOT giving you the traditional horror film catharsis of the bad guy's getting chainsawed in half.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    saw eyes wide shut recently, and thought it was utterly boring. funny games too. especially when the guy is talking to the camera and addressing the audience. felt like a joke. some of the movies of gaspar no and lars von trier makes me feel like someone punched me in the stomach, which i don't like.

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    I find it interesting how in Funny Games there's these postmodern devices which actually DON'T deflate the horror of the situation. Like you'd think the guy talking to the camera or rewinding the footage would take the "reality" out of the torture but it still feels very real and convincing, and gut churning.

    Saying that I think the postmodern stuff could have been jettisoned. Made it too obviously a lecture.

    Eyes Wide Shut I haven't seen for some time but I don't remember it being very convincing - and probably wasn't even trying to be.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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