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Posts Tagged ‘scary things’

I remember playing the first game, nearly obsessively, exploring the town, searching for every power-up, trying to get all of the five different endings. At the time, I was living at my parents house and kept most of my possessions in my small room, including a chub pack of Irish Spring soap. I didn’t notice until after my obsession calmed down enough that I could move on to a different game, but when I took a shower with that soap, I would flash back to the world of Silent Hill. The game created such a fearful atmosphere of strange creatures and nightmarish environments that all my senses were on high alert. Spending all those hours fused the strangest bond between that Irish Spring freshness and the decaying world of Silent Hill to the point where it became a part of me. I still can’t smell Irish Spring without thinking of that first Silent Hill game.

Silent Hill 2 is one of my favorite games of all times, mostly because of the story and characters. The story is as good as any thriller/horror movie and sets a somber and suspenseful tone throughout. I’ve played the game through so many times and I’m really good at it but I still have to save often and I still can’t play too long in a session. The tension and fear are like a faucet running water into a mug; at some point the mug just can’t hold any more. I know where the enemies are and can easily get past them but there’s always a vulnerability aspect to your character you can’t help but be fearful for.

The concept of Silent Hill 4 was so fascinating to me that I was able to look past the changes the game made from it’s predecessors. The main character, Henry, is locked in his apartment from the inside and he has no idea how it happened. He can see his neighbors through the window and through his front door’s eyehole but he can’t communicate with them. Then a hole appears in his bathroom that leads to an outside filled with ghosts and strange creatures. He has no other choice but to go. I’m a big fan of limited storytelling so this game really appealed to me.

The other games, while not as notable, all contain the same creepy atmospheres, the same tortured and complicated characters, and the same fucking with your sense of fear of the unknown. They’re just games, I know this. But by putting the controller in my hand and making me control these characters, it puts me into that world just enough that I feel a part of it. And that is fucking scary.

There are several games now and each one

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Yes! Finally, we’re into Halloween month, a fun time for all of us who like a little scariness to sweep into our lives. To celebrate, and to accomplish the goal of writing everyday, I will write about some some aspect of horror that has inspired, frightened, or made an impression on me through the years. There will be personal experiences but mostly it will be the movies and stories that I can’t seem to shake, nor would I want to. I would love to hear feedback on these if they speak to you, if you’ve had the same experience with whatever it is, or think I’m a wuss for getting the heebie jeebies for certain things. So let’s get started!

It seems fitting to start with a set of movies that I just saw this week, and that set is the Insidious movies; the original and it’s sequel. The original, released in 2010, was a setup of the common haunted house theme. Piercing music and creaky doors abound and the second movie continues with the same tropes.

While neither was great, I liked where the movies went. The story was fun and unexpected and the characters were sensible for the most part. I’ve heard some people think of these as boring but I disagree. These movies go for the ‘long’ scare. They build tension through lighting, camera work, sound effects, so the slow pace works very well. I also think all the effects were practical, meaning computer graphics were not used, at least not in a way that is apparent. The ghosts are actors in makeup, instead of straight CG ghosts with morphing faces and bodies and such. Going into these movies, I expected the CG so the practicalness of it was welcome. That also kept the cost of this movie way down. The second movie is still in theaters, was made for only five million dollars, and has made almost seven million as of this writing. Pretty good show for a movie like this.

All in all, I think these movies are worth seeing. It’s done by the guys who made the grisly Saw franchise so it’s great to see them being horrific in a movie with hardly any blood in it.

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