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Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
#1
Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
So, I collect surreal/creepy/disturbing movies. I don't know how to characterize these films because they span several genres and have varying degrees of what I consider to be the "it" factor that puts them in this category. Not your typical horror movies; not your typical fantasies. And when I say "disturbing" I don't mean "hard to watch" like Gummo (1997) or Cannibal Holocaust (1980) or Eraserhead (1977). 

I mean disturbing ad surreal in the Alan Resnick and Wham City sense. Things like, Unedited Footage of a Bear (2014) or This House Has People In It (2016). Like that tone of feeling part of yourself becoming disconnected from the world while you process what you're watching. Like that anxiety that comes from realizing the world is not as you thought it was, allowing this fantastical element to take over.

A few movies that fall under this umbrella that I've seen that still fit this grouping are
Being John Malkovich (1999) 
Suspiria (2018)
The Cell (2000)
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
The Ring (2002)

It's kind of all over the place. But I wanted to set up a place where I can talk about these different films and the surrealistic factor about them that has enchanted me so. There will be spoilers in some of my descriptions and any discussions that pop up. So, just be aware of that.

Feel free to chime in or offer your own suggestions.

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#2
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
I really like The Cell - best thing J Lo ever contributed to. I can recommend Tideland (directed by Terry Gilliam) also given your brief. I will also be investigating the films you've mentioned which I'm yet to view - chairs!
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#3
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
A few years ago when Hereditary (2018) was advertised, I was intrigued but had no expectations. I thought it looked compelling the way somewhat decent and well made horror films like The Conjuring (2013) or Insidious (2010) are. And I know, everyone likes to talk about THAT scene as incredibly jarring and disturbing(you know the one). But in watching it, I was more captivated by the underneath storyline, with this cult and the summoning of the demon Paimon. It felt new and refreshing, even though as I try to describe it, it sounds as rote as Rosemary's Baby. Something about the pieces Ari Aster laid down, the way the framing and music was utilized brought on this new sense of building dread and inescapable fates. Toni Colette is beloved and charismatic and even though some people complained about his performance, I empathized greatly with Alex Wolffe's portrayal. 



And of course, you can't mention one great work by this director without mentioning the other, Midsommar (2019). It didn't affect me as hard but again, the same things that really fascinated me about Hereditary(the sense of deeper story and lore, plus the cultish rituals of the Hårga) and not THAT scene that everyone always talks about (you know the one).

(April 23, 2021 at 10:22 am)Lawz Wrote: I really like The Cell - best thing J Lo ever contributed to. I can recommend Tideland (directed by Terry Gilliam) also given your brief. I will also be investigating the films you've mentioned which I'm yet to view - chairs!

Agreed. She was perfect for the role. And they really captured this beautiful surrealist tone for the shared mind sequences.

I do appreciate Terry Gilliam. I'll have to give it a look.

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#4
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
Have you ever read 366 Weird movies? It’s a blog that collects films in that very vein. I used to read it religiously, at least until they reached the 366 mark and they took longer to certify movies as sufficiently weird for the Apocrypha round. I even helped pester them into putting The Butcher Boy on The List, because there’s no way a movie where the main character goes to Juvey for crapping someone’s floor, survives a nuclear apocalypse, becomes best buds with the Virgin Mary (played by Sinead O’Connor], and brutally murders a friend’s mother Manson-style doesn’t belong on a list of the weirdest movies ever made (even if it is broad enough that comparatively sane films like Night of the Hunter and movies as terrifying as Eraserhead both made the list.) I’ve seen a sizable portion of them. And, furthermore, the Deep Hurting Project, as seen on the Last Movie You’Ve Watched thread, was inspired by the fact that my favorite movie of all time and the worst movie I had ever seen at that point (if it even counted as one, anyway), were both on the list. That said, I have since seen worse than Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny and even in movies I’m less hesitant to call movies.
Comparing the Universal Oneness of All Life to Yo Mama since 2010.

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I was born with the gift of laughter and a sense the world is mad.
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#5
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
I've seen Being J.M., The Cell, and The Ring. I'm not sure that I'd group those films together, but if you like that element, you'd be advised to check out Japanese horror cinema. A lot of it leans in that direction. The Ring 2002 is an American remake, and the American remake sticks pretty closely to the original. My sister gave me the Ringu trilogy for Christmas one year, and I didn't find a lot of difference between the two.
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#6
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
(April 23, 2021 at 10:48 am)Rev. Rye Wrote: Have you ever read 366 Weird movies? It’s a blog that collects films in that very vein. I used to read it religiously, at least until they reached the 366 mark and they took longer to certify movies as sufficiently weird for the Apocrypha round. I even helped pester them into putting The Butcher Boy on The List, because there’s no way a movie where the main character goes to Juvey for crapping someone’s floor, survives a nuclear apocalypse, becomes best buds with the Virgin Mary (played by Sinead O’Connor], and brutally murders a friend’s mother Manson-style doesn’t belong on a list of the weirdest movies ever made (even if it is broad enough that comparatively sane films like Night of the Hunter and movies as terrifying as Eraserhead both made the list.) I’ve seen a sizable portion of them. And, furthermore, the Deep Hurting Project, as seen on the Last Movie You’Ve Watched thread, was inspired by the fact that my favorite movie of all time and the worst movie I had ever seen at that point (if it even counted as one, anyway), were both on the list. That said, I have since seen worse than Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny and even in movies I’m less hesitant to call movies.

I have seen that list before! Yes. It has a lot on that list in the "hard to watch" category and yet others like Fight Club and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World that I wouldn't put on my own list. So, it doesn't quite line up with the same tastes.

For instance, another couple that are weird in the way I mean are The Signal (2007) and The Ritual (2017) (both directed by David Bruckner, by the by). The Signal is about a city that gets affected by this television and radio broadcast that distorts people's perceptions and unleashes their paranoid, delusional, murderous impulses. It is fantastical, almost sci-fi but also grounded. And the scenes where the main characters struggle to survive amidst those who have been affected by the signal, while also doubting their own minds because they too have been exposed, is an exciting trip for the anxiety it inspires.

And The Ritual was a wonderful take on the "lost in the woods and prayed upon by sinister forces" story. The unsettling circumstances that the men keep finding themselves in each time they wake are just that side of disturbing where you wonder why and what is wanted. What is happening to them? you know? And this is probably the one film that I use to refute my own bias "horror films are only good when they don't show you the monster/creature directly". Because they do and it does nothing to diminish the impact of that imagery.

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#7
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
Wow...if this isn't the perfect match for a discussion like this, I don't know what would be!
 “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” ~Albert Einstein                                                 
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#8
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
(April 23, 2021 at 11:07 am)Angrboda Wrote: I've seen Being J.M., The Cell, and The Ring. I'm not sure that I'd group those films together, but if you like that element, you'd be advised to check out Japanese horror cinema. A lot of it leans in that direction. The Ring 2002 is an American remake, and the American remake sticks pretty closely to the original. My sister gave me the Ringu trilogy for Christmas one year, and I didn't find a lot of difference between the two.

Yes, I have some difficulty knowing how to categorize this feeling I am trying to describe. To be fair, Being John Malkovich is on the lighter side of that surrealist feeling and not quite unsettling or disturbing the way the others are. But I suppose there is also an element to this where I want to know more. Like, after the film is over, I have questions about lore and feel like I want to read a book about it, or hear more of the story that was underneath everything. Like, I want to read that book that Dr. Lester had about the process of what the portal is/how it works. Or, I want to understand more about the architecture of our internal selves and how things are manifested, like from The Cell. Or, I want to know what is inside Samara that makes her do the things she did while alive and what that internal entity/power wants.

In the end, I am describing a desire that I don't actually want. Because I've seen The Ring 2 and I have seen both the Japanese versions of Ring and Ring 2(they have a lot of sequels in the franchise but I stopped there) and I was disappointed by the sequels while enjoying the first films for both. And I agree, they are very similar.

However, I think I like that feeling of "why" a very mysterious and slightly macabre wonder.

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#9
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
What did you think of The 12 Monkeys?
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#10
RE: Number 5's Surreal Creepy Film Collection
(April 23, 2021 at 11:46 am)Angrboda Wrote: What did you think of The 12 Monkeys?

It's one of my favorite movies. I love Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, and Madeline Stowe in it. They're really great. I've... probably watched this movie more than the average person. There's a duality about it, "was it real or did he change things?"

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