The last 60 days of this so far grand year were spent monitoring my first Indiegogo campaign. It's been more of an experiment than anything else. One that wants to understand the potential of raising funds through any of these crowdfunding platforms -- indie capitalism at its best. I love it; the potential is there. I raised $200. But like I say, more of an experiment. The campaign I set up was to help fund The Scariest Film Ever Made. It's a great party question. What's the scariest film you've ever seen?!
Here's the problem with making a horror film: When writing a 90-minute screenplay you tend to think about the subject matter a lot. You have to. It's part of the process. You know how it is though when you think about something enough, you tend to will it into life. Fantastic. Think about ghosts and demons all the time and see how you feel when you wake up at 3 a.m. Thanks, Emily Rose. Thanks very much for ruining 3 a.m. for me.
You know what 3 a.m. is right? It's supposedly the devil's hour. There are a few schools of thought on this. One is that evil is at its most powerful at 3 a.m. because Christ died at 3 p.m., and its the devils way of mocking the Holy Trinity. Another school of thought is supposedly based on fact: More people die between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., as your body is at its weakest and most vulnerable during those two God-forsaken hours. Sorry. I didn't mean to add "God-forsaken." It's just, I've been waking up at 3 a.m. the last few weeks, and I freak myself out to the point of not being able to get back to sleep again. Dear makers of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, I blame you. Good job.
Sorry, I veered offtrack there about "willing things into life" if you think about them enough. We are in the process of polishing our horror screenplay. The story is great. My screenwriting partner wishes he would have an encounter. As long as its not his dad (who passed away two years ago). "You hear me dad, not you!" He's the same screenwriting partner who told me, when being asked if he had ever had a really bad flight experience, that he's never been that lucky. I guess you have to be a little crazy to be a great writer. Yes. No. Definitely.
I think every horror film needs that hook and hold, that element in the film that offers something so harrowing and believable that you take it home with you and are unable to shake it. The original Paranormal Activity had that. The whole idea of not knowing what happens to you once you are done counting sheep is terrifying. The Amityville Horror had that, because it was real. We did a lot of research into the Amityville house. For the sake of ghosts. That story just reeks of evil. Do yourself a favor (or don't) and watch the YouTube videos of Ed and Lorraine Warren discussing the Amityville hauntings. They left me cold. The Amityville Horror is up there. As is The Shining. The Shining is a given.
To be absolutely fair to the horror genre, when debating the scariest film ever made, one would need to take into account some of the twisted foreign horror films out there -- films like The Eye (Chinese version), A Tale of Two Sisters and Ju-On (the grudge).
One of the common mistakes people make when thinking about horror films, is the more twisted a film is, the scarier it becomes -- A Serbian Film comes to mind, or Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom, two of the sickest films ever made. Wrong. Twisted does not mean scary. Twisted means twisted. Don't watch A Serbian Film. Don't even watch the trailer. Forget I even mentioned it. A Serbian what?
Ok, let's cut to the chase. I'm putting these out there as the three scariest films ever made:
1 -- The Shining
2 -- Paranormal Activity
3 -- The Exorcist
What say you, amigo?