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"SLOW BURN" - Why Director Ti West is the Future of Horror


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"SLOW BURN" - Why Director Ti West is the Future of Horror

New postby BooMan » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:00 pm

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Horror movies in the past two decades have been as fast paced as many of our day to day lives have become. And who can blame them when technology moves at the speed of light and keeping ones attention requires more and more stimulation to the point that simply unwinding these days often involves prescription medication.

With our faced paced lives movie studios, writers and directors in an effort to keep us on the edge of our seat have adapted their style to fit, what they feel, will appeal to todays audience. And for the most part it works, at least on the surface. But has all this instant gratification and the lack of story development effected us in a negative way? I for one certainly feel strongly that the answer is “yes”.

As if the industry isn’t effected enough our beloved horror genre seems to be feeling the brunt of this “new waive” of entertainment more than others. Because horror in the past replied mainly on character development and building tension not much changed throughout the decades of film making. You simply had a story that would arc with hopefully a terrifying payoff at the end.

Look at films that paved the way like the Universal Monsters or more recent films such as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shinning or Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. These films had compelling stories but most importantly you cared about the people in the films themselves. With today’s horror these basic elements are often overlooked or replaced for instant scares and CGI blood baths.

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Ti West in his young career has already changed the way we look at modern horror. Coining the term “slow burn”, West has accomplished both intelligent storytelling with undeniably terrifying scares proving that technology does not make a film inherently better.

In a recent interview with the SFEExaminer West had this to say about his preferred way of filmmaking, “I like obsessing over the most meticulous parts of the craft. For me, cinema is more than just entertainment. With all of my favorite filmmakers there’s a good cooperation between the visuals and the content.”

Born in Wilmington, Del., West grew up in video stores, often recording movies he wanted to see with his VCR. He tried to see everything; the horror section seemed especially alluring and forbidden.

When he attended the School of Visual Arts in New York, he met veteran actor and filmmaker Larry Fessenden (“Wendigo,” “The Last Winter”).

Fessenden, taken with West’s talent, offered to put up money for a low-budget film. That became 2005’s “The Roost,” about teens terrorized by crazed bats.

West’s breakthrough came with 2009’s “The House of the Devil,” a film that slowly builds toward its bloody climax, a devil-worshipping ritual. Yet the movie’s sleight-of-hand had some viewers complaining  nothing happened.

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“I can watch a movie about a girl walking around a house, and I’m watching a movie about a girl walking around a house,” West says. “Other people will watch it and think nothing’s happening. What people are complaining about doesn’t make sense to me. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

This is indeed what makes West so different then the modern horror writer and director. The 2010 horror film “The Innkeepers” changed the way I currently look at horror films and has set the bar incredibly high. “The Innkeepers,” is an extraordinary work of horror that defies viewers’ expectations and serves up plenty of tingles.

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It tells the story of the Yankee Pedlar Inn, about to shut its doors for good. Two hotel workers, played by Sara Paxton and Pat Healy, agree to spend their final shifts on the premises.

At the same time, they hope to catch a glimpse of the inn’s famous ghost, Madeline O’Malley.

West’s movies are generally about deflection and rhythms. Like a magician performing tricks, he prefers wide corridors and brightly lit spaces to shadows and darkness. He extends the time before the dramatic payoff, or shortens it, or changes the payoff entirely.

West’s next film titled “Bedbugs” is currently in the works and is sure to provide spine tingling scares with his trademarked “slow burn” approach. This may be one film that shows creepy crawlers off in a sense that will have you questioning whether or not you want to sleep in your house. I for one certainty can’t wait to see what more this young talent has to offer the genre that I love so much.

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Re: "SLOW BURN" - Why Director Ti West is the Future of Horror

New postby sinful Celluloid » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:33 pm

Couldn't have said it better my self. I love a non stop roller coaster as much as the next person, but when that's all you have, it gets a little boring. I like to spend time with characters and situations knowing that its going to go bad and fearing the moment when that's going to happen.

Many younger fans are stuck in "Instant gratification mode" due to email, Twitter, and the like. Because of this, they don't give films a chance to build and that is not only a shame, but a great disservice to not only the film, but to themselves. Great article my friend with strong points that I stand behind. New film makers should follow Ti's lead.
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Re: "SLOW BURN" - Why Director Ti West is the Future of Horror

New postby Blades » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:23 pm

Well stated booman! I was telling my friend the other day about how much support this site gives to Ti West and his type of movies. Like sinful celluloid said above, I love some hardcore shit hit the fan type of horror but its also nice to get a really cool deep horror movie like only Ti West can provide. Props on the article. Loving this place more and more!
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Re: "SLOW BURN" - Why Director Ti West is the Future of Horror

New postby indygogo » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:56 pm

I am so glad this site respects directors and actors like this that give a shit about the genre. No offense to anyone but horror has become watered down and the simple fact that Ti West movies go straight to DVD should tell you how bad off the genre is. Films like Saw and Final Destination wore themselves out and became crap when original actual scary horror gets shelved. Bravo and great read BooMan!
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Re: "SLOW BURN" - Why Director Ti West is the Future of Horror

New postby aceofspades70 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:10 pm

He definitely has a good start with what he has done. Good article.
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Re: "SLOW BURN" - Why Director Ti West is the Future of Horror

New postby Lunch Meat » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:30 pm

I know he doesn't claim it, but I enjoyed Cabin Fever 2. I really liked House of the Devil and was SOOO excited to see The Innkeepers that perhaps I had my expectations set to high....I mean, I REALLY wanted to like this movie and if I would have turned it off 10 minutes before it was over I would have told everyone it was awesome, but I felt let down in the end. The "slow burn" approach never paid off for me in this one...It's like I spent all that time waiting because you knew it all had to come together in the end, but instead it seemed to fall apart for me instead..
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Re: "SLOW BURN" - Why Director Ti West is the Future of Horror

New postby Corpsegrinder » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:33 pm

I like Ti West and his directing, He's good at what he does. :JASON:
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