Crash Discussion: Tropes of Terror

The Last KnockSick of horror victims tripping over nothing at all? Do you hate it when cars don’t start, or flashlights are on the fritz? Then you’ll love it when THE LAST KNOCK looks at tropes, cliches, and all the things that make diehard horror fans roll their eyes and beg for the movie to end. And whatever you do, don’t go into the basement. I saw something, I swear, and…
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6 Replies to “Crash Discussion: Tropes of Terror”

  1. You know, every Sunday night I turn off the TV, sit down, and listen to your podcast. And every Sunday night, I talk to my computer, responding to shit you guys say as if you could hear me. And it does not feel at all weird.

    Anyway, you’re talking about twists. True story about THE SIXTH SENSE. By the time I’d gotten around to seeing it (2nd weekend), the fact there was a twist that’d rock your world in the movie was already fucking everywhere. So I went with my then-girlfriend KNOWING there was a twist. AND I GUESSED EXACTLY WHAT THE TWIST WAS! I had it cold. And you know what? By midway through the third act, I talked myself out of it. And then was completely surprised by the twist THAT I HAD CORRECTLY SURMISED previous to seeing the movie. Now that’s a fucking twist! That’s how it’s done. When you can get people to talk shit and guess the twist and then talk themselves out of it even though everything is right there in front of them…just drop the mic and walk off. Thanks for playing, ladies and gentlemen. Good night.

    I was both so pissed and intrigued as to how this could be that I actually told my girlfriend to go home without me and I went immediately and bought a ticket for the last showing and watched it again.

    FIGHT CLUB, I didn’t even know there was supposed to be a twist and it was so obvious to me what was going on that at the actual reveal, it just didn’t register to me that I was supposed to be surprised. My girlfriend (different girlfriend now…surprise)–date, I guess, didn’t even qualify as girlfriend yet—was gasping audibly and saying ‘Holy shit!’ and things like that and I just thought: “Wow. I guess we weren’t supposed to see that coming.” But you know, as Jonny said, the movie was so strong on its own that it didn’t affect me in any way. I still thought the movie was great and still do.

    The thing is, all of these tropes and conventions can be still be effective…it just depends on how they’re used. For example, RESOLUTION does a great job in taking genre conventions and audience expectations and subverting them to great effect. BANSHEE CHAPTER gets a lot of mileage out jump scares and glimpses of things lurkiing in the dark.

    In any case, great show. Can’t wait for next weeks.

    1. I love both stories, Randy. As a screenwriter, I love when a movie catches me off guard like THE SIXTH SENSE did, but I hate figuring out endings as in THE OTHERS and IN BRUGES because I sit in the theatre bored and pissed off for 90-minutes or more.

      RESOLUTION is amazing in its execution, and I can’t wait to see that one again, as well as the awesome BANSHEE CHAPTER. Both of these films need to be at the top of people’s “must watch” list.

      More mayhem will definitely come your way, my friend. Thank you so very much for listening, and keep those comments coming.

      1. While writing, I like moving in the direction of an expected moment and then taking a quick left turn. Doesn’t always turn out that way and the dreaded cliche sometimes sneaks in, especially when struggling with a scene, but that’s what the rewrite is for!

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