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(Den Of Geek)   Have CG monsters and aliens in the movies ever actually been frightening?   (denofgeek.com) divider line 224
    More: Interesting, computer-generated, Frank Darabont, I Am Legend, Drag Me to Hell, horror movies, War of the Worlds, physical effects, table tennises  
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8722 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 22 Aug 2011 at 11:23 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-08-22 07:15:25 AM  
Those 'tooth fairies' in Hellboy 2 were a nasty bunch.

Granted, I stay away from any real Horror movie.
 
2011-08-22 08:02:48 AM  
I'm not sure if she was CGI, but whatever the crew did to the face of that girl in the closet in the horrible remake of "Ringu" creeped me out.

Those weeping angels in "Doctor Who" were nasty critters, but a lot of that was the way the episode was filmed.
 
2011-08-22 08:32:07 AM  

ms_lara_croft:
Those weeping angels in "Doctor Who" were nasty critters, but a lot of that was the way the episode was filmed.


Yeah, the weeping angels weren't actually CGI, either. It was just very clever makeup on real people.
 
2011-08-22 08:35:25 AM  

delsydsoftware: ms_lara_croft:
Those weeping angels in "Doctor Who" were nasty critters, but a lot of that was the way the episode was filmed.

Yeah, the weeping angels weren't actually CGI, either. It was just very clever makeup on real people.


When I first found that out, it made them creepier.
 
2011-08-22 09:33:15 AM  

delsydsoftware: ms_lara_croft:
Those weeping angels in "Doctor Who" were nasty critters, but a lot of that was the way the episode was filmed.

Yeah, the weeping angels weren't actually CGI, either. It was just very clever makeup on real people.


I didn't know that. I thought it was a combination of the two. I could have sworn some of the angels at the end were CGI, specifically when they were surrounding the Tardis in the light flashing on and off sequence.

Seems the creatures that were actually scary weren't CGI, just like the article stated.
 
2011-08-22 11:28:42 AM  
I love CGI work. Very effective in gaming and music videos. Or videos for kids.

The scariest movies were the one's where you rarely saw the monster.
 
2011-08-22 11:29:36 AM  

Alphax: Those 'tooth fairies' in Hellboy 2 were a nasty bunch.


In a similar vein, the burrowing beetles from the "Mummy" movies creeped me out. But that was more in their behavior then in their look.
 
2011-08-22 11:37:19 AM  
CG is still way too easy to spot and film makers still want things to be over the top. The expressions are always too cartoonish, movement too lavish, whatever. It's spectacle and it takes you out of the narrative.

/can't think of the last time a movie effect creeped me out
 
2011-08-22 11:43:50 AM  
Jurassic Park scared the heck out of me when I was a kid. I still have dinosaur nightmares. Also, when the alien appeared in the home video in Signs, a chill ran up my spine. That's probably because I have a deepseated fear of sneaky malevolent aliens thanks to watching Unsolved Mysteries as a kid.

Most of the time, though, I have a hard time buying the CGI effects.
 
2011-08-22 11:44:49 AM  
/can't think of the last time a movie effect creeped me out

i2.listal.com
 
2011-08-22 11:45:19 AM  
FTA: I'd also suggest that Toy Story 3 proved you can make genuinely terrifying horror movie characters with computers. Two of the creations in that film still manage to put the chills up me.

It's been a while since I've seen Toy Story 3, but what the hell is he talking about here?
 
2011-08-22 11:45:27 AM  
A good example of this is 'End of Days' (the forgettable yet watchable Arnold movie). The villain, Satan, is particularly scary as a human walking the earth. However, once he assumes the form of a 100' demon, my mind goes into video game mode, and I start to wonder why Arnold doesn't try and use his hookshot to attack the glowing target on Satan's tail that is exposed after a cyclical pattern of movement.
 
2011-08-22 11:45:59 AM  
Well, part of the problem is that I was too old for movies to really scare me once CGI came around.
 
2011-08-22 11:46:31 AM  
If the T-1000 counts, then hell yes.
www.gb93.com
Of course, there were many non-digital effects in the movie also; it's not a pure CG creation. Still pants-crappingly scary back in the day.
 
2011-08-22 11:47:36 AM  
Ask most FX artists. Their creations are scary as hell on paper but end up looking like cheap knock-offs on screen because the suits decided it's be more cost effective using CGIs, simplistic designs for toys which won't sell, etc.

Regarding the article, being critic regarding the scare factor of creatures in PG-13 (aspiring) blockbusters is amusing but not very pertinent.

Grow a pair and go to movie festivals.
 
2011-08-22 11:50:43 AM  

Hoboclown: FTA: I'd also suggest that Toy Story 3 proved you can make genuinely terrifying horror movie characters with computers. Two of the creations in that film still manage to put the chills up me.

It's been a while since I've seen Toy Story 3, but what the hell is he talking about here?


I can think of one:

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2011-08-22 11:50:58 AM  
In movies, no.

In video games. Yes, but only because it is part of the world. If all of a sudden they superimposed a real actor in a monster get up into a video game, immersion would be shattered and it not be as scary.

I jumped the first time a head crab attacked me in Half-life, my only weapon a crowbar, and I'm stuck in a dark air shaft, blindly clicking as I try to kill whatever the hell is attacking me, flashlight only sometimes illuminating my attacker.

And it was just a freakin headcrab.
 
2011-08-22 11:55:01 AM  
I went to see "Winnie the Pooh" yesterday with my daughter, who was genuinely frightened at the part where (spoiler alert) Piglet was walking alone through the woods, and Tigger dressed up as the 'Backson' monster jumped out at him.

Based on that one data point, I don't think "realism" or "CGI" has anything to do with fright.
 
2011-08-22 11:56:01 AM  
Shelob was suitably horrifying.
 
2011-08-22 11:56:14 AM  
I can't stand when they have CG characters in a live action movie. Except who framed roger rabbit its never believable. The effects in 'Paul' completely removed me from the movie because of how out of place the alien looked the entire time.
 
2011-08-22 11:56:55 AM  

meat0918: In movies, no.

In video games. Yes, but only because it is part of the world. If all of a sudden they superimposed a real actor in a monster get up into a video game, immersion would be shattered and it not be as scary.

I jumped the first time a head crab attacked me in Half-life, my only weapon a crowbar, and I'm stuck in a dark air shaft, blindly clicking as I try to kill whatever the hell is attacking me, flashlight only sometimes illuminating my attacker.

And it was just a freakin headcrab.



xbox360media.ign.com
 
2011-08-22 11:57:13 AM  
Jar-Jar Binks.

F*cking terrifying.
 
2011-08-22 11:57:30 AM  
80 years later and I would say Karloff as the Frankenstein monster is more frightening than anything CGI can do.
 
2011-08-22 12:00:09 PM  

cgraves67: Also, when the alien appeared in the home video in Signs, a chill ran up my spine. That's probably because I have a deepseated fear of sneaky malevolent aliens thanks to watching Unsolved Mysteries as a kid.


Yeah, there's alot to dislike about that movie, but it does have a couple of delightfully creepy shots. Like when the family is heading down to the basement after boarding up the house, and the kid looks back at the front door and sees an alien hand curling around the bottom of the door. That definitely got the adrenaline racing the first time I saw it.
 
2011-08-22 12:00:52 PM  

Lady Beryl Ersatz-Wendigo: Shelob was suitably horrifying.


Nah. I'm an arachnophobe, and it didn't do much for me. Didn't even seem to be supernatural, when it should have been a creature of darkness, sucking in any light around it. Done right, I should have fled the theatre.
 
2011-08-22 12:01:58 PM  

meat0918: In movies, no.

In video games. Yes, but only because it is part of the world. If all of a sudden they superimposed a real actor in a monster get up into a video game, immersion would be shattered and it not be as scary.

I jumped the first time a head crab attacked me in Half-life, my only weapon a crowbar, and I'm stuck in a dark air shaft, blindly clicking as I try to kill whatever the hell is attacking me, flashlight only sometimes illuminating my attacker.

And it was just a freakin headcrab.


It is similar in Clive Barker's Undying, FEAR, Doom 3, or Vampire Bloodlines - when you are being threatened but rarely attacked a computer game can be very creepy. Once the game starts sending in lots of mobs more regularly they all turn back into regular FPS and completely destroy any immersion and atmosphere built up.
 
2011-08-22 12:02:49 PM  

rukusrazor: meat0918: In movies, no.

In video games. Yes, but only because it is part of the world. If all of a sudden they superimposed a real actor in a monster get up into a video game, immersion would be shattered and it not be as scary.

I jumped the first time a head crab attacked me in Half-life, my only weapon a crowbar, and I'm stuck in a dark air shaft, blindly clicking as I try to kill whatever the hell is attacking me, flashlight only sometimes illuminating my attacker.

And it was just a freakin headcrab.


[xbox360media.ign.com image 640x360]


You're still immersed in that world. CGI monsters in movies break immersion, which was the point.
 
2011-08-22 12:03:06 PM  
I guess it's mostly because they use CGI when they want some big CGI creature smashing other CGI crap to pieces while chasing the heroes for ten minutes isn't really creepy, suspenseful or interesting.
There's also seems to be a lot of showing off in a "hey, look what we can do nowadays" involved.

Most CGI stuff also "feels" wrong, like a cartoon or video game.


While not frightening, I thought the Balrog in LOTR was awesome on the big screen, but that was at least partially due to the sound effects making the chairs shake when it roared.
 
2011-08-22 12:03:20 PM  
www.nikbull.co.uk
 
2011-08-22 12:05:00 PM  
The ghost from They Wait seemed creepy.
 
2011-08-22 12:05:59 PM  
It's the movement, not the CGI that ruins it. The problem is that the CGI monsters are too animated. There is a stillness to a predator. Animals don't move around constantly. Actors understand this.

But the animators or producers want their money's worth and instead have their creatures twitch and shift around and fidget constantly and that isn't scary.

All of these animators need to go to a predator conservation/breeding facility. They need to see real predators with their own eyes. Every predator I've ever met has the same ability to stand so still that they disappear. Nothing is more frightening than looking directly at a wolf, looking away for a moment, then looking back and realizing they are gone. Except they aren't gone, they are still standing exactly where they were. Then you see the rest of them.
 
2011-08-22 12:06:36 PM  

jj325: 80 years later and I would say Karloff as the Frankenstein monster is more frightening than anything CGI can do.


Practical effects (ie., full-sized puppets and make-up) often have a reality that still just isn't *THERE* yet with CGI.
 
2011-08-22 12:08:15 PM  

Malcolm_Sex: I can't stand when they have CG characters in a live action movie. Except who framed roger rabbit its never believable.


Farking Judge Doom.
 
2011-08-22 12:08:41 PM  

meat0918: rukusrazor: meat0918: In movies, no.

In video games. Yes, but only because it is part of the world. If all of a sudden they superimposed a real actor in a monster get up into a video game, immersion would be shattered and it not be as scary.

I jumped the first time a head crab attacked me in Half-life, my only weapon a crowbar, and I'm stuck in a dark air shaft, blindly clicking as I try to kill whatever the hell is attacking me, flashlight only sometimes illuminating my attacker.

And it was just a freakin headcrab.


[xbox360media.ign.com image 640x360]

You're still immersed in that world. CGI monsters in movies break immersion, which was the point.


Oh right, I thought I'd typed that I agreed and on the subject, this game made me jump ALL THE TIME. Guess I imagined putting a comment with the picture. Or was just distracted by my own image attachment.
 
2011-08-22 12:09:04 PM  

meat0918: In movies, no.

In video games. Yes, but only because it is part of the world. If all of a sudden they superimposed a real actor in a monster get up into a video game, immersion would be shattered and it not be as scary.

I jumped the first time a head crab attacked me in Half-life, my only weapon a crowbar, and I'm stuck in a dark air shaft, blindly clicking as I try to kill whatever the hell is attacking me, flashlight only sometimes illuminating my attacker.

And it was just a freakin headcrab.


Yup, scary video games are much more unnerving than scary movies. Half-Life gave me the willies the first time I played it, and I hated the venomous headcrabs in Half-Life 2. As soon as I heard their rattle/hiss/whatever, I'd just start spinning in circles while holding down the trigger.

The only "horror" game I've ever made it all the way through was Dead Space, and that took a couple of tries to get my courage up. I've got Dead Space 2, but it's probably gonna be a while before I'm psyched up enough to handle it.
 
2011-08-22 12:10:31 PM  
Watch Return to Oz and proceed to sh*t yourself. No CGI involved.

Don't say I didn't warn you.
 
2011-08-22 12:10:36 PM  
www.i-mockery.com

hahaha
 
2011-08-22 12:11:54 PM  
Jurasic Park had some truly scary moments with CGI raptors
 
2011-08-22 12:12:28 PM  
Super 8 was a great example to use... they were building up this intense monster, who was snatching people up left and right and we had no idea what was going on... then some big lame cgi troll looking doofus is shown and the idea isnt scary anymore. Its not to say that the monster wasn't kind of scary looking. Without that tension and suspence we have no real fear. That is why HP lovecraft was the man. If you even start to get an idea of what is really out there you would crap yopur pants and go insane. Now that is scary.
 
2011-08-22 12:13:25 PM  
I think the biggest problem with CGI is that since you can make anything on the computer, then it becomes too easy to show everything. So it's more of a matter of direction (and audio), I think, than what the monster really looks like. And I think that "hiding the crappy costumes" in the shadows have gone away because there are no "crappy costumes" any more in big budgety Hollywood movies.

As an example, while the author seems to diss the whatever the big monster reveal in Cloverfield may have been, the true scary part of that movie for me was only being able to see the creatures in the subway via the crappy infra-red camera setting in the video camera. I'm sure those little buggers were CGI, but the fact that we (and the characters) really couldn't see them fully and had no idea what they could do is what was frightening about them.

Really, not much difference than the great radar scope "THEY'RE IN THE ROOM, MAN" scene from Aliens.

As far as the Silents and the Weeping Angels, I'm not sure it really matters if those guys are CGI or not, given that it's their abilities that make them frightening. If anything, the Weeping Angels lost some of the scariness in the Matt Smith episodes since we actually watch a few of them move (and they seemed to break the "look at each other" rule that solved the Tennant episode they were in).

//However, the scene with Amy trapped in the vehicle with the Angel on the monitor was pretty great
 
2011-08-22 12:13:33 PM  
I'll go one better: Have CG monsters and aliens in the movies ever actually been frightening?

I can only think of a handful of creatures--CG or practical--that were actually scary. The xenomorphs in Aliens scared the shiat out of me. Mostly because I was way too young to watch that movie when I saw it on VHS at a friend's house. It's not the creature that inspires fear, it's the plot, the setting, and the mood of the film.
 
2011-08-22 12:13:36 PM  
The most frightening things from any movie ever.....

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2011-08-22 12:17:27 PM  
fortean chicken
It's the movement, not the CGI that ruins it. The problem is that the CGI monsters are too animated. There is a stillness to a predator. Animals don't move around constantly. Actors understand this.

But the animators or producers want their money's worth and instead have their creatures twitch and shift around and fidget constantly and that isn't scary.


Good point.
I think that's part of what I was aiming at when mentioning the impression that there's often too much "showing off" involved with CGI - besides trying to make the effects the star of the movie.
 
2011-08-22 12:17:39 PM  

Sandor at the Zoo: meat0918: In movies, no.

In video games. Yes, but only because it is part of the world. If all of a sudden they superimposed a real actor in a monster get up into a video game, immersion would be shattered and it not be as scary.

I jumped the first time a head crab attacked me in Half-life, my only weapon a crowbar, and I'm stuck in a dark air shaft, blindly clicking as I try to kill whatever the hell is attacking me, flashlight only sometimes illuminating my attacker.

And it was just a freakin headcrab.

Yup, scary video games are much more unnerving than scary movies. Half-Life gave me the willies the first time I played it, and I hated the venomous headcrabs in Half-Life 2. As soon as I heard their rattle/hiss/whatever, I'd just start spinning in circles while holding down the trigger.

The only "horror" game I've ever made it all the way through was Dead Space, and that took a couple of tries to get my courage up. I've got Dead Space 2, but it's probably gonna be a while before I'm psyched up enough to handle it.


For all of the faults that would come later with the franchise, Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams was ... bothersome. It worked for several reasons:

1) the bleak atmosphere
2) many of the creatures were hard to see
3) you were basically unarmed
4) the audio cue of the static as the creatures approached
5) Pyramidhead's often seemingly random appearances.

/still, getting Pyramidhead's sword is a huge accomplishment
//and probably the best weapon in horror gaming history
 
2011-08-22 12:20:30 PM  
The most frightening things in movies aren't really seen.

The THING
Michael Myers in the first Halloween (not the crappy remake)
Signs (until you saw them, but when they were walking around the outside of the house was cool)
Jaws

The problem with CGI is that once you've run out of scary parts, you HAVE to show the audience and at that point, it's all or nothing, most times, it's nothing or "I assumed it looked like that" in which case, blame the writer/director, not the CGI department.
 
2011-08-22 12:22:42 PM  
Things that are familiar, yet changed in some way, are more scary to us than things that are completely alien or weird, whether they're CG or not. It's all part of the suspension of disbelief. It doesn't matter how realistic the creature or CG effects are, a huge tentacle monster is inherently less believable than something more familiar. For example, watch the movie Silent Hill sometime. Absolute creepiest thing in the entire movie? The nurses.
 
2011-08-22 12:24:24 PM  
N

coldones: The most frightening things from any movie ever.....

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 380x285]


No love for the boogens?
 
2011-08-22 12:24:35 PM  

Sandor at the Zoo: Yup, scary video games are much more unnerving than scary movies. Half-Life gave me the willies the first time I played it, and I hated the venomous headcrabs in Half-Life 2. As soon as I heard their rattle/hiss/whatever, I'd just start spinning in circles while holding down the trigger.

The only "horror" game I've ever made it all the way through was Dead Space, and that took a couple of tries to get my courage up. I've got Dead Space 2, but it's probably gonna be a while before I'm psyched up enough to handle it.


Oh God, try Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which isn't so much a video game as it is an interactive horror film. It's the first video game that ever made me fart involuntarily in surprise. I think you can get it for $5 or $10 on Steam.
 
2011-08-22 12:27:02 PM  

Zombie DJ: The most frightening things in movies aren't really seen.

The THING
Michael Myers in the first Halloween (not the crappy remake)
Signs (until you saw them, but when they were walking around the outside of the house was cool)
Jaws

The problem with CGI is that once you've run out of scary parts, you HAVE to show the audience and at that point, it's all or nothing, most times, it's nothing or "I assumed it looked like that" in which case, blame the writer/director, not the CGI department.


The Ring didn't scare me until the end. Ju-on (not the one with Sarah Michelle Gellar) was thoroughly creepy.

And I'll admit the last few minutes of Paranormal Activity were frightening, but that was the lead up that made it scary. Otherwise, the movie just pissed me off.

I do remember the little buggers dropping of the Cloverfield monster were kind of freaky.
 
2011-08-22 12:27:17 PM  

Zombie DJ: The most frightening things in movies aren't really seen.

The THING
Michael Myers in the first Halloween (not the crappy remake)
Signs (until you saw them, but when they were walking around the outside of the house was cool)
Jaws

The problem with CGI is that once you've run out of scary parts, you HAVE to show the audience and at that point, it's all or nothing, most times, it's nothing or "I assumed it looked like that" in which case, blame the writer/director, not the CGI department.


Yeah Jaws was scarey for the fact for about 90% of the movie the shark was not even on film. Juat either the eirrie music or the dorsal fin
 
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