My husband and I have noticed that, since becoming atheists, many scary movies just aren't as scary any more. We now have a lot more trouble suspending our disbelief. Anything involving ghosts, demons, etc., just doesn't do the trick for us like it used to.
I guess when you believe in a god and an afterlife, there's all sorts of "unknowns" that you have to be open to. And scary movies can really take advantage of this. But once you've decided that what you see is what you get in life, suddenly horror movies have to work a little harder to be effective.
Any else notice this? Do scary movies just not work as well on atheists?
(As an aside, the movie The Descent is really scary and based on a scenario that jives with evolution. I recommend it if you feel like really freaking out the cats with your sudden screaming.)
For some reason, I think zombies still work for me. After all, in 28 Days Later, it's an "infection" that causes the zombie-like behavior. Totally scientific. ;)
I find I am generally able and willing to suspend disbelief if the movie is well-done and if the story doesn't require me to go along with ideas of an afterlife / netherworld. But most of those creepy Japanese ghost movies have now been totally ruined for me.
Okay, forgive my defense of 28 Days Later, but I believe that the infected people did not die. The infection caused them to become extremely violent and want to kill people. But they were not really zombies - they could be killed like any other person, and eventually starved because they didn't know enough to eat.
So, again, totally scientific. It could absolutely happen, and I, in fact, suspect that it will. Okay, not really, but still - just credible enough for a scary movie.
As for other zombie movies that involve actual zombies - there are often references to god, but they tend to be something like pleas made by the society as it crumbles - voices of evangelists on the radio, etc. - and no god appears to save the world. And no one knows why this terrible event is happening - their society just falls apart overnight. Since I see most zombie movies as metaphors of other actions humans engage in to destroy themselves, I still appreciate them and can get pretty creeped out by them.
Oh thank goodness. I thought I was missing something but "not getting" The Grudge and The Ring. I didn't find them scary, though I did break into a cold sweat over the long, black hair scenes.. It's a weird quirk of mine. Unattached hair sorta freaks me out. Not in any supernatural way, but the way you don't want to touch a decomposing corpse outside of a lab...
Awww man! This has been my argument forever! I've never been properly scared by a horror movie (but it doesn't stop me from loving them) Terror comes in the plausible. Slasher films are plausible, but generally so over the top that they loose credibility. I'll take a look at The Descent and tell ya what I think. Will have to download it first, though...no one in this country seems to have Netflix....barbarians.
Oh wait.. nix that. I've seen that movie.. from what I remember it was ok.. and on a random note, it was either The Descent or The Cave or one of those horrors like that where the actors are actually wearing the same type of rebreather that I use in real life, heh. Actually plan on taking it to Mexico for cave diving later in the year, as a matter of fact....weird.
From what I understand, The Cave was not a great movie. I think The Cave involved cave diving, so that's probably the one you're talking about. The Descent was a British movie, I believe, involving regular old dry caves.
While I wouldn't say that the Descent is a great movie, I found it to be extremely effective in the scare department.
Knowing more about caves than the general viewer, I sort of dismissed it's plausibility for the same reason atheists do demon movies.
The Cave and The Descent get confused in my memory, though. I watched them when they first came out and sort of dismissed them, so the retention space in my brain made room for other things. I do remember that one of them had modified Megs. Must have been empty though or the actors would have been dying after the first two takes!
I haven't found movies "scary" for a long time, but that doesn't mean I don't find movies that make use of ghosts or magic entertaining. The imagery used in "What Dreams May Come" is no less inspiring because I don't believe in an afterlife.
The Exorcist series, however, is completely lost on me now. :P
1408 was absolutely boring, imo. The fact that Samuel L Jackson was in it for maybe 2 minutes wasn't worth the other 100 minutes I had to watch John Cusack freak out. I guess other people's mental problems just don't scare me enough. =\
I've never been that scared of horror films (with the possible exception of Sphere). The ones that freak me out best, though, are about plausible circumstances like murderers, cannibalistic cave dwellers (The Descent), or, heck, even aliens.
Supernatural scary doesn't do it for me either. As I recall, it used to when I was a kid though. Scary movies would have me looking over my shoulder the rest of the day. But no longer. Perhaps it was just that I grew up, or realize how absurd the premise is. The sudden shot can still make me jump. But that's about it. I can enjoy some of them still, but not scary. Best 'zombie' movie ever (for me) though is Shaun of the Dean. lol But I feel a real good, believable slasher movie could still get me scared.