Alysson Paradis in 2007's Inside (A'L'interieur)
Julien Maury and Alexandre Bastillo's brilliant film, Inside, coincides with the New French Extremity of cinema (a delightful blend of arthouse and horror), and is an example of what happens when almost nothing is left to the imagination. In this instance, however, the fear remains. The film is well-crafted, with strong characters and a captivating story. It also happens to contain one of the bloodiest scenes I've ever witnessed.
Why the contrast? I just find it interesting how there are so many ways to successfully tell a horrifying tale. On one hand, you can credit your audience as the sadistic bastards they are, and allow them to create their own version of hell or, alternatively, you can do it for them. While both methods sound like a great time, I would argue that the prospect of tricking people into scaring themselves is super exciting!
Climbing inside a viewer's mind and tapping into their fears is an awesome concept, for sure, but what about the artistic element of gore? Last night, I revisited Stanley Kubricks' masterpiece, The Shining, and was once again reminded that there is artistic merit in the horror genre. Big time.
To end things I will say that, while I don't have a definite preference either way in terms of the presence or absence of gore, I tend to be most freaked out by films that require the use of my imagination. Whether that says more about those films or my mind, I'm not so sure. One thing is for sure, and that is the fact that I continue to be impressed by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and its ability to retain such elite status as a horror giant while omitting the gruesome carnage, amidst a genre thats popularity often relies on gore factor.
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!