So there we sat, my sister and I on a warm August evening watching The Strangers. And it felt oddly familiar. Very familiar, in fact.
Several months ago I saw Vacancy which involved a hapless couple checking into a motel in the middle of nowhere. On entering their room they discover lots of video tapes. On viewing the tapes they find them to contain footage of people being killed in a motel room. On further consideration than was necessary, they came to the conclusion that the motel room was in fact theirs. Cue lots of cherry door knocking and a rediculous game of cat and mouse with some blokes in masks.
The Stangers is the exact same film. Swap the motel for a suburban holiday home and the… well, no, actually, that’s the only thing that’s different.
Both films contain all the modern day horror movie trademarks: poorly executed attempts at making us jump (a face appearing at a window, a loud, shrill orchestral hit as one of the hapless duo bumps into… someone they know), an excrutiatingly frustrating tendancy for the main characters to keep running back into the building that leaves them trapped… you get the picture.
This got me thinking; it’s clear everyone has run out of ideas and I think there is only one real solution to this. I must make my own horror movie. And you know what? It will be fucking scary. Why?
Steven King dabbled with this back in 1990 with the film adaption of his novel, IT. A scary film indeed, until the clown turned into a big spider and it all got a bit silly.
Clowns are inherently scary. An invention blatantly created to scare children into obeying their superiors, their painted white faces and faux smiles are truly disturbing. Throw a water-squirting flower and tricycle into the mix and you’ve got guaranteed pant-soiling material.
Getting back to my film, as we all know, the film business is about just that. The cash. The readies. Moolah. If you want to make a fast buck in this game, you’ve got to be canny and bust some balls*.
Therefore, there’ll be no special effects. At all. Just loads of clowns. Face paint costs bugger all and it doesn’t matter who you cast as the clowns as all they have to do is mince about menacingly in the background and jump out of closets occasionally. Anyone can do that. Even Keanu Reeves.
There’ll be no music, either. In fact, the only soundtrack will be the kind of tinny plinky plonky stuff you hear on Bournemouth Pier which itself is more scary than Rodrigo out of Big Brother. This music will play just before a clown enters a scene, ensuring plenty of pre-clown-chaos tension.
No dialogue. Writing a script takes time. Time is money. I’m confident I can fill two solid hours with pure circus-driven peril. The only dialogue, if you can count screams and whimpers, will come when people spot the clowns.
I’ll get cracking.
*I’ve been watching a lot of The Sopranos recently.