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Comparison and contrast on two horror movies - Essay Example

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Horror movies have captivated a wide range of audience, feeding their curiosity of gore, dread, and fear. The realm of uncertainty instills feelings of terror and panic, often “challenging[ing] or suspend[ing] the natural laws by which we live (Walters 2004)…
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Comparison and contrast on two horror movies
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Comparison and contrast on two horror movies

This year their innocent and unsuspecting town is attacked by a group of vampires who are bent on destroying all of them without leaving any trace when the sun does finally rise. “The Descent” shows a group of friends and experienced cave divers, exploring a new cave system and being attacked by a strangely evolved breed of creatures. Both movies show similarities and differences with respect to the horror genre through the portrayal of the surroundings, the creatures, and the behavior of the survivors. “30 Days of Night” begins with a stranger trudging through the wide expanse of gloomy, outstretched snow with Burrows in the distance. The opening shot highlights the remoteness of the town setting the mood and pace of the movie. The howling winds and the blowing snow throughout, emphasize the isolation and overall doomed atmosphere. The looming threat of the vampires is definitely something to be feared, but the loneliness of the town and their lack of contact with the outside world, strongly instills feelings of cold dread, anxiety, and isolation. The few characters in the story, with the husband and wife (both town sheriffs) Eben and Stella, as the main protagonists, are the only inhabitants of the town through the long dark month as the rest of the people have left for southern areas to avoid the winter. Through the repeated imagery of darkness and circling snow along with the screeches of the vampires in the background, the horrific atmosphere is set for a thrilling and terrifying experience. “The Descent” starts off with a group of girl friends wild water rafting, with the main cast being Sarah and Juno. It is hinted that Juno, the adventurous of them all and seemingly the leader of the group, might be having an affair with Sarah’s husband. A few minutes into the movie, while Sarah with her husband and daughter are driving back home, they get into a severe car accident, killing the husband and daughter upon impact. This way, tragedy marks the beginning of the story, setting the backdrop of built up tension, sorrow and regret. The surroundings are the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, looming large and breathtaking for both the characters and the audience. Yet they also display an ominous and foreboding mood. For example, as the group meets a year later to go cave exploring, upon arriving at the mouth of the cave system they see a dead body of a bull elk, bloodied and half rotting, foreshadowing the more hideous events about to take place. This disgusts and unnerves the women and even though they have done this many times before, something seems a bit odd and different this time. Also, they have to rappel down into the cave, plunging themselves deep underground. This darkness and feeling of confinement is aptly used to heighten the dread and tension. For example, through out the entire movie, the only sources of light are their torches, flares, and glow sticks. Both movies display similarities through the use of surroundings and the horrifying creatures to attract the audience and propel the plot forward. For example, in “30 Days of Night”, their usual and peaceful town of Burrows has now put them into a dire situation. Though, the onset of nights lasting a month occurs every year and is something they have adapted to, this year it ends up being the perfect hunting ground for the group of vampires. The frequent, long and seemingly harmless winter nights have now turned against them, ... Read More
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