Chucky V Annabelle

Annabelle has been the horror movie hit of the month, terrifying crowds and for majority living up to the hype to a degree. Annabelle is the creepiest doll of the 21st century and has helped make the Conjuring franchise stronger and scarier. Chucky on the other hand was the main protagonist of his own namesake franchise, but his original form, the cute good guys doll, despite being far from as eerie as the vacant Annabelle stare, Chucky’s living persona is blood curdling. The three categories that these 2 dolls will be pitted against each other in are, influence, scare factor, film success of Annebelle and Chucky.

Influence:

Chucky influenced a generation. Dolls had their place in the world as gifts, keepsakes and ornaments for a plethora of reasons. But as they grew to become a fad in the 80’s and 90’s with electronics and different makeups, Chucky helped steer the ship of their scare factor. Without his ability to turn something so cute with companionship into terrifying and sadistic enemies, toys became scary and due to this a craze of scary dolls and toys became a popular haunting motif. Thanks to this little bastard.

Annabelle took this aspect and transferred the fear factor away from dialogue and action that creepy dolls possessed and showcased what it is like to be fearsome without changing expression. Annabelle in its lifeless and blank look made that as scary as terrorising actions can be.

Despite Annabelle changing the landscape of scary dolls and becoming the leader in the current day, without Chucky, would dolls and toys ever become what they are today in this genre. I think not.

Chucky > Annabelle

Scare Factor:

Although neither posses super strength, here is something about them both, especially Chucky where their strength outweighs their size. Chucky can manhandle anyone, his crude humour and vindictive smile is chilling and his lack of remorse and morals in his attack and appeal is terrifying. Yet, not once does he care the audience, it’s more so unnerving that something so little can be so sinister

Annabelle herself as a tangible object is scary enough with it’s grin and not so lifeless look, but the demonic and supernatural possession it entails can scare audiences in a number of ways. Almost unstoppable and truly horrific in the amount of ways it can make an impact, the very being that is deep inside this doll can move objects, kill someone and take over anther’s soul.

Chucky has not aged well as a scary doll, whilst Annabelle and all she is will forever be able to scare the pants of viewers surely because of it’s unnatural and terrifying variety of scares. Chucky is sadistic whilst Annabelle is truly horrifying.

Annabelle > Chucky

Film Success:

Child’s Play  was groundbreaking and genre shaking. Not yet had we seen a character like Chucky, and rarely up until this time had dolls come alive. It was unqiue, different and to many, very scary to belie that a doll could come alvie. This is hy the rception was so good. It reicved a gross total of  71 Million and also won best horror movie for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Movies.

Annabelle the original film not origins was truly scary and helped spawn the doll into it’s own universe, giving The Conjuring franchise more dimensions. The film has a total gross of 246 million which is true to how good the film is and also nominated for a total of 8 awards and won 1.

Although i personally like Child’s Play more, it has a lower total gross and was nominated for less awards. It was much more influential, and without Chucky, Annabelle would quite potentially not exist, yet as a standalone film it did outdo Child’s Play.

 

Annebelle > Chucky

 

Verdict:

Both films, franchises and most importantly, dolls, are the two scariest to exist. Both have helped keep the genre alive and both have given their spin on haunting and paranormal movies. Although Chucky is a larger than life phenomena, he was the face of evil for a large period of time, and will always have his recognition, his film, and overall scare factor hasn’t aged overly well, and in caparison to Annabelle at times now seems comical. That is why the verdict is, what it is.

Annabelle > Chucky

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The Ring VS The Grudge

These Japanese personified american remakes are some of the scariest remakes and horror movies in general since the turn of the century. I’d even go out on a limb and say these two movies have been some of the scariest of all time, with both entailing a pale ghost antagonists that has since petrified giddy teenagers. Why both are similar in origin, and both have their paranormal motifs that link them, these distinctly different movies are always blanketed together. Now i will pit them against each other to find out which is truly the better film. The three categories will be film success, scare factor and influence.

Film Success:

The Ring stands as one of the greatest american remakes of an international film in history. Ringu, is the Japanese original, and although at times the film was criticised for poor character development and moving away from the screenplay a little, Naomi Watts is fantastic, and the amount of scares and also overall level of fan favouritism it reached is phenomenal. The movie grossed a crazy $249 million off of a 48 million budget and with this it refutes my comments about being one of the greats, with it being one of the highest grossing remakes of all time. It also won a MTV Movie award with Samara (Daveigh Chase) for Best Villain.

Ju-On: The Grudge was remade into what we now as The Grudge. In 2004, 2 years after the success of The Ring, The Grudge similarly wowed audiences as it became one of the greatest american remakes. This one staring a popular main actress who carried out her role perfectly in Sarah Michelle Galler. The film grossed a massive $187 mill on only a 10 mill budget. Although mixed reviews it also won 2 awards and was nominated for a staggering 10, including a MTV Movie award.

Although the Grudge fell short in grossings, it was nominated for more awards and it did this in a much smaller budget in comparison to The Ring. It’s only fair to say that The Grudge has had a greater film success, not to mention it’s sequels are a hell of a lot better than than that of Gore Verbinski’s.

The Grudge > The Ring

 Scare Factor:

The Ring has Samara. Samara! The Origin of nightmares, the very spark that ignited the fear of creepy dark haired girls in movies. She is the mother of this horror niche and i know for a fact more than one of my friends had nightmares over this creepy girl. On top of this, a few decent jump scares through disfigured victims make this film on of the world’s all time freakiest and scariest movies, and this is backed up by a plethora of nominations in media’s top 10 scariest movie lists. The Ring is terrifying.

The Grudge’s hair raising atmosphere and eerily low budget cinematography also made for one of the scariest movies ever. With time running out and the curse of death chasing the main character, what could be more terrifying then being scared, isolated and lost in a foreign country as a Japanese ghost haunts you. Nothing you could word would give it’s scares justice, just go watch it.

Despite both being haunting and downright some of the most terrifying movies ever produced within America, Samara being who she is and how nightmarish she is in her aestheticism, The Ring as a whole and their main character would even scare The Grudge.

The Ring > The Grudge

Influence:

As mentioned above, Samara and The Ring were trailblazing when they debuted. Creepy girls, the innovation to create a remake out of the very renowned Japanese horror scene. What Gore Verbinski created is something that horror movie directors became famous for, think Romero and Hitchcock, what Verbinski did with The Ring places him in good company.

The Grudge had a minor influence in comparison. It helped mould a genre and continually backed up the work of The Ring,  proving that intentional remakes would live on. It further cemented the notion that haunting horror’s will always be a crowd favourite.

Unfortunately The Grudge doesn’t match up with The Ring here. It helped usher in and support what The Ring did, but without The Ring, would we even have had The Grudge, i think not.

The Ring > The Grudge

Verdict:

Although the first and second category, could have gone down as ties, the overwhelmingly better received film The Grudge, may be a greater film in a holistic sense, but it was nor scarier, nor as impressive and authentic as The Ring due to what The Ring stood for. Both though will forever be remembered as the origin of both Japanese and international remakes.

The Ring > The Grudge

Freddy Vs Jason

The inaugural battle of this blog section was between two renowned champions. One a slasher, the other a zombie. The first win went to Carpenter, despite Romero being the overall more influential director/writer.

Today i am going to back up the debut of my ‘VS.’ section with a showdown between undoubtedly the two most well known horror villains in pop culture history, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. The three sections i will be pitting them against each other in are, film success, abilities and scare factor.

Film Success:

Freddy Kreuger is the face of Nightmare on Elm Street. This very street in Springwood is where his killing spree begun. The child sex offender turned supernatural  serial killer, Freddy terrorised generations of kids both on the infamous Elm street and around the area. The franchise reached a mass of 9 movies including spin offs (Freddy vs. Jason) and reboots. The franchise is well known both inside and out of the horror realm, and as far as accolades and monetary success, the franchise has amassed a total of $370,495,086 in grossing totals and more than 10 nominations and wins.

Jason Voorhees on the other hand is the main antagonist in the Friday the 13th franchise. Although not the original killer of the series, the indestructible hockey mask wearing, machete-wielding gigantic deformed killer made his debut in the 2nd Chapter Since then Jason has cast a reign of terror over the genre , creating room for a sizeable amount of films.  Including the same spin off as Freddy, the total amount of films both the franchise and his character reached is 12. It also was included in IGN’s 2006 top 25 franchises rankings in history. The franchises total gross $464 million and more than 30 wins and nominations

Despite being tightly contested, Jason and his franchise did claim more films, more wins, more nominations and more money. Although it being replicated in similar fashion and almost identical in ave. grossing per film by his opponent, Jason and Crystal Lake edge out Freddy here.

Jason > Freddy

Abilities:

Freddy Kreuger is  almost unstoppable. In a literal sense,this is true, but as we know from the remake and throughout the original series he is susceptible to injuries. Yet, he only dies in the final nightmare,  and that is only to an extent because the definiton of surviving in this example is being trapped in hell. By dying i mean that due to the fact his existence becomes  a forgotten memory to the survivors of his massacres, he iskept powerless and effectively not real. This is a testament though to his ability to withstand mutilation, stabbings and pain, whilst conjuring almost any sort of nightmare with his supernatural abilities. Freddy’s signature claws are still the most dangerous and powerful weapon at his disposal despite his superntural abiities. Overall Freddy is almost overpowered, being susceptible to almost nothing and having the ability to conjure anything upon command, even running out of video game lives as a killing method.

Jason on the other hand is seemingly a more eerie and strong presence, yet seems to only have a small array of abilities to hone. Water being his vital weakness due to his misleading ‘death’ and the fact he is human meaning he can be psychically slowed and maimed. Being murdered on multiple occasions, or even allegedly murdered he still has officially been murdered once at the end of Final Chapter, making him a vincible foe. Offensively he is incredibly strong, Hulk strong. He is an artist with his machete and has the ability to use a plethora of weapons as if he is Aragon from LOTR. His abilities though are sub par when pitted against numerous villains whose super powers make them almost unconquerable, when in reality he is just a overpowered mortal man.

Freddy being an infinite being whilst having the ability to murder physical victims in more than one way means his overall abilities are an A+ in relation to other horror antagonists. Jason is strong and combat talented, yet he is still a human who if pitted against the right weapon or human(s) could be murdered and beaten. Therefore Freddy takes this round comfortably despite the ambiguous ending to their fight in the namesake film.

Freddy > Jason

Scare Factor:

Freddy Krueger’s demented face and the helpless power he posses you with is literally the definition of a living nightmare. Although comical in his punchlines, his deep voice when growling, and his rare seriousness combined with his aestheticism is horrifying. Yet what is most scary about this legendary killer is the fear his approach induces you in. Only in your sleep will he be able to kill you, and avoiding sleep and his assault is impossible. What lies between death and safety is your ability to stay awake, and the very fear that lingers in the intense heightened feel of fear that hangs with heavy eyes is as scary as your death. Noting can compare to knowing you will die, except having no date or time.

Jason Voorhees’ fear lies in his intimidation and overall persona. The hockey mask that cloaks his deformed face is freaky and intimidating, cloaking a sense of humanity that sits hidden behind the mask. His large stature and overall physical shape is dominating and almost unfathomable in real life, which makes him scary. Also knowing that he can kill you at any second,  awake or asleep. With his strength, killer instinct and almost indestructible body, when it comes to a living breathing killer, he would be the worlds scariest.

This category is almost a draw, both are fearsome in the way they deliver kills and their overall scare factor are both at the very height of horror cinema. Yet, forgetting Freddy makes him redundant, but forgetting Jason won’t do you any good as this man can strike you at any time, anywhere. As for Freddy, having only a certain window to strike, his scares do have a limit whilst he is alive, as for Jason will forever cause terror until he is finally put to sleep. Freddy is almost scarier when it comes to the suspense that drives his kills, but to know someone like Jason is out there and is as unstoppable to any one individual is a scarier thought then one who strikes in dreams.

Jason > Freddy

Verdict:

It’s almost unfair to crown a winner between these two vastly different killers. Both have their unique attributes which cause them to be indestructible to a certain extent, and both are two of the most revered and feared horror movie characters of all time. Both have also been the mainstays in their franchises which are  undoubtedly the two greatest horror franchises. Although this is all said, there must be a winner, and in this case, Jason has taken the crown.

Jason > Freddy

Romero Vs. Carpenter

I thought for the very beginning of these showdowns it would be most appropriate if it incorporated two heavyweights, and of course, in honour of the late George A Romero who passed  away last week.

Both legendary in there field, both pioneers of their craft, these two horror movie gods have gifted us with so much inspiration that without them we would not have a horror movie genre today. The three fields i will be pitting them against each other in are, greatest horror movie, influence and awards. It will be hard to separate these two, and everyone else will have their opinions but here is mine.

Greatest Horror Movie

For Romero, it is undoubtedly his 1978 indie zombie apocalypse masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead. Being claimed by many including Clive Barker, as his greatest film ever. Dawn of the Dead is also his highest grossing film at $55 million off of a $1.5 million dollar budget. Although his debut indie horror Night of the Living Dead was the trend setting origin for zombie horror and undoubtedly the reason for the sub genre, his follow up in Dawn of the Dead was his greatest. It is very much the reason this sub genre of horror carries so much weight still to this day, encouraging more and more remakes, sequels and TV show’s such as The Walking Dead. Within video games, movies such as 28 Days Later, and even The Walking Dead, hiding out in shopping malls, using shotguns to blow off chunks of body from flesh eating somewhat humans is a main stereotype that has been both played out both tastefully and poorly.  Without this mainstay in zombie horror we wouldn’t have the themes of the undead. It doesn’t just stop there, the themes of this film have reached TV shows of all genres, with scenes from Dawn of the Dead being replayed without notice. The film also has been recognised as one of the greatest in general, making it’s way into the top 500 films of all time by Empire magazine. This film has been as influential as any on the whole film scene and for that, George A Romero, you will always be cherished.

John Carpenter’s greatest film was much harder to pick, but the highest grossing and the film that came to my mind first was Halloween. At $70 million it is is highest grossing, and the signature Michael Myers mask is the face of Carpenter as a character. This slasher film, much like Romero’s Dawn of the Dead was a pioneer film that was as influential to the slasher scene as any. Although not the first official slasher, out of the three mega franchises, being Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday the 13th, this was the first to hit our screens, and it could be said that it was the reason why the other two were so well received. The original babysitter stalker-invincible killer,Michael Myers, is a creation that has creeped out US teens for generations, his blank mask eerily embedding itself in the conscious of all fans. Selected to be inducted in the Library of Congress due to it’s cultural significance, this film has been award winning in almost all categories, and finding itself ranked in 2010 by Total Film, in the Top 100 films of all time.

Although both have great influence on their genres, and both are inspirations to independent film makers, with Halloween being voted in majority lists over the internet as a top 100 calibre film, Michael Myers being such a significant character, it grossing higher and the Library of Congress recognising it for it’s impact, this first round goes to Carpenter.

Carpenter > Romero

Influence

Romero created the zombie sub genre. There is no way around that and no arguments against this will hold validity. His Night of the Living Dead is the first zombie movie on record, it was genre defining, and the themes stemming from his series of ‘Dead‘ movies encompass everything Zombie/Apocalypse related to this date. Although the reboot is more well known and critically better, he also created The Crazies. From the 70’s on wards, any TV show/game/movie/reference to the dead rising from the ground or being isolated years later after an Apocalypse you can bet stems from Romero and his mind. Has there been anyone more influential in film, independent, horror or not.

Carpenter is known for being one of the main influences of the slasher genre, but next to Craven, Hitchcock and Hooper, it’s hard to name who is the mastermind behind the sub genre. Carpenter’s ability to adapt to other genre’s is evident, but within the horror industry his standout performances are just that. I am not taking anything away from his ability, as The Fog is a testament to his diversity, but his influence upon the genre is not outstanding due to the craze of serial killers being created in the 80’s from  more than one director or writer.

Although The Fog and Halloween are two of the most immensely popular and impactful horror films of their generation, Romero’s zombie idea has spawned tireless spin offs and themes that reach out to every medium of media and film creation all around the world. Without his original and without this idea of humans returning from the grave, the landscape of film and entertainment would not look the same.

Romero > Carpenter

Awards

George A Romero has won a plethora awards across the independent film scene, Fantasporto, Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & horror, USA the list goes on. Majority are for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, which is all courtesy of his own individual work. His greatest accolade is the New York City Horror Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, and that’s undoubtedly one that recognises him for his influence and for his standings amongst other horror directors, writers and filmmakers. All in all, his greatest films were all acknowledged and he has a total of 13 wins and 5 nominations.

Carpenter has his similarities, as he also has won across all similar film festivals and independent award ceremonies. Fantapsporto, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror, USA to name a few. Although there seem to be more nominations then wins, Carpenter was nominated in 1976 for the Nebula Award for Best Dramatic Writing by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He has a total of 15 wins and 18 nominations.

It seems that despite their shared awards and similarities across the independent scene, Carpenter has been nominated a staggering 6x more than Romero, and still accomplished more wins. Although some of the greats never win Oscars, never get nominated when they should, award wining is a indication of talent and is still a reputable indication of their work. Due to this, Carpenter takes this final round based on his overwhelming number of nomination’s, whilst still winning more than Romero.

Carpenter > Romero

Verdict

There is no doubt in my mind or anyone elses that both men have been as influential as any, both deserve the accolades if not more than they have been awarded with, and both’s greatest films are undoubtedly two of the greatest horror films to ever reach our screens. This being said,  Romero’s influence has donned a sub genre, and influenced a greater reach than Carpenter but, this is his downfall, being less diverse and his continual instalments left him one sided. Carpenter has created a portfolio of horror movies that has wowed us for all different reasons and from all different perspectives. This battle was close, but Carpenter with his greater holistic hold over the genre due to earnings, recognisable films and diversity, he has won this inaugural battle.

 

Carpenter > Romero.