Monday, February 16, 2009

HDC Idol Challege #1 - Alternate Reality

So it's been a whole YEAR since I've posted on my blog, so I figure that it's about damn time.

My latest stint of creativity has come from a contest on HDC, a horror forum that I frequent. For the past four months, I have been a participant in HDC Idol - A challenge to determine who, in the forum shall be crowned the HORROR IDOL.

In an attempt to keep my challenge entries organized for MYSELF, I will be posting them here.

HDC Idol Challege #1 - Alternate Reality

Several critically-acclaimed flicks have failed miserably at the BO - Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist, Jaws etc. all have been flushed down the toilets. For some reason, the audiences arent willing to accept any of those horror flicks. You are a talented and eccentric filmmaker who is hellbent on making the audiences turn towards horror. What ideas can you use to conquer such hard-headed audiences of the world?

I really scratched my head with this one... How the HELL do you sell horror to people who hate horror? It's something that I come across in my life, every day...

And then I thought... "Well, touch on what's KNOWN to rope them in... And THEN give it to 'em!"

So I came up with...

I’ve decided that my alternate reality brings us to now, present day and this I why: I am assuming that, in this alternate reality all horror has been panned, all “Blockbusters” leading up until now, which encompasses the aforementioned Night of the Living Dead, Exorcist, and Jaws. Of course, this will also include everything from Kubrick’s The Shining (panned in 1980), to 1999’s utter disaster The Blair Witch Project, proving that the audience as a whole is not willing to embrace pure, non-diluted horror.

In coming up with my proposal, I did some preliminary research in terms of highest grossing films of all time. In order to bring horror to a public who does not like horror, one must encompass elements of the film industry’s past successes. Titanic, The Dark Knight, Star Wars, Shrek 2, and ET: The Extra-Terrestrial are the top 5 Box Office successes of all time. Recent Blockbusters of the last five years include three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, two X-Men sequels, two Spiderman sequels, and three Harry Potter movies.

The recipe for success seems to be a combination comic book heroes and anti-heroes, adventure, and pure fantastical escapism.

So we need to take that and turn it into horror.

I propose that, in order to introduce this public into the concept of horror, we must take elements of classic fairy tales (a recipe for success year after year with early Disney as well as a baseline of familiarity) while also using the vehicle of serial comic book adaptation that proved to be successful over the past few years. As an upcoming filmmaker I propose that, specifically, we take Zenescope Entertainment’s Grimm Fairy Tales’ comic spin-off mini-series Return to Wonderland and adapt it to the screen. Since this mini-series is already a cult success amongst comic book enthusiasts, we’ll already have a base for our audience. For the rest of the general public, the success in recent years of Shrek and its sequels, shows that it is clear that the public is romanced by the concept of the redone fairy tale. I think that we can springboard off of the midrange success of 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth and push the envelope farther. Return to Wonderland possesses a decent cross-section of horror sub-genre that had been previously rejected when presented holistically in an entire film (Carpenter’s pure Slasher Halloween caused some audience members to actually vomit into their Raisinets). So, with Return to Wonderland, we introduce the audience to horror little by little: Parts of the Slasher can be found in the Queen of Hearts and her gardening Playing Cards (literally painting the roses red with the blood of their own), the Monster sub-genre can be found in the horrifying, stalking, larger-than-life Cheshire Cat, and even the sub-genre of Cannibalism and Pulp in the Lecherous Mad Hatter. The movie(s) as a whole will play delightfully with the Surreal/Fantastical horror sub-genre, which seems to be a bit more palatable to the general audience. What’s great about adapting this entire comic mini-series is that it will enable us to create a series of sequels with which to ease the public into the genre of horror while simultaneously keeping them in familiar territory with a known fairy tale.


This post was received well by the judges, won me a B+ for the round, and put me ahead of the competition.

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