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Don't hug the Psycho.
#16
Hello, Psycho!

I hope bumping this thread with the last post being months old isn't rude. But, I've had some thoughts boiling that I'd like to elaborate on. And, with your new character, a fresh start for this thread may be in order, yes?

So, yeah. This feedback won't really be on a particular character, but the differences in our interpretation of what constitutes "horror" or things that are "scary". If you'll have my opinion, I believe you've some work to do.

Firstly: what is horror?

Dictionary.com Wrote:hor·ror [hawr-er, hor-]
noun
1. an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear: to shrink back from a mutilated corpse in horror.
2. anything that causes such a feeling: killing, looting, and other horrors of war.
3. such a feeling as a quality or condition: to have known the horror of slow starvation.
4. a strong aversion; abhorrence: to have a horror of emotional outbursts.
5. Informal . something considered bad or tasteless: That wallpaper is a horror. The party was a horror.

TVTropes Wrote:Horror is a Genre of fiction that exploits the Primal Fears of viewers with things ranging from the Uncanny Valley, Body Horror, and Suspense to cause the viewer anxiety, fear, and ultimately thrills. It uses various Horror Tropes to cause these effect; however, partly due to the rise in complexity of Special Effects, overuse, and viewer desensitization, several of these are now cliché.

This is a very broad genre, it can go from tasteful and timeless tales of psychological suspense (Alfred Hitchcock) to gross out horror (which tends to become campy). It often employs the supernatural, but "normal" people are more than sufficient to scare audiences when used properly.

I'm sure you know the basic definitions and genres, but listing such helps with organization. Moving on!

From my experiences with you and what I have heard of your RP, you seem to veer towards the campy gore horror. You do make a noble effort in trying to bring forth psychological horror, but it...well, hasn't quite worked so far. Not as well as it could.

What do I mean with all this? I'll use some examples and detail how I think it could be done better.

A recurring theme of yours seems to be this odd psycho-sexual gore horror. Two examples include:
  • Sangreala's vagina dentata that poor Doctor Dino had to tend.

  • Leiatrius' body horror with using the body as a "canvas". The example that I witnessed is that poor paladin he carved and sewed up, then allowed the Gatsbi'nore thugs to use as they carnally wished.

Body horror can be a great tool to use, as we can see with David Cronenberg's and John Carpenter's films. Films such as The Fly, or Scanners, or The Thing. The human fear of their own body being changed out of their control is well...terrible. While I'm certainly not asking you to write on the level of filmmakers such as these gentlemen, I do wish to analyze what the differences between your attempts and theirs seem to suggest. To an extent. I don't think anyone wants to read a huge essay, and I'm not capable of writing it anyway. So! I'll boil it down to the basic idea.

Subtlety.

If you've seen any of these films, it might be hard to call any of them subtle on the first look. I mean, what's subtle about, this clip? There's blood, and dead bodies, and then OH FFF ALIEN EXPLOSION OUT OF THIS GUY.

Spoilered because hey, it's The Thing. It's gory.
Spoiler:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqVbOSEsJNo[/youtube]

How is this subtle? Because, watching the film, you don't know who's the enemy throughout that whole scene. It isn't the alien explosion that makes the scene scary, it's the tenseness of the unknown that builds to it. The transformation is just the EWWWW cherry on top. You don't know who the enemy is through most of the movie. The main character even erred in killing one of the workers.

Why is Scanners scary in its subtley with scenes like this? And that horrible trailer voice over?
Spoiler:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmJC3ZaXBEc[/youtube]

Because, throughout the film, you don't who a Scanner is and isn't. You don't know what they're capable of. At one point, a woman is carrying a Scanner fetus that is able to Scan. That is what is frightening, not the head explosions. Again, finally seeing the gore is just the whipped cream on a delicious pie of suspense and paranoia.

You have an issue with suspense, from what I have seen. You've an unsettling tendency to dive headfirst into a veritable fountain of gore, torture, and psycho-sexual goo.

I recall when Leiatrius was carrying Ithildess to her "quarters" to show her her "room mate". You kept warning me about how horrible it was going to be, and how I might be upset with my "feminist" leanings. I answered that I appreciated the warning, and would go forth.

It...well. I feel a bit crass for saying this, but the scene just ended up funny in a horrible way. The victim was so over the top, that nothing was left but me being dropped into a mess of the "whipped cream" I mentioned. There was nothing there to get me to care about the victim other than vague hints she was a paladin and had female genitalia. And then threats of ooga booga, you'll end up just like this.

That is not horror, unfortunately. That is gory, nasty slapstick comedy. And I feel so bad for saying that.

Again. It isn't the vagina dentata that's scary, it isn't the torture victim that's scary. It's the build up.

What could make this and future situations better?

As I keep saying: buildup.

Or!

Hints as to what happened. Delicious crumbs of nummy horror cake left for a fellow player to follow. Instead of having the victim there on the rack, it would have been far more disturbing to have remnants of her. Used, broken straps, claw marks in the wood, stains of fluid, writing on the wood, wire that fell out of her stitches on the floor.

What the hell happened here? And is the person that was here still alive? Are they doing worse things to her, things that my mind is making up for me?

To me, and possibly a good deal of others, this is far more frightening:
Spoiler:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thCyklhDBIM[/youtube]

Than this:

Spoiler:
[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=211665]

What the hell is that shadow? Does it feel? Who was it? Oh, my god it said hello, did it say hello? Is it my shadow?

Versus

Rawr scary gore that I can bring down by my BFG. Yawn.

One more example:

Do you recall when you and I were working on an event together?

At one point there was a safe that would have a "key" to progress. We both had different scenarios in mind for how to get this key, and what the key was. As I recall, your scenario was a brain inside the safe that exploded and was icky, then hey there's the key the heroes get it, and walk off while brushing brain bits off them. My version? Open the safe, there's nothing in there but a vague coating of dust, perhaps a rhyming note referencing what's about to occur. I believe I called it the Shield of Sinners. Or Sinner's Shield. Something. Suddenly! The heroes are coated in blood. No explosion of a body, no scream, just the happy note, and they're coated in blood like it's always been there. However, this blood shields them from something down the line. Then it's gone when used.

Why am I covered in blood, whose blood is this, is it my blood, am I sinner, can I be cleansed, ogod why is it not rubbing off, I cannot get this sin off.


And...there's my friggin' essay of feedback. I hope you take it in stride, and don't view it as me telling you everything you do is wrong. Because it's not, and you don't. You just--well. Eat all the whipped cream and toss the can at others when people might want just a slice to hint at what's to come.

I'll also leave this video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV95GPdRZtk[/youtube]

And come cake.

Spoiler:
[Image: 30+delicious-chocolate-cake-pictures-you-love-10.jpg]
[Image: tumblr_nfm4t0FZcT1rtcd58o1_r1_500.gif]
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#17
That's quite the necromancy and post-wall. But I'm afraid my response is going to have to be put to shame by its length... I wasn't quite AIMING for horror with EITHER of them. I gave you the warning out of common courtesy because it held sensitive subjects, which I saw in the past (or so I was led to believe) that you had issue with. I might have been wrong.

I wasn't aiming for horror with Sangreala. I was aiming for a clear blacker-than-black evil. Someone the server could all relate to saying that their characters loath that woman. As for Leiatrius, not horror. He's not meant to be tension-oh-god-what's-lurking-down-the-hall-way scary. He's meant to be the more practical kind of scary. As for the work on your event, it's the kind of horror that is also meant to cause confusion. At times, what lays on the surface works best, so to say. If I were to be suddenly covered in blood out of nowhere in the middle of a dark hallway, I'm pretty sure I'd freak. While I respect the noticeable effort it must have taken to write this thing (which really was impressive!) I think the necromancy is un-needed. I did not ask for feedback, and it just felt kind of shoved into my face. More importantly, at a sudden.

Despite my so far gory displays, I do know my works of horror. I'd love to elaborate to you with an example sometimes. But do note, while this is something I know, I appreciate hearing it! Until next time! *Cheers*
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#18
Perhaps I speak out of turn, but--

If not horror, what were you aiming for? To instill a dislike of your characters? I've nothing personal against you, but to be entirely honest: when a villain goes for 'blacker-than-black' evil, particularly in the mode of bodily mutilation and/or rape, it has a tendency to instill hatred against the author nearly as much as the character. We as an audience instinctively feel ourselves think, what sort of person thinks this up? It's a faux paus to say it, of course. We're expected to observe the barrier between IC and OOC morality, but the issue remains. The reason is this: We are in this for fun. We are, by and large, desensitized to murder and death and the like; a good murder mystery is something we have as a culture learned to enjoy. The thing is, certain things just aren't fun to read about. A thing can appall us, make us feel horrified or frightened or sad, and that's fine. It's analogous to spicy food, or a beer with a bitter aftertaste. But there is a marked difference between sweet-n-sour and just tasting awful.

A good villain isn't someone you hate, it's someone you love to hate. You're munching popcorn and wearing a goofy grin on your face even as you boo his entrance onto the stage. If he just makes you feel ill to even read about, to think about, it's a failing on the part of the story. A story is meant to be an enjoyable thing. Even writhing masses of eldritch tentacles are fun, because for lack of a better word they tickle our fancies. They interest us, they appeal to primal fears of the unknown, of losing or having twisted our minds, of losing self. Simple disgust, nothing but disgust, makes us feel precisely that. Disgusted.

Whether or not your goal is horror, in terms of causing fear or not, other dynamics based on negative emotion carry similar rules - among them subtlety. C0r's advice is solid; consider my feedback a very extended "^ That."
i am geko
i live heer
and my favorite food is crikkits
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#19
Not meaning to speak against you, hiddengecko, but there are different 'styles' of evil out there. Some of us are good at them, while others are good at others.

For example, myself. I consider Psycho's "kind of evil" a great one.
Quote:You're munching popcorn and wearing a goofy grin on your face even as you boo his entrance onto the stage
I do that to his evil RP. /shrug

Now then, the world isn't all fuzzy and funny, or even "sweet-n-sour", as you said. It could prove to be quite morbid and ugly, bloody and gore'y.

Quote:hor·ror [hawr-er, hor-]
noun
1. an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear: to shrink back from a mutilated corpse in horror.
3. such a feeling as a quality or condition: to have known the horror of slow starvation.
Isn't that disgust, in a way?

My two cents. :D



EDIT: Haven't written very much because I'm in an event right now D:

EDIT2:
Quote:If not horror, what were you aiming for? To instill a dislike of your characters?
Perhaps infamy, and a hate in the character? Or fear, of the character!
"Life is offensive, people; it's brutal, stupid, annoying, dirty, and at the end, ******* pointless. Seriously, folks, you need to get a grip, alright? Relax yourself!" - Foamy

#20
(07-19-2012, 01:08 PM)Psycho Wrote: I think the necromancy is un-needed. I did not ask for feedback, and it just felt kind of shoved into my face. More importantly, at a sudden.
He's just a hero
In a long line of heroes
Looking for something
Attractive to save
- Soup Star Joe


Ongoing Personal Projects:
NIL
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#21
Psycho has expressed that he didn't wish for any feedback right now, so I think beating this horse any further will not serve any positive ends. For that reason, I'll be locking the thread. If Psycho wishes to have it unlocked, he can send me a message, or make a new feedback thread at a later date.
Have you hugged an orc today?
- I am not tech support. Please do not contact me regarding technical issues. -
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