It has been for decades, ever since the glowing light of the movie
projector became the campfire around which filmmakers told their
terrible tales. Quite simply, we like to be scared in the dark, and
it's even better when surrounded by shrieking strangers whose
collective screams only serve to amplify our experience. It's the
roller coaster ride of terror, Raimi likes to say, and the more the
merrier as we share the drop that sends our stomachs flying out of
our throats. He insists, though, that these movies work only
because they offer new takes on frayed-at-the-edges formulas.
That's why Raimi's working with little-known (in the U.S.)
filmmakers: Takashi Shimizu, brought to Hollywood to remake his
Japanese release Ju-On, or The Grudge; and from Hong Kong brothers
Danny and Oxide Pang, makers of The Eye and its sequel, which have
been bought by Tom Cruise for U.S. makeovers. The Pangs are
codirecting Scarecrow for Raimi; The Eye, about a blind violinist
whose new corneal implants allow her to see ghosts collecting their
victims, is still in development.
"We're all familiar with the conventions of the genre," Raimi says.
"A young lady walks down a dark hallway, approaching the door, and
just as she's reaching the door with ever increasing close-ups and
tension building on the soundtrack, somebody reaches out of the
dark to grab her by the throat. But you're so familiar with the
Originality is very important because of what's expected
in the dark, in the shadows."
A HISTORY OF HORROR