View Full Version : Errors in horror/SF movies -- how much to they deter enjoyment?

09-06-2010, 11:12 AM
We of course know that a movie's fake anyway, there are sound men and grips and set movers all standing around just off camera, but we try to "forget" this and "suspend disbelief" so we can enjoy the fantasy of a movie.

But sometimes the technical errors get so bad that it breaks the spell for us. In the old War of the Worlds movie, I'm still just a kid but when they talk about "explosions on Mars" and the ships start landing riight away, I was thinking, "Wait -- Mars is millions of miles away even at its closest. Trip would take months not minutes." And I was complaining to myself a long time.

Sometimes I get irritated that the monster is invulnerable to gunfire. If he's supernatural, okay maybe, but if he's just a big beast, heck, an antitank missile could wipe out a T-Rex with ease but they just shrug off huge amounts of gunfire. Makes the fantasy way too thin. Let the beast be fast or sly and dodge gunfire, okay, but when on of 'em finally gets hit, he goes toast. That would increase the accuracy and make the plot more interesting for me. For example, in the Jurrasic Park sequel where the T-Rex gets loose in LA, okay maybe the local cops would be undergunned, but in an emergency it would take maybe 10 min to get a couple of Apache or Cobra copters in the air, carrying Hellfire missiles. Goodby T-Rex. Of course, Spielberg is way way anti-gun so he wouldn't allow that, but it then got silly, cops running around like in Blues Brothers without any defense. So maybe the Rex is near a hospital or clinic or whatever and they can't fire the missile but at least you the audience "know" it could be done, and that lets you believe the overall plot more. Am I making sense here?

Look at Predator. He wasn't invulnerable, he was just very fast, stealth imaged, and had personal armor. He could be hurt but it was just hard to do it. That made the conflict "honest" and allowed Arnie to win. If the beast had been, for example, demonic supernatural, they would have no chance and the drama would be less fun.

What about you whem seeing glaring scientific errors? Do you just brush 'em aside or do they lessen the plot fun?

09-06-2010, 11:29 AM
I'm easily able to shrug off such errors; unless the film is just plain awful then it's fun to point out every single mistake.

09-06-2010, 03:00 PM
Depends on the tone of the film. If the film is shooting for "reality", then a dozen rounds out from a revolver without reloading is irritating as hell. If the film acknowledges that it is, indeed, a film, and is not meant to be taken literally, then I don't care how many shells get fired by the double barrel shotgun before it gets reloaded (I'm looking at you, Onechanbara).

And the "curving" bullet crap in Wanted ruined the whole damn film for me. It wanted to be taken too seriously to let that crap fly.

09-08-2010, 03:04 PM
Depends on the movie Some of them are supposed to be totally implausable I mean, if I get my arm cut off by a yakuza(The Machine Girl) I don't think they'll Shove a machine gun on the stump-but wouldn't that Rock????

09-10-2010, 04:21 PM
Yall are right of course - depends on the spirit of the movie -- we see "My Name is Bruce" and we expect one thing, we see "Predator" we expect another.

That curving bullet thing is so phony and to make it a part of the plot was laughable. I didn't see the movie -- some of these "matrix" movies are way too silly.

We've all come to expect the baddies shooting a million rounds at the good guys and all missing. Anyone who's ever fired auto weapons can tell you that's so bogus -- you sweep from back to front to "catch up" with the target.

But we accept some of this -- part of the way movies are made now. Same as how ALL cop and action movies play the scene: the baddie holds the good guy at gunpoint. Then, halfway thru the scene, he racks the slide on the shotgun or pistol or whatever, or cocks the hammer manually, to show that he "means business" (they did this on Lost all the time). Duh. This means that the gun was essentially unloaded before that and was as scary as a rock. We call it "RFE" or Rack For Effect.

I can allow a few scientific errors but sometimes I just point and laugh. There was this SF/horror movie where the crew lands on Mars and evil parasites infect them, and during this, they are in real-time comm with Earth. Er, gang, it's maybe 5-6 light minutes between.

09-10-2010, 05:06 PM
One thing that bugs me- no matter how over the top or unrealistic a film is supposed to be is:

About a dozen bad guys surround the hero. They're either unarmed or they have hand to hand weapons... and then ONE BY ONE the bad guys rush to hero and attempt to do him in. Of course the hero dispatches every single one of them, in turn- while all the bad guys just watch their comrades being defeated and wait their turn.

Pile on, you morons! You outnumber him!