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Zsinj
June 7th, 2007, 09:37 PM
I don't know about the rest of you, but always, when I've watched old silent films, I've found them to be a bit eerie and disturbing/unsettling myself. I don't know what it is exactly, probably has something to do with the fact that the films are so old and the actors are all dead. One of my favorite horror films, Nosferatu, is made all the more scarier and creepier to me because it's silent. Sometimes, when the room is very quiet when I'm watching a silent film, I think I hear faint sounds of the characters talking when they're really not. Just my imagination working overtime I guess, but it's pretty creepy nonetheless. Horror author Ramsey Campbell has written a couple of novels on this sort of stuff; Ancient Images and The Grin of the Dark. So does anyone here feel the same way I do about this?

Hobbit
June 8th, 2007, 04:24 AM
Yes, I'd agree with that, Zsinj. Silence is a wonderful tool in horror films, and the silent scenes in Nosferatu are scary because of that. It's rather like the creepy horror stories where you don't quite see what's there; other horror stories reveal everything in gory detail, which works less well for me. Someone once told me that the trick of a good film is not what you see but what you don't see - I guess that works for hearing as well!

Hobbit

JunkMonkey
June 8th, 2007, 05:03 AM
There is no such thing as a silent movie. They were never meant to be seen silent. They always had a musical accompaniment. Important movies had a full score written.

I recently saw a restored lost 'silent' movie with a live orchestra performing a very impressive contemporary score. It was a magical experience and one I would recommend to anyone interested in the history of cinema.

Hobbit
June 8th, 2007, 08:15 AM
Point taken. Perhaps I should rephrase that as 'parts of the film that are silent'. Yes there is/was musical accompanyment, but there were parts that are and have been left silent even when they've had a musical score. The Nosferatu example I gave was left silent at that part in the copy I saw..

Hobbit

JunkMonkey
June 8th, 2007, 08:29 AM
Point taken. Perhaps I should rephrase that as 'parts of the film that are silent'. Yes there is/was musical accompanyment, but there were parts that are and have been left silent even when they've had a musical score. The Nosferatu example I gave was left silent at that part in the copy I saw..

Hobbit

I wasn't taking issue with you Hobbit, I was replying to the OP but my message got delayed. Silence in movies is a great thing. I wish someone would tell Danny Elfman that. I have stopped watching movies if I know he has done the music. The man never lets up. Every frame is scored. Shut up man and give the audience a chance to think for themselves!

Hobbit
June 8th, 2007, 12:27 PM
Actually, I'd probably pass that on also to TV films / programmes as well. Background music can work really well, but sometimes I think silence can work better.

I understand the BBC, as part of their digital output, may be experimenting with viewers having the choice of soundtrack or not. Might be interesting, that.

Hobbit

ArthurFrayn
June 14th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Actually, I don't know who gets Turner Classic Movies here, but Vampyr is on this month, and that's a fairly effective and creepy silent (well, not exactly-shot as silent and then dubbed) horror film...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023649/

mariiisssa
November 13th, 2008, 12:25 AM
LOL.
Nosferatu is a creepy silent film.
maybe we're not adjusted to watching movies without sound.
it makes us hear things we wish were there.

all this thinking of silent films makes me wanna go watch one.
lol.