FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Feb 18, 2008

horror movie cliche #2274: the moon shot

One of my favorite horror movie cliches is the obligatory moon shot, the director's way of letting you know that the action on-screen is taking place at night. I mean...how are we, the audience, supposed to know that it's night without seeing the moon? Lack of light outside, or darkened windows seen from the inside, or a throwaway comment by a character about the time of day simply aren't enough to prevent viewers from being confused as to what the hell is going on and where is the sun? The last thing that a filmmaker wants is a confused audience.

Mind you, said filmmakers obviously aren't taking into account those people who see a moon shot and conclude that the action is taking place on the moon- they're likely to remain confused.

Here is but a small sampling of moon shots found in horror films. Look for a moon shot in your favorite scary movie today!




Fido






The Texas Chainsaw Massacre '03




19 comments:

ARBOGAST said...

What about Eythor Gudjonsson's moon shot in Hostel? That was cheeky!

Bill Walsh said...

LUNACY!

Yep, I like old black-and-white shots where the clouds are moving across the moon, blacking parts out...

the2ndsuitor said...

"What about Eythor Gudjonsson's moon shot in Hostel? That was cheeky!"

I was gonna say the same thing aboot the dock scene in The Burning! You beat me to the punch-line.

I have shamed my family.

Theron said...

Wow, pretty moon pics! I trust your journalistic integrity that these shots all came from the movies listed...

borehole said...

Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton were so distressed by this trope's overuse they wrote a book about it.

Ryne said...

When I see a moon shot, I'm inclined to think werewolves or vampires.

estanli cuvric said...

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Fucking Great Blog!

JA said...

Shots of the sun rising over the horizon are the Vampire stand-by, I think. Run, Vampires, run! Death is at your heels! I'm talking to figurative vamps here by the way; if there are any vampires reading this comment, you can stay put, it's still dark outside. Well I guess that depends on where this Vampire is while reading this comment, this being the internets I suppose an Australian Vampire could be all "He said I'm safe, guess I'll go grab a cappuchino from the corner deli" and then throw on his januty cap and open the front door and WHAM crisp-fried Vamp on the floor, and I really don't need that on my conscience. So please, International Vampires, just check your clocks, do what you normally do, and ignore me, lest you find peril!!!

spazmo said...

Theron, I wouldn't put it past Stacie to sneak in a stock photo of Ganymede or Titan just to mess with our heads.

ladracul said...

The one from "Fido" looks the best, hands down. I must add that one to Netflix as I've found Billy Connolly amusing since he took over as the teacher on "Head of the Class"...

Stacie Ponder said...

I assure you all, the sources listed are accurate.

I didn't include any werewolf movies because then, at least, a moon shot might make sense. Maybe in a vampire flick, too.

And Fido is great, by the way. I liked it SO MUCH more than I thought I would. Bill Connolly is fantastic, and so is Carrie-Anne Moss, surprisingly enough.

Old Dark Housekeeper said...

I figured that shots of the bright full moon were to establish why you can always see what's going on in the deep, dark woods in the middle of the night.

JA said...

Fido kicked ass! I wasn't expecting much either - the reviews weren't all that kind - but I was totally wrapped up in it.

kindertrauma said...

Cool pix!. I wonder why the moons tend to be on the left side of the frame?

ARBOGAST said...

Before you say yes to marriage, find out what "Fucking great blog" means in Spanish.

ARBOGAST said...

I wonder why the moons tend to be on the left side of the frame?

Would it be on the other side in an Australian horror movie?

kindertrauma said...

I think it's on the right side of the frame in THE HOWLING 3: THE MARSUPIALS!

Craig P said...

Nicely timed with the lunar eclipse tonight, too! 7PM ish PST (dunno how it is in other parts of the country/world). Skies willing of course.

I recall a couple of great moon shots in American Werewolf in London as well. Guess that's kinda obvious though.

cp

Steve said...

My favorite are from the B movies of yore, when they would totally blue screen a shot of the sun! haha. See any Ed Wood movie, for instance.