Those of us old enough to remember a time when film wasn’t clogged with computer generated special effects love to harp on the glory days of practical work. Those times were dramatically different. The special effects stood as an element of cinema with major intrigue, and true talents like Jack Pierce, Dick Smith, Giannetto De Rossi, Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, and Tom Savini – to name just a few – had audiences on the edge of their seats, anticipating the aesthetic horrors in wait.
In 2015 we know exactly what’s headed our way when the trailer for the next big blockbuster rolls for the very first time. And that’s not to imply that all CGI makes for miserable visuals, as that’s certainly not the case. It’s just that the top notch work offered forth from pictures like Jurassic Park, District 9, Terminator 2 and the Hellboy flicks (for example) is a very, very rare thing. At the end of the day, computers generally fail to give us the tangibility that practical special effects produce.
Related Story: 10 Modern Horror Films With Awesome Practical Effects Part 2
But practical work hasn’t disappeared entirely… yet. There are still pictures being produced that feature some stunning craftsmanship and awe inspiring makeup. In fact, there are a number of fairly recent pieces that boast jaw-dropping artistry created without extensive computer use. You want a few recommendations? We’ve got 10 for you!
The Evil Dead: The sheer brutality of this surprisingly gratifying remake borders on astonishing. Especially when you consider the fact that film was treated to a respectable theatrical release. Some of the muliation scenes are quite jarring, and while there are obviously some digital splashes in the film, the abundance of practical work commands respect. Especially for us older timers.
Late Phases: The werewolf designs featured in Adrián García Bogliano’s Late Phases hasn’t been universally cherished, but they’re damn solid all the same. The attention to detail in the faces – and odd but cool distinction between male and female monsters – is really impressive, as Robert Kurtzman and his crew at Creature Corps turn in some fine work. For a film with fairly controlled effects, Late Phases still manages to leave an impression.
30 Days of Night: 30 Days of Night boasts an awesome blend of practical and digital effects. In fact, if you’re going to utilize visual effects to enhance practical, this is just about the perfect example of how to get it done. The scenery looks stunning, as do numerous high octane sequences. But the beauty lies in the more depressing moments, like the two flabbergastingly awesome decapitation scenes, and the graphic destruction unleashed by Barrow’s invading vampires.
- Jason Pankoke RIP the "Hollywood" R/Greenberg. He went to school and taught at the University of Illinois where I live before moving to NYC and starting his first design firm. I have a souvenir book of an exhibit...
- virgo02 I really liked the movie when it came out and I still do. I just watched it the other day. I still can't believe they took away the sibling part of the movie. That too me made it more suspenseful. The...
- Nick Greeley Nice clickbait. It’s OLD news that H20 started as a passion project for her, but everything fell apart when Carpenter and Hill didn’t come back, and Moustapha Akkad refused to let the writers kill...
- Mackey Would be awesome if Amazon or Netflix could save "The Exorcist" too
- One-Eye I remember it as being one of the better post SCREAM slasher movies. I certainly haven't watched it since then.
Join the Box of Dread Mailing List
Rest in Peace: Director and Title Designer Richard Alan Greenberg Passes Away at 71
Popcorn Frights 2018: World Premiere of First English-Language Cuban Horror Film Leads the First Wave
Marketing Magic: John McTiernan’s PREDATOR
E3 2018: Massive Photo Gallery Recap
Dark Horse and Netflix Announce STRANGER THINGS Comic Books!
Bill Skarsgard on Stephen King’s IT: CHAPTER 2’s Adult Cast
Hollywood Science Fiction Museum Founder Arrested on Child Pornography Charges
5 Zombie Films That Flipped The Script
Gender Bashing: Manly Spectacle in PREDATOR
New Stephen King Movie TRAPPED Announced by Richard Chizmar
Exclusive: This PREACHER Clip Ramps up the Spice!
E3 2018: BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2 Giving the Fans a Chance to Create
HEREDITARY – Interview with Writer-Director Ari Aster and the Cast
THE MIMIC – Exclusive Clip Introduces Us to The Girl
Dinosaurs Make Lousy Organ Donors in the TRIASSIC WORLD Trailer
Editorials5 days ago
Let’s Explain the Ending to HEREDITARY
News2 days ago
Remember CASTLEVANIA II: SIMON’S QUEST’s Controversial Nintendo Power Cover?
News5 days ago
FRIDAY THE 13TH Meets MEAN GIRLS in FAT CAMP MASSACRE
News5 days ago
Netflix Steps in to #SaveLUCIFER
News4 days ago
Jamie Lee Curtis Did HALLOWEEN: H20 For the Paycheck
Reviews6 days ago
HELL’S KITTY Review – This Little Feline Sure Ain’t No Pu**y!
News6 days ago
Sid Haig Celebrates HANUKKAH
News3 days ago
Rob Zombie Says “Sh*t Gets Crazy!” in 3 FROM HELL