Forums Horror Movie Talk
Classic Practical Horror Special Effects VS. CGI - Which do you Prefer?

With CGI (computer generated imagery) becoming the new norm in filmmaking, (most recently the emergence of almost every film being made with 3D technology) fans have let their displeasure for this new gimmick be heard as most of them feel that the new 3D fad is just that..a fad and while CGI does improve upon a film, practical effects can be used just as well.

The argument for special effects is that when used right in film it provides a sense of realism and tangibility for the audience which heightens the film experience for the viewer. Ung special effects over CGI also gives a film the "how'd they do that" factor which is when filmmakers find other ways to create set pieces, costumes, etc. to enhance the wow aspect of the movie. Good examples showing the wow factor of special effects being used in film range in a wide variety but two films that probably would be at the top of that list are American Werewolf in London and Alien.

The scene(s) that jumps out the most when thinking about American Werewolf in London would have to be the transformation from human to werewolf scene in which the make up artist, Rick Baker created an absolutely realistic effect. Other famous horror SPFX masters such as Stan Winston, Tom Savini, Roy Ashton, Wolfgang Utzt, Jack P. Pierce, Raimondo Van Riel, Wayne Toth, LucDick Smith, and Richard Taylor also can not go unmentioned when brining up the art of special effects.

The next film, much like the previous, has become a clasc among fans alike and that film is the Ridley Scott directed Alien. Alien is a clasc film for a variety of reasons, but one reason in particular (and for the sake of this article) is why this movie stands out the way it doandes because of the special effects involved, and with movies like this it's easy to see why practical effects are sometimes a fan favorite. Even though we will always have these movies to thanks for their great use of special effects,there will always be those films that find a way to mess it up..that's the way it is.

CGI in films has been used for many years now but recently has seen changes as the studios have decided to add the aspect of 3D into many of the films that are being released now so it's no surprise that this new CGI gimmick has had both good and bad contributions to film with Patrick Luser's My Bloody Valentine, Pan's Labyrinth, and Piranha 3D examples of the new gimmick being used right while Saw 3D ts on the other spectrum as an example of 3D gone wrong.

In the end it's up to the fan, you either like practical effects over CGI or vice-versa and maybe you even like them both equally...You decide!

Shakelford, J. Rusty Friday 3/09/2012 at 11:08 PM | 91276
CGI just looks so dated so quickly. Practical effects seem better to stand the test of time.
dew Friday 3/09/2012 at 11:20 PM | 91278
I definitely agree. Practical effects can accomplishs anything CGI can and it looks much better. At the most CGI should be used as a supliment to practical effects.
weaponx Saturday 3/10/2012 at 01:01 AM | 91286
Practical effects are generally better, but each has its time and place. In my opinion, CGI has a much smaller place. It needs to be used responbly.
Boisv Saturday 3/10/2012 at 05:00 AM | 91298
I like the practical effects more...Feels like the filmmakers have to be more innovative and creative and it's like the old Friday the 13th films...just well done effects like a magic trick. Has more feel to the movies then the CGI effects.
UberJason78 Saturday 3/10/2012 at 11:54 AM | 91307
Practical effects are generally better, but each has its time and place. In my opinion, CGI has a much smaller place. It needs to be used responbly.

Very well put. Certain things do call for some CGI. It just gets so overused these days! And I think that is the problem at the core of it. At the end of the day, no one wants to watch something that's 90% green screens and computer animation, when it's supposed to be a live-action film.
dew Sunday 3/11/2012 at 12:29 AM | 91319