As much as I watch all the Blockbuster movies and classics that America has to offer, as a British person I try to balance this out with some home-grown cinema.
There are an abundance of differences between the style of British and American movies and so I thought we could have a look of a few movie genres with glaringly obvious differences.
So, today I am going to be discussing the differences in British and American cinema from a viewers point of view.
One, two… Freddy’s coming for you… Three, four... better lock your door... Five, six... grab a crucifix… Seven, eight... gonna stay up late... Nine, ten... never sleep again! - A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
As a HUGE fan of anything horrifying and gory, I have watched my fair share of American and British horror movies. In my opinion, this genre is not fairly comparable as both American and British horror films offer completely different movie-going experiences.
- Recently, I find American horrors really look for the 'big scare'. They focus a lot of the movie on building a pretty terrifying 'monster'.
- British horror movies tend to go more for humour. Even if the film is not a 'comedy-horror', you most likely find yourself laughing at the movie, and remembering the jokes throughout.
- You guys have BIG budgets. This is not always the case, especially back in the 80's etc. However, these days horror movies are celebrated more and more, and this popularity has really paidgo off. You can see this by how good the special effects are, and by the advertising.
- We have particularly low budgets on all movies, but horror in particular. Due to this, you can see that since the invention of CGI, the British don't make many 'monster-movies' anymore and instead focus more on slasher films with human 'baddies'.
- You play by the rules. American horror movies really tend to stick to the rules, (if you want to know what these are, I suggest you watch Scream). Somehow the naive and sheltered girl wins, instead of streetwise, physically strong and aggressive characters.
- We don't like to play by the rules. In a British horror movie, anyone can get killed. It could (and most realistically will) be the naive young girl or someone that seems to be the main character that we have grown to like. British horrors generally tend to be more realistic. If there is a noise in the woods - why investigate if you are not armed to the max? When you do manage to kill a 'bad guy', why would you drop your weapon? Wrench it out of his skull and use it again - recycle, don't be wasteful!
Generally I prefer a British horror movie, however, I feel that this is down to the comedy we see throughout - which leads me on to...
Red: I used to use this little gun when I was a prostitute. - Pineapple Express (2008)
- Due to what does come out in the cinemas, I end up watching more American comedies than British ones. A main signifier of an American movie is obvious comedy. For example, talking about someone and then realising they are behind you. Predictable comedy. Now, this isn't to say it isn't any good. On the contrary, many of my favourite comedies are American.
- Subtlety. In contrast to the more obvious American humour, British comedy can be easily missed. It thrives more on cringe-factor and awkwardness. It is based more around the things that British people find irritating or embarrassing. Check out the video below for an idea of some British problems or see the Channel 4 TV show about the same concept;
Trife: [to Alisa] I've seen some sh*t today... that made me think about life. And you're the best thing in mine. - Kidulthood (2006)
- I love American dramas, from Precious to This Boy's Life - they tend to be great. Again, American dramas have a slightly higher budget than British dramas, therefore making the movies appear more polished and stylised. Due to this 'nicer' appearance, it does sometimes make American dramas appear more unrealistic than British dramas.
- As hinted at above, British dramas have lower budgets and therefore the movies aren't filmed or edited to the same standard. This actually helps to make these movies appear more realistic. I do find that this also contributes to British dramas obtaining a darker and grittier feel than American dramas.
I hope you liked my quick comparison of British and American cinema. Perhaps you can write an article about this from another perspective? Please feel free to comment below, and let me know whether you agree or disagree and whether you have a preference for American and British movies.