We live in a movie universe where the Michael Bays and James Camerons of Hollywood are crafting their on-screen worlds with the help of incredible computer-aided technology. These filmmakers create works where anything seems possible, and while it’s often stunning to behold, many moviegoers are already tired of watching disaster porn and motion capture performances that aim to be real, but never truly feel like the tangible celluloid of yore. What many of those audiences don’t realize, however, is that several big-budget films have stuck to their practical effects-loving guns and have dodged the CGI monster at every turn.
Legendary horror director Joe Dante is one of those filmmakers, and his movie The Hole hits Blu-ray tomorrow. The tale about a family that discovers they have a gateway to hell in their basement features old-school puppetry and other physical effects that delightfully add to the story’s creepiness. We feature more on the movie past the break, along with other films you’d never have guessed were created without CGI. Click through for more, and let us know which films surprised you most, below.
Horror master Joe Dante frightened children everywhere with his 1994 film Gremlins and a gritty twist on terror cinema’s werewolf mythology in 1981’s The Howling. Both films are known for their amazing and scary practical effects, and Dante’s dedication to the old school of gore hasn’t waned one bit throughout his career. The filmmaker’s new movie The Hole features the same kind of puppetry he used for Gizmo, Stripe, and his wolfy transformations — animatronics and other hands-on technical stunts that transport viewers back to the phobia-filled moments of their youth when it felt like monsters really did exist. The above special effects featurette shows you how Dante did it. Warning: demented clowns await you.