Monday, October 11, 2010
STUFF I AM TIRED OF SEEING IN MODERN HORROR MOVIES
UNHAPPY ENDINGS, Question: Going into a horror movie what is the first thing you know before the movie even begins? Answer: The end. You already know that in the end the killer will get away and most likely win. This is my biggest problem with modern horror movies. They all think they are so clever by giving us the jump scare at the end after the monster is dead. At the last second BOOM! the monster jumps out of nowhere and eats every body's face off. The new NIGHTMARE did it, the new FRIDAY remake did it, THE COLLECTOR did it, the WRONG TURN part 3 did it, and so on and so on. When the monster is dead the movie is over. When the monster is still alive the story goes on but you don't get to see it because the movie is over. How does the monster die? That is what I really want to see. I want to see a great gruesome blood all over the place demise for the villain. That's why I love RETURN OF THE JEDI. At the end all the bad guys are dead so you know the story is finished. I believe most modern horror creators are heavily influenced by the seventies horror scene. Most love the movie TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE where Leatherface lives at the end. You can tell especially in the low budget horror genre that most film makers are paying some kind of homage to seventies horror by allowing their monsters to ultimately succeed in their endeavors. But all of them are doing it and it gets old real fast. I am a fan of the old school Universal and Hammer horror films. In those the Frankenstein monster or Dracula would die and the movie would be over right away. (Why would you continue to watch when the most interesting character is dead?) The way the monsters died is the best part. I love it when Dracula would die in the old Hammer films. You get this great shot of Dracula's face slowly decomposing and it would look fake as hell but awesome and strangely rewarding. That's because you want to see it happen. The modern horror scene seems to think we want to see the bad guys win. I don't at least. Modern horror is really missing out on great moments by letting the monster live.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE VAN HELSINGS AND BRUCE CAMPBELLS GONE? Horror movies need heroes. Iconic heroes. Somebody we can root for. Somebody with a shotgun that can shoot crazy yahoos in the face. Almost every horror film has a female lead who is weak and not very compelling to watch. She spends a good chunk of the story running around screaming "Help! Somebody please help!" When a policeman or security guard does show up to help they say stupid stuff like "Don't worry. Nothing is out there. No one is going to......Hey, why is there an axe in my back?" And then the girl is left on her own to hopefully get away but ultimately never does. It never becomes interesting because we have seen it all before. But what if you replace the innocent vulnerable teen with some tough guy that has an interesting personality and a drinking problem. Suddenly you want to find out what will happen to this guy. You want to know what would happen if this guy took on Jason Vorhees in an arm wrestling match or woke up with HELLRAISER in his bed. Hey, it worked in EVIL DEAD part 2.
VIRUS. I hate it when a vampire, werewolf, or zombie movie uses the word "VIRUS" to explain why they are vampires, werewolves or zombies. Its a terrible attempt to make the horror seem more believable and smart like "maybe this could happen." It does work for movies like 28 DAYS LATER where the horror is presented in a more realistic world. With movies like UNDERWORLD it just makes them boring. I like my crosses to work on vampires. Viruses cannot make you strong or give you the ability to drink blood or perform MATRIX slow-mo fight scenes where you can't hit the broadside of a barn with your guns blazing in each hand. (I am talking about UNDERWORLD here) Viruses liquefy your insides and make you poop out your intestines. Or they give you a runny nose. Whatever. Experiences may vary. They don't make you bigger, better, stronger or undead that's all I am saying.
RAPE. Not much to say here except stop putting it in your WRONG TURNS and HILLS HAVE EYES kind of movies. Its tasteless and obviously done for shock value. You see this more in twisted redneck cannibal family horror that "pays homage" to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.
TWISTED REDNECK CANNIBAL FAMILY HORROR THAT "PAYS HOMAGE" TO THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. I am tired to death of movies about some twenty-somethings that decide to go on a road trip but find themselves lost in a forest and seeks refuge at some creepy farm that is decorated with dead animal bones. The most recent one I watched was STANTON HILL or something like that and it had a crazy lady in a wheelchair,(obvious nod to TCM remake) a crazy mom (also in TCM remake) and a Leatherface wannabe that doesn't wear people's skin so its different and not a rip off. Yea, right. They can't even rip off the right version. I guess the original was too boring for them. There are so many of these movies and they are all the same that I can't even remember their names. That is how bad its gotten. Or maybe I just don't feel like proving my point by naming them because that would require me to do research and since I am not getting paid for any of this I don't feel like doing it.
DEEP MEANING MEANS DEEP HURTING. I hate it when a horror movie tries to be smart. I was watching this Spanish (I think) vampire movie about the end of the world. There are a few survivors and one of them happens to be a priest. That's not so bad except the main character is some young chick who must have been a former college student that wants to question the priest on how all this destruction can happen if God exists. Oh, brother. Instead of a movie where vampires eat humans then humans kill vampires we get arguing. "Where is God?" and "If God exists, why isn't He helping?" BLAH-BLAH-BLAH! Kill something already. Or at least get killed yourself. The movie will be shorter which is a good thing. It goes on and on making a relatively short movie seem like its three hours long. Keep it simple. A smart horror movie relys on how creative the story is, not how much can we talk for 90 minutes.
TORTURE PORN Lets not make movies about people being tied to chairs or tables with some maniac cutting on them for two hours. Its old, done, predictable and boring. The story stops and the only dialogue you get is "No! Please, Stop! Why are you doing this?" Again it goes on and on and on and nothing gets accomplished. Is it scary? Nope. Its annoying especially when everyone is doing it.
ZOMBIE MOVIES. Back in the mid 90's we all wanted to see more zombie movies. They were not as popular back then but now they are everywhere. They are in the theaters. They are direct-to-video. They are in my cereal for some reason. They started out good but everybody keeps making them and most of them are terrible. Have you tried watching RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD parts 4 and 5, or DIARY OF THE DEAD or anything that has the word "DEAD" in the title? They suck. Everyone is in zombie movies nowadays. Heck, even I am in a zombie movie! ( THE SKY HAS FALLEN buy it at AMAZON.com) PLUG!
OLDER IS SOMETIMES BETTER. 99.9999% of the time a horror movie features a bunch of twenty somethings pretending to be teenagers. They always have stereotypes like "Nice Virgin" or "Slut Bitch" or "Dumb Jock". They are about as interesting as NASA. (I don't think NASA is interesting so if you do sorry I'd rather have sex with ladies than watch a shuttle launch is all I am saying.) They serve no purpose except to die. Watch GHOST STORY. Not the greatest movie but most of the cast is a bunch of old dudes who tell scary stories. They have acting talent. You take them seriously. They add presence to their scenes. Donald Pleasance makes Halloween a better film than all the slasher films combined because he is a deeply committed experienced actor. Without him Halloween would just be a slightly better FRIDAY THE 13TH. Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, bring weight to any horror film no matter how bad it is. Even if the movie is crud at least they are fun to watch.
C.G.I. Digital effects look like crap and turn horror movies into cartoons. The end.
Wow! Are you still reading this? I bet you skipped to the end. Didn't you? Yea, this one just kind of rambled on and on. Its not very good I am afraid but I just had to tell it like I see it. There actually is a lot more I can complain about but like you I too am losing interest in this blog-entry-dealy Of course there are exceptions to these rules. There are a few horror movies out there I can't wait to see like DOGHOUSE which is a British zombie comedy. But I don't see too much that peaks my interest. I have seen it all I'm afraid except for maybe THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE. I think I can miss that one. Have we really gotten to this extreme?