Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Old Thoughts: Now Newly Phrased!!

90% of horror films are crap. There's a definite link to Sturgeon's Law here; I would say the same of other genres. 90% of action movies are crap...hell, 95%. Comedies, dramas, indies? Uh huh. A lot of this has to do with the influx of movies each year. Quantity will almost always lead to a deterioration in quality. And I am speaking more of contemporary films (the past thirty years or so). I really like what Brandon wrote in his last post on this subject (the Pissed Jeans paragraph). Does anyone else agree?

It's not as if horror is my whipping boy; it is a genre known for cheap thrills, but action movies are guilty of the same. But the "killings" aspect of horror is interesting, though, because certain people come to expect that there will plenty of bloodshed in a given movie, and often become disappointed when there isn't enough of it. Sure it can desensitize those people, but more than that, it drives them to become cheerleaders for brutality and murder in that moment.

Disclaimer: all horror fans are not cheerleaders for murder. And because these movies are fictional...I can't say that I care too much. Last time I checked, horror films aren't a gateway drug to serial homicide.

Anytime I note the over-reliance on sex and violence in horror, Jason and Brandon redirect my attention to slasher films, and rightfully so. I also want to include torture porn in that as well. We all know I hate torture porn with a passion, but with slashers, I only hate the newer ones. I can give props to the original slashers of the 70s and 80s; I bet I wouldn't find faults in Halloween. And even though it's possibly a cheap shout-out at this moment in time, I do want to remind everyone that I really like Club Dread ;)

So we've covered slashers. That leaves us with...

Haunted house movies: I don't have a problem with them...other than the fact that they make me shit myself. I love The Shining and The Others, and I imagine I would find some things to enjoy about The Innkeepers if I watched it.

Zombies, vampires, monsters, and alien invasions: it really depends. It seems like most people are either big into zombies or vampires...which is why True Blood and The Walking Dead get great ratings despite their mediocrity. Maybe that's a source of slight annoyance for me as well. You throw a zombie or a vampire into anything and it will sell...unless it's Tim Burton's Dark Shadows.

Vampire/zombie films that I really enjoy: Let the Right One In and Shaun of the Dead.

If 90% of all horror movies suck, 10% are great and worthy of praise. Because I mean this proportionally, this assessment seems more than fair to me. It's not as if I think that are only ten good horror films out there (I mean, come on, I've only seen six anyway). I respect the genre, even if it isn't my thing.

But "my thing" be damned, sometimes someone makes a great film that transcends its genre. The problem with horror is that too often people who make horror films get lazy. We talk about critics/bloggers being lazy, but goddamn, how many times are we going to see the same characters, plot points, and scares? It's for this reason that I enjoyed what Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard did with Cabin in the Woods. It came at the right time and was mostly well-done.

And sure, fans come to expect certain things, which is why they don't grow tired of seeing the same thing over and over...but I'm not really one of those kinds of people. That does not make me smarter or better than anyone else (and certainly not braver). Allusions I can understand and appreciate. I am aware of the community aspect of horror and sci-fi and can respect it.


Also, if we're discussing the idea that calling something "shit" is being too dismissive...might I also point out that calling something "pretentious" is just as lazy/dismissive.

Brandon writes: "I can’t speak about PROJECT X honestly because I haven’t seen it but I was appalled by the marketing campaign. That director (the douche who made the stupid HANGOVER films) has marketed films that nurture adult’s prolonged adolescence. He promotes every type of stupidity imaginable and has made heroes out of misogynists, homophobes, and GASP! preppies. He’s the devil as far as I’m concerned and PROJECT X seems like his latest “let’s do molly and get girls to strip for us” mantra. Sorry if this is fiery but I have been extremely fed up with the youth of today lately. I love the idea of having a good time, even if that means sex, drugs, law breaking, and boozing is involved. But this “all I do is party” scene is running rampant, we have JERSEY SHORE morons running amuck calling dude’s like Jeff and I faggots while driving down the streets (actual incidents… yes plural). I’m sure you’ll have a lengthy response to this so I’ll take my answer off the air. Haha."

If anyone ever asks me why I like Brandon, I'll direct him/her to this paragraph. I couldn't sum it up any better myself.

I think a good test for you, Jason, is to see Ted. If you like it, I'm afraid we're really gonna have to challenge your glasses theory. None of us are getting paid to blog, so it's understandable/acceptable that we'll write some lazy criticisms every now and then. But guys like Seth McFarlane are getting paid millions of dollars to come up with the most mind-numbing shit. A movie about a teddy bear who curses, drinks, smokes, and hangs with hookers must die a horrible death. It's way too easy, and the Jersey Shore morons Brandon referenced will eat it up by the barrelful.

Sorry, I just can't pat anyone who makes a film on the back. I don't want to be the guy who hates on movies - I love them and I love going to the theater to watch them. But filmmaking isn't for everyone and hundreds of movies are absolutely worthy of wrath and indignation. I think it's fair to draw the line at personal attacks. Just because I hate Seth McFarlane's writing doesn't mean that I hate him or want him out of the business. I just wish he would challenge himself and his audience more.

Anyway, feel free to ignore my 90% comment, Jason. After all, you can come up with statistics to prove anything; 14% of all people know that.

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