I am a horror movie fan and over the years have been getting accustom to mediocre horror movies being made all while waiting for the really good one that can scare me. Actually scaring me is pretty difficult. I think the last movie to put a scare in me is the ORIGINAL A Nightmare on Elm Street. (yes now to age myself). I remember going to the movie with my sister and leaving the dark theater right into a dark parking lot to walk to the car, as we were to enter the car I made sure I looked in the back seat to make sure no one was in there. When it was time to go to sleep I crawled into bed and kept thinking to myself that the bed would suck me into the nether, like it sucked Johnny Depp in and blood would spew all over the room….eeekkkk. I ran to my sisters room and slept on the floor. Ignoring the fact that the floor could possibly turn into pasty goo and I would stick in the carpet with no escape, like Nancy running down the stairs to escape from Freddy. The remake of this movie failed to make me wince.
That was honestly the second scare put to me from horror movies. First was when I was five and saw Bela Lugosi in Dracula right before my bedtime. You remember, the old black and white movie that your imagination was more of a threat than the actual movie. Well bedtime came I got under the covers, demanding that the light stay on. Wrapped the blankets around my neck because at five I was sure that would protect me from any vampire that would make its way to my room.
Since then I think the only other movie to make me jump was John Carpenter’s The Thing. Some how I can never remember which petri dish they test to find out who’s the alien and I jump every bloody time. Now after seeing the movie about ooohhh a billion times you would think I would know better. Sadly that answer is no and I prepare myself for that scene and bam out of my seat. (I have not even seen the remake I am kind of in some denial that they remade this movie, I will wait for it to be on cable.) Come to think of it the movie Alien does this to me as well when the alien pops out of the man’s chest.
Now with all that being said there are not too many movies that scare me. I enjoy so many different genres of horror. Classic, Blood Guts & Gore, Slasher, Psychological, etc….I am sure you get the point. I try and try but to no avail. Perhaps it is wrong of someone wanting to be scared but the adrenaline rush is so much fun.
I think I am digressing from my original point which is that Hollywood can not come up with an original idea to save their lives. Every month it seems there is a remake of some well made horror movie and totally puts it in to the proverbial toilet. Now let’s start with the remakes of Japanese horror movies. Ju-on (The Grudge) was a great movie in the original, the remake, The Grudge I think only had some appeal with Sarah Michelle Gellar bringing people in because of her Buffy fame. Dark Water was another, again attracting people with the wonderful Jennifer Connelly. Gin Gwai (The Eye) was a wonderfully creepy movie but the remake was atrocious. This movie again bringing in a gorgeous actress, Jessica Alba to pull in money. So the trend is lets remake some originally well scripted movie bring in a hot actress, write a trashy new script and see if we can make money. /sigh. I rather sit there and watch the original movie with poor subtitles and have an actual chill put in me. Now there is a movie that I did enjoy the remake, Ringu (The Ring). The original and the remake to me were both enjoyable movies. I think partially because the remake held true to the more traditional Japanese ghost style and darker feeling. But hey that is just me.
70’s Slasher films are another remake style I abhor. The originals were great, perfect for the time. The characters still hold up twenty some odd years later. Friday the 13th is a prime example, now this movie series has two most awesome (ohh my Bill and Ted just possessed me there for a moment.) villains. From the original Friday the 13th, Mrs Vorhees was the ultimate villain because you would never had suspected her and you didn’t know about her until the end of the movie. Like wow who was that where did she come from. Second is Jason Vorhees, the son out for the ultimate revenge for his mother’s death. Family bonding revenge style! The remake had no redeeming qualities what so ever and with lines like “baby you have perfect nipple placement” just puts it on the top 10 do not watch movies of all time. On to Halloween one of my all time favorite movies, it has all the standard qualities of a slasher film. The sweet innocent girl, sex, drugs and the vengeful psychotic brother. I have seen this movie so many times I probably would say each line verbatim. So when I watched Rob Zombie’s Halloween I had high expectations since I love RZ as a musician and a movie maker. Sadly I was disappointed. Now this movie did have some redeeming qualities considering it was not a true remake.. I loved the back story regarding Michael Meyers, it was something I appreciated. I loved the fact that Danielle Harris, who played Jaime Lloyd in Halloween 4 & 5, was Annie. I think she probably would have made a better Laurie Strode, yet again my opinion. Tyler Mane also did a great job as Micheal, though having no lines and needing to move as a demented serial killer is not too much of a stretch. Some others on the 70’s remake fail train would be Prom Night, The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, The Amityville Horror, Piranha, and Children of the Corn. There are so many others as well.
Now on the flip side of this there is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Cult classic! Leatherface was scary as hell. This tall man wielding a chainsaw all while wearing a mask made from the faces of his victims. I liked the remake. Again Hollywood bringing in sexy people for this movie, Jessica Biel and Eric Balfour. Eye candy for both sides! However, the script was written pretty well and might have made it without those two names. In addiction I like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Again I got a little back story. Back story is important to me so then I can understand why these people are the way they are.
Now there is a list of horror movies that I missed. If I listed them all this blog post would be 10 pages long, maybe longer. (Okay a few more bad ones: The Blob, King Kong, Night of the Living Dead, Thirteen Ghosts, The Omen, Quarantine (original REC), Psycho, The Wolfman, I Spit on Your Grave, House of Wax and The Fog)
Now I suppose Hollywood’s lack of creativity come from the idea that it takes so much money to make a film that would rather rehash something that did well in hopes that it does well again. This is not really the case. Sometimes the movies that seem to do well did not always do well when they came out and have become cult classics and built up a reputation over time. That is not a defense it just means the well is dry and the originality of Hollywood is dead.
Now there are some exceptions to the horror movie trend and newer movies I honestly did enjoy…..but maybe that is tomorrows post.