We’ve all been suckered into it at one time or another.
The cover might have looked awesome. The cast might have even been promising. Perhaps the synopsis on the back of the DVD made you think “Oh snaps, this is going to be awesome..”.
But then you’re twenty-nine minutes into the film, your friends all started their plans for the night without you since you were staying in to watch “this awesome flick” and you’re left with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. Maybe it’s the cheap delivery pizza you ordered to accompany the movie night. More likely it’s the fact that you just watched Paris Hilton butcher a Vincent Price classic.
Don’t be embarrassed- I’ve been there, too. With the summer hitting its peak, temperatures rising and the temptation of staying inside an air conditioned room watching movies until your day off melts away on high alert, let me help you.
For too long, people who don’t consider themselves horror fanatics have simply rolled their eyes and shrugged when a cruddy horror flick is on the television. This is unacceptable. Us grue junkies know there are far too many diamonds in the rough to feel like we HAVE to sit through Critters 3 (shame on you, Leonardo DiCaprio!).
Everyone should be educated on the glory that horror has to offer- one must not settle for a crappy movie experience. Remember- the definition of settle is “to sink slowly”. Don’t sink! If I have anything to say about it, you won’t.
Thus, I present to you my warning signs of a craptastic movie experience.
‘You Might Be Watching A Horrible Horror Flick If….’
1. Michael Bay has something to do with the film.
I actually liked 2003’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, which Bay produced, but there’s an exception to every rule.
Not only was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning almost turned into a coaster for my coffee table (then I remembered I only rented it- no way was I paying the ridiculous replacement fees, especially for a crappy movie like this!), but Bay continued to piss on the horror genre even after that.
The A Nightmare On Elm Street remake might forever be known as the most horrendous piece of garbage to ever be churned out in the genre in my eyes (consider yourself lucky, Exorcist: The Beginning).
The film is a lame rehash of the awesome horror the original Nightmare had to offer, while the cast and writing sucked. Of course, re-casting Freddy Krueger was blasphemous in its own right. Then again, you must commend Mr. Englund for going nowhere near this atrocity.
My grandmother summed it up best as we walked out of the theatre (yes, my grandma is so awesome she goes to horror movies with my mother and I)-
“someone owes me nine dollars!”
Get ready, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.. you’re next…
Hey Mike- get working on Bad Boys 3 and leave our classics alone!
2. There’s a reality star in the film.
Yep, that’s Nick Hogan. He had a minor role in an indie horror flick I actually enjoyed a bit- Kill Katie Malone.
I groaned when he first appeared on screen and silently fist pumped the air when his character was finally relieved of his duties in the film.
If this film gave me two more minutes of Nick, it probably would have made my “horrible horror flick” list, but Superman (Dean Cain..get it?) saved the day just a little.
Paris Hilton (House Of Wax remake), the cast of Jersey Shore (Jersey Shore Shark Attack– they didn’t want to make the title too confusing for the JS squad) Kristin Cavallari (Fingerprints) are sure signs you have wasted your evening. Sure, you may get a few laughs out of the films and they may ultimately prove to be entertaining, but it certainly isn’t horror.
3. There’s at least one scene of legitimate porn sex going on in the film.
This is a tricky rule. There are a number of films that have very graphic sex scenes in it that are considered top tier psychological terror films ( Irreversible and Antichrist come to mind), but these aren’t really “horror” films. Yes, they deal with horrific events or situations, but let’s not play dumb here people- I’m talking about scenes like the one pictured above, where Julianna Guill breaks out her inner Jenna Jameson in a lengthy scene during the Friday The 13th remake (see Rule 1).
Or how about the rape scenes in Deadgirl? That was several minutes of stomach churning crappola right there.
Sex will always be a part of the horror genre, especially in slashers, and 99.9% of it is crude and borderline tasteless, but when scenes start dragging on long enough for you to refill your bowl of popcorn, it’s time to consider changing discs (or tapes, I don’t discriminate).
As a dude with a deep affinity for women in horror, this not only makes me roll my eyes and realize the studio is simply trying to cash in on the teenage boy demographic, it also tells me the director can’t instill the scares needed into their film. So what better way to fill screen time than with boobies!!
4. Your mother recommends it.
To my mother- I love you to death. You were a huge reason I fell in love with the horror genre. You turned me on to some of the greatest horror films of all time.
But you’ve also put me through countless hours of pure cinematic vomit.
My Ma’s always been my horror movie buddy and she started off white hot in the movie suggestion category. The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween and The Lost Boys were a few of my first memories of horror, sitting on the couch with my head behind a pillow on lazy Saturday afternoons, wishing I could just go in my room and work on my third grade art project.
But as of late, her eye for quality has seemed to blur dramatically.
Just remembering the hours lost on films like Blackwater Valley Exorcism recently is enough to make me tear up.
I’ve since taken over full control over what we watch when I come over to visit.
5. It’s a remake!!
Again, there are exceptions to the rule- The Fly, The Thing (1982) and, I’m even going to add a personal favorite, Thirteen Ghosts, stand up as good old fashioned horror goodies.
I love Rob Zombie’s music. But I was devastated when it was announced he was remaking Halloween. The I was downright disgusted when Halloween II came out.
I’ve already done my bashing of Michael Bay for the day- a Bay bashing a day keeps the doctor away.
The list goes on and on, and probably hits an all-time low (which would make it an all-time high on crappy remake lists) with 1998’s Psycho remake. How in the Hell could a film starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore and Viggo Mortensen be anywhere near this bad?! Oh that’s right- because it’s a remake of an unparalleled classic!
All you have to do is watch this clip from Scream 4 when Hayden Panettiere rattles off a woefully crummy list of recent horror remakes to get the picture…
So, in closing, please do not let your non-horror loving friends ruin the amazing treats the genre has to offer by telling you every horror movie is the same or suggesting you watch Leprechaun II.
Much like you wouldn’t go to McDonald’s for a healthy meal that will keep you content for the evening, you wouldn’t go to the bottom feeders on the movie rental shelves to get your freaks on.
If you or someone you love has suffered from these events, you are not alone. There is help. You can start by checking out my Women In Horror blog to learn about some of the most creative artists in the business today. See what I did there?!
Have a great weekend, folks. Keep screaming and let the good flicks roll!