Showing posts with label The Exorcist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Exorcist. Show all posts

Friday, March 2, 2012

The bad horror movie, a common occurence in Hollywood. Will it ever end?

I don’t think it would be a stretch for me to say that Hollywood has put out a plethora of absolutely terrible horror movies over probably the last 30 or 35 years.

Follow along as I attempt to establish “the why” behind this common occurrence in Hollywood.

I’ve seen many horror movies, as I’m sure you have over the years and in the process I had to painfully endure watching not just really bad horror movies but horror movies that weren’t even remotely good or entertaining.

A few of those movies for me, and the memories they evoke reside in that certain place within my gray matter where every other bad memory I’ve amassed over the course of my life resides.

I submit for your approval, every movie in the “Child’s Play” series. Don’t laugh, but if you are in the minority of us that actually thought any of those movies were in fact pretty good and you saw “Dead and Breakfast” well then you probably for some strange reason enjoyed that sorry movie too.

And all you zombie movie lovers, “eat your heart out”, if you even for one moment thought that the movie “Zombie Strippers” was a good movie and worth the “watch”.

Robert Englund and Jenna Jamison, for the uninitiated, had the ignominious distinction of having acted in the movie and notwithstanding their respective star-power there was no denying Zombie Strippers was a very bad movie.

Unfortunately, the “landscape” of motion picture history over the aforementioned time frame has been “littered” all too often with these types of “poorly conceived” stories.

I’m reminded of a time not long ago when movies like John Carpenter’s Halloween or Steven Spielberg’s Jaws or Poltergeist were standards during their time by which all other horror movies that were suddenly “flooding” the theaters were judged.

During this time, the late 70’s early to mid 80’s it seemed that for every “Halloween” or movie like “Halloween” that enjoyed not only theatrical success but critical acclaim and was more importantly a hit among the “horror-moviegoer-fandom” there were probably 9 more horror movies that were again, not very good and were frankly a waste of good “coin”.

Is it possible that there is something inherent to the “horror movie premise” that lends itself to bad story telling, and therefore “bad filmmaking”? Could this be the reason for the “glut” of garage we’re seeing?

If you think that that is the case then my response to you is this. Not so fast my “horror fiend”. A solid believable premise is always good for any type of movie. And so I will assure you that “the horror movie” hasn’t achieved any unique status in the area of “bad filmmaking”. I know what you’re thinking though.

Still, why all the bad horror flicks?

Okay, go with me if you will on a “retrospective trip” into the recesses of your “gray matter” and think for just one moment of the litany of terrible horror movies you’ve seen you would probably see that each of these movies shared a number of things in common. If you knew exactly what to look for you would see that other than the obvious element of each of them not being very good, the scripts that formed the bases of what you saw on the screen all lacked certain story elements.

I apologize for the sudden lesson in “script writing ” if you think it’s misplaced but all movies in Hollywood, at the script level follow some type of formula, but whether the writer has followed the formula or not, it won’t guarantee that what he has written and what is put on screen will be watch able.

So in that regard horror movies aren’t unique in what constitutes a bad horror movie verses what constitutes some other type of bad movie one might see. A bad movie is still a bad movie no matter what kind of movie it may be.

Despite its genre, the universal elements of good storytelling must be in place in order for any movie to have a chance at giving the audience what it expects to see when they” put down” their hard earned dollar.

And speaking of dollars, we’ve come to the $64,000 question.

Why do we as audiences keep coming? Despite our belief that the movie to which we’ve heard about and whose trailer we’ve seen will probably not meet our expectations, we will still stand in line and pay our money to see it.


The answer is simple; Hollywood knows they’ve got us. They know it only takes one good horror movie to hook someone and make him or her a fan for life. For some fans that moment took place long ago.

Like the moment we saw the trailer for the movie Jaws, we knew we had to see it and at that instant we believed, at least I did, that having to stand in a line that stretched around the block didn’t at all seem out of the ordinary and would be worth it if that’s what it called for.

Or it happened when “The Exorcist” hit the theaters. Despite how truly frightening the movie appeared to be and all of what was being said about the movie. As far as the strange things that happened on the set of the movie during its “shooting” or how different audience members were said to have vomited while watching it or the different ones who ran from the theater due to being unable to handle the disturbing subject matter, some of us nonetheless had to absolutely see this movie.

And for some others, for people like myself that moment really took place probably a few years prior to Steven Spielberg telling us” not to go into the water” or “little Regan’s head began spinning around”.

It was the first time I had seen some of the classics like Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman. It was my induction or “baptism” into the whole horror movie phenomenon that had captured so many fans hearts.

So as you can see, it doesn’t matter what the movie is. Whether it’s a good story with a solid premise or not, with a good solid cast or not, it just doesn’t matter to Hollywood. If they can get it made they will do so.

From all the aforementioned “trash” to the really good original stories like Paranormal Activity and” The Blair Witch Project” to many of the rehashed movies like the previously mentioned Frankenstein and the most recent Wolfman, the filmmakers in Hollywood know that if they make it we audiences will come, whether the movie is good, bad or otherwise.

Again, its because they’ve “got us”, we’re “hooked” and they know it.

It’s some type of strange hold they have over us. One similar to the psychological “grip” the individual has over the person who spots the wallet laying on the ground and to which, they have determined to lay claim, and despite it suddenly moving because of the string attached they continue to follow suit, in hopes of laying possession before someone else is able to do so.


Because of the promise of what may be inside. And once they get it, well by then, its already too late.

Be sure to read: Ten must-see horror flicks

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Top Scary Movies- 4 Horror movies not easily forgotten

Written by the "MonsterMan"

What are the top scary movies of all time? Well since this list is totally subjective, I’ll just give you what I think are the top ones and you can determine where they come down on your list.

What makes a good scary horror movie? In my opinion it’s a movie that is riveting, that is pulse pounding, that is unnerving and that gets you really moving around, or should I say squirming in your seat. A good scary horror movie is a movie that keeps you talking years, sometimes decades after you initially see it. Alien for me was that type of movie.


Alien although probably more sci-fi then it was horror; it certainly had all the elements of an excellent horror movie. Can you possibly think of anything more frightening then being trapped not just on a ship but also against the vast emptiness of outer space and being relentlessly pursued by the monster in that movie? Makes you glad you weren’t among those on the ship, doesn’t?

The Exorcist

The Exorcist is if not the top scary movie on my list it certainly is one of the top scariest movies of all time. I think we would agree that if you polled 100 fans of the genre and asked them what are the top 3 most horrifying movies they’ve ever seen all of them would more than likely place The Exorcist in one of those first 3 positions. One of the things that made this movie good was its uniqueness. Because the story was based on true events it seemed less entertaining, in the conventional Hollywood storytelling sense. Not that it wasn’t entertaining, because it was, but when sitting in the theater and watching it after seeing its trailers and the previews that were many times aired on television after midnight with the knowledge that the movie is based on true events it tends to have more of a profound impact upon you therefore staying with you long after the credits roll.

I can still remember as a child staying up late watching television in the dark, as I would often do when the preview for this movie came on. It scared the living you know what out of me. Not only that, every time it came on subsequent to my first time seeing it, I would quickly run to the television to change the channel. The Exorcist was so dark and disturbing that even a 30-45 second trailer airing on television was hard to view.


I would seriously be remiss if I didn’t mention this next movie in our conversation of top scary movies. Halloween remains not only a cult classic but for me a personal favorite of all the many horror movies I’ve ever seen. When I think of what made this movie so good and it obviously was a number of factors but for me it was the unbelievable portrayal of Michael Myers by Nick Castle. John Carpenter seriously made you believe that if the “Boogie Man” were to ever take on flesh and come to life his name would be Michael Myers as played by Nick Castle in Halloween.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

As our discussion of the top scary movies comes to an end I want to speak briefly about another movie that continues to stand the test of time as one of the greatest horror movies ever and that being A Nightmare on Elm Street. Although this movie provided a good 90 minutes of escapism for me and others, at least from an entertainment standpoint, it was however unsettling, in that it demanded that each of us examine one of the unfortunate realities of life and that being our own eventual death. At every horrifying turn in the movie Wes Craven relentlessly reminds us, through his brilliantly developed main character Freddy Krueger (portrayed by Robert Englund) that whether asleep or awake, young or old, rich or poor we are hopelessly incapable of evading death when it eventually does comes for us. For me my only solace is knowing that when it comes knocking at my door, Freddy Krueger won’t be standing there.

Be sure to read this other article: Top Horror Movies