Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Most Overrated Horror Movies of the Aughts
This is basically a response to reading lists from Slant Magazine and other lists of Best Horror Films of the Aughts, or the 2000s, as you humans call it.
As The Pretenders would sing: Don't get me wrong! I like this movie, but it is without a doubt the weakest Takashi Miike film. I guess it received wide enough distribution that it became a word-of-mouth sensation. People who aren't usually horror fans were impressed with Miike's style of movie storytelling and what they thought was clever depravity. Real horror fans know that this is soft-core Miike just churning out another picture. The acting and visual style are what is uniformly skilled about this 2000 effort of his (which was actually made late in the 90s).
Trapped with zombies in a mall, except without the 70s charm, Romero-direction or Tom Savini effects. And Sarah Polley is almost shown nude, but not quite. Fail. There is a zombie giving birth to a zombie baby. It was surprisingly meh, like the whole movie. This remake came at the beginning of the decade's zombie overload. The genre's been done passed death. It's nothing but a walking dead shell of something we formerly loved. See what I did there?
I've come to like Lucky McKee, okay? But this one seemed much a-praise about nothing. There is a lack of female-centric horror and original, character-driven horror with skilled acting. BUT.... I never felt a real connection with May. Why would she need so hard to find a guy? And why exactly do people end up being so repelled by her? A unique chick with psychotic tendencies that turns on hot girls doesn't seem like someone who'd need to try so hard. She never stood up for herself at the right times either, which made her and the storyline frustrating. And when she snapped, she really snapped. No trace of the old May left. It was hard for me to swallow and left me feeling distant.
Nothing is scarier than improper scissor usage. Yikes, there's a lot of it here! The shock factor seemed to universally work for everybody. Not me. I'll try not to refer to it with spoilers, but the guy who turns out not to be dead was the last straw for me. It totally wasn't believable and looked like shit. The rest of it is just predictable, not scary and didn't pull me in with its "tension." Maybe I expected too much, but intelligence is what I usually like in my horror. Or at least style and unpredictability. Other movies of the new wave of French horror worked so much better for every reason. High Tension and Martyrs especially. That's how you make a messed up movie.
I usually love stuck-in-one-place movies, but I never understood what was so special about this one that hit it big. The mainstream love that went toward this should've gone toward The Mist. The fanfare here really was ridiculous. The controversy about the different endings helped its publicity I guess. My main problems were I couldn't keep the generic female cast apart, there wasn't one that stood out, and it never surprised me. It was exactly what I expected from the previews.
Great, great, great marketing campaign. All those that bought into the hype, just bought into the hype. The marketing campaign worked. Wide distribution and a low budget means I smell a franchise here, just like Saw. The problem is there's not as much story to stretch out in these. Unless the writers can come up with more one-liners for that Micah douche. Did they?
That one image tells you the entire movie. "Because you were home." Oooh what a punch! But not at all. And that's what it's all about. The actions and creepiness are never justified. Critics somehow felt that this broke new ground when in reality it just made it pointless and shitty. It comes up with a tired home invasion plot where nothing happens. No reasons are given for the characters being there and we don't get to know them. That's not a movie. That's not even half of a movie. It's truly one of the worst because it completely wastes Liv Tyler. For some good home invasion of the same era, check out The Dark Hours.
I credit this movie as the beginning of the era when hack filmmakers began trying to emulate either the 70s or 80s horror movies. No, this movie didn't do it and nobody can unless they take a time machine back to those days. Live in the now and enjoy our time, where movies like Session 9 are being made. It's just a string of murders alongside a string of fucks, with boring characterization. Roger Ebert even liked it, yet he hated these kind of movies when they were being made. At least Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses was a little more fun.
Another example of a horror movie trying to be a throwback. This gets the details right, only I don't remember the 80s horror movies boring me to tears. I'd rank the scene where the main chick dances around with a Walkman for about 10 minutes to be one of the worst movie scenes in existence. I don't know why I didn't just turn it off. I guess I was waiting for the eventual twist. Big mistake because it sucked ass. Somehow director Ti West has tricked people into thinking he's some kind of auteur. Wake up. Even Eli Roth has more balls than this guy.
Another redundant zombie movie, but this one tries to be funny... for a while anyway. Then it's just gorey. Any everyday English man with a fat best friend gets to be the hero and I'm supposed to relate. Sorry, and I'm not laughing or appreciating whatever the hell I'm supposed to appreciate either. So no, I think I'll pass on calling it the greatest horror movie ever.