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Rants and raves…

Every Time a Bell Rings, an Unnecessary Sequel Gets Made

Posted by CinemaPsycho on November 20, 2013

Wow. Just when I thought I had run out of interesting things to write about, they announced a sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life.

Yes, really. Some production company really intends to make a sequel to Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday classic. Not a remake, not a musical version, not a samurai Western. A sequel. Apparently it’s going to be about the grandson of Jimmy Stewart’s character or some such nonsense. Yeah, OK.

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How incredibly boneheaded and just plain wrong is this idea? Let me count the ways. It’s a Wonderful Life is, of course, one of the most beloved classic films in the history of cinema. You don’t need me to explain that, I’m sure. Jimmy Stewart’s performance as George Bailey is iconic. It’s one of the very few films that pretty much everyone on Earth knows, even if they’ve never actually sat down and watched it. Ironically, the movie was a huge flop upon its initial release, but over the years it’s become a “holiday classic” due mostly to annual television airings (NBC has had the rights to it for years now).Nearly 70 years later, it’s one of those films that just lives on and on and on…Does anyone honestly think that any sequel can possibly live up to that? Or that any actor can possibly step into Jimmy Stewart’s shoes? Or that, in these cynical times, Hollywood can approach the original film’s sincerely hopeful message? This is a fool’s errand on every possible level. This just shouldn’t be attempted, for many of the same reasons one shouldn’t attempt sequels to classics like Gone With the Wind or Casablanca. These are different times, with different sensibilities. One would have equal luck making sequels to Harold Lloyd’s silent films. Wait, don’t give them any ideas…

I think it’s telling that it’s not one of the major studios who is behind this project, but a production company which has inherited the rights to the project. They claim to have a great script which is in the tradition of the original and blah blah blah. But you know they wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t think they could make a buck. Come on, what could this possibly be like? What caliber of talent will actually want to take this on? Let’s face it, there really is no equivalent to the spirited optimism of Capra in our A-list directors these days. Maybe Spielberg in his younger years, but surely he wouldn’t be foolish enough to go anywhere near this. Dare we imagine “Michael Bay’s It’s a Wonderful Life?” No, they’ll most likely get some hack or a novice with nothing to lose. And what kind of cast will be interested? I shudder to think. They’ll be lucky to get Paul Walker as George Bailey III.

Does this really need to happen? Can’t they just leave certain movies alone? Once the half-century mark has gone by, and all of the major original cast members have long since passed away, a sequel really shouldn’t be considered. Just stop this. This is the kind of disaster that can be avoided. Film investors, don’t put money in this future train wreck. You will lose your shirts. Oh, and for those of you who say, “well, at least we’ll finally get the answers to all those unanswered questions…”, shut up. We never needed to know what happened after the movie ended. The ending is the ending. That’s it. Just stop it.

The good news is that apparently Paramount owns the rights to the original film and could potentially stop this sequel from getting made. Do the right thing, Paramount. The world doesn’t need this sequel. Stop this madness now.

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All Hail the Rise of Porn Pop!!

Posted by CinemaPsycho on August 27, 2013

Well, I’m going to keep this one relatively short, as I think it should be obvious and doesn’t take much explanation. But after the uproar over the other night’s “MTV Video Music Awards” (which I only saw parts of, but as far as I could tell featured neither music nor videos), I’ve decided to make a declaration. You know how Nikki Finke labeled modern horror movies “torture porn” and that somehow caught on with the internet population (most of whom don’t even know where it came from)? I’m hoping this will have a similar effect (though I’m not delusional enough to actually think it will). Since I know people today love to put labels on things, I’ve got a label for you. Maybe this one will stick.

I hereby label all of today’s shitty, disposable, superficial pop music porn pop.

Why, you ask? Well, I considered “whore pop”, but I decided that didn’t quite do it. Seriously, if you actually saw any of those performances the other night, you really shouldn’t have to ask. If the head of Vivid wasn’t on the phone with Miley Cyrus’ agent Monday morning, it’s probably because he couldn’t get through. And I’ll be totally honest, I don’t even find Miley Cyrus the least bit attractive (does anyone?). I think it’s the redneck thing. Doesn’t do it for me. But man, the clips I’ve seen give Lexi Belle a run for her money. This is what today’s kids are watching and listening to now? Okayyyy… don’t ask me why 12-year-olds are getting pregnant. Just saying. I’m no prude, but Jesus fuckin’ Christ. Teen Mom, Snooki, yeah, whatever. I was recently in a hospital waiting room where The Talk was on, which I never watch, and Ozzy’s wife actually said that “Snooki is a role model for young girls”. REALLY? Snooki is a role model for young girls? Why??? For what possible reason? She’s a dumb slut. I’M a better role model for young girls than she is. What is going on in this world?

But the real reason I call it “porn pop” is because the music itself and the videos that accompany it are basically like porn. Except that porn, of course, actually delivers what it promises. I’m not here to criticize porn – I think it is what it is, and you either like it or you don’t. It’s something to get off to, and that’s all it is meant to be. Music, however, is a different thing. Music should express something, whether it be emotional, artistic, intellectual. An idea. This garbage expresses nothing. It’s all about the superficial – it’s about looks and money and fucking. In other words, it’s porn. It says nothing beyond “looking good is all that matters, and you look good and I look good, so let’s fuck”. That’s all it is. It means nothing. It’s porn pop.

Is that what we want our kids growing up listening to? Hell, is that what we want to listen to? Apparently, lots of people do. Because, let’s face it, a lot of people are fucking idiots. I just don’t know when the idiots took over.

And no, it’s not just the female pop stars I’m talking about either. The male pop stars are just as bad. Who is Justin Bieber, really, but James Deen in training (the male porn star, not James Dean the actor)? Is there really any difference? Aren’t they basically of equal worth, when it comes right down to it? They’re both basically media personalities who don’t really do anything all that special. One Direction? Yeah, I could round up a bunch of decent-looking guys and give them singing lessons and make billions too. It was a scam back when they called it New Kids on the Block. Did we learn nothing from Milli Vanilli?

Honestly, I’m just waiting for these people to have hardcore sex on stage and get it over with. I know there are rules against that sort of thing, but I’m sure someday they’ll find a way around that. Whatever happened to talent?? When did that become a foreign concept? I know there are plenty of great bands out there who actually play instruments, but somehow the mainstream media has lost sight of that. And most people are only aware of what the media pushes on them, sadly. I don’t think I’m the one who is out of touch – I listen to lots of great bands who actually have talent and something to say. But their music isn’t played on the radio, TV, the media in general. The new Bowie album has been ignored, the new Iggy and the Stooges album has been ignored. Never mind that they are legends. And their albums are excellent. I don’t understand it. I’m really looking forward to the Nine Inch Nails album, the new Pearl Jam album. There are lots of great new bands coming up all the time that I love. There is always great music out there. It’s just that most people don’t hear it. I remember a time when that wasn’t true, when quality and talent mattered and you could turn on MTV or rock radio and hear some good music, even great music. I don’t know why that isn’t true any more. Rock radio is stuck in the past, and MTV is a reality show nightmare. When did crap become king? I know there has always been crappy pop music, but when did it become the end-all be-all?

I just hope Madonna is happy with all of this. This is the world she created, after all. I never understood the fascination with her in the first place – I get the image part, but the music was very average pop of the time. It used to be that you had to back up your image with actual music that kicked ass. Apparently that’s no longer the case. I find that very sad. Tell me, how many people are still listening to the Bay City Rollers? How about Shaun Cassidy? Or even David Cassidy? Yep, exactly. Trends pass, but real music lasts. Years from now, when today’s pop fans are embarrassed by their past musical taste, I will be here to laugh at your sorry asses. No, you know what? I’m not even going to wait that long. I’m laughing now.

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Fear Is the New Fear: A Help Line Tries to Legitimize Ignorance Towards Horror Films

Posted by CinemaPsycho on August 5, 2013

Lately I’ve been wondering if I might have a touch of Asperger’s. Seriously. I’m not saying that as a joke (I’m not a morning radio DJ); it’s something I’ve been seriously considering. The things that people say and do (and think and believe) baffle me that much. I don’t know that I actually have it, but it would explain a lot. Recently Diane Kruger’s character on The Bridge has become my fictional hero (if you haven’t seen the show, check it out sometime; it’s excellent). If you know the show you probably get what I mean. Or maybe not. Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that as I get older I find society to be more and more bizarre; hence my last couple of blog posts. I just don’t get you guys sometimes. The fascination with the Royal Baby, for instance. Hey, rich British people can procreate! That’s great for them. Can you get to the actual news now? Or, sports. A bunch of millionaires playing children’s games. That’s what you’re rooting for. None of them are from your cities. You do know that, right? You’re all against immigration, unless they can throw a ball. Then let ’em in! Do you see now why I think I have Asperger’s?

All of this is a bizarre introduction to the real subject, but maybe it will help you understand my point of view on it. I happened to see a TV commercial the other night that completely blew my mind. I wasn’t planning to write about it at first, but the more I think about it, the more I think I have to say something. I don’t know who the ad agency was who created this, or even the name of the company that commissioned it. But it really made me think that we are moving backwards intellectually, and that scares me far more than the horror movies the people behind it are so afraid of.

It was basically an ad for a “family help line”, I guess for people who don’t know how to deal with their own kids and need advice. I don’t know any people like that, but I suppose they are out there. So they had different actors playing parents calling in with different problems. I really wasn’t paying attention to most of them and don’t remember them that well. But this one guy was apparently supposed to be calling from his teenage son’s room. On the wall was a laughable recreation of a horror movie poster, with a vague-looking zombie on it and the word “ZOMBIE” in big white letters above it (not like the infamous poster for Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, which freaked me out as a kid; this was far more generic). This was hysterically funny to me because no movie poster would ever look like that. It was absolutely ridiculous. So the “father” is talking on the phone to the help line and he says, “My kid is watching movies that are DARK and ANGRY.”

I was stunned by this at first. Dark and angry? What?? Then I remembered the poster on the wall. He’s talking about… horror movies. You know, the movies that millions of people around the world watch. They’re equating watching horror movies to having emotional problems.

My first reaction was, are they fucking serious? Then my second reaction was… Yes. They are.

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I know that there have always been people who are ignorant towards horror films, and films in general. I’m well aware of that. But for some ad agency to actually create a commercial that attempts to legitimize those ridiculous and unfounded fears… that boggles my mind. I don’t know if this “help line” is sponsored by some sort of religious organization, or a nefarious right-wing group, or something else. I don’t even want to speculate on that. I will say that whoever is behind this is completely misguided and out of their fucking gourds.

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I shouldn’t have to explain this, but millions of people watch horror films. Teenagers and adults. Very few of them turn into violent criminals. If the kid’s jerking off to the gore scenes, then you have a problem. Hang up the damn phone and be glad he’s not getting the girl next door pregnant, buddy. Watching George Romero movies doesn’t make your kid the next school shooter. Maybe it means… he likes zombie movies? Like a lot of other people? He watches The Walking Dead? He has a curiosity about things that are outside the mainstream, perhaps? He wants to explore the world of entertainment beyond Two and a Half Men reruns? Is that not OK now? As far as the absurd “dark and angry” comment goes – a lot of movies are “dark and angry” if you think about it for more than two seconds. All the President’s Men is “dark and angry”. Double Indemnity is “dark and angry”. Born on the Fourth of July is “dark and angry”. And there are reasons for that. Do we have to shield our children from those films too? Let’s protect them from truth and reality while we’re at it.

Let me let you in on a little secret – I wasn’t allowed to watch horror films as a teenager, and I still had problems. Maybe I could have used some good old-fashioned cathartic fictional bloodshed as a release. At the very least, the subversive humor of directors like Romero or Stuart Gordon might have helped me get through it all with my sanity intact. But I was allowed to watch Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson movies and the like, where I learned that violence solves everything and whoever has the biggest gun wins. How fucked up is that? Talk about dark and angry…

Here’s what the anti-horror, anti-Hollywood people don’t understand and probably never will. Art should challenge the status quo, not reinforce it. Art should provoke and ask questions. Art should make us think, not put us into a stupor. We don’t need to be “saved” from independent thought. We don’t need to be “saved” from fictional horror. If you want to be concerned about something, be concerned about the real horrors that happen in our world every single day. Is there a “help line” for that? 1-800-REALITY? If so, it’s probably busy from people calling it every minute of every day. Be concerned about murder and rape and child abuse, not what fucking MOVIES people are watching.

Because monster movies are fine, but it’s other human beings that scare the hell out of me. If these assholes want to be afraid of something, they should look in the mirror, not the movie screen.

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Do Sheep Really Go to Heaven (And If So, Is It Worth It)?; or, Why Taste Still Matters (Yes, Again)

Posted by CinemaPsycho on June 23, 2013

“I don’t watch TV any more. What am I going to watch, bachelor crocodiles in a storage unit? I can’t watch that.” – Jerry Seinfeld on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

OK, I’m warning you guys now, this is going to be a big rant. Huge, ginormous, epic rant. It may even offend some people, and if it does, too bad. Don’t expect an apology. So if you don’t want to read a rant, turn back now. But I’ve reached a point where I feel like this has to be said, and no one else is saying it. So here goes.

I’m just wondering if anyone else feels like everyone around them is turning into pod people. Is anyone else having that experience? I don’t know, maybe everyone you know is smart and sophisticated. Lucky you. I don’t have that luxury. I pride myself on having taste, or at least trying to have taste. I make an attempt, anyway. But it’s gotten to the point where a trip to my family’s house is like being bombarded with the absolute worst that the media and pop culture has to offer. (Not to worry, my family isn’t aware that I write this blog.) My mother watches brainless, superficial reality shows night and day, and honestly, I despise the people who create the brain-damaged sewage they call “reality TV”, which is neither reality nor television. My father, once a lifelong Democrat, has taken to watching Fox Opinions (excuse me, Fox “News”, cough) and listening to a fat drug addict deliver hate speech on the radio. My niece watches terrible children’s shows on Disney Channel night and day and listens to horrendous pop music that sounds like robot farts. I was recently introduced through other relatives to something called Baby Daddy, a truly atrocious sitcom that is about exactly what it sounds like. I don’t object to the show on moral grounds, mind you (though I find it ironic that it airs on the same network that gives us The 700 Club); I object to it because it’s awful and profoundly unfunny, and makes the likes of Whitney look like classic comedy. Baby Daddy wouldn’t even pass muster in the primetime lineup of a major network, but put it on basic cable and somehow people love it. I’m sure the cast and crew of the show are all nice people who really need their paychecks, but really, have they considered the porn industry?

What is going on? Have people lost all sense of taste? Is everybody just willing to eat whatever shit they are shovel-fed by the media now? Doesn’t anyone ever feel like their intelligence is being insulted any more? Are we that far gone as a culture that we’re willing to eat shit and like it? Is Idiocracy right around the corner? What are we doing to ourselves???

Yes, there have always been stupid people and ignorant people and people who don’t make their own choices. I grew up around people like that, and I’ve never understood them. I’ve never understood how people can’t differentiate quality entertainment from crap entertainment. It’s not something you can explain – it’s something you just know. It’s like you can’t explain to people why Nickelback are a shitty band – they just are. If you don’t hear the difference between Nirvana and Nickelback, you will never understand it, OK? You can’t explain why Bob Dylan is a great artist – you either hear it or you don’t. You can’t explain The Beatles and the Stones, or The Ramones and The Clash. You can’t explain Iggy Pop or Elvis Costello. You have to hear it and go, “oh, of course.” It has to make sense to you right away, or you will never get it. You’re stuck with the robot farts.

That’s what having taste is. It’s the same with movies, television, pretty much anything. You either get why The Twilight Zone is a classic show or you don’t. You get why The Simpsons is funny or you don’t. And conversely, you either get why Keeping Up With the Kardashians is utterly brainless, wealth-worshipping dog vomit or you don’t. And if you don’t, there’s no help for you. You’ve become one of the sheep. You’re a pod person. There’s no rehab program that will save you.

Look, I was never one to buy into all that Marshall McLuhan “opiate of the masses” stuff, but lately I’m really starting to wonder. Sure, I watched crappy shows like Different Strokes and The Facts of Life when I was a kid. But they weren’t being piped into the house 24 hours a mother fucking DAY. OK? I mean, Jesus Christ people, look around. Look at the pathetic level of discourse in this country. People can’t even watch the news and process the basic facts without injecting their own bullshit into it. I’ve got a brother who thinks we should “nuke all the A-rabs” and a sister-in-law who actually thinks Christians are being persecuted in America (by whom, she has no idea). I don’t bother to argue with them, because you can’t argue with people who don’t know anything about the world they live in. Do you really think there’s no connection between the mindless garbage that’s being constantly shoved into people’s brains and the population’s lack of knowledge about the world around them? Let’s get real here. When people stop making choices, they stop thinking. When they stop thinking, they stop learning. And when they stop learning, they live with a skewed, ignorant view of the world where opinions are more important than facts.

It’s long past time for a taste revolution in this country. South Park did a great episode last season about “raising the bar”, and frankly, the bar needs to be raised much, much higher than it is now. People need to demand better entertainment and better news. Make better choices for yourselves. Take responsibility for what you watch and listen to. Don’t just consume something “because it’s there”. Demand a certain level of intelligence and reject anything that doesn’t meet that level. Reject bad TV, bad movies and bad music. BE SMARTER. Paraphrase the immortal words of Mr. Danny Glover and say, I’m too smart for this shit. Embrace talent and quality again and we’ll all be better off for it.

Look at what we’re facing here. Do we really want a future in which the majority believes that crap is gold and garbage is entertainment? We need to turn this thing around and we need to do it now. If we don’t, we’re going to have a population who believes that opinions are news, science isn’t real, history never happened and facts don’t matter. Because if we’re willing to watch anything and listen to anything, we’ll probably also believe anything as well.

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Survival of the Living; or, We Do Need Another Hero

Posted by CinemaPsycho on May 19, 2013

Wow, time flies, doesn’t it? Yeah. I’ve been a little busy lately. And being sick hasn’t helped either. I’ve really been meaning to post more often, it’s just kind of gotten away from me. But, as movie trailers used to say in the 80’s, I’m baaaaaack…

Before I get to my main subject, can someone tell me why people have such a problem with Kickstarter? I think it’s a great way for fans to help get the movies made that they want to see. But no one’s forcing anyone to give money to any project. If you don’t want to give a single dime to Veronica Mars or Zach Braff, well, you don’t have to. So don’t. Go about your business. I gave $25 to the Veronica Mars people, because I loved the show and I’d like to see the movie get made. I’m glad I could contribute in some small way. If you don’t feel the same way, fine. Don’t give them any money. I wasn’t forced to, and no one’s forcing you to. Yeah, it’d be nice if Warner Brothers would pony up $5 million to make the movie, but they’re clearly not going to do that. So the producers took an alternate route. They didn’t put a gun to anyone’s head and force them to give them money to make the movie. The fans wanted to give them money because they loved the show. It’s something they were passionate about. What’s so bad about that? I probably would have just spent that $25 on something else anyway. I’m glad the fans weren’t apathetic about something that they loved. I think that’s great. Kickstarter is just another way to make your voice heard. When I was a kid, I would’ve loved to be able to help keep Square Pegs on the air (wow, that dates me) or get a cool movie made that wouldn’t be made otherwise. Why do people have such a problem with that? Do you really like having corporations make all the decisions about your entertainment choices? If so, I will never understand you.

Anyway, on to the subject at hand. The recent escape/rescue of those girls in Cleveland from that lunatic’s basement brought to mind something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now (just so we’re clear, I am very pro-sex, but only consensual sex, so what this guy did is very uncool with me). Recently I’ve been thinking about the whole debate over violent horror films, thrillers, etc., which I’ve talked about before on this blog. I often think that maybe both sides are kind of missing the point. And sometimes it doesn’t help that the movies themselves kinda miss the point.

Let me explain. You see, I can only speak for myself as an individual audience member. And I’ve never watched horror movies to watch people die. No. That’s not the point. I watch horror movies to watch people survive.

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John Carpenter said something awhile back in an interview I read on Dread Central, and I wish I had the exact quote here, but I don’t, so I’m paraphrasing. He basically said that the point of horror/thrillers is for the audience to transfer themselves and their fears, wishes and hopes into the characters they’re watching on screen, so that they basically become the lead character and root for them to survive and achieve their goals. In other words, we identify with the survivor, not the killer. When I read that, I thought, yes, exactly. When I watch Carpenter’s seminal Halloween (one of my all-time favorite horror films), it is Laurie Strode I identify with, not Michael Myers. I like Laurie Strode, I admire her, I think she is smart and strong and awesome. That is why she survives, I have always believed – not because she is a virgin but because she is the strongest of her group. She is us, or who we wish we were. OK, it doesn’t take much strength to hide in the damn closet, admittedly (it was 1978), and she has some help from Dr. Loomis, but still, I believe the point of Halloween is that Laurie Strode is a survivor. Not that everyone else dies. She even survives Halloween II, and is much more proactive in doing so. (As far as Laurie’s “death” in Halloween: Resurrection goes, I prefer to think that entire shitty movie doesn’t even exist, canon or no canon.) Michael Myers is the embodiment of pure evil – we’re not supposed to identify with him. Those who do are missing the damn point. (I know, what about Rob Zombie’s remake? Well, to me that’s a different thing, with a different aesthetic. In Zombie’s film, clearly we are meant to identify with Michael, at least for the first half. But again, that’s not Carpenter’s film.) When I watch Halloween, I’m watching it to watch Laurie Strode survive. That’s the point of the movie. It’s not a feminist thing, it’s a human thing. I like her as a person and I want her to survive. She does. And that’s awesome.

I don’t know how many of you have seen Brad Anderson’s recent thriller The Call. OK, it’s not a horror film per se, but hear me out. The critics really missed the boat on this one, so if you’re one of those people who only goes to see movies with a high Rotten Tomatoes rating, you probably didn’t see it. You missed out. It’s a really smartly written thriller about a 911 call center worker (played by Halle Berry) who helps a kidnapped teenager (Abigail Breslin) escape from a psychopath. It’s more complicated than that, obviously, but that’s the basic idea. I was really impressed by it, both by the clever script by Richard D’Ovidio and the tight direction from Anderson (a very underrated talent). What really struck me about the film was how invested I and the rest of the audience got in both of these characters’ well-being. The script and the performances are very smart about how much they make you care about these people, and that’s why it works so well. OK, obviously you know going in that the girl’s probably not going to die horribly, but it’s how she survives that matters. I loved watching both of them fight backthat’s what I want to see. I didn’t want to see them die.

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I wanted to see them fight to survive. And I loved that they did. That was awesome. I fucking loved that. When Berry says to Breslin over the phone, “we’re fighters, you and me” – I’m not ashamed to say that moment made me tear up. Yes. That’s what I want to see. That’s what this is about. I want this girl to survive. I want you to kick this motherfucker’s ass. I want you to be a hero. That’s what The Call is about, and that’s why I loved the hell out of it. I loved it for the same reason I loved that those girls in Cleveland escaped that basement. As far as I’m concerned, those girls are heroes. They got away. They survived. Fuck yeah.

You see, I don’t watch these movies to see evil win. I want evil to be vanquished. I want someone to rise up and kick evil’s ass. I realize that’s not always possible or realistic. It’s not always going to happen. But man, do I love it when it does. It’s the same reason I loved Mia’s “fuck-you” chainsaw moment in the Evil Dead remake (which I loved, actually) – it was just like, YEAH. She fucking earned that. “You know what, I’m tired of this shit.” Great line. I’ve never understood people who watch horror films and root for Jason, Freddy and Michael. I just don’t think they get it. And too many horror films cater to them, like the miserable, godawful, execrable Wrong Turn 5. Yeah, I’m done with that series once and for all. Somewhere along the line, it took a “wrong turn” and became about how “awesome” these raping, murdering, inbred cannibals are. Declan O’Brien, the writer/director of the shitty experience that is Wrong Turn 5, deserves a seriously hard kick in the nuts. And I actually saw the edited version on the Sci-Fi Channel. I can’t imagine what the unedited version is like. Fuck That Nonsense. Just trust me, don’t ever, ever, ever watch Wrong Turn 5. Whatever mistakes you make in life, don’t make that one.

“But wait a minute”, I hear some of you saying, “aren’t you the guy who championed the torture-porn films not too long ago?”
OK, hold up a second there. I wouldn’t exactly say I championed them. I said I thought they were an interesting phenomenon. I think some of those films are fascinating, and I think a lot of them are a sociopolitical reaction to what was going on at the time (Abu Grahib, anyone?). But I don’t want every horror film to be like them. Hell no. I think there’s a place for extremely dark films, just like I think there’s a place for death metal, but I don’t want to listen to it 24-7. As I said at the time, I like a good old-fashioned haunted-house movie too. And I like other things that have nothing to do with horror whatsoever.

I just strongly dispute this idea (even held among some horror fans) that horror has to be all about death, and watching people die, and die in horrible ways, and let’s find new and creative ways to kill people on screen, and all that jazz. For me, and for a lot of other people, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about the exact opposite of that mentality. If being sick for the last several months has taught me anything, it’s that life is a little too short to spend it obsessed with death. A great horror film should be a rollercoaster ride, and we should come out at the end of it exhilarated, a little frightened, and most of all, glad to be alive. Because that, my friends, is what it’s all about.

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