Monthly Archives: February 2014

Why Do I Keep Watching the Same Story Told Hundred Ways?

Perhaps the easiest horror film plot in the world is young people trapped in isolation. There are so many ways to go from there. Serial maniacs and backwoods cannibals notwithstanding, the possibilities are near endless. Old hotels, cabins in the woods, or even a spaceship in a futuristic field trip, teens and college kids have the ability to fit in anywhere they can have no ability to reach the outside world or safety. Once you get them to wherever they are going, the next phase of clichés begins.

Now, what I have always wondered is how they can place so many loners in the mix with the cool kids, jocks, and token ethnic/nerd characters. It’s almost like without a James Dean, no one is getting saved. Once you bump everyone you can off, you throw in that wicked little twist. Unless your attempt at twist is more clichéd than your stereotypical teens you are in good shape. So, now that the slaughter has culminated in a good feeling of relief and a tummy full of popcorn what do we have? Probably about two thousand of the same flick told in dart board fashion. All you have to do is choose the location, characters, and twist by where your dart lands.

Alright, why have I read this far you ask? The payoff is to do yourself a favor. Watch the brilliant twist on the subgenre that is Cabin in the Woods. I provide no spoilers in this blog. But, I will say that it has Thor, so there ya go. If you have already seen it, then watch it again. Restore your faith in American horror with gems like these. Then do me a solid and let me know if I need to catch something that pushes the edge of horror or reinvents those little stories that we have heard, seen, and read so many times before.

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B Horror

I admit that I am a sucker for bad horror movies. I enjoy them as much as the good ones on occasion. It’s true that most are formulaic and poorly written, yet it never fails to amaze me that recent movies are put out with virtually no regard for any accuracy. The key to quality horror is the suspension of disbelief. Within the confines of the world created the question becomes ‘do I buy this.’

  • Rule 1 – Make the protagonist at least somewhat likable. If you don’t then why do I care.
  • Rule 2 – Google police procedures. With the boom in cop shows, bad movies are no longer fooling anyone with convenient plot twists that fail miserably when measured against the basic realities of how the world works.
  • Rule 3 – If your villain is supernatural, preternatural, or otherwise unworldly, then having them hit someone over the head with a bottle and forcing their head under water is lame. No two ways about it.

While most bad horror fails to entertain, I have found some amazing gems. Never judge anything by its cover. But, sometimes you know pretty quick if the cover was right.