Too many horror movies are a) released at the wrong time of the year or are b)terrible.
I first saw a trailer for The Strangers when I went and saw the underwhelming and displeasing The Ruins, and to be quite honest, I began to have a laughing fit in the middle of the theater. Mainly because it seemed like a totally cliched trailer for what seemed(seems) to be just another version of Funny Games, but it will make more money and actually make a spot on the top ten of the weekend. But in the trailer, I'm not 100% sure what pissed me off more about it; was it the fact that Liv Tyler was standing in the kitchen when there was a masked villain in plain sight, or was it the fact that she had a lit cigarette? I'm going with the cigarette to be quite honest. And now, after watching the trailer several times, I find it to me semi eerie, but still not something I'd pay $10 to see, more like a half price matinée. The elements it shows are all hand book scares:
- Skipping record
- Person standing while the killer is right behind them
- Non creepy song taken out of context and made freaky
- Quick cuts to make what is normally a kind of scary moment into a terrifying pee your pants experience
- Masked killers with screw around with the protagonist's head
- Swing(or other object) that makes a noise but no one is there
So seeing as this is a movie that is being released during the summer and looks like it might sucker me in(though I'm still not sure I need a movie of Liv Tyler screaming for two hours), why not around Halloween? How much more scary would this movie be if it were released when there were people in masks surrounding you and you are out and about alone? Despite the latest movie in the torture porn series, Saw, or a crappy PG-13 remake of a Japanese movie with a gorgeous star from One Tree Hill, there's not much to fear about the modern age of horror.
I mean, let's look at what has been good in terms of horror: The Descent. Why can't we make movies like The Descent that screw with your mind and make you cringe and give you an ending with a huge punch that leaves you flabbergasted? However, that is one movie in two years. That's sad. I enjoy the feeling of fear a good scary movie can give you without having to bare boobs or be misogynistic like Hostel. Scary doesn't mean show all of the blood and guts. Fear can also be caused by what you don't see then always what you do see. It's why Jaws is so legendary, until you briefly see the shark, your pants have turned to a shade of brown.
And why do we have to remake every damn movie the Japanese produce? The number of bad horror movies that get released in March of all months and earlier is just horrendous. If you're going to make a scary movie, for once find something original. And that's where we get into Hostel territory. Not a remake, but a disgusting orgy of boobs and intestines. It seems that today, what is not a remake is just torture porn. And that frankly will not do. Horror doesn't have to rely on blood and skin to attract an audience. A good horror movie is like a regular good movie. It relies on its story and it creates characters you are both repulsed and intrigued by. Hannibal Lecter much?
So, to the producers and people who make movies in Hollywood, those who suggest making another remake of a perfectly fine movie(Platinum Dunes, you suck donkey), tell them to watch those classics and take notes. An homage is better than a rip off, in case you were wondering.
And as an added bonus, for those who have not seen it: The Strangers trailer!