Sunday, December 02, 2007
In this age of ridiculous ticket prices, disruptive assholes in theaters, brain-numbing advertisements and despicably overpriced concessions, it's easy...all too easy...to wait for the DVD or to watch on Pay-Per-View and not to get out to the movies.
The saying goes, if you don't vote, then you have no right to bitch about the way politicians run things. The same holds true with movies. Weekend movie results have become like horse races and the money suits keep an eye on which movies come in first or second. This affects how future movies are approved or disapproved.
Many of the movies I liked the most in the past year have been box office disappointments. Grindhouse being the most notorious example. But Hostel 2 and P2 also fared poorly. This hurts us all.
If you are visiting a site called Horror Drive-In, I assume that you enjoy potent horror movies. Yeah, we like mindless violence. Does that make us cretins? Hey, some people crave chocolate and it's bad for you. Are we any worse? We get a kick out of seeing violence on the screen. Most of us developed an affinity for it at an early age and despite wishes from our loved ones and other concerned parties, we stubbornly have refused to grow out of it. And we wouldn't want it any other way.
With the exception of Rob Zombie's Halloween remake and the ever-lucrative Saw franchise, R-Rated horror has been doing poor business of late. And I don't even care for the Saw movies and while I passionately urged everyone to see Halloween, I ended up strongly disliking it. But I still stand by my position that we need to cast our dollars, our votes, for visceral horror.
Other films fared slightly better than Grindhouse. 30 Days of Night did reasonably well, if not in the blockbuster range. I really didn't care for that one either. I adored The Mist and while it hasn't been a box disaster, so far it hasn't exactly set the movie business on fire.
If you haven't done so, see The Mist. Some complain about the end and others hated the monster effects, but the human element in The Mist is beautifully done. As far as I'm concerned, Frank Darabont has done no wrong with his films. You want intelligent horror to be produced and distributed? Show 'em with your dollars.
P2 wasn't a genre classic or anything, but it was a serious attempt at horror and it was genuinely suspenseful. But it got overlooked, or more properly, ignored, not even bringing in 4 million dollars of revenue. And this was co-written and produced by Alexandre Aja. Where is the fans' loyalty?
I know; going to the movies can be frustrating. By far the worst pratfall is the loud and obnoxious people (mostly kids) in the theaters. I've found that seeing a film at the earliest show of the day is a good way to avoid that. Little slackers are hardly out of their beds by noon, after spending all night playing Halo 3 or World of Warcraft.
And I love going to the movies. With all my heart. Sure, everything is homogenized these days. Drive-ins are all but gone and so are the indie theaters. The multiplexes rule the cinematic world and we are slaves to them if we want to see a movie on the big screen. But if we love movies..love them passionately...then we must make ourselves heard. Spouting off at message boards and at IMDB might help a tiny bit, but nothing speaks louder than money. Ticket sales. Your one ticket isn't going to make or break a picture's success, but if a million fans get away from their computers long enough to actually go to a movie, it will help. Enormously.
Today we're going to see No Country For Old Men. It's not a horror movie, but The Coens make intelligent motion pictures and that's a rare thing in this day and age. Comedies featuring what appears to be retarded people, mass-produced computer animated pap, and brainless CGI-heavy action tend to do well. There just aren't a lot of smart movies coming out these days.
So please, go to the movies more. Don't let the loudmouth cretins win by staying away and don't let Hollywood continue to rehash old ideas and plots over and again. At least without a fight. Get out there and make a difference or sit down at home and admit defeat.