Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Predictability usually isn’t the first thing you look for in a movie, nor should it ever be. If I’m going to fork over $10 for a movie (Plus a little extra for my Reese’s Pieces, because those things are like sex candy), it’s because I want to be entertained. It’s not because I think I know the how it plays out and I’m just watching it to see if I’m right. That’s what Wikipedia is for.
Though there is one exception to this rule: Horror movies. Horror movies are fun because by the time the exposition gives way to the rising action, you’ve already pegged the cookie cutter characters (All-American whit guy, Virgin girl, Token black guy, Slut, Geek, Jock, etc.), and you’ve checked off which ones will die and in what order. In fact, if you spotted who will die first (the naked blond chick with the mysterious scars on her ta-tas) within the first five minutes, you probably damaged your frontal lobe.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “Well, what are you getting at?” (oh, who am I kidding. Right now, you’re probably asking yourself why, instead of reading this, you haven’t clicked “Back” on your browser and gone somewhere that’s actually entertaining). Well, the point is, this is the reason why all horror movies made in the past 9 years have sucked. Hard.
All post-millennial horror movies can be split into two categories: Torture Porn and Japanese Remake. Both tried to mix horror with unpredictability, which is basically like mixing toilet paper and broken glass: It just doesn’t work, no matter how you look at it.
The reason why scary movies are supposed to be predictable is because it builds suspense. The whole point of a horror movie is to suspend disbelief. Sure, you know full well what’s in the basement, but when Skanky McSlutbag walks down the stairs, you can’t help but yell at the dumb bitch to turn around and get the flying fuck out of there.
This is why Torture Porn doesn’t work as a legitimate horror sub-genre: There is order to it. With real horror movies, you know who’s going to die, and you can pick up on the tell-tale signs of impending doom (i.e. drunkenness, wandering off alone, previously mentioned slutiness). With Torture Porn, there is no law, only chaos. You take a human, you dice them like you’re about to toss the most morbid salad known to man, and just so your audience can think it learned something, you slap a ham-fisted message on it. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Were movies like Scream and Final Destination pinnacles of American film making? No. Were they beacons of acting talent? Nope. Were they benchmarks for insightful dialogue and character growth? Not a chance. But here’s the thing: A bad movie can easily be saved if you can draw the audience in, and make them believe that the impossible and the ri-goddamn-donkulous are believable. I’m sure Saw is fun, but once you come down to it, there’s no connection, which is why it’ll never be a good horror movie.
Oh, and one last reason why Saw sucks: MY VAGINA.