As film critics, we often tear down without creating. We usually complain about how certain genres like horror and fantasy have gotten weaker. We complain and complain, but we never offer up solutions. So I’ve decided to run a column this week to cull suggestions of what you as a moderately rational filmgoing base are craving in your genre films. What would you like to see done on the big screen?
American Horror is pretty fucking shitty. Often, it’s become a race to do remakes or the goryest fucking gorefest to gore a gore on a budget of thirteen dollars. Yeah, there are a few diehards out there trying their damnedest, but it’s been weak compared to the efforts coming out of the rest of the world. And most of their shit isn’t horror, just horrific.
How can we save the last girl? How do we make it interesting again? Do we just retell the old ghost stories the same way, or are there still a few that are left to tell that are good? Horror as a genre gets the shittiest budget and the lowest tier of actors, which is awful. Because as a genre, it’s also the most pliable to serious artistic message. You can get away with shit in a horror film that you can’t do in other fare. You can make bold political statements. But nobody does that. It’s all about tits and blood.
Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that. But can we ask for more? Do we want our horror to be funny or scary? I look to Piranha 3D as still one of the most enjoyable films I’ve watched in a while. It’s certainly not a good film, but I had a great fucking time watching it. The last horror films that have scared me were disturbing and I like that. But they came out of Korea and France and Australia. And some illwits would dub them torture porn. But it’s beyond that.
I already asked if there was room for a new slasher. But have we gotten past the slasher flick? Or are we in need of a new Exorcist? Where can we go in horror that hasn’t been dug up a billion times? Are there any voices out there worth watching?
I’d really like to see a new slasher, but in the vein of Freddy Krueger. Victor Crowley is the only fresh slasher, but he’s a variation of the menacing mute. I want a smart ass. There’s no reason we can’t find a blend between scary and funny. Drag Me to Hell had me screeching with laughs and screams. But I think we can do better.
What do you think? Your life might depend on it.