“I hated ÔThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’” the man said to me. “It was too scary.”
I was definitely puzzled by this statement. “It was a horror film,” I reminded him.
He nodded. “Yeah. I know. I don’t mind horror movies, either, but that one was too much.”
I asked him to name one of his favorite films.
“‘Caddyshack,’” he replied without a moment’s hesitation. “I love that movie.”
“Really?” I asked. “I hated it.”
“It was too funny.”
I actually do like “Caddyshack” quite a bit, but I thought my flip answer would make him think about his horror film complaint. It didn’t. In fact, he just didn’t get it.
This has always been something that has bothered me — people not liking films because they do exactly what they set out to do. Nowhere is this more apparent than with horror films. People don’t like the movies because they are “too scary” or “too dark,” and the reason they often give is that “we live in a dark enough world.” We live in a world with plenty of laughs, too, but people don’t complain about comedies. We have plenty of police as well, but cop movies still attract large crowds. For some reason, horror films and their like are singled out and scorned when they do their job well. As far as I can tell, this is a distinctly American trait, too.
When I ask people who aren’t exactly horror fans what their favorite horror movies are, the normal answer I get is either “Army of Darkness” or “Scary Movie.” See the trend? I do, and it frightens me on a whole other level.
I find it distasteful that people criticize certain kinds of movies for doing their job, but not others. In a comedy, lots of laughs are a good thing. In a horror film, lots of scares are bad. It makes no damn sense … unless, of course, you’re a moron. Would these same people shun a surgeon because he has an excellent success rate? Of course not. Would they steer clear of an award winning restaurant? No. But mention “The Exorcist” and watch them react as if they just found a fetus in their soup.
Frankly, it’s gotten to a point where I’d like to take all these milquetoast, chicken shit, slack jaws and toss them from an exceedingly high cliff and then drop a few boulders on them just for good measure. They anger and sicken me. I don’t have a problem with them not liking horror films, but don’t go see a horror film and then complain that it was too scary. Where did your balls go? (And I’m not being sexist here. I rarely hear women make this complaint about horror movies. But for those who do: What happened to your clit?)
I’m sure some of you get what I’m talking about. You may be nodding your heads in appreciation. You may feel a bit intellectually superior, too. You should. You’re “Jeopardy.” The people I’m complaining about are “Wheel of Fortune.” And I have a few questions for these socially inept swines.
Do you realize how stupid you sound when you say stuff like, “That scary film was too scary?” Do you realize that it makes you sound like a jackass? Do you know what a jackass is? Do you understand the concept of a horror film? If you list “Scary Movie” as one of your favorite horror films, I would say not. Do you realize that when you don’t hold other movies up to the same weak standards, you are a hypocrite? It’s okay not to like scary films, but don’t criticize them because they work. That just makes people like me think I’m dealing with an idiot and treat you accordingly. If you don’t want that, at least think about what you’re going to say before you blurt it out like a drunk on pay day.
Good movies are ones that do exactly what the director and writer wants them to do. They may work within confines that make you comfortable; they may not. That doesn’t matter. If a horror film scares you, it did its job. You can criticize it for almost anything other than that. When a comedy makes you laugh, it’s working. It may have a weak story, but if the director says, “I just want people to bust a gut when they see this.” Guess what? It did its job. If you can’t understand this, if you can’t get your head around this concept, you shouldn’t be watching films. You shouldn’t be reading. You shouldn’t be driving. You shouldn’t be holding down a job and raising a kid. You need to start over. And by start over, I mean kindergarten. There is something somewhere along the line that you missed, and you need to relearn it before you continue to interact with adult society. You are a child, and not a very smart one at that.
So either go back to school, or watch “Scary Movie” and say, “This is the most awesome horror movie ever. It’s so fucking funny!” But don’t be surprised if you get slapped when you say that to a movie Nazi like me. I’m sick of hearing the same stupid bullshit from people who ought to know better. And if you refuse to learn, I’ll teach you by force if necessary. Being embarrassed in public is a great motivator. Come talk to me sometime. I dare you.
Posted on April 20, 2006 in Features by Film Threat Staff
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- EXCESS HOLLYWOOD: GETTING SUCKER PUNCHED BY THE CRITICS
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- EXCESS HOLLYWOOD: ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME … DOUG.
- THINGS GET “PRETTY/SCARY” FOR WOMEN IN HORROR
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