Review Index


(More) Things That Annoy Me About the Horror Sphere

This certainly isn’t the first time I’ve bitched about annoying trends in the horror movie sphere (and nor will it be the last). Here, though, I’m going to aim my complaints not at filmmakers but rather my “colleagues” in the review/fandom community. Obviously the following is NOT directed at every horror fan or reviewer, just those that annoy me, such as…

Self Proclaimed Film Buffs Who Won’t See Non-Big Studio Films.
I understand most people could care less about the films that screen outside their local multiplexes. What I’m referring to here are “film buffs” who talk about TRANSFORMERS like it’s high art and shun anything that isn’t a big studio release. This is akin to a self styled gourmet who only eats at McDonald’s.
     To be fair, this attitude is probably most prevalent in LA, a company town if ever there was. It was LA’s airwaves that not too long ago hosted a late night radio host who dubbed himself “The Film Freak.” This dweeb justified his lack of cinematic adventurousness with the altogether ludicrous defense that people in Kansas (or presumably any Bible-belt state) don’t watch foreign or independent films and so we in the big cities shouldn’t either. This is complete nonsense because 1). I’m not aware of any edict that decrees everyone in America has to follow Kansas’ lead, and 2). some of the most adventurous film buffs I know reside in America’s heartland.
     Equally nonsensical is the cry of elitism such “film freaks” are always directing at those who dare to look beyond the shores of Hollywood for their entertainment. Fact: big budget American movies account for a very small portion of the world’s total cinematic output, meaning that concentrating on Hollyweird fare to the exclusion of everything else is true elitism.

Genre Critics who Review Trailers
For some reason trailer reviews have become quite popular on movie review sites, with writers attempting to gauge the essence of upcoming movies based on three-minute previews. Silly me: I always thought the essence of a movie was best represented by the movie itself rather than the efforts of a studio’s publicity department to promote the thing.
     Before you go accusing me of hypocrisy I’ll acknowledge that I myself have posted some trailer reviews. Those reviews, however, are representative of my strong beliefs that 1). a trailer review really doesn’t need to be more than a paragraph or two in length, and 2). the trailers in question should be discussed in conjunction with the completed films they’re advertising. Unfortunately those things aren’t true of most trailer reviews, which almost without exception tend to be absurdly protracted and altogether pointless.

Genre Critics who Like Everything
Sorry, but I’ve never bought the tried and untrue “all-movies-are-magical-in-some-way” line used by many ass-kissing reviewers (a certain Mr. Knowles comes to mind). Take it from a voracious film buff who’s seen more movies than any sane person could possibly handle: most of them are crap, pure and simple, and pretending otherwise is injurious and unfair both to the reviewer and the film s/he’s falsely praising.

“Hip” Genre Critics
You can tell such critics by the type of superlatives they use--“Kickass,” “Cool as Fuck,” etc--and by the films those superlatives are lavished upon, which in recent years have included the likes of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 3-D (Gorezone calls it “Great Fun”) and CHILLERAMA (“the perfect Friday night date flick” according to Fangoria), i.e. perceived audience-pleasers genre reviewers tend to vastly over-praise, apparently out of fear that they might appear out of touch or (gasp!) elitist.

Genre Critics Who Worship Rob Zombie
Within the horror community Zombie appears to have attained a status equivalent to that of the Dardenne brothers among mainstream critics. Luc and Etienne Dardenne, for those who don’t know, are Belgian filmmakers who possess undeniable talent but have been making the same film over and over--and that film hasn’t gotten any better, despite the fact that it’s always being proclaimed a “masterpiece.”
     The same can be said for Rob Zombie’s oeuvre, which consists of incoherent splatter-thons stocked with trash-talking lowlifes. Of those films only THE DEVIL’S REJECTS has any worth, with the latest, 2009’s hellaciously awful HALLOWEEN 2, being the worst of the lot, a film that would have been unreleasable had anyone else been at the helm. That of course didn’t stop the genre wags from praising it, albeit in rather strained fashion: I’ve never forgotten the internet reviewer who spent his entire review of HALLOWEEN 2 defending himself against anticipated attacks, never bothering to explain precisely why he was so high on the film, or considering that there might be a legitimate reason so many people hate it.

Genre Critics Who Report Un-Newsworthy “News”
Example: a “news” story, reported on various horror sites, positing that John Carpenter wants Amy Adams to star in his upcoming film. Hey, I’m sure John Carpenter would also like to fuck Ms. Adams, which probably has about as much chance of occurring, and is equally newsworthy.

Internet Wags Who Hand-Wring Over Movies’ Profits
     Here I’m referring specifically to you nerds who obsess over the fortunes of Hollywood blockbusters. Somehow I think those movies will do okay without your concern, and if they don’t, oh well! Most of them are shit, and spending upwards of $100 million on shit doesn’t strike me as a sound business decision.
     Equally obnoxious are those of you worrying about how the Kristen Stewart cheating scandal might affect the profits of the new TWILIGHT movie. Your selfless concern about the ability of Hollywood moguls to further enrich themselves is touching, but I say studio executives who pin their multi-million dollar franchise on the whims of a 22-year-old starlet with a single-digit IQ deserve what they get!