Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bad Film Week

With Jaru away at sasshin for seven days I'm taking the opportunity to see practically any movie that falls under the action or horror genre, irrespective of their critical or popular acclaim.

So far I've seen Cursed, Boogeyman, and Hostage. I liked Hostage best of the bunch, though there's this weird plot-bump towards the end.

One thing I was really curious about was why Boogeyman did about twice as well as Cursed at the box office. Cursed has everything going for it, better name recognition off the actors, a Wes Craven/Kevin Williamson film, higher budget, and so on. Moreover, if you look at the ratings on IMDB it's even got better popular reviews.

Maybe it's that Cursed came at the tail end of about six weeks of horror releases (next year it'll likely even be worse as the January/February bracket is flooded with horror flicks).

But I also think it has something to do with one lesson I learned losing money self-publishing game books: concept is king. People won't even check your stuff out unless it's got a hook that makes them curious.

I think what happened is that Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson got together and said "let's do a good old fashioned werewolf film" and the audience said: "What? It looks like just another werewolf film." I know that's what slowed me down in seeing it.

My guess is that it'll be even more difficult than the current "impossible-unless-you're-Wes Craven" to sell a werewolf script nowadays.

Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing that we trim back even more on the werewolf films. Personally, I'm fond of werewolves -- they're cool. But the movies always seem to be let-downs.

After seeing Cursed I think part of the reason they're let-downs is that the werewolf always looks so cheesy. Even now with all the high-tech CGI and highly paid graphic artists the werewolf looks like a fuzzy, plump guy wearing a carpet. The morphing bits are often excellent -- but the werewolves just don't cut it. If anyone has some examples of movies with actually cool-looking werewolves in it I'd be pleased to hear them. The only one I can really come up with is Wolfen, but that's not quite a werewolf movie in the same way as the others.

To balance out the bad movies, I also bought some DVDs: Miller's Crossing, Fargo, and The Maltese Falcon. Those films can balance out a lot of bad.

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