by Adam Riske
In no particular order:
Jurassic Park is like “Cool.. Night vision!”). Paranormal Activity is the type of movie that teenage girls get together to watch so they can turn to each other in the theatre and giggle to each other “OMG! That was so scary!” The lead characters are annoying, which is a big problem when you’re stuck with them. I also never understood why Micah didn’t just leave Katie. They weren’t married. People break up all the time. Sound mean? Then you go be with her. She at least ruined his weekend. That’s unforgivable. They probably met on JDate anyways (I can make that joke. I’m Jewish. It’s O.K.).
Friday the 13th – This could go for the entire series, but I’ll stick to the original. It’s not good. The Burning does everything Friday the 13th sets out to do, but better. It even has a cool slasher villain in Cropsy, whereas Friday the 13th had Jason’s mom. But Friday the 13th got there first (in the "camp slasher" subgenre) so it gets all the credit and prestige. I love how over the years the original has somehow become the “classy” one. Genre die-hards will acknowledge that some of the later Friday sequels are more successful, but every repertory theatre books the original Friday the 13th like it’s an example of classic horror cinema. What bullshit.
I think my big problem with Alien is I got there too late. I was born after this movie came out, so I saw its big moments in clip shows long before I saw them in the context of the movie when I was 11. But like The Ring, it only exists as a scare show. As a counterpoint, I saw all of the big scares from The Exorcist long before I saw that movie in its entirety, but The Exorcist still has scary IDEAS and works, again, as a drama – it’s about Father Karras’ faith as much as anything with Regan. Alien doesn’t have that, which makes it a far inferior movie. It also is not nearly as good as Aliens, which also makes it a far inferior movie. Aliens knows that a BUNCH of aliens coming at you in HIGH VELOCITY is scarier than ONE coming at you SLOWLY. It’s so slow that you forget why you’re fucking there. Hell, Mother (aka the voice of the ship) is scarier to me than the damn Alien.
The Cabin in the Woods – The other ones are unranked. This one is not. The Cabin in the Woods is the most overrated horror movie I’ve ever seen. Hate is a strong word. I come very close to hating The Cabin in the Woods. Here’s why.
1) It’s supposed to be a movie about how we watch horror movies. I don’t identify with that at all. I don’t watch horror movies to smirk at them like Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard do.
2) Whedon and Goddard are trying to make a point that the genre is broken. Well guess what fuckfaces, you’ve never made a good horror movie yourselves so you CAN’T TALK! Wes Craven can make fun of horror conventions in Scream because he’s made a lot of good horror movies! Without that, you are the peanut gallery. Shut up and make a good horror movie and then you have the right to talk shit about the genre on film. Stick to infantilizing America with superheroes or C-grade Star Trek knockoffs and “empowering” women by finding a new way to sexualize them to nerds.
3) They are lampooning things that have been out of fashion for years. For example, there’s a scene near the end with cubes of monsters and a Pinhead-look alike is one. Really, Pinhead? How is that relevant to modern horror? If the point is “let’s take the dry erase board, throw it out and come up with new ideas,” then isn’t Joss Whedon about the last person who should be saying that? His entire career is a regurgitation of media he’s consumed and tweaked with sarcasm with nothing original to say.
4) This movie is so fucking in love with itself. I knew I was in for a bad time from the “I learned it from you!” joke at the beginning. Get it? We’re making fun of an '80s anti-drug ad. Aren’t we cool hipsters? And that brings me to another point. At least that fucking anti-drug ad is sincere. There is not one ounce of sincerity in The Cabin in the Woods.
Finally, 5) It makes the stoner the hero/smartest guy in the room. I’m so tired of this trope. Pot isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s not something we should celebrate either. Especially when it portrays stoners as these little fucking gnome twerps like Fran Kranz’s character, Marty. We need less of those people in movies.
People love this movie. Horror fans whose opinions I value and respect love this movie. I don’t get why they don’t feel like it’s a movie that takes a crap on their fandom and stands proudly while it has nothing new to bring to the party.
So, there’s my list. Where am I right? Where am I wrong? What horror movies do you think are overrated?