Monday 25 October 2010

Five Worst Horror Movies I Ever Saw

Welcome once again to Monday on E14. As promised earlier in the month, here are my 5 least favourite horror movies in no particular order.

Jeepers Creepers, 2001

This movie is one of those unfortunate ones for me, where part of the problem is the hype surrounding horror films. You know the kind I mean; they go to a film premiere, rattle off a bunch of newspaper ratings like "film of the year" in January, show a bunch of screaming nancies and then cut to shots of random chumps saying "oh yeah, scariest film I've seen in ages." Straight away this doesn't sit right with me, usually because the people they choose look about ten and probably haven't seen a film since Dumbo anyway. Don't get me wrong, that movie's drug sequence is fucking terrifying, but I don't think that gives it enough to count as a horror movie in the strictest sense.

Anyway, I'd heard nothing but positive hype about this movie, and found myself positively anticipating this movie based on the few snippets I'd seen. It seemed to be an engaging enough idea, and the actors weren't people who pissed me off, so the idea of watching them for an hour and a half didn't bother me.

Man, how that hype has changed my world view. Now I pretty much can't get excited about anything that doesn't have the prefix Fallout.

The movie opens with a pair of teenagers driving across country when they happen upon a scene that looks somewhat suspect. However, they are witnessed as...witnesses, and so begins a frantic pursuit by a terrifying...well, moth. Sorry, spoiler warning. Once the pursuit begins this movie just gets fucking stupid. A monster that responds to a particular song named "Jeepers Creepers" made popular by such greats as Frank Sinatra? Spare me. A monster, more ludicrously still, who has chosen to interpret that song at face value as a reason to rob people of their optical capability? Stupider than a bag of hammers. Particularly stupid hammers, I might add.

As if all that wasn't enough, the "Creeper" just looks fucking stupid, like Beethoven wearing a vacuum bag. At least in Jeepers Creepers 2 some attempts were made to make the film quite a bit funnier, as the main problem with the first one was that I was pissing myself with laughter all the way through and it was supposed to be a fucking horror film!

Trivia: Gina Philips and Justin Long were not allowed to meet Jonathan Breck before filming, in order to get a true reaction from them when they actually did see him with his full costume and makeup.

Creep, 2004

This was another one that was hyped to me, but this one was by a family member who shall remain nameless so as to spare their feelings when I say that I felt personally violated and insulted when I finished watching this film.

Something that you may have noticed about my favourite horror movie article, which you can read Here, is that there is quite often a theme of the unknown running through the movie. In Event Horizon, there was the unknown element of what happened to the original crew of the ship, in The Thing there was the element of not knowing which team members were infected until it was too late.

However, in this film, I spent a large portion of the viewing time wondering one simple question: what the hell is going on? Not in a good way, like one of those suspense thrillers that reveal the plot twist just before the film ramps up, but in the sense that I couldn't follow what was going on and more importantly why I should give a fuck.

The lead character, played by Franka Potente, succeeds only in making you wish horrible atrocities upon her within the first twenty minutes of the movie, in that she's a complete bitch of the variety that usually has me reaching for the nearest bottle of bleach and a shot glass. What is it with horror movies? Either the cast is comprised of completely pitiful figures with enough skeletons in their closet to have bone marrow on draught, or they're tools so big that B&Q would raise their eyebrows.

To this day, I can't remember what the fuck happened in the film, and certainly not why I should give a fuck. Not the best endorsement for the movie, I grant you, but that's sort of why it made the list.

Trivia: When they were filming Franka running through a tube train, the cameraman behind her ran straight into one of the posts on the train.

House of 1000 Corpses, 2003

There's a theme here of "movies where fuck all happens", you'll notice. In this case, this movie was pretty much a sign that Rob Zombie should stick to what he's good at.

The movie did absolutely nothing for me. It wasn't scary, it wasn't disturbing. It just...was, and ultimately that's not why people go to see a horror movie. If the criteria for a horror movie was simply that the actors possessed corporeal form and delivered line after line with no emphasis on scares, then the number of horror films released would be significantly more, and would include things like Caddyshack. Scary in its own right, I'm sure, but not quite there as far as horror goes.

The only thing that people seem to like about it is the abundance of gore. To those people I say that they'd be satisfied considerably more with a trip to intensive care after a particularly nasty bus crash. They'd get their gore fix, and they would also get to see some dialogue delivered with a heap of genuine emotion.

And don't whine to me that Captain Spaulding's an amazing character, and that Sid Haig makes that movie. He tries really hard, don't get me wrong, but that character would be awesome in anything, even Muppet Treasure Island.

Trivia: During its box office run, the movie encountered two instances of the number '666': At the beginning of its run, when its opening weekend was $3,460,666, and at the end of its run, when its per-theater-average (the weekend gross divided by the number of theaters) was $666 per theater.

Final Destination 3, 2006

This film is one of the worst examples of what Roger Ebert called the "dead teenager" genre. Films like the Scream series have popularised it, but the Final Destination series has taken out that troublesome storyline completely, and simply gone with 90 minutes of teenagers being killed by increasingly ridiculous circumstances.

I hate teenagers, it's been that way for some time, especially those preppy American teenagers that have become the stereotype for all teenage girls, and represented the same ungrateful attitude-laced demeanour of any English girl who watched enough TV in the early 2000s. Nowadays those same white kids want to be black, but in those days the main one was wanting to be in Dawson's Creek or some other bollocks.

It's the day that you sit watching a film screaming "That's fucking bollocks, that would never happen!" that you realise that the world has passed you by. In the same way that I simply do not get the appeal of 80% of television "comedy" these days, I cannot get my head around the appeal of these movies. Surely once you've seen one vapid teenage cabbage cheat death, only to be caught up with in an absolutely brutal (and completely impossible) way, you've seen them all right? Right?!

Trivia: In Japan, the film is renamed "Final Deadcoaster". (Best trivia ever).

Dawn of the Dead, 2004

This one may be a confusing one, as in my original list I listed the original Dawn of the Dead as one of my favourites of all time. It's little wonder that the original is in that list, representing as it does one of the all-time greats. As such, my main issue with this particular remake is simple: it doesn't need to be made.

Everything about this movie screams "un-necessary", especially Zombie Baby towards the end, who graces the screen for about six seconds if that. Although this movie gets some props for the inclusion of the excellent Ving Rhames, everything else about this movie is crap. The characters are faceless drones who serve only to annoy, and not even in that good way where you're supposed to hate them and be happy when they get what's coming to them. Just as an aside, I've not got the zombies confused with the survivors; let's just get that out of the way right now.

Here's a point that doesn't get made often enough: ZOMBIES SHOULDN'T RUN! It's one of those commonly debated topics, and so many people sit on the fence and say "well, it's all on how you interpret it." No it isn't. If you're ok with the ideas of zombie running (and let's differentiate between proper zombies and 28 Days Later style "infected"), it's a fairly safe bet that you're the kind of person who sits on the fence throughout their life for fear of going too far in one direction or the other. It's also a fairly safe bet that you have a dead-end job, but you're not unhappy with it. You're just..."meh".

Put in simple terms, death is when all organs and systems shut down. You can make the point that certain body parts grow a few millimetres after death, but I'd wager pretty strongly that those parts are not capable of re-animating an entire corpse AND giving them an entire case of Red Bull to split amongst themselves. What death certainly shouldn't do is re-invigorate a zombie. Unless said zombie, at time of death, was coasting along in a job that was..."ok", and filled their time with Saturday night television and a bottle of the cheapest wine they could get hold of. Death sounds like an upgrade.

Trivia: For the scene where Ana stitches Kenneth's wounds, the director hired a real nurse for the close-ups. She misunderstood the director's directions to go deeper and inadvertently punctured Ving Rhames' skin and stitched the prosthesis to his arm. He didn't say anything until after the scene was done filming and the director thought the blood was merely "a really good effect".

All trivia provided courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated is a collaborative artistic mash-up of George Romero's cult classic. Nearly 150 International artists and animators chose their favourite scenes and re-envisioned them through their own artwork, with no restrictions on style, media or process - resulting in an eclectic 'art show' interpretation of the seminal 1968 film, all placed over the original's audio.

With work ranging from oil paintings to comic illustrations and sock puppets to CGI and stop-motion - Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated not only pays the respect due to this most important work in horror history, but encourages viewers to experience the film in a brand new light that bursts with the humour and horror of a new generation of artists.

Thanks to our friends at Wienerworld, we've got three copies of Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to before midday on Monday 1st November. The first three names out of the electronic hat will win a copy each!

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