Tuesday, November 1, 2016

32nd Day of Halloween: Give Me Back My Monsters

By Beth V

I'll admit it, I was sick of goofy monster movies. As much as I love cheesy shit like Lake Placid, Deep Blue Sea, and Deep Rising the SyFy moster movie machine churned out silly monsters faster than I could keep up. Certainly faster then I wanted to watch them too. I got sick of zombies for God's sake. Me, sick of zombies. What kind of a world is that for a horror fan like me to live in?

Now we seem to have switched too far the other way though. The Paranormal Activity series. Any movie that start with A or The Haunting or Possession of Something or Someone. Inappropriately titled movies about demons or spirits like Sinister, Insidious, or even The Conjuring. I say inappropriately titled because nothing in those titles actually takes place in those movies. Sinister should have been called Ferret-Faced Man I Want to Punch Watches Creepy Home Movies. Insidious would be Patrick Wilson Goes to Demonland. And The Conjuring would be Patrick Wilson Fights Demons Some More. The terror in these movies is intangible. It's not something you can fight with an axe or machete. For a while that was cool, but after Annabelle sucked badly, and The Conjuring 2 bored the literal pants off me I'm ready to move on. I don't mean moving on to stuff like The Strangers, You're Next, or The Purge (even though I love those first two). I don't want a gaggle of movies where normal people wearing freaky masks attack a family. I feel like that's we'll trod ground too. It's time to move on to something different.

And the remakes of Japanese horror movies should be done too. I loved The Ring and The Grudge (even if the originals were much better), but Shutter was not. Again, it's all too intangible to fight. Spirits of pissed off dead people are too hard to fight, and it's really pretty unrealistic that the heroes in these types of movies manage to figure shit out as quickly as they do. Everyone in the Japanese based world of horror is like a one man Scooby-Doo gang super sleuth. This moratorium also includes movies that aren't Japanese, but kind of want you to think they are because so many horror fans equate their horror movies with stuff like those good ones mentioned above. The Forest was terrible is mostly what I'm getting at here.

So what do I really want? It might be easier to say what I don't want first. No more Sharknados that for damn sure. I'm done with Sharktopi, giant spiders, and whatever other mutated stupidness SyFy plans on putting out next. I miss the days of Dinocroc and Mansquito, but they aren't coming back. No more torture porn either. I've had about all the Eli Roth I can handle, thank you very much. Hostel, the Saw series, and the tons of other crap riding those coattails have done me in on that stuff for a long time. And as much as I like horror comedies those don't count either. I'll always watch a Zombieland or Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, but those are a nice distraction. A fun way to break up the monotony of waiting to be scared. They should keep making them, but don't rely on them.

Maybe it's time to go back to the Jasons and Michaels of the horror world (and not the Rob Zombie redneck murder family version of these things either). I know I've said many times before that The Cabin in the Woods changed the face of "teens getting slaughtered in the woods" genre forever, but there's got to be some way to adapt. Are we just going to give up on them because being creative takes too much effort? Do you expect us to believe that teenagers don't want to drink beer, get laid, and die at the hands of an unstoppable killing machine anymore? I can't accept that. Have all the good monsters been bought up by SyFy too? Where's a good giant hungry sea monster when you need one? Surely we could scrounge up one good monster. Or hell, I'd even take a scary alien. It's been a long time since we've seen any of those on a regular basis.

God help me, I'd even take zombies back at this point. It's an abusive relationship. They slap me around until I can't take any more, but I love them so I want to go back even though I know it'll only end in more slapping. But dammit, I'm so hard up for some good old zombie killing I'll even end up seeing the new installment of the Resident Evil series (despite their increasing silliness). I don't want SyFy zombies, and I certainly don't want The Walking Dead zombies (does that show even have zombies anymore?) so Resident Evil is all I can count on for well produced zombie fun that doesn't take itself too seriously. Come on Walking Dead. It's possible to pull out of this tailspin if you act quickly.

The point of all this long winded rambling is that I really just want my scary monsters and super creeps back. That's not so much to ask for is it? But judging by the rate Insidious and Sinister are churning out sequels I have a feeling I might be asking too much. I can at least take comfort from the fact that the horror movie world is nicely cyclical. Everyone else will eventually get as bored with this junk as I am, and we can move on to a new age of something. And even if the new something isn't exactly what I want at least it'll be new. And maybe even scary.


Beth got her start writing for a site called Movie Criticism for the Retarded (which has been reborn as dorkdroppings.com. Check it out sometime), but was pulled out of an early retirement to write for Needless Things. When she isn't writing she plays video games and watches bad horror movies while eagerly awaiting the zombie apocalypse. She may try to save her husband and/or their cats, but luckily hasn't had to make those tough decisions yet. Follow beth0rama on Instagram or on Twitter @NeedlessBeth where she doesn't post often enough to be annoying, but updates way more than Google+

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