Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Old People Get Scared TOO, Y'Know!!!!!
FINALLY. Finally after weeks (?) months (?) of waiting, Netflix got around to see into their greedy black hearts (I see you in there, making deals with studios for $$ to hold back new releases, Cheap Asses!) and give me a turn with their (apparently) only copy of The Hills Run Red.
After waiting forever and a day, I popped it in on a Saturday night, crossed my fingers, and immediately lowered my expectations. (It's not just a way to watch movies - it's a way of life, my friends.)
I thought the storyline - cult movie from the early 80's that seemingly 'disappeared' after showing in only a handful of places and making people so upset that it was deemed too terrible for people to watch and thus had to be destroyed- was interesting even though the whole urban legend angle sort of feels a little overdone at this point.
I thought the killer dude was a whole TON of Creepariousness, and I started getting invested in the story - or so I thought.
I fell asleep despite my best attempts at staying awake (and genuinely wanting to see the end) - or so I thought.
I planned on getting right back to it the next night - but instead it sat on my shelf for an entire WEEK before I got back to it. I finished it the next weekend - and I thought the end was fairly satisfying and I'll probably buy it once I don't have to pay more than five bucks for it. (I know, I'm the proverbial Pot calling the Kettle a Cheap Ass).
But there was something about the movie that didn't quite satisfy - and finally, it hit me.
You're probably not going to believe me, but there was a day and a time and YEARS when horror movies did not always consist of a whole cast of teenagers. I know - it's like when I talk about growing up with THREE WHOLE CHANNELS, you're all.....How did you LIVE, Lady????
Some chick doin'....something.
And it's not that I think we need to eliminate movies with high school or college students - after all, they are what makes the slasher movie go 'round-it's just that I wonder what kind of different flavor a movie like this could have had if the plot had featured maybe an older movie buff (perhaps with a failed movie career themselves) who had a chance to see this movie when they were younger, and maybe chickened out (and always regretted it) - and were since obsessed with it - perhaps to the detriment of their life and relationships around them - and maybe by chance suddenly find a new lead to (finally!) real proof that this movie actually existed - maybe a story line like that with a little more meat on it - with actors with more life experience - would have given the movie a little more substance and interest than watching a younger, cockier, 'hey I'm so obsessed with this and it makes me so coooool' type of vibe.
Or maybe I'm just old.
In any case, just to show you that I'm not completely nuts, let me give you some evidence.
The Omen: Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. A great director, a great story, and outstanding acting. Who doesn't love this movie? Compare this with the remake we were treated to a few years ago with the 'younger, hipper' version staring Julia Stiles and Liev Schreiber. While not the worst remake ever (whoops, didn't see you standing there, The Fog!) I can't feel for the young couple who have the bad fortune to end up with Satan's firstborn like I do for Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, a couple who are a little older and more clearly desperate for a child (and thus, I think, a lot more likely to sweep their son's, ahem, idiosyncrasies, under the table).
Was Vincent Price ever a teenager? I keed, I keed. Price's later hijinks involving the Brady Bunch aside, pretty sure he made the majority of his films not about scary things that happened at the beach, or on campus, or during some drunken college party.
(Side note: not that I don't enjoy myself a movie or two from the 50's that involve dancing teenagers and scary things that happen at the beach....F*CK YEAH, I do!)
AND not that there aren't great horror stories on film about teenagers - think Carrie, for instance - I just wish that every dang horror movie didn't have to be about them. House of the Devil is another great example where the desperateness and naivete of youth are part of the whole backbone of the story.
So I'm not saying, let's get rid of movies where we play that game of 'Let's Kill off The Naughty Teenagers', I'm just saying - let's share the love a little bit and think about expanding story lines to include people who may have different experiences or perspectives to bring to The Scary.
And maybe stop with the remakes and the sequels for a while. Just you know, a thought.
Until next time, DearHearts,