Or, as an Alternative, Your Movie is Garbage

I’ve talked about horror movies before and I even reacted to my viewing of the original Hostel with a heated rant. I didn’t mention the movie by name at the time, but that’s what I had just seen that prompted the post. And you know, since that time I haven’t watched a lot of the trash that’s being peddled as “horror” but which is just graphic torture and I’ve been much happier for it. I miss good horror movies (okay, that’s a strange phrase in itself but let’s not quibble over the limitations of language at the moment), but whatever. I can always catch monster pictures on Netflix or wherever.

So anyway, it’s no surprise that I had less than zero interest in the sequel to Hostel (cleverly titled Hostel: Part II). I literally loathed the first with its utter absence of subtlety or sense of humor, its moronic excuse for suspense and its urban-legend-like attempt to prey on American arrogance. Stand in line for a sequel? Not a chance.

Well it turns out the movie isn’t doing so well. So writer/director Eli Roth starts whining on his blog about piracy, the movie industry’s lack of support for the R-rated horror film and how he’s going to be all busy so his (ahem) fans should surge into theaters to see it so it gets the support he so obviously deserves while they still have a chance to experience his work.

I have a thought. Maybe—and I’m going out on a limb here—your movie just plain ol’ sucks? Ever consider that?

Now, I haven’t seen it (nor am I going to… I told you before, I’m done with this kind of horror movie) so I can’t really say one way or the other, but a lot of reviews have stated that the movie is basically a rehash of the first, which for once is in keeping with the tradition of horror movies. But whether it is or isn’t, I doubt they’d mix up the formula much. This is Hollywood, after all, and they aren’t known for breaking new ground very often and when it comes to a sequel their willingness to try something new is laughable… almost oxymoronic considering what a sequel really is. But I think we can safely assume that it’s at least similar.

Roth gripes that it’s all piracy that makes his movie unpopular because people are watching an unfinished cut online instead of paying to see it in the theaters. I find that highly unlikely, but let’s assume for a minute that there were hordes of people watching the film without any music or post-production effects: It stands to reason that if the movie were unfinished but really good, people who had enough interest in it to download it would think, “I gotta go see the final version!” Not to mention that he’s citing the same ol’ argument that people who pirate stuff are those who would have otherwise paid to see it which is difficult to prove at best. I submit that people who download stuff are those who would maybe, someday have spent money on it but are for the time being only really interested in getting a peek and seeing if it’s worth further investment.

But okay, let’s ignore the reviews and let’s grant Roth that his movie is suffering because of (sigh) piracy on the Internet. Let’s say he has the very best torture-horror movie ever. Isn’t it possible that there are a lot of people like me—people who might even describe themselves as fans of horror movies—who saw the first one (it did make a good amount of money) but decided, based on that movie, that either a) They weren’t into that kind of thing or b) Roth himself isn’t the gift to splatter pictures that he thinks he is? Wouldn’t that explain the lackluster box office numbers just as well as these Internet rogues with their copies of Bittorrent?

And I’m sorry but the whole “movie industry hates R-rated horror movies” is such junk that I’m surprised it isn’t a scene in one of Roth’s illustrious films. Listen to me carefully, those who perceive Hollywood persecution of your favored style or subgenre: Hollywood doesn’t care one iota about your label. You know what Hollywood cares about? Money. That’s it. It’s not a secret, it’s not some cabal of overlords ruling against some subset of motion pictures or another in secret entertainment tribunals, it’s just the bottom line. So—stay with me here, Mr. Roth, this is going to be important for your career—when the people don’t like something (and by people I mean the movie-going public; the audience), Hollywood doesn’t like something.

Fortunately! There is a remedy, and it’s remarkably simple.

Don’t make crappy movies.

Or, I guess in this case, don’t make crappy movies more than once. People are weird, you know? They’ll see something different or new just to be a part of the water cooler conversation. I’m guessing that’s all Hostel was: Water cooler conversation. Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. Roth, did you believe your own hype, that you had made some kind of dawn-of-a-new-era cinematic masterpiece? No, I think you made something that surprised some people and got them talking. But then a second went by and their collective attention span turned to American Idol or Brangelina or the new Spider-Man movie or whatever. So you came back to a collective “meh?”

Yeah, that sounds about right.

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One thought on “Or, as an Alternative, Your Movie is Garbage

  1. Ryan

    “… graphic torture .. ” That was what i was looking for a few days ago … the difference in what is being turned out now that has little value except to see what they can get away with in gore … plots help … and they can be rather cool …

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