Ever since Edison led the way into the motion picture industry, we have been looking for better and bigger frights on the silver screen.
And Halloween is, or used to be, the season when we especially sought the frights.
Now, however, we are accosted with more gore all year long, and it’s getting worse.
This year there is an ample supply.
In fact, we are remaking the more wretched movies of the past generation, just to prove that cinema only moves sideways, never upwards.
Hollywood has reintroduced “I Spit On Your Grave” (2010) and “Last House on the Left,” (2009) both of which were made a generation ago, so there’s nothing new. They just have better production values today.
These are examples, but they are admittedly bad ones, because they are about brutality.
That is their point.
And they are examples of extreme, brutal negativity — embracing victimization.
They aren’t about enjoyable frights, about spooky stories, hair-raising adventures. They are about people being victimized and then turning on their tormentors. Everyone loses, especially the audience.
Our culture has enough negativity in it. You can find plenty by just turning on the TV or listening to the radio, without having to go out of the way to create more as “art.”
The successful reintroduction of “The Wolfman” (2010) shows that there are still those in Hollywood who understand how to create a visually striking and thrilling monster movie adventure.
But victimhood exploitation is still just that — exploitation — whether it’s on the big screen or the little one, and we shouldn’t encourage it with our money.
— Chuck Smith