Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why Horror Films Make Me Utter a Resounding "Meh"

Ahh, Halloween, how I love thee.  I start counting down the days beginning in August. I feel a flutter of anticipation when I see stockpiles of candy in the grocery stores, aisles blocked with little kids trying on superhero masks and beating each other with plastic lightsabers, when every radio ad includes thunder and oOoOooOoWEEEEEEoooooooo music.

I get so excited thinking of all the shenanigans I can get up to and not get in trouble because everyone will blame stupid kids because someone who's just shy of 30 really shouldn't get so excited about T.P.ing the neighbor's house, especially when the neighbors are fairly nice people, just a little strange and tend to stare in our direction at disturbingly late hours of the night.  What are you looking at? Are you trying to find a way in to murder us in our sleep so you can finally possess husband's extensive collection of band t-shirts? Are you concerned that there may be a squirrel living in the roof and you are waiting to see if he runs out in the darkness so you can catch him and set him free in a nice quiet little park somewhere?  Are you worried about our sleeping habits and would like to recommend a good doctor who specializes in such things but you're too shy to approach the issue as it might embarrass us that you've noticed? Stop it. It's weird.

Anyway, Halloween, anticipation, buildup OHMAHGAWD IT'S HERE IT'S HERE and I suddenly realize I don't have any plans for the evening.  I'm a grownup, so I have to work and stuff, and all of my friends have to work and stuff, and I wound up doing the same thing I've done since I realized that being a grownup means I wind up working and stuff on a lot of Halloweens. I came home, made a delicious BLT, then snuggled in bed and tried to find a scary movie.

I made the same discovery I make at least 3 or 4 times a month. Finding a scary movie now that I'm on the dark side of my 20's is not as easy as it was when I was six.

Allow me to illustrate the basic formula for 96.7% of all horror movies ever made in the history of the world ever. (That's a real statistic that I made up just now.) 

These formulas don't really give screenwriters a whole lot to go on, but dammit, some of them try really hard with what they've got.  I don't blame you, screenwriters.  Ok, I kinda do blame some of you, but mostly I blame the people who make the advertisements for movies and put scary things on the cover.  You are unfairly raising my expectations.  If you really want to scare people, you should lower my expectations to start with then KAPOW! Stabby things from outta NOWHERE!

Here, I came up with some fresh ideas for some classics to help you out:

See?  My expectations are already set so low that I cannot possibly be disappointed.  You don't even have to try to surprise me with sudden acts of violence and mayhem.  If you start out with a premise like any of these, I know what I'm getting when I choose to spend 90 minutes of my life watching the pile of cinematic excrement you've unleashed upon my eyeballs.  No one can ever complain again that you have disappointed them by promising nightmares you couldn't possibly deliver!  It's genius!

You're welcome.