Thursday, 29 October 2009

10 Days of Horror: 7 Classic Horror Movies Made Obsolete By Rip-Offs

Everybody starts the creative process with a source of inspiration, something that makes them do what they do. Personally I rephrase random crap I find on other movie websites in a slightly more rambling and slightly less hilarious way. As far as the motion pictures are concerned, if you somehow by some glorious accident make something that has been deemed to be original, then it as an absolute certainty that movie after movie will pilfer, rob and generally do everything just to the right of plagiarism until your once unique idea has its only distinction being that it was the first. Which is something I guess, but through no fault of their own the movie becomes a lot less impressive then it was thanks to countless cash-ins.

7) Psycho
Sure it remains a good movie, Anthony Perkins is awesome and it created a critically reprehensible sub-genre but almost every part of it his been dissected and re-applied to some film or another, dramatically reducing its impact. Killers with mother issues, slasher set-pieces and nice guys that aren't all that nice appear in almost every movie of a similar tone, and then there's Brian De Palma who quite possibly made eight different veiled rip-offs of this movie. Now its something that can only be appreciated rather then enjoyed, Perkins aside.

6) Saw
As far as I can tell, the alpha of the painfully derisive torture porn genre, the horror movie of choice for this decade, has been almost made redundant within six years or so of its release. Its actually a good movie, and in a bizarre way The Dark Knight owes it a lot. But partly by its own exceptionally greedy hand, seeing as Saw 6 is currently robbing suckers blind nationwide, and partly by other countless Captivity's and The Collector's trying to get in on the game, Saw doesn't look half as clever as it did in 2004.

5) Alien
In space no-one can hear you scream. But after 20 years of rip-offs, it probably isn't that much of an issue any more. Granted the John Hurt scene still lands, but otherwise the once great idea of ten little Indians in space looks a little tired now. Particularly because my generation went into this film having previously seen Event Horizon. Which didn't look so good.

4) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
To be fair, the inbred hick wasn't getting much in the way of press but after this film we've had three decades of deformed and frightfully uneducated residents of the American south hacking those nice libertarian college kids from the north to bits, with wearing their skin as a trophy being entirely optional. To think this was once an original concept that scared the bejesus out of people.

3) Halloween
Watch this now, and I challenge you not to be underwhelmed. Still defended by today's critics who aren't ready to sell out their childhood cinematic milestones just yet. But the problem is Halloween is a decidedly average movie, with originality the only thing going for it. Now we've seen this film done better by millions of others it no longer has any purpose. Sometimes quality, like in the cases of Psycho or Alien can get you through losing impact, but if you never really had it in the first place..

2) The Sixth Sense
M. Night Shyamalan. Or the man who made the twist cool again. And the one in this movie is a killer ( Not as good as the one in usual suspects though, which will remain the best twist of all time forever.) but aside from the fact that this is one of the most spoiled movies in history, every 'Psychological' horror from here to the I inside felt a twist was an absolute necessity. Thus as the twists got weaker and more contrived people began to get sick of being constantly duped and started telling M Night to go screw himself, and because the man became so synonymous with the twist ending, it cheapened the experience compared to when it happened organically.

1) Blair Witch Project
This real footage horror movie was one of the best high concept horrors ever made. There's nothing quite like seeing something you've never seen before done this well. Sadly, many less savvy film-makers thought so too and so My Little Eye, Cloverfield, Quarantine and many thousands more inferior knock offs were born. Making this brilliant concept as tired as anything else on this list.

2 comments:

Heather said...

I laughed at the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I don't like any of the remakes either. But I do love Blair Witch, and I think the style is a movie fad that actually ok. I like Quarantine/REC, and Paranormal Activity scared the shit out of me. I still haven't seen Cloverfield!

spiral568 said...

I didn't have much love for Cloverfield, but most people seem to so maybe thats just me. Blair Witch is still a great movie no question, i'm just saying its lost a teency bit of its impact because of other movies mimicking its style. Some really well, because REC was awesome, but it does take something from it for me at least. In the UK we don't get paranormal activity for like an age, but hypothetically it does look pretty good.