Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Horror and Budgets: part the third

Hihi once more. I’m back for what will hopefully be the last post about why low budget = good, high budget = bad in regards to horror films.

In my last post I talked about Stephen Kings opinion on why Hollywood can’t make a good horror. This post is my  theory explaining why (damn it, WHY???) great independent filmmakers keep backing up their genuinely frightening low-budget movies with shitty blockbusters.  I will finish with a plea to the existing low-budget horror film makers. I’m gonna name names. Just watch me.

But first, my theory.

Well, I think it’s a combination of a few thing (I know, I know, thanks a lot Captain Obvious. I’ll get there). Firstly, these great filmmakers get given a stupid amount of money. They accept it because they’re told that they’re the boss and it’s their movie. By the time they’ve figured out that a multi-million dollar production means multiple millionaires looking over your shoulder, it’s too late. Suddenly, all the things that King lists as the problems with big budget horrors are forced in.

Secondly, the filmmakers find themselves in a situation where they are scared to rock the boat in case they wind up back where they were. Flat broke, making movies with a handy cam.

And thirdly, and this is the part that’s difficult to counteract, they lose touch. They forget that less is more and start to agree with the producers that they need to add more effects, more explosions, more stars. This step is complete when the once desperate filmmaker loses their anger. Their frustration at not being able to get funding is gone along with their hunger pains, disappointment, and their fury that the world just won’t cut them a break. Because they got their break. It’s hard to think up new and imaginative ways to kill people when you’re actually enjoying life.

So does that mean there’s no hope? Can we only hope to get a couple of good, terrifying horror films per director? Nope. Call me optimistic but the new batch seem to be less focused on “making it” and more on scaring the bejesus out of as many people as possible. I don’t doubt that they will each do their share of blockbusters, but they seem to know not to call them “horror”.  Even better, they also seem to be capable of sticking to their guns.

But I could be wrong. Just  in case, I’d like to issue this plea to the new (relatively) film makers that have been rocking my socks recently. I’m talking to Eli Roth, Paul Solet, James Wan, Oren Peli, David Slade, Jonathan Auf Der Heide, Alexandre Aja, and any up and coming fright fiends.

Please. Don’t. Forget.

I’m begging you. I’m on my knees (read into that what you will).

Less is more. Life’s hard. People are crazy.


1 comment:

  1. I think you could be on to something there.

    I agree that the filmmakers feel they have to spend all the money they are given so effects are the obvious choice but its generally better to build the suspense and keep the viewer on the edge.

    I'm also a big fan of when the filmmakers don't just show the scary parts but instead plant the seeds and let the imagination take over.

    Looking forward to the next blog :-)