Thursday, May 17, 2012
Roth of the Titans
I probably could have made my formula comments less snotty, but they weren't directed at you–just at the films themselves. They kicked the snot right out of me. I tend to find that repeated formula annoying. It's just too easy, and its designed solely to please audiences–that's it. FUNNY GAMES plays around with formula, but I thought it ultimately mocked the natural progression of most horror films. I really hope the 2007 version is the exact same as the 1997 version or else this will not make sense, but I thought the scene where the mother breaks free and uses the shotgun to kill one of the tormentors only to have the film be rewound and played over without her escape was trying to have fun with the formula audiences have come to expect. She is supposed to escape and kill the bad guys, right? Well the film rejects that outright, in a fairly hilarious way, in my opinion. I really liked that part in the film, and it may even have single-handedly won me over. I'd never seen that in a horror movie before. It's a truly funny and unique gag. I would say the same thing about the whole film itself. It doesn't end with a victim escaping to stop the killers, but with the killers wiping all their victims out and moving onto their next prey. It's all one wicked gag on the audience, which to me is rare to see. But maybe I haven't seen enough to know better.
As I wrote on facebook, I like Eli Roth. I don't think he's a hack or talentless. I'm a fan of CABIN FEVER and I thought the THANKSGIVING trailer for GRINDHOUSE was hilarious. I think he's got good horror films in him, and I'm excited to see what he makes in the future. HOSTEL, when I saw it the first time, was at least effective in unsettling me, and for all the reasons you gave. The truly sinister implications of this organization paying to torture young people succeeded in making me feel like shit for at least a day after seeing it. I don't completely write it off, even if I ultimately dislike its motives and a lot of its execution (no pun intended). The second HOSTEL I have to completely write off, just for being an insipid carbon copy disguised as something shocking. I fucking hate that idea of trying to one-up one another in the gore and depravity department. It just seems an empty and pointless pursuit to me.
Sorry, my TRANSFORMERS analogy didn't work out as well as I wanted. The first TRANSFORMERS is a piece of shit, as is the second, and I'm sure the third. The first HOSTEL isn't exactly a piece of shit. There's enough there to wrangle itself free of the gutter. The second HOSTEL, I will maintain, is a piece of shit and a complete waste of time, even if there is craft involved. I can't get behind it one ounce.
I understand you're not really defending these films, but you do a nice job explaining them and making me think differently about them. Admittedly, they will never be my thing. At least, I can look at them from another angle.
p.s. I will never ever see THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2. I don't care how much you dare me haha.