Monday, June 11, 2007

News: How many remakes of Blood Sucking Freaks does a man need?

Rough times for Hollywood's splat pack. Not long after Grindhouse's poor box office showing handed out notices to numerous folks on the young auteur A-list, Eli Roth (partial director and dubious actor in said flick) get's a stinker to call his own: apparently Hostel II is an underwhelming box office performer. Today, The New York Times asks if the horror boom, fueled by young directors like Roth, is finally running out of petrol. The Times doesn't waver on the issue:

Moviegoers put a nail in the coffin of a dying horror boom this weekend, as 'Hostel: Part II' opened to just $8.8 million in ticket sales, far behind the crime caper 'Oceans' Thirteen' in a three-day period of relatively soft box office performance.

Is horror tired? Are we headed into another lull? I open to the floor to the Screamers and Screamettes. Sound off.


Heather Santrous said...

I don't think that horror is on the ropes. Maybe the genre that the Hostel movies fall into are on the ropes though. We had a string of these movies for a few years now and I think it is finaly starting to wear thin on movie goers.

In truth, I don't know why there is a sequel to Hostel. I guess there was room for one but what need was there for one? Only reason it was made was to try and milk more money from horror fans. Will I see Hostel 2? I probably will but I'm in no big hurry to do so.

Horror movies seem to go in waves when it comes to the big screen. Some movie will come along that makes a lot of money and suddenly everyone is saying horror movies are popular again? They always will be and have always been so I don't see the big deal about this. I never hear anyone saying comedy or drama is dead when a string of those types of movies flop at the box office. Why should horror be any different?

spacejack said...

Well I've only been on the horror bandwagon for the past 5 or 6 years and it seems like there are more horror movies every year. So by unscientifically extrapolating from myself to the average Joe, my theory would be that there are just too many for the public to bother seeing. Then again, I may just be on the lookout for horror movies more than I was before.

That said, for better or for worse, I'm going to see Hostel 2 tonight...

spacejack said...

...aaand I would have to give it an unqualified rating of "MEH". It doesn't quite manage to justify the need for a sequel. Some of the ingredients are right, but while I found the first one to be the most terrifying horror of the decade, I found this one to be nearly without any tension at all.

The first was told very much from the victim's point of view. This time, it's more of a 3rd person narrative, showing us the workings and clientele of the Elite Hunting club. Unfortunately, this just doesn't turn out to be as interesting as one was left imagining it to be in the original movie. And without the element of the unknown, there's not a lot of room for your imagination to invent scares for you.

Oddly enough, I ended up seeing a lot of similarities to "Last King of Scotland" - a clinical, but unengaging look at monsters (with an approximately equivalent amount of gore and torture.)

On the plus side, Lauren German was really good, and there are some interesting twists and turns with the clients, as they reveal their true nature. On the minus side, while the clients are given more screen time, I found them less interesting and creepy than the brief characterizations we saw in the first.

Roth seems to have a pretty good eye and ear for the young backpacker in Europe (I hung out with an art class in Florence when I was touring Italy; the girls in the film are studying art in Rome, so that was fun for me to see,) but again, the trio is less interesting this time around.

In the end, I'd say, if you want to see it, then see it. But if you don't, then don't. Maybe Eli Roth has another good horror move in him, but maybe he doesn't.

CRwM said...

Screamin' Spacey,

I'm sorry you spent your hard earned cash on it. Sounds like it is a renter. The reviews have been mixed, but at this point I've only read one review that was outright positive and I have lost any drive to check it out in the theaters.

Without seeing it, I have to say that the thing I was least interested in was more info on the killer club. My problem with the first movie was I thought it was basically fascinated with the mechanics of killing and had no heart. This sounds like even more of the same.

CRwM said...

Screamin' Heather,

I think you're instincts might be right on this. Horror has really pushed on a handful of genres - the zombie flick, the remake, and torture porn - and it might be that audiences are simply tired of those three kinds of flicks. Still, with the failures of Grindhouse, 28 Weeks Later, and Hostel 2, the Halloween remake remains the most anticipated new flick and that's hardly fresh material. I don't think horror will ever die completely - but without fresh material, it might go into a lull for a bit.