Here we go again. Another supernatural thriller movie. Zzzzzzz. Just like the teen “comedy” that comes out every year, the perennial Gladiator / Roman / Troy / Spartan CGI-generated million people fighting each other, cheesy action-blockbuster, or “romcom”, the supernatural thriller movie is another in a long line of regurgitated clichéd shit that Hollywood excretes every year.
“THE MESSENGERS” – (cue man who puts on the same deep voice for eeeevvvveeeerrrry fucking film that comes out).
There’s a kid who can see things no one else can. Sound familiar? There’s lots of screaming. Lots of shocked looks. Bit of eerie lighting. Play some creepy music. Oooooh!!! Am I supposed to be scared yet? Yet people just horde around this garbage like flies around shit. Ghosts from the past are tormenting people of the present in the same house. That’s not been done before has it? The crows are actually some kind of supernatural avengers for the good guys (well duh!), and the bad guy gets dragged away by spirits and sort of melts into the shadows. Where have I seen that before?
What do I know though? Hollywood doesn’t make films to tell stories. It makes films to make money. The Messengers made over $14.5m in its first week. And I’m sure the next supernatural “thriller” that comes out will make at least as much. And same for the next one.
I think the secret to so many rubbish films (read: 99% of which are supernatural movies) being successful is because they appeal to all the true-believers and wishers out there. The headline says it all:
THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF DOCUMENTED CASES OF CHILDREN REPORTING SUPERNATURAL ACTIVITY!
Ooooh! I’m captivated! Because the media in general has a good reputation for not embellishing any story that sounds good or playing up to peoples’ ignorance if it means making a lot of money, doesn’t it?
My new movie is coming out soon:
-DÉJÀ VU ABOUT MESSENGERS OF 13 GHOSTS WITH SIGNS OF THE UNDEAD THING FROM THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL 2: What lies beneath the shining of the Amityville horror of beetlejuice that knows what you did last summer-
And the promo-script (just imagine that annoying deep voice guy saying it):
“Are you afraid of death? Do you believe in Tarot cards and psychics and crystal-healing? Do you really want to believe that spirits are talking to you, or perhaps you’re convinced that crop-circles are really caused by intelligent life centuries ahead of mankind that has nothing better to do than travel one-thousand light-years just to sneak down in the middle of the night and piss off the local farmer by landing their spaceship in the middle of the cornfield? Wonder why your kid keeps making strange noises and looking past you? It’s not because of ADD or Tourette’s, or the fact you smoked whilst having him or dropped him on his head twice – could it be “visitors” (ooooh!) from the nether world trying to communicate with him? Or perhaps you’re one of those “this life can’t be all there is!” types which of course means because you don’t like the fact that you will die one day, life seems sooo much more magical if you get to come back as a ghost and do what all the other ghostfolk do, namely: almost-kinda-sort of appearing to people who already believe in ghosts when they’re half-asleep or mentally incapacitated?
Well this film is for you! It’ll satisfy all those wishful yearnings of yours about ghosts and the spirit realm and not make you feel so bad about spending £1000 on a pair of healing crystals with ‘Takionics Inc’ written on them.
Feeling a bit down that your yin and yang don’t seem to be balanced? This film has your name on it! Wondering why ‘nana-from-beyond’ doesn’t seem to be able to provide the clairvoyant with any real information that the clairvoyant couldn’t have known herself? This film will assuage all your doubts! There are ghosts! Honestly! Oh you can’t see them, only kids can. Of course.
Had a spooky dream that came true, (even though most people use the loo at least once a day anyway) or find that that déjà vu feeling that definitely isn’t caused by natural brain functions just won’t go away? This film will provide a nice magical little explanation for it all.”
(This blog isn’t over just yet by the way. Go get yourself a cup of coffee coz tonight’s gonna be a large one!)
You know what else pisses me off (I’m pissed off by the way)? Check out this description of upcoming film 1408 (another fluid-product of Stephen King’s mental masturbation):
“Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a celebrity author of the paranormal, riding high on the success of his last three published works while trying to cope with the loss of his young daughter (Jasmine Jessica Anthony). Because of this tragedy, Mike has thrown himself into his work, proving that supposed supernatural myths are nothing more than a fabricated hoax. All of this has turned him into a man truly immune to what he hears about such haunted legends. On one such venture, Enslin discovers room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in New York City, a supposedly haunted room with a horrific past. Eager to expose it just as another hoax, he eagerly reserves the room, against the protests of hotel manager Mr. Olin (Samuel L. Jackson), who is aware of the notorious history that accompanies 1408 and who has seen his fair share of what’s happened there. But despite Olin’s warnings, Mike won’t listen and will have to find out for himself what 1408 is all about. As Mike Enslin is about to learn, not everything is just a rumor and some things are better left undiscovered, when the terrifying myth might turn out to be the real thing.”
Richard Dawkins, great man that he is, has said something incredibly astute that I shall paraphrase here. It also has the unfortunate benefit of being true!
Imagine there is a police detective drama on TV. Every week the protagonist narrows the suspects down to two people: a black man and a white man. Now imagine if in every episode it always turns out to be the black man. Every time.
I wonder what people would have to say about such a show, or how long it would remain on TV!
The point he was illustrating was about the (then popular) X Files show. Every week, a nymphomaniac depressed loser that won’t stop whining about his sister and his strangely sexy (but of course cynically and boring) scientist colleague disagree about the cause of a particular phenomenon. There is a choice of explanations: the rational logical scientific one, or the mysterious paranormal supernatural one. Guess which one won almost every week?
But no one bats an eyelid. People love it! Yeah fuck you science! What have you ever done for us?!
Take the film 1408 above. Wouldn’t it be great if the closed-off depressed slightly-obsessed sceptic (which all sceptics are don’t you know??) actually discovered that the room isn’t haunted after all??:
“Yeah so I stayed in the room all night”, says Mike Enslin, “and it turns out the air-con was broken and that explains the eerie whistling noise. The cold draught? I just closed the window. The ectoplasm on the bed? Someone just whacked off. The sound of creeping doors and steps? It’s a fucking hotel, what do you expect?!”
The film ends with all the deluded true-believers examining the evidence rationally and concluding that not only is there no good reason to believe in creatures that belong in children’s fairy tales, but that all the evidence and logic actually suggests that the existence of such things is next to impossible and defies all our understanding of the world. They then get themselves (properly) educated and devote their money and lives to being happy and caring for their families, or perhaps trying to better mankind through the ONLY reliable way of gathering information and advancing knowledge, technology and quality of life – namely, science. Oh, and they don’t go and watch any more shitty Hollywood movies anymore, putting the overpaid wankers out of business until they start producing good movies.
I don’t think it would gross $14.5m, do you?