Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fear factor

A New York Times article on the horripilating past and very near-future of 3D horror movies pays only lip service to the boon of comin'-at-ya chillers from 1982-1983, which began with a revival of 1953's House of Wax and continued with the likes of Parasite, the third Friday the 13th movie, Amityville 3-D, and Jaws 3-D.

The implication is that next month's My Bloody Valentine 3-D, a remake of a 1981 slasher flick that was nothing special in 2D, and whose director has little besides straight-to-video sequels on his resume, will somehow transcend the genre, with 3D that will "enhance the story," blow our minds, etc. But horror has already been taken to the third dimension, twice, with little to show for it except quick-and-dirty profits and heaps of glasses discarded on theater floors. (The article says that there haven't been any 3D horror movies in more than 20 years, ignoring a 2006 Night of the Living Dead, which got a token release, and the Nightmare on Elm Street sequel Freddy's Dead, which closed with a 3D sequence and cleaned up in 1991.) I don't see this new wave as going any farther, or piercing the culture as deeply as "torture porn," unless filmmakers with more on their minds than warmed-over eyestrain throw out a few new ideas.

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