Thursday, February 12, 2009
Cimmerian sightings: A line drawn in blood
In anticipation of the release of the remake of Friday the 13th, which hits the theatres tomorrow (on Friday the 13th—imagine that!), the Boston Globe ran a prominent feature story this past Sunday on slasher flicks, “The Genre That Wouldn’t Die”. In this piece the Globe’s film critic, Ty Burr, pulls no punches in expressing his antipathy for slasher films: “I hate the nasty little things," he writes.
Hates slasher films? That got my hackles up immediately. I’m a big fan of the horror genre, both on the printed page and in cinema. While I prefer the tales of H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stephen King to the films of Wes Craven, John Carpenter, and Sean S. Cunningham (the latter directed the original Friday the 13th), I still enjoy a good horror flick. Even the badly-made ones have some merit as harmless fun.
As I read Burr’s piece I mentally began preparing my counter-argument, mulling over which implement to take up in defense of the slasher genre (Machete? Fire ax? Chainsaw, perhaps)? But I soon discovered that Burr’s article wasn’t such easy prey. Instead of taking shots at the artlessness and bad taste of the slasher film genre—old, tired saws that many critics choose to employ—Burr asks some penetrating questions: Why do we like these films? What makes people want to watch explicit violence?
To read more, click here.