Can you really claim to know what separates that clutch of memorable shockers from the boring, derivative, witless, unfocused, mindless gloop that constitutes 95% of the genre? You see it’s not as easy as you think. No genre is easy. Making a horror movie may look like a licence for monstrous self-indulgence but not every necrophile gets to be Victor Frankenstein. Harnessing the power of the cinematic apparatus to produce psychological effects, becoming a master manipulator: these are amongst the cinema’s toughest gigs. Are you up to it? Don’t start down that road if you’re not, don’t you dare, else you’ll waste my time and a lot like me who could have done something a great deal more productive with 90 minutes than watching your imbecilic ragbag of boo.
You see every film school in the world is oversubscribed with gore whores. It appeals to those that aspire to make movies but aren’t storytellers. I’m not suggesting that everyone who makes a horror film falls into this category. To date there are nine exceptions. But most just want to eviscerate a woman safely, without fear of prosecution. Be honest now, do you have a lot to say for yourself? Are you intellectually curious? Have you other interests? When you think about making a movie, do you start by asking, ‘what do I want to say with this picture?’, or, as many of us suspect, ‘I wonder if I can get Kim to take her top off before she’s raped by the Suet Monster?’
Now consider poor Johannes Roberts, director of the Alien3 fan film Storage 24: obnoxiously funded by Universal in the belief that Noel Clarke is a UK box office draw. Probable source: Noel Clarke.
Why did Johannes want to be a filmmaker? Did anyone ask him? Did he ask himself? It wasn’t about artistry, experimentation or social comment – that’s pretentious rubbish, right? No, Johannes, cock in hand and ketchup smeared on slug-like lips, looked across the pond and saw moviemakers he admired; authors of hit films. He wanted to emulate them but like a young John Hammond, he was so fixated on whether he could, he didn’t stop to think whether he should.
If you’re starting out it may not be too late. You’re British. You live in a country with a unique sensibility. Think of the stories you could tell! Think about your life, your home, your family, the stranger you killed. Think about your culture. Think about the potential. Make something they’ll show to the class that follows yours on merit, not because you’re an alumnus. Your favourite movies will always be there. Rather than make knock offs, make some new favourites. Invent a new genre. In the fine words of Belouis Some, imagination is all I want from you.Pages: 1 2