I don’t do horror films any more. Simply not interested. The last one that drew me in was “Wait Until Dark,” starring Audrey Hepburn. That was in 1968, for goodness sake.
That movie actually had a plot, a story line that was logical, coherent and compelling. A young blind woman was being terrorized by a couple of yokel bad guys . . . and she managed to turn darkness to her advantage. (Of course, my wry college roommate ruined the film for my sister when, after Hepburn stabs one of the baddies and it evokes a sigh of relief, Brian whispered, “Well, that’s not gonna kill him!”)
Most of what passes for horror these days is simply slash and burn. Knives and violence, blood and, especially, gore. The more gore, the better. I used to read—and enjoy—authors like Dean Koontz and Patricia Cornwell. But, eventually, their subtle take on horror and suspense turned largely to, you guessed it, vastly increased violence, blood and gore. Gratuitous violence, blood and gore.
How, exactly, is that interesting? What happened? Did character development and engaging plot exposition become too difficult?
Similarly, there are people who put me off with their grating nature. Martin Short is a very bright comedian and writer, but his incessant and grating neediness really puts me off. He got off a very funny line, something to do with a “Betty Crocker Spaniel”—I don’t remember the context now—that was hilarious. But he immediately reverted to his simpering “But more about me” and that was that. (Comes from insecurity I guess, but it’s still discomfiting to watch. I remember being horribly insecure in college; I wasn’t much fun to be around either.)
In similar vein, I cannot abide Tom Cruise, Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez. It’s a shame, because all three are immensely talented people. Cruise was “Top Gun,” Bryant is showing himself to be a brilliant entrepreneur and A-Roid brings insightful analysis to “Sunday Night Baseball.”
But Cruise’s blustering adherence to Scientology is mean and near-criminal (and he should never have been allowed to try and inhabit the Jack Reacher role . . . since Jack is six-five, 245). Bryant was a sexual predator and Rodriguez was a blatant and lying steroid cheater through much of his baseball career. Horror stories in their own right.
No, character is what’s most important to me, on the silver screen and in life. I’m looking to work with and socialize with folk who know that their good name and their word are the most valuable possessions they will ever possess. If you start with character, goodness and light will follow. That may be the most important natural law there is. Think on it a bit.
©2018 Richard Paul Hinkle