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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Friday the 13th

I didn’t expect to like this new Friday the 13th movie – it was directed by the guy who shot an updated Texas Chainsaw Massacre and tore out all of the true feeling from the original – which is easily the best kind of horror/slasher film around. Memory tarnished, like that goddawful Halloween remake – why remake a classic movie???

Not only that, but director and scourge of Hollywood Michael Bay was producer. That’s a surefire ingredient to make any movie suck – have Bay dumb it up. Not that slasher movies are good anymore anyway. In fact, nobody’s really made a good slasher movie since Scream or something.

The problem is, it’s as if the audience just doesn’t care about people anymore. In Scream, or the original Halloween, or in the Shining, we’re given characters that we actually care about. Everyone wanted Sidney to survive and for Deputy Dewey-boy to save the day. In Nightmare on Elm Street, did anybody really want to see Johnny Depp get pureed? Nope. That’s why it worked – cause it plays with your emotions.

But in modern “horror” tales its about gore, sex, and drugs. Eye candy yes, but emotions like an indistinct rock on a pillaged island. To sum up every character in an American horror movie this decade: fuckin’ hot, cool like bitchin’ ice, rich, white (with varying skin-tone), and without a care – on a journey to score some drugs and get some easy pussy along the way. Nobody cares too much that they die. These aren’t symptoms unique to movies – listen to any art or pop culture. Hell, are there any real artists anymore?

The objective of the first group of victims is that they are going to Camp Crystal Lake — which has been closed down for 10 or so years after a series of murders committed by momma Vorhees after her son (Jason) drowns in the lake because he has special needs and all the camp counselors were too busy getting sexy to notice him. But, growing at the camp – because this is logical – is a mythical grove of marijuana. And they go camping to find it, swear a lot, have a bunch of sex, and get decapitated. One girl burns up over a fire in her sleeping bag. It’s gruesome, and pretty fun. Pointless nudity, but it’s expected.

Might I add that the moment that the weed first pops up on the screen, a guy and his lady sat down behind me, completely baked. Personally, I can’t stand the smell of the ganja – I’m sensitive to that stuff – and cigarette smoke gives me headaches. I wouldn’t have minded, but their toasted brains kept igniting throughout the film and they just wouldn’t shut up. I also swore that some dude was getting a handjob a couple seats down from me too. Yeah, and there were five-year-old kids in the theater too. Basically, the entire audience played into the stereotype of American unconcerned youths of our generation.

The second group of victims was filled with dumb blondes, jocky prepsters, a goofy Asian, and a self-proclaimed token black guy who aspires to become a hip-hop artist – because he has to, huh? I bet the Asian was studying to be an engineer and the blonde was studying to be dumb and loose (which, to the enjoyment of the audience, is fulfilled in a sort of soft-core magna cum loud kind of way).

American horror films aren’t real anymore – characterization and plot are shadows of the meat of the movie: the killings. Nobody cares about anything else. And there used to be a condemnation of sex, gluttony and violence – the killer like an Angel of retribution on the sodomites. But now excess and grotesqueness are almost romanticized. It’s sadistic, sociopathic – a malignancy on the American psyche. It’s as if nobody cares about emotions anymore. Emotions — like sadness, regret, confusion, uncertainty. It’s not Freddy, Michael Myers, the Boogeyman, One-Eyed Jack, or Jason that kids are afraid of anymore. The only thing that we fear anymore is the confrontation of ourselves – true emotions — which we drown in a parade of drugs, sex, violence and Facebook – pilfered and thrown out at the backlot of Hollywood, forgotten, betrayed, and decaying.