Fandom can be a dangerous thing. We get so passionately into our favorite films and franchises, that anything that arrives with the slightest possibility of being different than what we’re used to, is typically met with absolute venom. While some of that is understandable (should I mention JASON GOES TO HELL or HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION as examples of when the venom is deserved?), what rushing to spew hatred at films prior to their release does, is hinder yourself from experiencing films that could very well be great while also hurting said films’ chances of finding their audiences.
When 2017’s IT was announced, it was met with a barrage of “IT’S GOING TO SUCK!” and “NOBODY WILL EVER TOUCH TIM CURRY!” shouting, which led to nonstop trash talking all throughout the film’s production. I wrote an article about how the new adaption of the classic Stephen King novel shouldn’t be held up to the original miniseries for quite a few reasons (one of which being that a lot of the love for the original falls into being attached to nostalgia, another element that seems to affect fans giving new ideas and approaches a chance). That article was met with tons of hatred from readers and I was accused of being paid off by the studio for having the opinion that we should give genre films a chance, even if they touch our precious favorites. The irony of all of that, is that when IT was released, it came out to pretty much universal acclaim, both critically and commercially. Fans sounding off nonstop about how terrible it would be ended up eating their words and it was another case of jumping to particular opinions a bit too soon.
The delays and reshoots for this year’s LEATHERFACE caused genre fans who love to play jr. detective cry that the prequel “is guaranteed to suck,” and that “nobody could like this piece of crap”, all without having seen the film. When I wrote a review of the film after attending a press screening, I loved it. It was fresh, exciting and something we hadn’t seen in the most disjointed horror franchise around. It gave its characters life and it was a lot of fun to watch at the same time. The second my review went online, AGAIN, I was accused of being paid off by the studio…all because I enjoyed the film.
That’s where the issues lie. We’re so quick to hate something before giving it a chance, that we play into the typical stereotype of hiding behind a keyboard and being a faceless attacker against any and every horror film that doesn’t fall into what we expect, what we want or what we all think we “deserve.” Fresh entries like LEATHERFACE, HALLOWEEN III, 2009’s FRIDAY THE 13TH and many more films are trashed by fans because they don’t feature Leatherface running around after youngsters the entire time, don’t feature Michael Myers and have Jason living underground. It’s silly and it stops fans from giving new ideas a fighting chance.
I love HALLOWEEN more than I love any film ever made. I ADORE the first seven FRIDAY THE 13TH films and yes, a lot of that is due to the tried and true formula they follow. With that being said though, there’s nothing wrong with going a different route, because for every JASON GOES TO HELL, there’s a CULT OF CHUCKY, a film that does something completely different a breathes new breath into long-running series. Give new horror takes a chance, before being so quick to judge them, it’ll help our beloved genre more than hurt it.