Why do we do this to ourselves? We know we hate found footage films and yet we keep dipping our toes over and over again into the well only to realize that that “well” is in fact a sewer and instead of “dipping our toes” we actually got submerged in shit. I wouldn’t say this was the worst found footage we’ve watched (for reasons detailed in Patrick’s section), but it’s the relative sameness of every… single… film in the genre that just wears on me. I can barely tell these films apart. Unfortunately we have to keep doing it. Each year there are like 3 or 4 BMT found footage films released to theaters. If me and Patrick don’t watch some of them each year, BMT will eventually consist only of found footage films… it’s like the apocalyptic future of BMT. Me and Patrick roaming the wasteland of found footage films to try to find some bad movie sustenance. I’m of course being facetious, everyone. Don’t worry your little heads about this. Patrick has run the numbers (obviously) and we will never (never!) run out of bad films. There are approximately a full year’s worth of bad films released each year. So rest assured, our national nightmare of found footage BMT will never be fully realized. Phew.
I’m feeling a little Sequel, Prequel, Remake for this one. I want a Prequel. No, not the story of the original production of The Gallows culminating in the death of Charlie (and giving a bit more clarity on how he came to exist as a supernatural being). I’m talking about what would have followed right after. Charlie’s girlfriend is devastated at the death of Charlie in a freak theater accident. What else could go wrong? Everything apparently cause now she finds out she’s pregnant and at the same time finds out her deadbeat boyfriend is back from the dead as a ghost! Oh my! How can this odd couple navigate the world of new parenthood when one of them isn’t even of this world?! Through laughter and tears they find that raising a baby isn’t all that hard when you have love… even when one of them is a spooky ghost. It shall be called Ghost Dad… wait…
‘Ello everyone! The Gallows? More like So Shallow! Found Footage? More like dog poo genre in my face. The thoughts on this were somewhat interesting (if you are me or Jamie that is), so rapidfire!:
- The Good – This is genuinely shocking. We’re talking about a genre already prone to laziness in its reliance on jumpscares, but yet this one tread what seemed to be novel ground (not that I’m an expert on found footage films). (1) They had a genuine reason for the characters to carry a camera around (they needed the light attached to it). (2) The last 20 minutes were genuinely creepy, really tense with actual horror elements beyond jumpscares. (3) They seemed like they enjoyed poking some fun at the genre with some general silliness.
- The Bad – (1) The first hour is useless. Literally nothing happens. I’m not being figurative, literally nothing of import happens in the first hour of an 80 minute long film. (2) The “twist” ending was terrible. So bad it was hard to tell whether it was meant to be ironic. (3) The acting is horrible. Not a surprise, but it was especially bad all around in this case.
- The BMT – It kind of has to be. This is the worst of the year in a garbage genre. It must be represented by BMT … if that weren’t the case though I would just kick the entire genre out excepting special occasions.
But hey, they made money, they gave me some scares, and all for $50K! That’s actually incredible. If someone actually intelligently applied like a million dollars to a horror film like this something great might actually come of it. Although, maybe that’s what Paranormal Activity is.
Seriously, maybe I should be checking more of these found footage films outside of BMT (ugh, I hate them so much though). I’m going to wax poetic a bit about the BMeTric and the complications that horror seems to cause it. There is a small and impassioned fanbase around horror films. Combining this with the fact that most horror films aren’t perceived to be particularly good movies, and you got a recipe for BMeTric inflation. It is an issue with the BMeTric because it suggests movies (like the Gallows) are going to be good BMT when they honestly aren’t much fun. There are just weirdos who watch bad horror films (like me to an extent, even though they are spooky and scare me) and screw everything up. What is a boy to do?
To hammer home the points: taking the qualifying (more than 10 rotten tomatoes reviews, less than 40%) OMDB data and splitting off the ones that have a listed genre of “Horror” you can see that horror films are about as popular on average (a little more even), but the rating is, on average, about half a point less.
Out of all of the genres Horror has the highest 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile with the BMeTric. The average qualifying horror film has a BMeTric of about 35 whereas for all genres the average BMeTric is about 25. This does suggest the first adjustment to the BMeTric. A Genre-Adjusted BMeTric (GAB) might tamp down the increased number of suggested horror films. I’m digging it and will be exploring it more soon. (Editor’s Note: While I did explore this nothing came of it (so far). The BMeTric itself is quite different between the two, I just haven’t found the time to look into what underlying distribution to use and/or how to easily do a genre based transform. I do think this is a good idea in general. Currently, I think the easiest idea is to take quantiles and do the adjustment based on that. They already do this with genetic data I think, so hopefully it ends up being easy enough as to allow the adjustment to be produced each month with the OMDB data dumps).