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Oh, come on.

26 August 2011

I’m usually a big fan of small, indie horror films. They’re good a lot of the time, but when they’re bad, they’re at least entertaining in that unintentionally hilarious way. It’s one of those genres where, hit or miss, your audience probably won’t feel like they wasted 90 minutes. There’s a huge margin of error, so it’s pretty hard to make a horror film that just feels like a waste.

But the other night, I saw one. I won’t go trashing it by name, but the lead characters were ostensibly bikers (though you never saw one of them ride a motorcycle). They were “trapped” in what looked like a house in any suburban neighborhood, but was supposed to be somewhere in the wilds of Northern California. And instead of just walking away (because it was ‘too far,’ and getting murdered is preferable to walking), they just waited around the house stupidly for a collection of idiotic villains to kill them off one at a time for some pretty shoddily explained supernatural reasons.

It’s a problem of idea versus execution. The idea: take some badass bikers and put them up against a supernatural terror. The execution: get a couple of whiny, skinny actors who never ride motorcycles and have them cry and make amazingly stupid decisions. You don’t even end up rooting for the group of idiots who kill off the bikers, as they’re annoying too.

I’m kind of surprised this happened in an indie film. They usually fly low enough under the radar (thanks to not costing anyone much money) to do exactly what they want. Either this film had some studio intervention (hopefully), or the end result was pretty close to the filmmakers’ original vision.

It’s a good lesson for me, though, because it reminds me that a good idea isn’t necessarily anything — it’s how you execute that idea that makes a story worth telling.

So, what’s the worst film you’ve seen that had a great concept? One that made you think, “yeah, I see what they were going for, but this just didn’t do it?”

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