Horror is a very divisive genre. What's scary to one person can be silly to the next. Furthermore, many horror films are created with the intent to disturb the audience. Not everybody is into that, and sometimes you think you're down for anything, only to see some stuff that really messes you up.
These films deliberately cross lines, and that can be a dangerous game. As strange as it may sound, there is a right way and a wrong way to portray a guy's skull getting bashed in.
These are some of the most divisive horror films out there - people either love them or hate them. If you thought the film was a masterpiece, vote it up. If you thought it was a hot piece of trash, vote it down.
- 117 VOTESPhoto: Sony Pictures Releasing
Why People Love It: It took the over-the-top gore and grotesquerie of the original to new levels. The remake stayed close to the source material in plot terms, while making just enough changes to tell its own story. The film is more polished than the first two Evil Dead films, and the acting is much more professional.
The film is also deeper than the originals, with more in the way of symbolism and storytelling. This film has a point to make in a way that the originals didn't. The characters are more identifiable, complex, and likable (original Ash aside). Conventionally, the film is more polished than the originals. Above all, the 2013 Evil Dead is scary.
Why People Hate It: It's a remake of a horror classic with no Bruce Campbell. To understand why some horror fans are inclined to dislike this remake, one has to understand the history of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. The first film was Raimi's first, a low-budget horror which he halfway remade in Evil Dead II as a satire of itself with Bruce Campbell starring as Ash in both.
Evil Dead II became a cult classic of cinema. No one asked for a serious version of Evil Dead II or an updated Evil Dead with a bigger budget, but that is what this film essentially is. It lacks the irony and camp of Evil Dead II, which is the main reason for that film's status as a cult classic. Raimi's original films had soul, and this one swallowed it.
Evil Dead (2013) also committed one of Hollywood's latest cliches in parasitic storytelling: replacing male characters with female ones in remakes. Ash is such a deliberate caricature of masculinity that replacing that role with a new female character just seems subversive for its own sake. At the same time, trying to replicate Ash directly would have been an admittedly impossible task, giving more credence to the idea that this film just shouldn't exist. You can't replace Bruce.Love it?
- 256 VOTESPhoto: Warner Bros.
Why People Love It: It is a masterpiece, not just of horror but of cinema in general. Entire documentaries have been made explaining why this film is so good. In short, it is psychological and supernatural horror at its best: deeply scary, well constructed, and rich with layers. It's a bloody Stanley Kubrick film.
The film's "Here's Johnny!" scene has been scientifically proven to be the scariest scene in horror history, according to an experiment run by Japanese-owned Rakuten's Play.com. The scene caused audience heart rates to jump by 28.21%, more than any other film studied.
Why People Hate It: No one is challenging the fact that Kubrick made a masterpiece as much as they're complaining about how he deviated from Stephen King's work. Kubrick was direct in rejecting King's version in favor of his own. In the film, Jack drives a yellow Beetle as opposed to the red one in the book. By the end of the film, the audience finds out what happened to King's red Beetle: It lies crushed on the side of the road. For his part, King hates Kubrick's version about as much as he possibly can.
Though there are many differences between the two, the primary difference between the book and the film lies within the motives of the Overlook Hotel itself. In the book, Danny and his shining ability are the primary targets, and Jack is the means to that end. In the film, Jack is the hotel's victim, and the family is portrayed more as the victims of Jack. In the book, Jack's demise is selfless, while in the film it is grim and unsympathetic. While Kubrick's version is about a man's descent into madness, King's version is about a man struggling to overcome his inner demons. One ends in fire, the other in ice.Love it?
- 334 VOTESPhoto: Warner Bros.
Why People Love It: Natural Born Killers provides the quintessential '90s portrait of mass murderers running amok, glorified and encouraged by a vampiric media landscape peddling horror and human suffering. The film was intentionally divisive and was bound to piss off the media figures it took aim at.
Stylistically, it's deliberately disorienting and cartoonish, which both juxtaposes well with the graphic content and also makes a meta point about the film itself: Is it possible for a film about glorifying violence to not glorify violence? Woody Harrelson's performance is amazing, to the point that it changed the entire trajectory of his career. The film was also prophetic, coming out just before the O.J. Simpson media circus erupted.
This film is an audience favorite, garnering an 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes despite a 48% critics score.
Why People Hate It: Oliver Stone took a Quentin Tarantino script and took the Tarantino-ness out of it. Tarantino himself hated the final product, largely because of the substantive changes made to the original script he sold to Stone.
The rarely self-reflective media (which includes professional movie critics) said that the film was too violent, crude, and blunt as a satire. They complain that the film devolves into precisely what it is criticizing. It delivers up the ultra-violence to the ravenous masses while at the same time condemning people for peddling the ultra-violence. The absence of nuance with regard to the causes and conditions that create serial killers also detracts from the impact of the film.Love it?
- 430 VOTESPhoto: Lions Gate Films
Why People Love It: House of 1000 Corpses is part homage to grindhouse horror and part haunted house ride. It's a strange amalgamation of horror tropes ranging from serial killers to zombies, and it even contains elements of the old Hollywood monster era (one of the main characters has a mural of Creature from the Black Lagoon in her room). It's truly a horror film created by and for horror fans.
Additionally, Sid Haig's performance as Captain Spaulding, the roadside-attraction-owning clown who sells fried chicken and slay-ride tickets, is brilliant. The somewhat randomly inserted hallucinogenic visuals keep the audience disoriented and add a feeling of first-person subjectivity to the film, particularly as it enters its third act. The horror ride at the beginning of the film sets up the audience's experience as they are themselves taken through a tour of the House of 1000 Corpses.
This was Rob Zombie's first horror film, launching a long career in horror that somehow seems to survive commercial and critical failures only to come back for more - not unlike his undead namesake. Many fans of the film say that, while The Devil's Rejects is probably a better film, this one is still their favorite.
Why People Hate It: Critics of the film complain that it is big on nostalgia but lacking anything truly original. It's extremely gory and high on shock value, to the point that it barely shook an NC-17 rating and had trouble finding a distributor. The cut scenes can come off as nonsensical, music-video stylings that add nothing to the film. The marks are ultimately underdeveloped, one-dimensional characters that the audience generally lacks sympathy for and mainly exist only as cannon fodder.
Ultimately, the criticisms lie in the fact that the film lacks complexity. It doesn't really have a coherent message it's trying to drive home, no overarching lesson or moral, no unifying thread by which to understand the story.
As much as fans loved this film, critics hated it. It has a 20% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, despite having a 65% audience score, resulting in a massive 45-point spread.Love it?