I finally just saw 31, and I enjoyed it very thoroughly, despite of course, IMDb, Metascore, and generally the whole internet, hating it as expected. I’ll only touch on one complaint as I’m sure you can imagine what the other ones are without even reading up on it, because they’re pretty predictable.
The main complaint I’m seeing is that “there’s not enough violence.” That is, that the movie was too slow, boring, not enough gore. If someone doesn’t like something, they don’t like it. They don’t have to explain themselves and you really can’t argue with a blanket feeling about something like that. However, if they do make a specific point and you feel that point is flat out wrong, then you have something worthy of and open to debate.
To that point, I simply disagree. This movie was wall-to-wall violence and atmosphere. If you loved The Devil’s Rejects, I have no understanding of why you wouldn’t also love this film. While it wasn’t all overt violence and over-the-top gore all the time, though there was still plenty of that, the spaces between were chock-full of subtle violence. And that I feel, is where people divide.
Some audiences have no appreciation for subtle, quiet, psychological moments of horror. I thought Richard Brake (who plays the main villain “Doom-Head”) did an excellent job moving between overt and subtle violence. His portrayal was interesting enough, that I hope Rob Zombie considers a dedicated prequel, sequel, or spin-off solely dedicated to this character, who appears to be a hybrid serial and contract killer.
On a final note, I also wanted to mention that it’s disappointing to see that Eli Roth and Rob Zombie have been having such a hard time in recent years getting their movies to be properly released theatrically nationwide.
Of course, someone will be quick to claim it’s because they’ve lost their edge, that their new movies suck, or other perpetuated, almost meme-like clichés, but I suspect it has more to do with something else, because plenty of other horror movies that many would consider shit are making it into theaters.
It could be any number of factors. Perhaps the industry as a whole has just changed. Perhaps it’s the nature of the creative control. Perhaps it’s something political. I kind of get the feeling that it’s economical. That studios are taking less risk and doubling-down on formulaic releases instead. I think a lot of studios sort of wax and wane on the kinds of movies they’ll give a proper chance. Whatever it is that’s happening, I don’t like it.
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