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Fan Outrage Changes Future of Friday the 13th Franchise. Here’s Why That Concerns Me.

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The internet horror community rejoiced in unison earlier this week when Platinum Dunes producer Brad Fuller confirmed that the next Friday the 13th movie – likely a full-on reboot of the franchise – will not be a found footage film, as the studio was originally planning. And many patted themselves on the back when Fuller revealed the specific reason why.

“There was an outpouring of negative sentiment when it was revealed that Friday the 13th might have been a found footage movie,” Fuller told Shock Till You Drop. “That had tremendous impact on us and substantiated our concern about doing it as a found footage movie. Ultimately, the fact that the movie’s been delayed for a long time might be a good thing, because now it’s not going to be found footage.”

It’s hard not to react to this news with a certain level of excitement, because there’s something cool about knowing that the filmmakers and studios responsible for making the movies we watch are actually listening to us. And it’s also nice to hear that Jason won’t be heading into the arena of found footage, because I’m not quite convinced that it would’ve been a good direction to take the series.

But there are two sides to every coin, as they say, and the other side to this particular coin is one that reveals somewhat of a problem within not just the horror fan community, but quite frankly every fan community that exists here on the world wide web. Fans are getting angrier and more vocal than ever before, and we’ve come to wield a certain power that I’m not sure we should be in possession of.

There was a time when fans consumed the art that they were fed and never got involved in the behind the scenes creation of it, and artists had the freedom to make their art and THEN get judged for it. But the internet has chewed up and spit that idea out, providing a soapbox for everyone with a keyboard to get up on and throw verbal tomatoes at artists throughout every step of the creation process.

And again, this isn’t just the horror community we’re talking about, because I see the exact same thing going on in the wrestling community. Nobody hates World Wrestling Entertainment more than the company’s biggest fans, and they’ve grown so vocal about their gripes that they’ve essentially inserted themselves into the writer’s room. The inmates, in many ways, have begun running the asylum.

I’m not suggesting that companies like WWE shouldn’t be listening to their fans, but there’s something about the fans having so much power that’s somewhat concerning. In the case of this Friday the 13th reboot, it seems that us fans are steering the ship as much as the writers are, and while that may be exciting for us, I’m not convinced that we deserve to have so much say in the art we consume.

Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, film critic Scott Weinberg expressed his feelings on this very topic over on Twitter earlier today – and he hit the nail right on the head. “So the next Friday the 13th won’t be found footage because of fan outrage,” Weinberg wrote. “This is how movies get made these days. Via fan outrage. I think the filmmakers should make films, not the whining masses.”

Somewhere along the way, the definition of the word “fan” completely changed, and it’s been troubling to see just how hate-filled fans have become about the things they claim to love. The horror community, in particular, is full of fans who rarely have anything positive to say about the genre, instead spending their time bashing every movie that comes out – oftentimes before they even sit down and watch them.

There’s a sense of entitlement that many fans now carry around with them, and a large part of that is due to the unprecedented behind-the-scenes access we’ve been provided with. We feel like we’re somehow a part of the process, simply because it’s visible to us, and the pre-judgment of movies based on things like concept art and set photos has gotten completely out of hand – Suicide Squad, anyone?

And again, the problem here is that we tend to hate everything that we see, and we’re all quick to be the first person to point out how shitty something looks or sounds. When it was rumored that the next Friday the 13th film MIGHT be found footage, the horror community unsurprisingly exploded with the sort of outrage that can only come from fans, and it seems we’ve rewritten the future of the franchise.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

There’s a big difference between a fan and a creator, and as those lines continue to blur, I can’t help but worry about how many great things we’re going to miss out on simply because we refuse to let filmmakers be filmmakers. Rather than letting artists bring THEIR visions to life, we’ve started to force them to bring OURS to life, and that’s a pretty troubling path to head down.

Is it the worst thing in the world that we’ll likely never see Jason Voorhees slashing teenagers up through the lens of a shaky, handheld camera? No, it’s certainly not. But we must keep in mind that the best films are made when filmmakers are free to make the movies they want to make, and we have to be aware that when we express our whiny outrage, those filmmakers are listening.

My fear, more than anything, is that we’re reaching a point where talented artists will be too scared to ever actually create the art that is floating around in their heads, due to how negative we’ve become in regards to the acceptance of artistic creations. To echo Scott Weinberg’s aforementioned tweets, I think we need to sit back, shut our mouths, and let artists create art.

Only when that art is finished should we feel free to critique it.

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If you don't get enough of me here on Halloween Love, you can also find me on Dread Central, iHorror and Shock Till You Drop. Contact me via john@halloweenlove.com.
  • Land of the SMARKS

    Thank you. I really enjoyed this.

  • Mark Anthony

    I definitely groaned at the rumor of found footage but it wouldn’t have stopped me from seeing it.
    To this day, I still hear ppl say they hate Jason goes to hell but I say, it’s goodness was found in the fact that it was something new.
    So I say let the filmmakers do whatever they want and let’s see what happens.
    Remember how much we hated when the announced heath ledger as the joker? What would the world be if they had listened to the internet rabble then?
    These ppl get paid to make movies for a reason.

  • Charlie Cervas

    You are right people have really turned into assholes due to the internet. They trash actors, movies, and directors yet only here. Guarantee none of them would walk up to someone’s booth at a con and spout that shit talking.

  • Elle Dee Gee

    I try so hard to keep an open mind when concerning franchises – because i try to remember than fans would’ve thought the same thing when they were creating sequels to our franchises in the first place. And now we have these amazing, sometimes hilarious, series that we cherish. I try to keep an open mind because sometimes we can be pleasantly surprised.

  • Marcus Albert Moreno

    The fans in this case were saying, “Stop trying to rip off a popular trend.” That’s not limiting the creativity of filmmakers. That’s calling out filmmakers for refusing to be creative.

  • This.

  • William Pattison

    I find it better that the fans have some say. It has been royally sad seeing the fans being treated like mindless sheep. The horror community is changing and growing. Fans are demanding better from both studios and filmmakers. To me that is a good thing. It is even affecting the cliques in the horror community. Fans are saying in unison “Put up or shut up!” and now these buzz hounds are either going to up their game or disappear. I say that is a very good thing. It has been a long time coming and now it is here…

  • Graham

    Ugh this is a complicated issue, and kudos for calling it out. I feel torn when I think about it. In the case of movies like Friday the 13th, I don’t want to say that the sense of entitlement is valid, however I do understand how longtime fans would be upset with the studio looking to shoehorn a series they love into a fading trend just to make a potentially bigger buck. This is the kind of lazy filmmaking that fans should call out. But as you said, there’s another side to the coin; the result can be not only a limitation of creativity, but also a final product that doesn’t know who the hell it’s supposed to be for – the fans? New audiences? The always vague but for some reason ever-important tween demographic? I’ve seen many horror films that fall into this category and none are better for it because it’s just pandering. But, this is mostly a problem with franchises – one of the many problems, in fact. Maybe it’s a sign we should lay off the familiar in favour of more original stuff…

  • Ezra Cold

    They did Jason on the Loveboat… Jason in space… and Jason goes to hell which barely has Jason in it. I would have LIKED to see what they would have done with the found footage concept. If it sucked… the studio loses. The fans lose nothing. If it was GOOD, the fans would have won a whole new take on the slasher we all know and love. As for taking advantage of a “Fad” or Trend in shooting style… hasn’t the whole slasher horror movie concept pretty much done that since it started? Does that make it bad? No, it makes it a variant in interpretation. Which is a good thing.

  • James

    That’s a very good point. We’ve seen Jason in so many arguably ridiculous scenarios that we’re almost forgetting he’s meant to be a summer camp slasher who preys on horny camp counselors. Why would the franchise be “ruined” by rebooting it as a found footage movie, but it wasn’t ruined when we saw that he was seemingly able to teleport?

    I think it would’ve been an interesting take on the story. And if it weren’t, like you said, we’d have nothing to lose except the price of a movie ticket and 90 minutes of our time.

  • Paul Counelis

    That’s just justifying it. Why would the format restrict the filmmakers from being creative? If anything, it would have to be more creative than “Jason slaughters teens having sex” to really work…so if limiting creativity based on format alone was the real reason for fan outrage, the whole article is proved.

  • Paul Counelis

    Wanted to see where they would go with it, as well. Admittedly, I have very little emotional attachment to this particular franchise, but I like the idea of an icon seem through the found footage lens. Seems interesting and somewhat unprecedented.

  • Paul Counelis

    Its not really new, either…fans kind of ruined a pretty awesome idea for the direction of the Halloweem franchise that could have creatively reinvented and sustained itself for years if a bunch of people didn’t whine about the lack of Myers in Halloween 3. Its just that nowadays, the internet makes it easier to get the studios’ attention.

  • Moaner Lawrence

    In the name of being constructive: Couldn’t a small, die-hard, Friday the 13th fan panel (Complete with non-disclosure agreements) be constructed by the studio, so that the screenwriter would have to receive approval before green-lighting? (A sort of Jason Voorhees oversight board if you will) that would provide some assurance to investors that the fans would be happy. I think that would benefit a lot of studios today. The key to politics is compromise.

  • Cash Wampum

    I think if the fans had that much pull then we would have long ago been done with the endless remakes that are STILL coming out. Poltergeist is on the horizon. The original in 1982 was made when Speilberg and Hooper were at their best. And with a Goldsmith score and ILM to back them up? We’re talking significant talent making an excellent film. I haven’t seen the new film yet but I know its going to be another CGI circle jerk that’s dominated the teeny bopper horror genre these days. Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me how The Fog faired to Carpenter’s original. The new Nightmare on Elm Street? Garbage. Evil Dead, Fright Night, Halloween. None of these films would be been “re-imagined” if the fans had their way. Its the studios and producers who dictate what gets green lit, not the fans. And to be subjective. If you want a remake done superbly, watch Franck Khalfoun’s Maniac. I’d rather see Jason XI then another reboot.

  • John

    Kane better be Jason or I will boycott this shit.

  • I mentioned this on Reddit’s horror sub. I’d like to see a more Lovecraftian Friday film, that goes into how the lake itself revives Jason and goads him to kill for it. Crystal Lake is the 2nd most important character in the franchise, and I think it’s time we gave it top billing alongside Jason.

  • Job’s Wat

    Ummmm…you realize Halloween 3 came out roughly 20 years before the internet was invented, right?

    Halloween 3 ranked at the box office, and the producers made the decision that a movie franchise based off of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” was worthless without Michael Myers. Internet whining had nothing to do with it.

  • Job’s Wat

    A found footage Jason movie wasn’t getting made because someone had a brilliant idea for it. It was getting made because found footage movies are super cheap to make. The fact that “fan outrage” put the kibosh on it didn’t Rob F-13 fans of anyone’s “artistic vision”. It just forced Platinum Dunes to be 10% less lazy.

  • TwiztidJuggla420

    20 years? WTF are you talking about? Halloween 3 was released in 1982. The internet was invented in 1983 and the WWW came to fruition in 1990…

  • TwiztidJuggla420

    I did enjoy the Maniac remake. A Nightmare On Elm Street is my favorite franchise and the remake was horrible. You can’t just cast any random actor for a character as iconic as Freddy Krueger. What makes that particular remake even worse is that they didn’t even approach Robert Englund who would have more than likely been down to reprise his iconic role.

  • Job’s Wat

    Because my point was all about “The History of the Internet”. Good add, Twiztid. Go have a Faygo.

  • TwiztidJuggla420

    You are spouting off incorrect information and when somebody points it out to you make a remark about their username that has nothing to do with the subject at hand because you were proven to be misinformed or incorrect. Good logical argument there…By the way, it was you who brought the history of the internet subject up although you stated it didn’t come into existence until ~2002, lol.

  • Job’s Wat

    My point was people were not on the internet making complaints about movies in the 80’s. The original comment claimed that fan complaints ruined the direction of the Halloween franchise. That’s simply not the case. The producers were the ones to make the decision to put Myers back in the films. None of this had anything to do with the internet, which – even though it had been “invented” – was not widely used by the general public. Especially not for things like gossiping about movies.

    And come on – when someone can’t even spell “Juggalo”correctly, they need to be made fun of for anything and everything.

  • TwiztidJuggla420

    I didn’t originally possess nor do I now possess any desire to argue with you about anything. I simply stated the internet was around way before 2002. I am sorry you feel the need to make fun of other people. By the way, I didn’t misspell anything. I don’t know why you presume to be informed on subjects that you are obviously ignorant of. Not that it is even relevant here, but my username is a reference to the 1992 song “The Juggla”. I can’t comprehend how somebody who thinks the internet didn’t come along until 2002 can make fun of another person’s intelligence any way. This is my last post on this matter. Hopefully one day you won’t feel the need to make fun of others. Peace.

  • Job’s Wat

    Seems like writing “WTF are you talking about” is a pretty good indicator of starting an argument with someone. Especially when we weren’t really debating the history of the internet. My point was always to reply to the comment saying internet comments changed the direction of the Halloween franchise.

    And how is saying “Go have a Faygo” making fun of your username? You’re not a Juggalo? Isn’t “The Juggla” an ICP song?

    Seems the only thing “twiztid” here is your logic.

  • TwiztidJuggla420

    “Seems like writing “WTF are you talking about” is a pretty good indicator of starting an argument with someone.” That wasn’t my intention, but if that is how you perceived it, my apologies. I didn’t say that the “go have a Faygo” was making fun of my username. I was referring to your comment, “…they need to be made fun of for anything and everything.” Yes, I am. Yes, it is. I still don’t see how that was or is relevant to the text in the conversation though, bro. Again my apologies about my wording, I was not attempting to offend you. Sorry.

    P.S. I guess I lied in my last post about it being my last post. No hard feelings. :)

  • The Peronah

    What a horrible idea. Read the mountain of horrible Friday the 13th Fan-Fiction that’s out there on the internet and you’ll agree.
    Having a “fan panel” is kind of counter intuitive to what John was getting at. The internet is basically the “fan panel”, if the studios really wanted input on what the fans wanted, they’d look online. That doesn’t cost anything.

  • The Peronah

    I had a chance to ask Robert about that at a Con. He’s retired himself from the role. So no, he wouldn’t have taken the role. Also we’re also not talking about a random actor. We’re talking about Jackie Earle Haley. Who did a fantastic job. If anyone was worthy to succeed Englund as as Freddy it was him.

    I’ll agree with you that the story was garbage and the Freddy design wasn’t as good as it will be, but Haley’s acting was top notch.

  • TwiztidJuggla420

    True. That is what he says now, but that wasn’t what he said prior to or when it was released. Robert has never said anything negative about the actor. Of course I think that is mainly because he is better than that and isn’t going to talk shit on anybody.

  • TwiztidJuggla420

    Have you seen any of the Krueger fan shorts where Roberto Lombardi plays Freddy? I honestly think he did a better job portraying Freddy in those shorts than Jackie did. Several others agree judging by their comments on message boards.

  • Xmoritz

    I think that horror movies in franchises like Friday 13th are not and never have been the free and complete visions of the filmakers who made them. They are instead products made from movie studios who never let the filmakers completely free to do what they want. Back in the 80’s it was nearly impossible to apply to the global audience asking for approval of new ideas and so the studios could only guess how to attract horror fans to the movies. Now they can. And without any hesitation, they fire writers or thrash ideas, just to give the audience exactly what they want. Because the goal, yesterday as today, was and is to score. Yesterday it was tickets, today it is tickets (less) and clicks (more). So it’s up to us.. Let’s stop judging negatively what has not been done, yet.. or the movies will be all the same.. sometimes what appears to be a crazy idea may turn up to become a wonderful movie. And speaking of the Friday 13th franchise let’s all remember the “quality” of such movies as Part 3 or Jason Goes To Hell..

  • Mark Kaiser

    Very good article, and many legitimate concerns addressed here. Being a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi, a big fan, since the early 70’s as a kid, and later as a teen in the “Golden Age Of Horror” of the 80’s (All hail the Drive-Ins), I think the youth of today, as well as the old timers like myself concerns are genuine, if not warranted, concerning all genres of filmmaking, not just horror. However, Horror does get the brunt of tomatoes tossed. Story-telling, acting, plots, and originality have all been extremely lackluster ventures by supposed ‘Expert Filmmakers’ for the last two decades, and too many people have left theaters after spending their hard earned, extremely disappointed. Many interviews with the ‘True Experts’, John Carpenter, Steve Miner, Dante, Frankenheimer, all confirm this. Not to mention the actors and actresses comments. Lazy filmmaking and quick cash grabs have become commonplace in exchange for ingenuity, great storytelling, and a true belief by filmmakers in their picture, and it shows.

  • Moaner Lawrence

    Respectfully, I would rather find out that my idea won’t be received well by fans BEFORE I spend my money on a project than AFTER the fact. Also, I’m assuming that IF these guys had the money (or were able to obtain a loan) to finance the proposed film then they would have done so with or without fan consent. So what I take away from this is that a small group of people (a director, a writer, a few actors – I have no idea who) wanted to spend a studio or someone else’s money to create a product (and essentially gamble) that is not guaranteed to generate enough revenue. Honestly, I’d thank the fans this time.