Total Recall: 3D Horror Films

With Texas Chainsaw 3D hitting theaters, we look at some memorable fright fests screened in three dimensions.

3D Horror

January is traditionally known as a cinematic graveyard, so it's only appropriate that our local cineplexes are kicking off 2013 with something as death-obsessed as Texas Chainsaw 3D, the latest chapter in the seemingly never-ending saga of the cannibalistic lunatic Leatherface and his equally depraved family -- and the most recent in a growing list of slasher flicks to make use of Hollywood's on-again, off-again fascination with 3D technology. Of course, we couldn't help thinking of some previous entries in the genre, and you know what that means -- it's time to Total Recall, 3D horror style!

Amityville 3-D

0%

1982's Amityville II: The Possession was something of a critical dud, but it still managed to top the box office. The audience's reward was 1983's Amityville 3-D, which fast-forwarded past the previous installment's prequel storyline and completely departed from the original film's putatively fact-based mythology. This time out, the haunted house at the core of the franchise is purchased by a professional skeptic (Tony Roberts), who (barely) lives to regret his foolish insistence that there isn't any supernatural funny business afoot on the premises. Also filled with regret: The critics who wrote up Amityville 3-D, including Janet Maslin of the New York Times. "The cast is good," Maslin reluctantly admitted, "but the characters are idiots."

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

83%

A classically constructed "damsel in distress" creature feature with the bonus of 3D effects and a slight narrative twist (some of the poor woman's would-be rescuers are just as repellent as the gilled-and-taloned antagonist), 1954's Creature from the Black Lagoon thrilled the audiences of its day -- and it remains a favorite for modern scribes like Slant Magazine's Steve MacFarlane, who credited its director's sure-handed style for its enduring success: "What distinguished Jack Arnold's pictures from mutant spinoffs/knockoffs is even more imperative to sci-fi today than it was in 1954: wonderment."

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The Final Destination

29%

The first few installments in the Final Destination series earned a little extra critical love -- and no small amount of box office success -- thanks to their knack for dispatching their young victims with devilishly ornate, Rube Goldberg-worthy setups. But by the time 2009's deceptively titled The Final Destination rolled around, not even the addition of 3D effects could rejuvenate the franchise's fortunes with scribes who were getting tired of watching fresh-faced teens get the axe (and the scythe, and the shower curtain, and the exposed electrical wire, and...). Jake Wilson of the Age cast a dissenting critical opinion, however, arguing that "The characters are crash-test dummies, with dialogue to match. Yet Eric Bress' script is mockingly self-aware, framing the film as the ultimate example of violence as entertainment."

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Freddy's Dead - The Final Nightmare

20%

"They saved the best for last," boasted the tagline for the sixth entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series -- and even if this 1991 slasher did not ultimately live up to its poster's wishful thinking, give the producers points for trying, as well as for trying to put the proverbial nail in the coffin with what was supposed to be the franchise's final installment. Of course, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare was just a temporary conclusion for the Freddy Krueger saga, but with a somewhat more sprightly script and some inventive 3D effects, it would have provided a satisfying coda for critics like the Washington Post's Richard Harrington, who sighed appreciatively, "So long, Freddy, it's been good to know you."

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Friday the 13th Part 3

13%

A number of horror franchises caught the 3D bug during its re-emergence in the 1980s, but none of them were still as commercially viable as the Friday the 13th movies, which was just hitting its stride when Part 3 slashed its way to the screen in the summer of 1982. The in-your-face effects didn't help make the movie any more appealing to critics, who were just as dismissive as ever -- as Eric D. Snider put it, "It's in three dimensions, and all of them suck" -- but the audiences kept coming, and while Part 3's storyline was every bit as formulaic as any other entry in the series, it did boast some of the more inventively filmed 3D effects of the era.

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House of Wax

95%

Never mind the Paris Hilton-assisted 2005 remake -- for 3D fans as well as horror aficionados, it's all about 1953's House of Wax, starring Vincent Price as the demented, wheelchair-bound proprietor of a wax museum whose grand opening coincides with a rise in local graverobbings. Directed by André De Toth (who, ironically, had only one good eye), Wax was the most financially successful of the 3D horror films made during the 1950s, but audiences weren't alone in loving it; it's also earned the admiration of critics like the Chicago Reader's Dave Kehr, who argued, "The effects are done with playfulness, zest, and some imagination (they range from a barker batting paddleballs in your face to a murderer leaping from the row in front of you), making this the most entertaining of the gimmick 3-Ds."

Jaws 3

11%

Given the titular great white shark's gruesome demise at the end of Jaws, a sequel seemed narratively unlikely -- but box office grosses demanded more aquatic terror, so Jaws II surfaced in 1978. And even though no one from the original cast would agree to come back for more after that, Universal remained interested in more Jaws -- to the extent that the studio even briefly entertained a spoof sequel titled Jaws 3, People 0. It sounds ridiculous, but it probably couldn't have fared much worse than 1983's Jaws 3-D, which starred Louis Gossett, Jr. as an unscrupulous water park manager whose focus on the bottom line prevents him from understanding that he and his guests are in danger of being swallowed up by -- you guessed it -- a giant shark. "Put in a baking tray, gas mark 7, and enjoy a turkey," recommended Time Out's Derek Adams.

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Comments

Jon Cox

Jon Cox

there are a lot of bad movies that intentionally misuse the 3D technology
I was baffled hearing Clash of the Titans added it in post yeesh
half the time though the filmmakers use it relatively well: Journey 1 and 2, Avatar, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Piranha 3D and some others

Jan 2 - 05:08 PM

Ian DiLorenzo

Ian DiLorenzo

"Jackass 3"; "Tin Tin" and the most recent "DREDD" 3D are my three favorite films that have used 3D to the very best. Though these may not be horror films, they are films that offered the best experience in 3D.

Jan 2 - 05:33 PM

Scott Dolan

Scott Dolan

You have GOT to see Pirhana 3D. not 3DD, they just made a 2nd one, keep in mind!

Jan 7 - 09:48 AM

Matthew R.

Matthew Reimer

Most of the time, animated and motion capture films look better in 3D due to how much easier it is to do the effects through a computer though films like "The Avengers" and "Avatar" have used great 3D effects.

Jan 2 - 05:36 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Avengers had very mediocre 3D. It had pop-out, but no depth because it was converted, and not shot in 3D. Prometheus, while a so-so movie, has fantastic 3D.

But yes, CGI films looks great since they were made on a computer, making it easy to go back into it and create an alternate angle for a simulated "shot in 3D" experience.

Jan 2 - 08:01 PM

Steven Hoover

Steven Hoover

Avengers was post production 3D. Wouldn't Qualify that at all.

Jan 6 - 10:45 AM

Ian DiLorenzo

Ian DiLorenzo

"Jackass 3"; "Tin Tin" and the most recent "DREDD" 3D are my three favorite films that have used 3D to the very best. Though these may not be horror films, they are films that offered the best experience in 3D.

Jan 2 - 05:33 PM

Scott Dolan

Scott Dolan

You have GOT to see Pirhana 3D. not 3DD, they just made a 2nd one, keep in mind!

Jan 7 - 09:48 AM

Matthew R.

Matthew Reimer

Most of the time, animated and motion capture films look better in 3D due to how much easier it is to do the effects through a computer though films like "The Avengers" and "Avatar" have used great 3D effects.

Jan 2 - 05:36 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Avengers had very mediocre 3D. It had pop-out, but no depth because it was converted, and not shot in 3D. Prometheus, while a so-so movie, has fantastic 3D.

But yes, CGI films looks great since they were made on a computer, making it easy to go back into it and create an alternate angle for a simulated "shot in 3D" experience.

Jan 2 - 08:01 PM

Steven Hoover

Steven Hoover

Avengers was post production 3D. Wouldn't Qualify that at all.

Jan 6 - 10:45 AM

Matthew R.

Matthew Reimer

Ha, 98% of these movies were rotten.

Jan 2 - 05:38 PM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

3D actually works, as proven by Coraline, when the film is shot that way rather than converted.
Otherwise, films like The Lion King go from 91% to whatever score it has now.

Jan 2 - 05:45 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Actually, Lion King 3D looks amazing. The score now is 89, so one more negative review has been added. But, there were also plenty of recent ones praising the 3D tech and giving the film fresh ratings.

It really is surprising how good a 20 year cartoon can look when converted to 3D.

Jan 2 - 07:57 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Who gives the fucking Lion King a bad review? C'mon really you got to be a stony piece of shit not to like the Lion King.

Jan 3 - 04:16 AM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

The possibility might lie in either someone who was obsessed with Shakespeare (especially Hamlet) or Armond White, when he was still allowed here though.

Jan 3 - 11:24 AM

Matthew R.

Matthew Reimer

Finding Nemo was at 97% but 3D boost it up to 99%.

Jan 2 - 08:12 PM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

1. It's Pixar 2. It's not a film like The Lion King, it's CGI, which gives the 3D purpose.

Jan 2 - 09:39 PM

Matthew R.

Matthew Reimer

Both movies are pretty fair when it comes to 3D re-release. Finding Nemo and The Lion King are both favorites among many people.

Jan 3 - 11:08 AM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Great list, Jeff! I'm super-cynical when it comes to 3D, as most of them are really a complete rip-off, even TOY STORY 3; loved the movie, hated the extra dimension. To me, 3D has only worked as a gimmick, nothing more, but apparently filmmakers like Cameron and Jackson think there is actually technical value there...bullshit! JACKASS 3D and the remake of PIRANHA are actually the only films released in the past few years where I liked how the 3D was utilized...as nothing more than a dimensional gag. That being said, I've seen FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 in 3D and I always laugh when they stick cannabis in the camera. "Hey, don't deprive the driver's up front here...(passes joint in 3D)...YEAH!" I'd rather pay to see 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in 420D than anything in 3D.

Jan 2 - 06:46 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I think it seriously added to Avatar as well. It's hard for me to watch that film on Blu-Ray and not say that the theatrical 3D release didn't add tons to the film.

Jan 2 - 06:58 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Gotta say it: I actually asked for my money back after DANCES WITH SMURFS.

Jan 2 - 07:01 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I'll grant you the plot wasn't particularly innovative, but this is one of those movie's that I thought was capable of getting by on visual style alone. Basically it was the movie Immortals wanted to be.

Jan 2 - 07:08 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Some people are overly critical of Avatar rather than just enjoying what it was - a big budget no-brainer action flick. And for what it wanted to be, it succeeded very well I thought.

Jan 3 - 05:04 AM

Geoffrey Shauger

Geoffrey Shauger

DANCES WITH SMURFS....HAHAH! You're so clever!!! How original!!! Oh man!! You should seriously pursue a career as a movie reviewing comedian.

HAHAHAHAH!! What a comedic genius.

Jan 3 - 07:35 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Asking your money back right after the film was over is not supposed to be how it works- it's supposed to be during or even before the film is had started! And I'm sure they're worst films to see in theatres than "Avatar" otherwise you'd wouldn't be planning on seeing the second and third!

Jan 3 - 12:35 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Highly doubting he asked for his money back after Avatar.

Jan 3 - 01:46 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Seriously, Infernal, I did. I actually found it offensive how many sources Cameron pillaged to put together his script (and you know exactly what they are without me having to list them, right?). To me, the story and screenplay come first, not a bunch of "oooh, ahhh" visuals. I saw DANCES WITH WOLVES when I was 10 years old in the theater and it was where I discovered film as an art-form. No fucking 3D, just a 3 hour epic commanded by its story and characters. Too much of the script for AVATAR was retarded and juvenile that it literally took me out of this beautiful, yet entirely artificial world. So, you guys can say whatever you want: AVATAR is the most overrated pile of crap to hit screens since TOP GUN (which was nothing more than a shameful, commercialized rip-off of AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN courtesy of producer Don Simpson--and I served in the Navy for 8 years, I know!).

Jan 4 - 05:54 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Now that I know where you're coming from, and speaking for myself, after I had learned that Avatar was from "Dances With..." and "Fern Gulley", I thought "Dances..." was way too slow and that I couldn't bear to watch another minute of it so I decided to watch something else and "Fern Gulley" just sucked. But it kind of makes me wonder though why you hated this film as opposed to other films that directors verbally admitted other films as their sources such as "Seven Samurai" influenced many films including Sturges "The Magnificent Seven", "A Fistful of Dollars" was a direct remake from Kurosawa's "Yojimbo"- not that you would know that either and Lucas admitted that his inspiration to make "Star Wars" was from "The Hidden Fortress"! I'm just saying that because it's a similar movie you had seen before from your childhood is not really an acceptable reason to say that the film is no good- it is an understandable psychological reason, but let's say if you hadn't seen "Dances With Wolves" at all and just saw "Avatar" first then you would've liked the film, am I correct on this notion!

Jan 4 - 12:15 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Apples and oranges, Dave, don't you dare try to convince me I would have enjoyed AVATAR in another setting or situation...fuck AVATAR and fuck all the bullshit sequels coming to multiplexes.

Jan 4 - 12:21 PM

Dave J

Dave J

No, my examples are not apples and oranges! When director Akira Kurosawa found out about "A Fistful Of Dollars"- Kurosawa sued the company and he won a percentage of the profits, ironically though "A Fistful.." made more money than any of Kurosawa films combined during that particular time! The only difference between the two films are that one has a Western setting and the other one is of cours is a samurai picture. "Star Wars" is a space movie and "The Hidden Fortress" is a samurai film both have the exact same idea- Lucas verbally stated that without "The Hidden Fortress"( a film Lucas saw in film school) Star Wars would not have been made, "Avatar" has a space setting and "Dances with Wolves" is clearly a Western. It's not hard to understand this! And because you saw "Dances With..." during your childhood years in your opinion should be a sufficient reason to not like Avatar at all as opposed to other films since films has been around since the early 1900's is still not a reason that a film is not good!

Go to "google" and type down successful remakes because they're alot which includes "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and "Let Me In" from "Let The Right One In", and not to mention Alfred Hitchcock remade his own film "The Man Who Knew too Much" using the exact same title! You clearly don't have a legitimate reason why Avatar is a bad film- just an understandable one!

Jan 4 - 02:40 PM

Johan Ilagan

Johan Ilagan

umm...where's final destination 5?

Jan 2 - 06:53 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

No need to talk about both the 4th AND 5th films in that series.

Jan 2 - 07:04 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

PLENTY of reasons. I'll give two: 5 was a much, much better movie, and it was shot in 3D, as opposed to being converted, as the 4th was. In short, the 3D in 5 is fantastic, whereas it was mediocre in 4.

Jan 2 - 07:59 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Sorry never saw them, although your argument at least justifies why FD5 should have been covered instead of FD4. This list didn't necessarily need 2 films from the same series that's all.

Jan 3 - 12:00 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

In the $2 bin at Wal-Mart where it belongs hopefully. :)

Jan 2 - 07:07 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I think it seriously added to Avatar as well. It's hard for me to watch that film on Blu-Ray and not say that the theatrical 3D release didn't add tons to the film.

Jan 2 - 06:58 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Gotta say it: I actually asked for my money back after DANCES WITH SMURFS.

Jan 2 - 07:01 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I'll grant you the plot wasn't particularly innovative, but this is one of those movie's that I thought was capable of getting by on visual style alone. Basically it was the movie Immortals wanted to be.

Jan 2 - 07:08 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Some people are overly critical of Avatar rather than just enjoying what it was - a big budget no-brainer action flick. And for what it wanted to be, it succeeded very well I thought.

Jan 3 - 05:04 AM

Geoffrey Shauger

Geoffrey Shauger

DANCES WITH SMURFS....HAHAH! You're so clever!!! How original!!! Oh man!! You should seriously pursue a career as a movie reviewing comedian.

HAHAHAHAH!! What a comedic genius.

Jan 3 - 07:35 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Asking your money back right after the film was over is not supposed to be how it works- it's supposed to be during or even before the film is had started! And I'm sure they're worst films to see in theatres than "Avatar" otherwise you'd wouldn't be planning on seeing the second and third!

Jan 3 - 12:35 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Highly doubting he asked for his money back after Avatar.

Jan 3 - 01:46 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Seriously, Infernal, I did. I actually found it offensive how many sources Cameron pillaged to put together his script (and you know exactly what they are without me having to list them, right?). To me, the story and screenplay come first, not a bunch of "oooh, ahhh" visuals. I saw DANCES WITH WOLVES when I was 10 years old in the theater and it was where I discovered film as an art-form. No fucking 3D, just a 3 hour epic commanded by its story and characters. Too much of the script for AVATAR was retarded and juvenile that it literally took me out of this beautiful, yet entirely artificial world. So, you guys can say whatever you want: AVATAR is the most overrated pile of crap to hit screens since TOP GUN (which was nothing more than a shameful, commercialized rip-off of AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN courtesy of producer Don Simpson--and I served in the Navy for 8 years, I know!).

Jan 4 - 05:54 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Now that I know where you're coming from, and speaking for myself, after I had learned that Avatar was from "Dances With..." and "Fern Gulley", I thought "Dances..." was way too slow and that I couldn't bear to watch another minute of it so I decided to watch something else and "Fern Gulley" just sucked. But it kind of makes me wonder though why you hated this film as opposed to other films that directors verbally admitted other films as their sources such as "Seven Samurai" influenced many films including Sturges "The Magnificent Seven", "A Fistful of Dollars" was a direct remake from Kurosawa's "Yojimbo"- not that you would know that either and Lucas admitted that his inspiration to make "Star Wars" was from "The Hidden Fortress"! I'm just saying that because it's a similar movie you had seen before from your childhood is not really an acceptable reason to say that the film is no good- it is an understandable psychological reason, but let's say if you hadn't seen "Dances With Wolves" at all and just saw "Avatar" first then you would've liked the film, am I correct on this notion!

Jan 4 - 12:15 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Apples and oranges, Dave, don't you dare try to convince me I would have enjoyed AVATAR in another setting or situation...fuck AVATAR and fuck all the bullshit sequels coming to multiplexes.

Jan 4 - 12:21 PM

Dave J

Dave J

No, my examples are not apples and oranges! When director Akira Kurosawa found out about "A Fistful Of Dollars"- Kurosawa sued the company and he won a percentage of the profits, ironically though "A Fistful.." made more money than any of Kurosawa films combined during that particular time! The only difference between the two films are that one has a Western setting and the other one is of cours is a samurai picture. "Star Wars" is a space movie and "The Hidden Fortress" is a samurai film both have the exact same idea- Lucas verbally stated that without "The Hidden Fortress"( a film Lucas saw in film school) Star Wars would not have been made, "Avatar" has a space setting and "Dances with Wolves" is clearly a Western. It's not hard to understand this! And because you saw "Dances With..." during your childhood years in your opinion should be a sufficient reason to not like Avatar at all as opposed to other films since films has been around since the early 1900's is still not a reason that a film is not good!

Go to "google" and type down successful remakes because they're alot which includes "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and "Let Me In" from "Let The Right One In", and not to mention Alfred Hitchcock remade his own film "The Man Who Knew too Much" using the exact same title! You clearly don't have a legitimate reason why Avatar is a bad film- just an understandable one!

Jan 4 - 02:40 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Gotta say it: I actually asked for my money back after DANCES WITH SMURFS.

Jan 2 - 07:01 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I'll grant you the plot wasn't particularly innovative, but this is one of those movie's that I thought was capable of getting by on visual style alone. Basically it was the movie Immortals wanted to be.

Jan 2 - 07:08 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Some people are overly critical of Avatar rather than just enjoying what it was - a big budget no-brainer action flick. And for what it wanted to be, it succeeded very well I thought.

Jan 3 - 05:04 AM

Geoffrey Shauger

Geoffrey Shauger

DANCES WITH SMURFS....HAHAH! You're so clever!!! How original!!! Oh man!! You should seriously pursue a career as a movie reviewing comedian.

HAHAHAHAH!! What a comedic genius.

Jan 3 - 07:35 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Asking your money back right after the film was over is not supposed to be how it works- it's supposed to be during or even before the film is had started! And I'm sure they're worst films to see in theatres than "Avatar" otherwise you'd wouldn't be planning on seeing the second and third!

Jan 3 - 12:35 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Highly doubting he asked for his money back after Avatar.

Jan 3 - 01:46 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Seriously, Infernal, I did. I actually found it offensive how many sources Cameron pillaged to put together his script (and you know exactly what they are without me having to list them, right?). To me, the story and screenplay come first, not a bunch of "oooh, ahhh" visuals. I saw DANCES WITH WOLVES when I was 10 years old in the theater and it was where I discovered film as an art-form. No fucking 3D, just a 3 hour epic commanded by its story and characters. Too much of the script for AVATAR was retarded and juvenile that it literally took me out of this beautiful, yet entirely artificial world. So, you guys can say whatever you want: AVATAR is the most overrated pile of crap to hit screens since TOP GUN (which was nothing more than a shameful, commercialized rip-off of AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN courtesy of producer Don Simpson--and I served in the Navy for 8 years, I know!).

Jan 4 - 05:54 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Now that I know where you're coming from, and speaking for myself, after I had learned that Avatar was from "Dances With..." and "Fern Gulley", I thought "Dances..." was way too slow and that I couldn't bear to watch another minute of it so I decided to watch something else and "Fern Gulley" just sucked. But it kind of makes me wonder though why you hated this film as opposed to other films that directors verbally admitted other films as their sources such as "Seven Samurai" influenced many films including Sturges "The Magnificent Seven", "A Fistful of Dollars" was a direct remake from Kurosawa's "Yojimbo"- not that you would know that either and Lucas admitted that his inspiration to make "Star Wars" was from "The Hidden Fortress"! I'm just saying that because it's a similar movie you had seen before from your childhood is not really an acceptable reason to say that the film is no good- it is an understandable psychological reason, but let's say if you hadn't seen "Dances With Wolves" at all and just saw "Avatar" first then you would've liked the film, am I correct on this notion!

Jan 4 - 12:15 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Apples and oranges, Dave, don't you dare try to convince me I would have enjoyed AVATAR in another setting or situation...fuck AVATAR and fuck all the bullshit sequels coming to multiplexes.

Jan 4 - 12:21 PM

Dave J

Dave J

No, my examples are not apples and oranges! When director Akira Kurosawa found out about "A Fistful Of Dollars"- Kurosawa sued the company and he won a percentage of the profits, ironically though "A Fistful.." made more money than any of Kurosawa films combined during that particular time! The only difference between the two films are that one has a Western setting and the other one is of cours is a samurai picture. "Star Wars" is a space movie and "The Hidden Fortress" is a samurai film both have the exact same idea- Lucas verbally stated that without "The Hidden Fortress"( a film Lucas saw in film school) Star Wars would not have been made, "Avatar" has a space setting and "Dances with Wolves" is clearly a Western. It's not hard to understand this! And because you saw "Dances With..." during your childhood years in your opinion should be a sufficient reason to not like Avatar at all as opposed to other films since films has been around since the early 1900's is still not a reason that a film is not good!

Go to "google" and type down successful remakes because they're alot which includes "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and "Let Me In" from "Let The Right One In", and not to mention Alfred Hitchcock remade his own film "The Man Who Knew too Much" using the exact same title! You clearly don't have a legitimate reason why Avatar is a bad film- just an understandable one!

Jan 4 - 02:40 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

No need to talk about both the 4th AND 5th films in that series.

Jan 2 - 07:04 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

PLENTY of reasons. I'll give two: 5 was a much, much better movie, and it was shot in 3D, as opposed to being converted, as the 4th was. In short, the 3D in 5 is fantastic, whereas it was mediocre in 4.

Jan 2 - 07:59 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Sorry never saw them, although your argument at least justifies why FD5 should have been covered instead of FD4. This list didn't necessarily need 2 films from the same series that's all.

Jan 3 - 12:00 AM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

Texas Chainsaw 3D looks like an unintentional comedy. I can already picture a chainsaw being forcefully placed on the screen being directed straight towards the audience.

Anyways, Friday the 13th 3D was a joke. ALL of the F13th movies are a joke; & they just get worse, formulaic & laughable with every sequel.

Jan 2 - 07:06 PM

Joshua Gratton

Joshua Gratton

Critics hate slasher films. No surprise that the third entry was blasted too, since it's not even one of the better ones. But F13 1-7 are good movies in the genre. It comes down to whether you like sub-genre, and if you do, you should like F13.

Jan 2 - 10:20 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

"Critics hate slasher films"

RT & it's critics (at least the majority of them) practically worship the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

F13 1-7 are good? What are you smoking? They all get worse, & so high on formulaic. I dare say that Bay's pornographic re-imaging of that franchise was the only decent one if them.

Jan 3 - 12:00 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The Museum of Modern Art doesn't lie. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is a work of art, gruesome art, but art nonetheless. "F13" is worse than "Halloween", which was worse than "Psycho", etc. Critics don't hate "F13" because it's a slasher film, but because it's the infinite regress of slasher films.

Jan 3 - 07:39 AM

Joshua Gratton

Joshua Gratton

Michael Bay's remake was devoid of soul and more predictable than all of the previous eleven combined. Btw, one praised slasher doesn't equate to critics liking slashers in general.

F13, as the series carries on, is a regress of slashers, I agree. But so is the genre in itself for the past 25 years. The original Friday the 13th is a mood piece, and in my eyes far more effective than the likes of Halloween. But I don't discredit your opinions. It's just that slasher films have to be looked at in a different way than they are. Text is not the end all be all of good film.

Jan 3 - 04:24 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Text"? The problem isn't dialogue. All classic horror has to have suspence, atmosphere and mood. The slasher adds "gore" FX, and certainly the best F13's feature the work of Tom Savini. But only the first one is a decent film. It really is downhill after that. And George, there was no porn in Bay's version (and he only produced it anyway), and it suuuucked. Real really bad. At least TCM 2 from '87 had a sense of humor, something missing entirely from the recent films. The original TCM is a titan in the annals of horror. Nearly 40 years later, and there's still nothing like it.

Jan 3 - 06:46 PM

Joshua Gratton

Joshua Gratton

By text I don't mean dialogue. I mean plot and what average movie-goers qualify as "being a movie". Slashers usually follow the typical formula of a sole human(-like) killer offing characters one by one, often related to a group. What slasher films as a whole contain, complementing one another, are the changes in social dynamics once a factor has been removed from the equation. It's an interesting sub-genre because for each lead up to a kill, there is focus given to one minor person despite leads or final girls/boys at the end. Slashers study the loss and taking of life, showcase dealing with the outcome, and are often pretty empowering for women since their boyfriends are the ones tossed aside, leaving them to prove that they are top dog. Usually.

TCM 2 '86 does have a sense of humor. As do a few others from the golden age like Slumber Party Massacre, Cheerleader Camp, and so forth. I personally find they work best when they're being serious yet cheese creeps its way in without winking at the audience. But saying that the slasher simply adds "gore" is silly. It can be a part of it, but it shouldn't be the only focus, and I don't see that it is. Prom Night, Final Exam, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, The Funhouse and so on are examples where gore does not come into play for the most part. When it does sure, sometimes there is excess, but I'll tell you right: if all you did was cut people up graphically with no care about timing, victim choice, or how mood of the picture is created, you're not going to gather many fans.

I'll agree that the first is the peak before the downhill. However I strongly believe that Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 have their merits too. There's one way to view Eraserhead that will be taken as crap, and another as a success. The same goes for a general slasher such as Night School, The Prowler or The House on Sorority Row. I enjoy slashers because they have a strength in comparison to their brothers.

Jan 3 - 08:52 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I still tend to judge slashers, and horror in general, based on the ability to sustain palpable tension through the film. I'm not entirely convinced about the social dynamics of the "10 Little Indian" elimination, and I'd say that these decisions are primarially based on moral failings (characters using drugs or having sex are far more likely to get bumped off than "innocent" ones). But I won't say you're wrong in your assessment, and I admire and applaud you for articulating it so well.

Jan 4 - 07:25 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

In the $2 bin at Wal-Mart where it belongs hopefully. :)

Jan 2 - 07:07 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I'll grant you the plot wasn't particularly innovative, but this is one of those movie's that I thought was capable of getting by on visual style alone. Basically it was the movie Immortals wanted to be.

Jan 2 - 07:08 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Reading through this list... ugh. The only decent movie here is Piranha, and even then, it was converted to 3D and is quite shitty. It's like looking at those children books, the ones that pop out into two-dimensional layers.

Final Destination 5 used it well, as well as Prometheus, even though the latter is not necessarily a horror. Come to think of it, neither is the Final Destination series, which is more of a black comedy. So, yeah. Horrors in 3D are pathetic.

Jan 2 - 07:52 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Oh, come on, HOUSE OF WAX and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON are both fine films for the era. Actually, I do prefer the original version of WAX from 1932: MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (100% RT Score, woohoo!). That being said, I'm surprised Jeff didn't say a word about THE BLACK LAGOON, Gary Ross' update from Universal supposed to be released this year.

Jan 2 - 08:15 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Well, I mean... sure. But, come on, you wanna drag 80 year old movies into this? Creature from the Black Lagoon looks decent enough in 3D, but there's still a shit lot of cross-talk and ghosting to be found. The original House of Wax's 3D is nothing but a cheap gimmick that barely works, and I'm about 80% sure that Mystery... was not ever released in 3D. It was on the same disc as 1953's House of Wax - and that was the first ever 3D horror (which explains why it's so shitty).

Jan 2 - 10:42 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

That's just one of several reasons why I prefer MYSTERY: no 3D and historically fascinating because of its early 2-strip Technicolor process. Forgive me, I mean they are fine films even when you watch them without the 3D gimmick. (That Paddleball Man, sheesh...)

Jan 2 - 11:53 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

The ever-so nihilistic Watcher speaks. MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D is freaky as is PIRANHA 3D . . . in the former, the Killer could have been behind any row of trees -- the experience was incredible. Especially my walk back to the car after the movie let-out around midnight.

Jan 3 - 04:27 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Gordon.... Gordon, Gordon, Gordon... When are you going to start paying attention? I wasn't speaking about the quality of Piranha as a film, only the 3D. If you weren't doing so much coke you'd have noticed this.

Though now that you bring it up, Piranha was painfully mediocre with shitty 3D, and Valentine absolutely sucked in both departments.

Jan 3 - 09:36 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Actually, Lion King 3D looks amazing. The score now is 89, so one more negative review has been added. But, there were also plenty of recent ones praising the 3D tech and giving the film fresh ratings.

It really is surprising how good a 20 year cartoon can look when converted to 3D.

Jan 2 - 07:57 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Who gives the fucking Lion King a bad review? C'mon really you got to be a stony piece of shit not to like the Lion King.

Jan 3 - 04:16 AM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

The possibility might lie in either someone who was obsessed with Shakespeare (especially Hamlet) or Armond White, when he was still allowed here though.

Jan 3 - 11:24 AM

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