The horror genre isn't really taken seriously in the more intellectual circles of film criticism. This wide array of cinema certainly has its own vast and dedicated following, but you can bet that any straight-up violent piece of horrificness is going to be generally panned by the “serious” critics. Why is this? One wonders how now-generally-acclaimed classic cult horror films were received by critics at the time of their release. Some of these films have something to say. Saw presents a twisted morality which is ripe for debate (at least the first one). I read a very interesting defense of Hostel claiming that films such as The Avengers are more likely to desensitize us to the idea of violence. I once wrote a comparison of Uwe Boll's Attack on Darfur to the better-known and widely-acclaimed Hotel Rwanda, which is on the surface a case of pure snuff film vs. effective drama, but in reality Attack on Darfur, through its extreme and sadistic violence, better serves the purpose sought by Hotel Rwanda (this latter example deals not in the horror genre, but extreme violence nonetheless). Messages aside, sometimes a film, horror or otherwise, is just compositionally good – well-made, well-acted, well-put-together. Aesthetically pleasing, if you will. If you can get past the sadism.
Such is The Devil's Rejects, Rob Zombie's follow-up to House of 1000 Corpses, in which the backwoods Firefly family held Dwight from The Office and his friends captive, and some really terrible things happened. In the sequel, the cops are closing in on the family and they go on the run – leaving a very serious trail of bodies and gore in their wake. The film is renowned by my friend Matt for having “actually making effective use of the song 'Freebird'”; he also declared that Bill Moseley should have won an Oscar for his role.
See for yourself tomorrow, Saturday, as Baxter Avenue Theater presents a midnight screening of The Devil's Rejects. The theater is located at 1250 Bardstown Road. Further information and advance ticket sales can be found at the Baxter Avenue Theater website.
Image: Internet Movie Database