Monday, September 21, 2009

The Shock of the New?

So...I received a pleasant reader e-mail this morning from a fellow who had read my bio at "Meet the Horror Bloggers" and insisted that in terms of my movie reviews, I tend to like old movies and dislike anything and everything new. His point was that nostalgia was the quality that seemed to most impact my perception of a movie. He then asked me my opinion on this.

Not to be defensive or anything, but I politely disagreed with the reader's assertation. Still, the question has nagged at me, and it got me thinking over the last few hours. Could the reader be right? Do I hate everything new?

Well, a little research, a little counting and -- Voila! -- I've arrived at an interesting tally. For these purposes, I'm defining everything circa the years 2000 - 2009 as "New." I also counted movies that I was sort of on the fence about (such as Midnight Meat Train or Spider-Man 3) as "negative reviews," just to be sure I didn't game the system to arrive at the answer I sought.

Here are the results, based on my blog reviews: It's just about even money. So, you may agree with my conclusions, or you may disagree with them, but it's not accurate to state that, overall, I dislike "new" movies.


Positive Reviews (2000 - 2009)

1. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
2. Star Trek (2009)
3. Knowing (2009)
4. Religulous (2009)
5. The Ruins (2008)
6. The Strangers (2008)
7. Quantum of Solace (2008)
8. Splinter (2008)
9. Cloverfield (2008)
10. Speed Racer (2008)
11. Wall-E (2008)
12. Iron Man (2008)
13. Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (2008)
14. Let the Right One In (2008)
15. Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)
16. X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)
17. The Orphanage (2007)
18. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
19. 300 (2007)
20. Sunshine (2007)
21. Rogue (2007)
22. Vacancy (2007)
23. Primeval (2007)
24. [REC] (2007)
25. Superman Returns (2006)
26. Casino Royale (2006)
27. The Host (2007)
28. Snakes on a Plane (2006)
29. Hostel (2005)
30. King Kong (2005)
31. Dark Water (2005)
32. Silent Hill (2006)
33. Slither (2006)
34. The Descent (2006)
35. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
36. The Aristocrats (2005)
37. United 93 (2006)
38. Serenity (2005)
39. District B13 (2004)
40. Last Exit (2003)
41. Femme Fatale (2002)
42. Kill Bill, Volume 1 (2002)
43. John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (2001)
44. Mission to Mars (2000)

Negative Reviews:

1. A Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
2. My Bloody Valentine 3-D (2009)
3. Friday the 13th (2009)
4. Fanboys (2008)
5. Midnight Meat Train (2008)
6. Twilight (2008)
7. Righteous Kill (2008)
8. Mirrors (2008)
9. Death Race (2008)
10. Wanted (2008)
11. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
12. Diary of the Dead (2008)
13. 10,000 BC (2008)
14. Mirrors (2008)
15. The Eye (2008)
16. One Missed Call (2008)
17. Skinwalkers (2007)
18. Hatchet (2007)
19. P2 (2007)
20. AVP - Requiem (2007)
21. Hostel Part II (2007)
22. Transformers (2007)
23. 30 Days of Night (2007)
24. The Hitcher (2007)
25. Halloween (2007)
26. The Messengers (2007)
27. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
28. The Omen 666 (2006)
29. The Wicker Man (2006)
30. An American Haunting (2006)
31. Texas Chainsaw: The Beginning (2006)
32. Doom (2006)
33. Stay Alive (2006)
34. The Da Vinci Code (2006)
35. X3 (2006)
36 Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)
37. When a Stranger Calls (2006)
38. The Cave (2006)
39. Feast (2005)
40. The Fog (2005)
41. Blade: Trinity (2004


  1. Kudos to you for backing it up with facts! :)

  2. Anonymous9:27 AM

    I'm amazed!
    My impression was that you liked EVERYTHNG... with the exception of the new Battlestar Galactica.
    This was owing to my own sour nature and the fact that pretty much whenever I would look at your blog, you'd be extolling the virtues of some movie or TV show I had dismissed out of hand.
    I do enjoy your reviews, and they occasionally cause me to reappraise something... But I still can find almost nothing positive in, for example, Planet of the Apes (TV or animation), Logan's Run (film or TV), Buck Rogers (TV)... The list goes on.
    It is very interesting to see this list of negative reviews. I must look them up and see what you have written.
    In conclusion - I must just say - Mission to Mars!!!! Are you mad? I'd rather watch the similarly titled film which starred Darren McGavin. It is no worse - and it is shorter.

    I prefer to remain anomalous...

  3. I think you give every film a fair chance. At least, that's the impression I get. I know, in my own case, I want to like a film going into it and give it every opportunity to win me over but there are some films that are just awful for so many reasons.

    But sometimes I feel in a more nostalgic mood and go back to older fare because it makes me comfortable and sometimes I do get depressed about the current state of cinema but then along comes some film that just blows me away and reaffirms my faith in cinema all over again.

  4. Hey J.D. & Nick:

    Thanks for the words of support! I appreciate them.

    And Anomalous, well, your comment made me laugh, especially the self-deprecating part about your sour nature. Sorry to hear about that:)

    But anyway, it's interesting: one reader says I like too little and another says I like too much; and two find me right about where I ought to be...

    best to all,

  5. I find it interesting that the negatives were heavy on the remakes, relaunches, sequels, and other derivatives. There are 7 franchise and/or remake flicks in plus column, but 17 such films in the minus column.

    Maybe that's what gave the impression that you "hate" new films: You've had a lot cases where the new film begs to be compared to a older version or prior installment.

    You hated Mirrors so much you panned it twice?

  6. CRwM:

    I actually DID hate Mirrors enough to pan it twice, but actually I didn't realize it made it onto the list twice! D'oh!

    You might be right about the remakes: it appears I'm twice as likely to dislike them. Which could give that impression I'm a cranky old man who hates EVERYTHING.


  7. Anonymous6:15 PM

    You certainly try to like everything, or at least find something positive in all the dreck, but, I can see his point.

    (In fact, it's aprt of the reason I read your reviews)

    Your reviews of newer movies often appear to be highly critical of cliches/homages/ripoffs, especially when you belive they were done better the first time around.

    Even when older movies did the same.