Ok, rant time!
Let’s talk about genres today, because some of you are getting things so mixed up if I don’t straighten you out now, we’ll never get things back where they belong. And, actually, none of you are idiots. I’m preaching to the choir here. The idiots aren’t reading this. But if you know any idiots who could benefit from this, please pass this on to them. They need it. They need us to help them help us… Or something like that.
Let’s start with the most warped, shattered genre today. Horror. Horror has been so twisted and broken to pieces that people don’t even know what horror is anymore. Problem is they think they do. Thrillers come in many different flavors and some are horror and some are not. So here goes:
Movies that scare us with ghosts or demons or even vampires or werewolves belong in the Supernatural Horror/Thriller category. Movies where people are being ripped to shreds or tortured by other people…, those are gory films that belong in the Gore/Thriller category, not Horror. Problem is, many kids today are referring to these movies (like the Saw franchise) as horror whereas Saw and the like are not horror films, they belong in the Gore/Thriller category. The Freddy and Jason movies (et al) blended the line between the two categories and things have just gotten worse, hence my feeble, hot-headed attempt to set things straight. [BTW, more tomorrow in greater detail and with supporting evidence - stay tuned!]
Science Fiction involves some facet of science based knowledge or technology as a critical plot device. I’ve heard movies as far from Sci-Fi as House (remember that one from the eighties?!) referred to as Sci-FI! No. Wrong. There is nothing scientific or technological about the story or any aspect of the movie. House is a solid Supernatural Horror/Camp/Psychological Thriller… Well, okay, maybe it’s not solidly anywhere, except solidly NOT Science Fiction! Star Trek is Science Fiction – i.e. it features a futuristic scenario with potential technological (not to mention social) advances etc. Isaac Asimov wrote science fiction. A great story of his (Nightfall, first a short story later expanded into a novel coauthored with Robert Silverberg) featured an ingenious plot device (later adapted for use in Pitch Black) of a planet with many suns that never sees total darkness. Except for a periodic eclipse by an unseen companion which coincides with the rare time when only their dimmest sun is in the sky, leaving the residents in total darkness for the first time in their lives and causing their civilization to collapse. Every three thousand years! (Where the hell is that movie? Wikipedia, I now see, says two have been made, but I’ve never heard of or seen either anywhere…) But I digress. The point is Science Fiction utilizes science in some critical way. House is not Sci-Fi!!
For God’s sake… Get your act together already!
Fantasy generally features mythological creatures, ranging from Elves to Dwarfs to Dragons and the like. Vampires and Werewolves can end up here if they’re not too scary. You know, fantastical situations and scenarios?
I mean, isn’t this shit obvious? But I keep coming across people confusing these genres to the point of meaninglessness. And it must stop! Because I say so. And because if you mix up the meanings of words on a regular basis you degrade language to the point of idiocy. Language is one of the separators of man from animal. Let’s not devolve, huh? Whaddya say?
More tomorrow – stay tuned. Meanwhile, if you feel strongly that I’ve erred, feel free to correct me in the comments.