When you take a movie like Godzilla deadly seriously and you put it in front of people who don't feel the same way, you're bound to be disappointed. That film has had its reputation stretched over the years by repeated cries of, "It's a metaphor for Hiroshima and is NOT to be taken lightly, heathens." And it's that. It's definitely that. But it's also a movie about a guy wearing a dinosaur costume, kicking around miniatures. The two can be reconciled without it being blasphemous.
The 180-degree turn when Godzilla finally gets up on the beach and brings the ruckus was fun to witness, as suddenly we all managed to "Kumbaya" for the first time in an hour. There's something simple and beautiful about '50s monster rampages that turns what could be an ironic appreciation into a sincere one, as long as you're not eager to constantly point out the wires showing.
The audience of Frankenstein had the highest median age, and you'd have thought that Golden Corral was catering the event from the excited buzz of its older members. There was no air of conceit, nor did I feel that all-too-common premonition where I enter a theater, see those that are going to be crammed in next to me, and realize that they're probably going to ruin the movie for me. It was also the most nostalgic crowd of the six movies, and I heard, "I've never seen it on the big screen before!" multiple times. Parents excitedly nudged their kids as the lights dimmed, and their kids blatantly ignored them because parents are lame and Snapchat is cowabunga, or whatever kids say when they're in middle school and can't enjoy anything properly.
"I swear, we will leave and I will make you watch I, Frankenstein instead."
"... I'll be good."
It's so fucking easy to be cynical about old horror movies, because it's also easy to imagine that you're in an invisible war with all the Transformers and Ouija fans out there who comment on a YouTube clip of Creature From the Black Lagoon with, "So fake looking." So much of our stupid time is spent showing our love for things by getting pissed about things that aren't it. Being a fan of something doesn't necessarily entail going out of your way to upset yourself by seeking out those who aren't fans. You don't need to put on war paint because someone thinks that movies made in 1931 look a little hokey by today's standards.
Like we should have recognized with Halloween, there was no need to pretend that what we were watching was still effective in the same way that it was effective when it was originally released. When a horror movie doesn't have the presence that it used to, people like to say that "history has been unkind," as if later generations had made subsequent deliberate efforts to scuff its shoes and make fun of its haircut. But instead of calling out Father Time for being a dick and a robber of bliss, it's more satisfactory to think of horror movies in the same way that we think of movies in other genres. As time goes on and things change, why they are relevant changes too. No one needs to be fainting during Frankenstein's Monster's entrance for it to be an integral part in every person's life. Vaccinate your kids, guys, and then show them Frankenstein. You'll be raising a better tomorrow. And an army of children who are ready to battle to prove Frankenstein's dominance.
Uh, maybe show them how to swim too.
Everything is going according to plan.
Daniel was given the normal brain and has a blog.
For more from Daniel, check out 7 Monsters That Bigfoot Hunters Are Too Scared to Believe In and 6 Stupid Misconceptions That Ruin Classic Movies.
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