Another week, another marathon of horror movies. This week, I decided to go with a theme of horror movies that blatantly ripped off other horror movies. In Hollywood, there a lot of movies that basically just copy another film, But these films take it to another level. They copy the look of the movie, the concept, the setting, everything. These films are the equivalent of copying and pasting another person’s essay, and just changing around a few words to make it seem like it is your own work. Needless to say, if the filmmaker is too lazy to add any semblance of originality to the film, the chances of the movie having anything good to offer is fairly slim. The “films” we will be looking at this week, are “Are You Scared?”, “Bloody Murder,” and “Alien vs Hunter.” I won’t say just yet what movies these are knocking off, but one of them should already be very obvious.
Are you Scared (2005)
Tell me if you have heard this before. A group of people, wake up in an unknown location and are forced to complete deadly tests, that are designed to teach them some lesson, in order to escape with their lives. Sound familiar?
If you are still not getting it, I will let you know that in Japan, this movie was released under the title Jigsaw: Game of Death. Yes, the creators of this sad attempt at cinema must have watched Saw, noticed how much money that franchise made, and decided to cash in. They even copied the Saw franchise trope of having a side story about a detective trying to track down the killer.
The weird thing is usually these blatant ripoffs are made by some crappy movie studio. But this trash was produced by Lionsgate. Lionsgate, by the way, is the studio that distributed the Saw Franchise. This is like if New Lines Cinema produced a knock-off of Lord of the Rings.
Are you Scared is bad, I mean worse than the later Saw films bad. In this movie, instead of the contestants learning a lesson about some past sin of theirs, like in Saw, they are instead tested by their greatest fear. And also different, is it is all for a Reality Game Show. One guy is afraid of the dark, so he is put in a dark room, full of trip wires that will set off shotguns. A set of twins are afraid of losing each other, so they are put into a trap where one of them has to die by having a drill put through their skull. Its the type of over the top garbage the Saw franchise fell victim to after the first movie. I mean the drill trap where the people strapped in control each other’s drills is literally pulled from one of the Saw films. Nothing about the way these people are killed off is creative. They literally just blew one guy up? Was his fear getting blown up?
Some character just kind of disappear and are forgotten about. I assume the one girl was eaten by rats, though we do not get a clear answer. But the other twin who does not get a drill through her skull vanishes from the movie? Is she still strapped into the device. Was she let go because she survived the trap? Does anyone care? I mean the filmmakers definitely did not care, so why should the audience?
The acting is as wooden as it gets. The characters are all dull stereotypes that appear in every crappy horror film. The way the film is shot is boring. The Saw movies after the first one were bad, in fact, many were laughably bad. But I could at least watch them in a so bad it is good way. This trash heap can’t even get that right. It is just a dull, derivative, drag of a movie.
Bloody Murder (2000)
The box art of the movie alone is enough to tell you which horror movie this is ripping off. Really? You made a movie about a psycho wearing a hockey mask murdering the counselors of a campground? At least put a little effort into covering up your plagiarism. Couldn’t find a different type of mask for your Jason Voorhees knockoff to wear?
Now I know Friday the 13th itself was not the most original movie franchise. It borrowed a ton from Halloween, but it at least changed up the formula a little. Bloody Murder just made a Jason clone, put him in the exact same setting, a similar backstory, and uses many of the same weapons. In the movie, there is the same homeless drifter character that was in Friday the 13th, who warns the group about the killer. He literally looks like the same person.
The acting is atrocious, even by the standards of Friday the 13th, which itself had some bad acting. The dialogue is atrocious and feels like it was written by someone who has little grasp of the human language. The camera work is sloppy as hell, and I would not be surprised if the guy operating it was hammered the entire time. The editing is even worse and genuinely feels like they edited the movie together using windows movie maker, as they use such amateurish techniques like an overuse of fades. But even worse than the acting, is the fact the movie has no balls. Friday the 13th movies were cheesy, and not very well made, but they were willing to show some gruesome deaths. In this movie, everything looks fake. The “blood” looks like dyed water. The deaths are all lame. The one thing that can save an awful slasher flick, is cool gory deaths, and they couldn’t even get that right.
It has all the sloppiness and corniness of a Roger Corman movie, but with none of the charm, heart, or humor. I genuinely hate this movie. It was boring, lazy, and in general a chore to sit through. The movie somehow got a sequel, which is apparently somewhat watchable. But this one, is crap.
Alien vs Hunter (2007)
Well, it would not be a article about knockoff movies without a appearance by Asylum Studios. Asylum’s entire brand for a long time, was making garbage movies that sound like other movies that are in theaters. They have released such classics as Atlantic Rim, Transmorphers, The Terminators, Snakes on a Train, and, I shit you not, Titanic 2. yes, these geniuses thought what the world needed, was a sequel to the true story about one of the worst ship accidents of all time. This studio would also go on to create the mega hit Sharknado by the way. To get an idea of how slimy and crappy Asylum Studios is, watch this video from one of my favorite YouTube film critics, YourMovieSucksDOTorg.
As he points out, ripping off movies has been their primary business plan. They care nothing for the quality of the movie, they just want to make a movie quickly, and trick people into buying it. So it is no surprise that Alien vs Hunter is a giant piece of crap.
The movie is an eyesore. It is like there is a yellow filter over the camera lens. The monsters look awful, they could have made alien and a predator, err, I mean Hunter, out of paper mache, and it would have looked better. Half the shots are blurry, and the half that aren’t, have nothing of interest to show. There is not s single character to care about in this movie. I would normally say in a horror film with crap characters I was rooting for the killer, but the monsters are even less interesting. The Hunter is pathetic, and poses no threat to anything. The alien looks like a light drizzle would cause it to fall apart. The CGI on it literally breaks at times, making its eyes see through.
There is nothing of any value to take from this movie. Asylum would eventually figure out a good formula with the Sharknado movies, which while still terrible, are bad in a endearing way. With the Sharknado movies, they were clearly not trying to make the movie good, but they did make it fun. They set out to make a bad movie that people could laugh at, and succeeded. But with crap like AVH, they weren’t trying to make a movie at all. They stood a piece of crap up as fast as they could, and hoped that some chump would mistake it for Alien vs Predator.