There is a God. Platinum Dunes Quit Horror. (UPDATED)
by Ben Bussey
This isn’t so much a news report, as an alert to a terrific article over at Badass Digest by Brian Collins, whose headline lit up my eyes like a Christmas tree: ‘Platinum Dunes is “not making horror movies anymore.”‘
Sigh… Let me just type those words once more.
‘Platinum Dunes is “not making horror movies anymore.”‘
The most fascinating part of this is how quietly, almost accidentally this news has broken; not via some exclamatory press release, but through the endeavours of a considerably more thorough and patient writer than myself, discovering this by sitting through an hour or so of producer Brad Fuller talking to a room of high school kids; footage that has been online for many months. It seems more like a class of business students than film students, as the focal point of Fuller’s lecture is the Platinum Dunes business model rather than anything to do with filmmakng as a craft. Subsequently it paints a curious picture of the man; on the one hand he comes off as a boorish bean-counter; on the other, as Brian Collins rightly emphasises, he’s speaking to these kids with refreshing frankness and honesty about the movie industry, and the movies he has been involved in.
Of Platinum Dunes abandoning horror, Collins has this to say:
“(It’s) a bit of a surprise considering that on Twitter he (Fuller) keeps saying that they are waiting for the go ahead from the studios (Paramount and Warner/New Line) to do sequels to Friday and Nightmare. He also doesn’t mention Monster Squad at all, is that one dead too? Not losing sleep over it if so. But it’s a shame that they seemingly have no plans to use their brand to develop any more horror films, remake or original. There aren’t many horror outfits anymore, shame to lose another even if their track record was spotty.”
I see your point, Brian. But I can’t say I share in your sadness. In my humble opinion, better no big-budget production companies working in horror at all than those who besmirch horror cinema with material which, as Fuller pretty well admits, is without invention, without feeling, and without real interest in the genre. Platinum Dunes have long since become a byword for all that has been wrong with mainstream horror – and to an extent mainstream cinema in general – this past decade, and I take their abandonment of the genre as a blessing. Maybe, just maybe, there will now be room in the multiplexes for genuinely new horror films from filmmakers who actually give a shit.
(Oh, and if The Monster Squad remake is indeed dead in the water… icing on the cake.)
Check out Brian’s article here – it’s a great read. The clip in which those glorious, faith-restoring words are uttered is below (around the 9.39 mark).
UPDATE, 9TH JUNE 2011: Sorry to say this may turn out to be much ado about nothing. A look at Fuller’s Twitter from the last couple of days shows him insisting more than once that Platinum Dunes are in fact still in the horror game. What does that say about the above clip…? Who knows. Draw your own conclusions. Regrettably, Fuller has also tweeted that The Monster Squad remake is also still in the works. But hey – there hasn’t been a word on the development of any new horror from them in a long while, and – in this instance – no news is definitely good news. So even if they haven’t ‘officially’ quit horror, they may yet be out of the game. My gut reaction: we should go out of our way to make their Turtles movie a huge hit, thus convince them 80s cartoon adaptations are the future, and we’ll have He-Man and Thundercats movies in no time. Come 2019 and the release of Bucky O’Hare the movie, we can persist in bitching about them raping our childhoods. But hey, as long as they leave horror alone…