There is a God. Platinum Dunes Quit Horror. (UPDATED)

Posted on June 7, 2011 by Ben 12 Comments

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…

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  • Marc says:

    This is fantastic news. There should be celebration in the streets! I love Brian Collins – (and if man, if you’re reading this – good on ya for watching that ridiculous video and digging this news bit out) – but seriously – FUCK Platinum Dunes and everything they did to horror. It absolutely is great to see them back out of the game. They sucked at it, and sucked the life out of it. Of course – we never did give them much mind around these parts, but I really can’t think of any better way to end my day than to read this news and know it is so.

    I feel like that between this news, and the fact that The Human Centipede was banned in Britain we’re finally starting to see a return to the days when horror was dangerous. It’s a good thing. A damn good thing!

  • Jeff Martin says:

    This is fine, fine news to start my day with. This is our “Ding, Ding, the Witch is Dead” moment.
    Every Platinum Dunes movie that came out was like going through a great porn magazine after your mother had edited it for you. Let’s get rid of that bush… you don’t want to see that… okay, maybe a boob or two for my little man… it was all fucking bullshit soccer mom horror.
    Gods, is there hope for horror after all? Did a major name finally figure out that it doesn’t matter how much money you pour into a movie; if it’s a sucky remake, no one is going to see it past the first weekend?
    Praise whatever god you serve. Victory is yours. Platinum Dunes is out of the game and someone else can step up to the table… and win.

  • Marc says:

    Shawn Savage (blogger for The Liberal Dead and occasional contributor at writes on our Facebook page: Celebrating money being taken out of the horror genre is idiotic, regardless of whether or not we like the films they create. I personally think that this is a pretty ignorant, and snobbish article.

    While I clearly disagree – I’m curious as to what our readers over here think. My response on Facebook was the idea that no money is necessarily leaving the genre. It’s just not being pumped into shitty films anymore. Or at least not on that level.

  • Jeff Martin says:

    That also implies that money solves everything and it just doesn’t. Money doesn’t solve bad acting or a shitty screenplay. Money doesn’t solve people not wanting to see a movie, especially as far as Platinum Dunes goes. That’s like handing someone a HungryMan dinner, with a really expensively printed box, and telling someone it’s from the finest restaurant in the world. Guess what?
    It’s frozen chicken and corn, and you’ve had it before.

  • Doctor Chod says:

    Guy reminds me of Seymour Butts… he’s a bore… “the movie has a dog with an upside down head… I’m talking about iconic scenes…” He’s talking about The Unborn being PD’s most profitable film – why? Because it was a PG-13. Great. He neglects to mention it is one of the WORST “horror” films so far this century. Absolutely pitiful. Platinum Dunes can rot in hell. However, they might have come up with way of stopping internet piracy – after all, no one in their right mind would want to illegally download a Platinum Dunes film.

  • J.R. LeMar says:

    Well, I did mostly enjoy the FT13 remake, and would be interested in seeing a sequel. I didn’t like the Elm Street remake, but I think that franchise still has great potential, and would like to see more Freddy films. Hopefully, someone else can get the rights to this properties and try again.

  • Ben Bussey says:

    Dr Chod – to me the most curious thing he says about The Unborn is how it was a horror film marketed toward girls. So girls love checking out other girls’ arses, then…? I trust we all remember that poster?!

    JR – always a pleasure to get feedback from you. Absolutely there is still potential for the Nightmare franchise, and indeed all the franchises that PD briefly comandeered. Fingers crossed this Leatherface 3D flick doesn’t wind up as abysmal as we fear it probably will…

  • J.R. LeMar says:

    Forgive my horror-fan blasphemy, but I just never got into the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, for some reason, so I can’t comment on those.

    But the thing with Nightmare is that I think it was the one that really didn’t need a remake. Logistically speaking, I could understand the rational behind restarting the Jason saga since, if you think about it, after the body count of the past 30 years no one would ever set up camp at, or even go into, the woods around Crystal Lake anymore. The whole place would have been razed to the ground and paved with cement by now. But with Nightmare, they could have just done a new movie with Freddy terrorizing a new group of teens in their dreams. There’s really no need for any changes to the backstory, or even any need to connect to previous movies. Just make the new characters compelling, and make the nightmare sequences scary, and I think it could work again. There was also no need to replace Robert England, with the makeup he still fits the part, although I do think that the new look they came up with for Jackie Earle Haley was an interesting change.

  • Strazdas says:

    “”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””
    which is how it should be. the usual need to shout about everything you do that pretty much gives life to twitter is abomination. you quit making such movies. so you quit. you dont go around the world shouting you quit. like you dont go around shouting to your neighbours you just pooped.

  • Max says:

    I am by no means a PD fan. I despise what they do in fact. But as a filmmaker who’s been involved with horror films, PD has proven that horror films are viable. Even if their movies suck — and they do — PD’s vehicles always made it easier for the people I work with to point at a graph or a chart and say, “hey, look, people go see these movies.” I can appreciate the rejoice, but on the other hand, anytime ANY horror film does well at the box office it’s a good thing overall for the genre.

    • Marc says:

      @Max – We rejoice because PD was a mediocre filmmaking studio that bred more mediocrity. It would be nice if that chart you refer to, that all those Hollywood suits were pointing at, was comprised of films more like Insidious rather than a 15th “reboot” of TCM. It’s long running knowledge horror does well at the box-office relatively speaking. You’d think such a chart wouldn’t even be necessary. But then again – suits need meetings.

  • Phillip Green says:

    I think that Jeff Martin`s comment pretty much captured the spirit of the Platinum Dunes aesthetic: it is poor product beatifully packaged. I mean, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” remakes were absolutelly horrible, but both films were technically very good. Art Direction and Photography were top notch for both films, but they lacked the heart and originality from both films, something that money can`t buy because it reflects not only the artistic sensibilities from the creators of the original movies, but also reflects the time period in which these movies were produced (they belong to a genre, and a genre is as much a social and historic construction as it is an economical one).

    Also, Platinum Dunes leaving horror isn`t a bad thing from the economical point of view as many might expect. A lot of people who are not into horror watched their movies as ways of giving the genre a try, and found those movies so despicable they gave up completely (what can you do, having torture porn movies on one side and Platinum Dunes garbage on the other.

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