I just got word that Fox Atomic will not be screening The Hills Have Eyes 2 for press. This is very disappointing, as I much enjoyed last year’s remake (probably a lot more than I should have). I don’t understand why Fox would be so afraid to let critics into the advance screenings in the first place? Could the movie really be that bad? Does the studio really believe that horror fans won’t buy tickets because a movie review they read on the inetenet said it wasn’t good? When was the last time a horror film got great reviews anyway? And how often do the badly reviewed films make big bucks at the box office?
There is obviously a disconnect between critic and average movie-goer opinion when it comes to genre films. It’s too big of an issue to go into here. 300 is the biggest recent example, receiving huge praise from the general public but average to bad reviews in print. But it didn’t seem to hurt 300 did it? The average to negative reviews just added to the mega-publicity push.
And I’m definitely not saying that the critic’s job has become obsolete. We are needed now more than ever in a world of the long tail. We are a filter to champion smaller releases and non genre films. We still have a place in this new digital world.