The past few years have given way to a new tradition when it comes to the arts: mixing the supernatural with… well, everything. As a society, we must confess to finding intrigue within the supernatural, but these days, it seems we’ve given up creativity and originality and replaced it with unambitious copouts.
The movie and book business has been around long enough now that it can be quite a challenge to come up with an idea that hasn’t been “done” before—maybe even impossible, but it’s the execution that matters. Lately, though, it seems like we’ve been experiencing a sort of creative laziness as the same exact stories just get mashed up with “new” characters, lots of action, and of course some zombies or vampires.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is an easy target when it comes to our new obsession with adding supernatural creatures and into every story, but our renewed interest in the supernatural certainly showed itself before that with stories like Twilight. Now, four years later, we have new movies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Snow White and the Huntsman (an action-packed revamp of the old classic), Red Riding Hood (with werewolves!), and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
Stories like Snow White and Hansel & Gretel certainly started with a valid and potentially interesting concept, but the execution was lacking. Instead of creating a complex, interesting, and quality end product, these films instead settled on mediocre storylines and excellent special effects.
Critic Stuart Jeffries calls this type of low-motivation execution “tiresomely schlocky zero-expectation genre flicks that… exist solely to trade on a kitschy title.” And indeed, some will still flock to the theater to see them, happy so long as they spend a few hours being entertained. But most will stay home or see another movie more worth their time and money.
We’re missing the passion and individuality that should permeate films and books, slowly becoming bored with the bland failures that seem to fill every nook and cranny of the bookshelves and box office listings. It’s a trend we hope will die down soon. A vampire doesn’t make a bad story good—the story’s got to be the primary focus, with everything else coming in second.