Oftentimes Hollywood's lack of originality leads to overexposed trends. Remember when every action movie seemed to be easily defined as 'Die Hard on a ...'? Remember when disaster movies were all the rage? And then twenty years later when they were all the rage again? Remember when there were like a hundred body-swapping comedies? Well, there appear to be fewer trends these days, or maybe it's just that Hollywood turns trends into full-blown practices, as in the case of sequels, comic book movies and fantasy films based on literary franchises. Nowadays even a promised trend, like the one involving religious Passion of the Christ copycats, isn't necessarily going to happen. But despite there being so few here-today-gone-tomorrow film fads, there's at least seven bad ideas currently in vogue in Tinsel Town, and all of them need to disappear soon, lest they too become permanent.
1. Torture Porn
I'm going to start with an easy, surely obvious one. Torture porn is the latest trend in horror, a genre that changes its predominant style every few years, and it may be the most despised -- at least by us non-horror junkies. I miss the days when a friend, an actual junkie, could drag me to a harmless scary movie that provided a few screams, a few laughs and afterward, at the most, a few silly nightmares. Now, with each new horror movie there's promise of a seriously depressing experience. After watching The Hills Have Eyes, I realized I hadn't been frightened at all. Instead I wanted to cry my heart out. I haven't been to a horror flick since, and my friend is going solo. Sure, I hear that Eli Roth's movies are a lot more enjoyable than watching a young woman raped while watching her father burned alive and her mother raped and then shot in the head, but I just haven't been in the mood to find out.
Apparently the torture porn trend is already on its way out. Hostel II performed poorly at the box office and Captivity may have peaked too soon, reaching maximum tastelessness before even opening in theaters. So what will be next? I'm rather looking forward to when slasher movies are in fashion again, when I can delight in seeing sinful human beings killed off quickly and deservedly by an implausible maniac. Which brings me to the next trend ...