We can now fairly say that Screen Rant’s Kofi Outlaw’s prediction that 2013 could be a profitable year for horror cinema has proven to be correct, thanks to the efforts of director James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious: Chapter 2), as well as the popular scarefests offered by newbie filmmakers (Mama, Evil Dead). On an even more encouraging note, horror is now a genre where creativity and ingenuity have proven to be the big selling points, as was recently observed by none other than… Michael Bay?
Yes, Bay – who has produced a number of poorly-received remakes and/or reboots of cherished horror properties through his Platinum Dunes banner over the past decade – has sung the horror genre’s praises, for the way that its success doesn’t usually hinge on having big-name stars as a selling point. More importantly, the Transformers franchise director says that he wants to get in on the horror moviemaking game – by serving as more than the money behind a horror project, that is.
The Bay quote comes from a recently-published THR article (hat tip to STYD) that focuses on “Hollwood’s 20 Masters of Horror”. Bay naturally made the cut, since there’s no getting around the fact that his and PD’s remakes of such titles as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Amityville Horror, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street have tended to make a tidy sum and profit at the box office (regardless of your own personal feelings about each and/or every one of these horror classics re-imagined for the 21st century).
More intriguing, however, is the comment from Bay included in said article:
“I have a great fantasy — that I will probably make a reality — of directing my own self-financed horror movie. I love this genre because the movie is the star.”
Now, although Bay and PD have made a bundle by remaking horror films, they’ve recently hit it big with the original horror/thriller The Purge, which grossed a healthy $64 million in the U.S. (against a $3 million budget, no less) thanks to its concept, far more than the draw of its leads (Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey). That is to say, Bay has taken a drink from the same well that has fed the financial success of recent horror films like Insidious, Sinister and so forth (i.e. movies sold on their artistic merits and originality) – so he knows from experience that “the [horror] movie is the star” (even when it’s not a remake/reboot).
Now, the big question is: does the horror genre and director Michael Bay read as being a good match? The filmmaker has ventured outside of the action blockbuster arena before, yet his fast-cutting style and/or his fondness of explosions have remained present even when Bay’s dipped his toe deeper into the pool of science-fiction (see: The Island) or social commentary/satire (see: Pain & Gain) – often to the point where it harms what might’ve been a better final product if it were not brought to life through Bay’s hands (to avoid sugarcoating the situation).
On the other hand, Bay is skilled at capturing movement (read: motion energy) on-camera; not to mention, exploiting the human form in order to produce attractive eye candy. As such, a horror film directed by Bay would presumably be more of an exercise in trashy and visceral horror filmmaking (rather than thoughtful and atmospheric scares) – and there is a market for that kind of horror entertainment, which bodes well for the chances that Bay will get to realize his (for now) dream.
How about it: do you want to see a horror movie directed by Michael Bay?