Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A final word before Horrorthon 2008 commences...


I’ve been discussing the Horrorthon ratings system with JSP (pictured above with unbridled enthusiasm about Horrorthon 2008). His take has been that there should not be a rating system because this is all so subjective. I agree about the subjectivity, however I also feel that having a scale with some inter-rater reliability (JPX, JSP, and Octo) provides some insight into our thinking after watching 100s of movies over the past few years. In my opinion I like the rating system. When I turn on my computer and see 10 reviews posted, I like to scan quickly through to see if anyone has found a horror jewel or suffered through a horror stinker. The loose rating system is a quick and dirty way to gauge how others are thinking. I’ve provided an updated and revised scale for those who like some loose guidelines on how we’ve rated past well-known movies. I’ve moved some of the films around and I’ve added some more recent films to keep the scale current. Obviously you can completely ignore all of this, after all, your reviews will tell the real story.

***** -- A horror masterpiece. Absolutely essential viewing. (Psycho, Alien, The Wickerman, The Omen (original), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original), Halloween (original), The Ring, JU-ON, Dawn of the Dead (either version), The Exorcist, The Shining)

****1/2 -- Brilliant (Evil Dead, Suspiria, The Others, Inner Senses, The Eye [original Japanese version], Kairo, The Last Man on Earth, The Thing [1982])

**** -- Excellent (I Am Legend, Hostel, Wolf Creek, The Craft, Phantasm, Poltergeist, Evil Dead II, Race with the Devil, Hellraiser)

***1/2 -- Great, fun, worth watching (Saw [franchise], Vacancy, Creepshow, Halloween 2, Candyman, Elm St.1, Friday the 13th 4, Return of the Living Dead, Pumpkinhead, Dementia 13, Trilogy of Terror)

*** -- Good, watchable, no real surprises though (Bride of Chucky, Blair Witch 2, Friday the 13th part VI, Elm St.2-4, )

**1/2 -- No big deal if you miss it, barely adequate (I Know What you did Last Summer)

** -- Pretty lame (Red Eye, Scream 3, Leprechaun, Motel Hell, Gothika)

*1/2 -- Really bad (The Ring 2, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Martin, Last House on the Left)

* -- God-awful, virtually unwatchable, not even so-bad-that-it’s-good, just bad, a painful exercise to endure - save for the absolute bottom (Shocker, Return to Horror High, Return of the Killer Tomatoes, Creepshow 3, Ring of Terror)

9 comments:

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Wait a second, that's me? I swore that was Ben...

Julie said...

If Evil Dead 2 does not receive the highest rating, then I do not understand the system.

Landshark said...

I like the updates, jpx.

How do you guys rate so-bad-it's-good movies? Just give them a legit rating, but then hype their comic potential in the review?

JPX said...

Landshark, I think you nailed it!

Octopunk said...

Sometimes a SBIG movie will actually boost itself beyond the three star "worth your time" marker, as with The Crawling Hand, to which I gave four stars and JSP gave three.

But Landshark has the right idea, because there are a lot of awful movies out there, and boosting their rating can feel wrong.

I'm with you, Jules! I notice that Evil Dead 2 was on the four star list in the old version of that breakdown -- I think JPX tweaked the list but didn't go for the full overhaul, or else The Craft probably wouldn't even be on there.

I gave ED2 the whole five when I reviewed it in '05.

Octopunk said...

Despite my last comment, thanks for working on the list, JPX! And I agree with you that the rating system is useful and fun.

Nice scary avatar, Landshark!

JPX said...

Yeah, I love Evil Dead 2 and I actually have a tape recording of Octo reviewing it as soon as we left the theater when we first viewed it all those years ago. We went to Barrington Beach afterwards and marveled about how awesome the film was while skipping rocks.

AC said...

exqueeze me, but the technology exists to convert that tape to digital media and circulate it amongst the faithful, meaning us. whaddya say?

JPX said...

That's like asking me to split the atom.