How to make a horror movie: Person Of Historical Significance + Monster


23rd December 2011

The first poster for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter got me thinking: is it really that easy to make a horror movie? Take a person of historical significance and pit them against a monster? TURNS OUT IT IS.

Ho ho! That's most likely the first thing you did when you heard of the existence of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - laugh for approximately two seconds. Then the smile fades and you feel a little bit sad inside, because lots of people worked very hard on a movie that's probably going to be the new Snakes On A Plane - mildly titter-worthy at the concept stage, but fairly humourless in practice.

Anyway, what is this: a free advert? Here's the poster.

Click image for full-size picture

There he is, Honest Abe, sitting as is his wont, cradling an axe like he is in all of his official phot-WHOOAH, an axe? Crazy shit or what? By all accounts, Seth Grahame-Smith's novel, on which this is based, is a strictly one-gag affair - he's the American president... but he also kills vampires! - so I'm not expecting the movie to rival Steven Spielberg's biopic in terms of Oscars won. Yeah, Daniel Day-Lewis is an incredible actor, but did he ever cut the head off a bloodsucking creature of the night? (*checks*) No.

However, it did get me a-pondering: this is literally how easy it is to get a movie commissioned these days. A funny title. A person in a context that's alien to them. It was cute when Bubba Ho-Tep did it, but it comes across as trite today. Can you really make a compelling horror movie, simply by juxtaposing a person of certain historical and/or political significance with a classic movie monster? Photoshop montaaage!

So as you can see, it... Err... Wait... I forgot what my point was. Can someone tweet me and remind me why I just did all that?

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