Opinion Piece – Original is Best

Midsommar is an original and memorable genre entry

Opinion piece by Eddie on 23/08/2019

Recently (as I am sure many others did also) I had the pleasure of watching two new original pieces of film-making churned out through the Hollywood system, buzzy horror Midsommar and the much hyped Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Two films, two very different filmmakers but wholeheartedly passionate and non-conforming directors that delivered the goods (flaws and all) in both occurrences.

Both these films have come to us at a time where the boffins in Hollywood and major cinema chains from around the world stand united, worried about the state of cinema as dwindling ticket sales, a huge collection of summer flops and cold receptions to a large slate of films stand head and shoulders above the more successful stories of the year such as behemoths Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, Aladdin, Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Lion King.

In amongst these scatterings of successes there’s been an abundance of flopping and downright disappoints with such outings as Men In Black International, Dumbo, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Shaft, The Hustle, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Hellboy, The Lego Movie 2, Angry Birds 2 and Happy Death Day 2U headlining a long list of remakes, sequels, prequels and reimagining’s that have proven to be anything but drawcards for the type of audience engagement that has previously existed for these type of properties.

Godzilla King of the Monsters delivered poor takings for the size of its budget

In a an age where Hollywood and movie kingdoms from around the world have made a habit out of churning out tried and true properties in hopes of easy wins (that just so happen to cost millions upon millions in budget and marketing), what a breath of fresh air it is to head along to the cinema to watch a film that can genuinely surprise you and take you on a journey of the unexpected, the exciting and the unknown.

It’s not to say there’s anything wrong with sequels or fresh takes perse but the over indulgence of this very serious issue has been more evident this year than ever before and when you get to enjoy such high quality original offerings as Tarantino’s latest gem or a genuinely unnerving fresh horror product, you once more realize that original is still best and audiences aren’t as foolish as big studios take them to be.

It’s not likely that Midsommar or Hollywood will reign with the supreme champs at the end of years box office takings but both films would be looking to turn in a healthy profit for their studios, who thankfully backed the original efforts in to perform on the biggest stages around the world, up against such quality offerings as Hobbs and Shaw , Angel Has Fallen and A Dog’s Journey.

Us was another example of a memorable 2019 original offering

As the industry amusingly talks of doom and gloom with the changing of consumer habits with an abundance of streaming services changing the way viewers indulge in content and fret about one of the lowest ticket sale years in some time, there’s a refreshingly surprising answer at the heart of this industry wide problem.

There’s a time and place for remakes and sequels, a comfort food of sorts that’s fine in moderation but there’s also a need to continue to provide audience’s with fresh, original and genre-shaking offerings instead of loading us up with films that often try very little to offer us up anything of long lasting substance or remembrance.

If Hollywood fails to acknowledge this, its highly likely they will find themselves with more hard times coming their way as audiences of various backgrounds and desires seek to unearth quality original content in all the other places now available to them.

Let’s face it, at the end of the day original is still best, hands down.

How do you feel about this Summer of film and Hollywood’s reliance of churning out the easy wins? Let me know in the comments below!

10 responses to “Opinion Piece – Original is Best

  1. Agreed, though at the end of the day, audiences prefer the familiar, and will thus continue to flock to the latest superhero offering.
    It’s just how we’re wired. We dread change, and much rather stick to what we’re comfortable with.
    And what’s more comfortable than a silly superhero flick?
    I’m telling you. Entire political movements have risen and fallen upon this principle.

    • The one interesting thing for me this year mate, even though there’s been some massive box office hauls is the amount of dead set failures from seemingly sure wins.
      Films such as the 2nd Lego Movie, Men In Black and X-Men, it shows me that there is a fatigue out there in some form and that people won’t just go to the same old thing if that’s all there ever offered.

  2. I agree. There is nothing wrong with sequels, but it just seems that lately that is pretty much the only thing that is on offer, and that really is a bit of a shame. It’s hard these days to find something which is truly orginal, but then again it’s also hard to write something that is original because everything has been done in one form or other. We can only hope that we will hopefully get a more healthy mix of sequels/original content. 😊

    • I think a more balance dosage is whats needed mate, and by looking at some of the performances of big films that are remakes, sequels etc, feels like people are answering with their wallets.

  3. I agree with you that there is a stunning lack of original content. If it isn’t a sequel or remake, then the movie is based on a true story or a biopic. I do think there is economics behind making these movies. The audience, as someone has mentioned, feels comfort in seeing these movies, and some people thoroughly enjoy them. The people who cried at the end of infinity wars are an example of those people.

    The number of movies made each year has increased substantially in the internet era, and I believe there is a dilution of talent. This increase in numbers changes our perception of the number of good films. There are still those 5 to 10 good movies a year, and now there are hundreds if not thousands of mediocre to bad ones. Scott argues that a 3.5 out of 5 is a terrific film these days.

    I disagree with raistlin0903, that it is hard to write something new these days. The problem is the writers have forgotten how to write focused stories with excellent characters. I think to last year, and simples stories about people and families, like Shoplifters, Roma and Happy as Lazaro are still possible. Us, Get Out, and Midsommar are just some examples of original ideas. It can be done, it merely takes effort and a lot of humility. Humility in that you may have written 10 or 20 minutes of nonsense that needs to be cut from the script. But today we keep everything in and make marathon movies.

    • I do agree that there are really only 5 – 10 films a year that are memorable at the moment as there are a lot that are enjoyable without offering much to remember. I do think a lot of lazy filmmaking is out there at the moment and that is mainly the studios fault. Just so enjoyable to see a good original film!

  4. I didn’t like Once Upon A Time or Midsommar. In America, we’ve had to come to terms with lies. There was enough material to weave the true stories in Tarantino and enough there in the original script of Midsommar. But with the latter, it felt like cultural appropriation and many swedes expressed disapproval. Another but, because of both successes Hollywood had never really started with morals. Why, start now? You guys watch a lot of movies and are clever in your critique. One trend I have noticed is I really really enjoy 1 million dollar budget films. Even, when they’re terrible. Like over ten million, something happens to the production value and the stories come apart.

      • I agree. I can see what I was saying a different way, movies are documenting a time. If our government and its culture is becoming unstable because of the media. You don’t stop filming. With Midsommar, I believed they tried to create a tale from an existing culture and not point at a specific group. Being Native American, I could relate to the cultural appropriation. I just, my two cents.

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