Wednesday, October 28, 2015

News you Can't Use: Hollywood Moves Back to Demonic Possession Stories

For those who don't own a calendar and have forsaken all contact with the outside world, the primary demographic I'm trying to reach, you need to know it's almost time for Halloween. This, of course, means another tepid round of limp PG-13 offerings that substitute dolls and other non-scary objects for actual story telling. Expect plentiful lame jump scares since that's a lot easier than establishing a mood of growing dread and maybe, if you're lucky, lots of product placement. But wait, we're switching back to "the demon was my co-pilot" stories as the main metaphor for fear of societal disintegration and personal atomization, now that stories about ghouls have reached saturation levels. Will this new trend revive the most stagnant of all genres? Well, no, but we still have to look at the article anyway.

It’s enough to make your head spin. Some 40 years after “The Exorcist,” demonic possession is back, spewing out movies, TV shows and books.

Ha, clearly punchy writing full of clever turns of phrase is not back.

“Ash vs. Evil Dead,” based on the “Evil Dead” film franchise about demons plaguing vacationers at a cabin in the woods, is premiering on the Starz cable network on Halloween.

Like most people I felt that Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness left many themes and plot lines about the dead that are, oddly enough, also evil, unexplored. Ever since repeatedly viewing that 1992 masterwork and writing multiple letters each week to every cable network, no matter how obscure or goofy-named, to demand that we get the proper cynical cash-in reboot that this series always deserved.

A sequel to the hit 2013 film “The Conjuring,” about an attempted exorcism, is in production.

It's rated PG-13, contains a doll that might frighten a timid seven-year-old living a completely sequestered existence in a Mennonite colony and was released last year to a critical reception that could be fairly described as "savage." When "shameless cash grab" is probably the closest thing to a blurb you could put on a poster you know it's just a matter of time before you get another bite at the apple.

“The Witch,” a film-festival darling about possession in a Puritan family in 17th-century New England, is set to open in February.

Yeah, it takes time to remove the shame and target wallets, so please be patient. Besides, nothing's more frightening than February weather or a lonely Valentine's Day, am I right? Hey, come back here!

A revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” opens on Broadway that same month, starring Saoirse Ronan as a young woman amid charges of witchcraft in Salem.

You are aware that this is actually a tale of very human failure with absolutely no demonic elements, right?

A reality-TV special advertised as a “live exorcism” of a haunted house is scheduled to air the night before Halloween.

Still more watchable and less intelligence insulting than the first Democratic debate.

Streaming services, looser broadcast standards and more television options have broadened this audience and fueled more projects.

Yeah, streaming. Like a stream of puke from a drunkard's mouth.

Teens can make a TV show or movie viral in minutes. Young-adult novels turn into hit movies, like the “Twilight” vampire-werewolf films.

And you, as a fully mature adult, will go see this puerile garbage because you're a moronic sheep.

“The Walking Dead,” about a dystopic world overrun with zombies, is the most popular show on cable TV. 

Can there be a twenty year or so moratorium on the word "dystopic" for the benefit of people that can't correctly use it?

The 2013 zombie movie “World War Z” racked up big world-wide ticket sales for weeks.

Man, all this technology really has accelerated the pace of society. Let's talk about 2013 releases, pine for new, worse versions of 1992 sequels and generally fail to move forward.

The new wave of possession films could take scary movies even more into the mainstream.

And no "R" rating, because we want lots of kids at our diabolic possession movie.

The last one, this time for sure, unless it's really profitable.

Teenagers especially relate to the notion of one’s body and mind being taken over by an uncontrollable force they can’t understand.

Demon possession = I can't control my horny levels.

Belief in a demonic presence is a part of many religions, notably Catholicism. Mark Neveldine, who directed this summer’s film “The Vatican Tapes,” says Pope Francis is helping drive the new interest in exorcism.

That or "climate change," I forget which.

“There’s almost like a weird little thrill to the idea that the devil did make me do these horrible, terrible things, and I’m not responsible,” he says.

"I wasn't my fault, George W. Bush left it like this!"

“I love ‘The Exorcist,’” Ms. King says. “It’s a great book and a great movie, but that story has been told.”

But never in a format where nudity and most swearing words are forbidden and hey, easy on the disturbing content because we want that wider, dumber, audience.

Komment Korner  

The Jesuits were reformers, proselytizers, and, most importantly, soldiers of the Holy Mother Church in her battle against the Protestant Revolution

Doggone WSJ spell swapper.

If you believe in God and reject Him....your punushment is fitting.

Get your facts straight!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

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