Happy Horrorthon! Being lectured to by Two Sentence Horror Stories is as fun as going to an office meeting, at 4 pm, on Friday, December 24th, there are 102 slides, and you have to pee. In short, I watched this so you don’t have to. It’s really been awhile since I watched something so mediocre that it only excelled at being hamfisted trash.
I’ve written many times that horror and science fiction can be great at making political points and raising awareness: Twilight Zone wove great stories with salient issues to America’s living rooms, Night of the Living Dead looked civil rights right in the eye, and Friday the 13th exposed how hockey goalies had taken over the Summer Camp industry.
What do all of the above have in common that Two Sentence Horror Stories does not? They were entertaining and good stories first. I get that some people are angry, but that is no excuse for making terrible television. You have an opportunity to use great stories and subtlety to express yourself and CHANGE people’s minds, but if all you have is a political statement and a boring story- you devolve into lecture and people tune out. The point of using political messages in Horror is BECAUSE your goal is to get through to the other half of the country who disagrees with you.
The greatest example of horror with a message is Night of the Living Dead. Wes Craven discussed Night of The Living Dead and “At the end you realized [George Romero] made a political statement.” AT….THE….END!!!
People have their views. People have views that are different. People have views that are straight up wrong. Now, we are totally and openly polarized so getting people to see your point of view takes the MOST care and effort. It is not the time for hamfisted mediocrity. It’s the time for brilliance!
Two Sentence Horror Stories starts with the social evil right out of the gate and hammers us endlessly with their point of view. Every single episode has the worst mixture of terrible dialogue, confusing plot points, and amateurish camera shots. In essence, it is a failure and shouldn’t even be watched on the elliptical.
Two Sentence Horror Stories- begins with the first sentence of a horror cliche’. Then, you see someone beleaguered by a social evil. No one supports them until it’s almost too late. Then, the social evil is easily smacked in the face. The second sentence of the horror cliche’ appears. Lastly, we get a take home assignment and have to watch Ken Burns’ lesser known works.
The show puts the dilemma right in your face without nuance. I agree with the social message, but it’s as subtle as a brick to the face and the messages in this show aren’t even ground breaking.
They build the story around the message instead of the message around the story. You need to entertain first, get the audience to identify with your protagonist, and then get us to think. This is never done. Lastly, the messages they’re spoon-feeding us aren’t even new ideas and everyone is on board with these ideas. Therefore, the show fails to even break new ground when it’s haranguing us. It’s like they’re shouting at the Mayo Clinic to stop using leeches.
In summary, this show is boring, not scary, and preachy about issues that no one is disputing! Maybe, next week’s episode will be on how we all have to start drinking water and stop drinking bleach.