While I do have a halfassed system for checking reviews–there are too many great horror films out now to waste my time on yet another hack-hack flick about some rando motiveless superhuman serial killer consecutively taking out a pool of boring 30 year old teenagers whose sole purpose is to be slasher chum. I just won’t. You can’t make me. We are in the midst of a glorious horror Renaissance and my biggest problem lately is deciding which lovely horror indie to watch…not whether it is worthy of watching. My favorite moderate source is Rotten Tomatoes because you get a large pool of professional reviewers (as well as a few fools like me) and then you get the viewer’s ratings too. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. A lot of people prefer the opinion of the Great Unwashed Masses–sort of a reverse snobbery pride thing, I guess–while I prefer seeing what the professional critics have to say and then compare those reviews to the Masses (spoiler: my favorite movies usually tend to be lopsided ratings: very high positive critical ratings versus very low audience ratings. My snobbery is more straightforward).
But I’ve given up on IMDb.
Don’t get me wrong; they are great for a spot-check and they have far more entries than RT. So if I see the overall rating is a 4.3, okay, NEXT. That in itself can be a big timesaver. But years ago, I stopped reading the non-professional “reviews”, for several reasons. Illiteracy, for one–it’s depressing to read some crayon-scrawled, second-grade special ed reading level opus which is barely readable, never mind coherent. There is big problem with misogyny–and while I dread doing it, I will at some point address the rampant misogyny of the reviews on IMDb, though there are too many points to be made here. But it took more than that to drive me away, a huge pet peeve only second to my ever-burning hatred for that Untouchable caste of Movie Spoilers–it is the absolute arrogance of those who not only denigrate those with differing opinions, but actually accuse them of lying.
Here is a perfect example:
“What a stupid movie! Makes no sense. Storyline has so many holes. I’m thinking the rating systems have been infiltrated. No way people love this movie”.
Never mind that this is a very highly praised film, both critically and popularly. Not that there is anything wrong with being the lone dissenting voice. To my dying day I will tell Chariots of Fire to kiss my ass.
But I would never have the sulky little pout-bitch gall to presume that there was a great stuck-up cabal of hundreds of liars conspiring to disagree with me. And that is what this solipsistic little shithead is saying: I hate this movie and if you say you like it, you’re not just wrong, you’re lying, because my opinion is so goddamn important that it is impossible for other people to disagree with me.
Really. Think about it. That is some Herculean-level hubris, minus the 12 labors for atonement (I’d emphasize stable shoveling).
But this goes beyond just ego; this at least borders on delusions of grandeur with paranoid features, because this narcissistic jackwipe is convinced that the only way so many reviewers could have a different opinion is if that evil cabal of fake movie-likers actually hacked those reviewers’ sites…and somehow those hapless reviewers completely missed having their honest “Yeah! We don’t like it either!” reviews replaced with these outrageously glowing fake-news reviews.
Wonder how they do it? Mind control? Mass roofie-ing? Pod people replacement? Personally, I’d like to see this scenario fleshed out a bit because God knows we don’t have enough conspiracy theories these days.
Think I’m overreacting? Go take a walk on the wild side of IMDb, ie actually read the reviews and you will discover that there is a veritable infestation of these insufferable little prats waxing self-righteous about these other lying reviewer-saboteurs who pretend to feel this different way about the film. Don’t believe them!They are obviously lying, they’ve been hacked, they’re paid reviewers, enemies of the state, fucking heretics, sneakyass trolls. Of course these fake movie likers are lying; I hated this movie, which means it is clearly an abomination before God and man. Also, it’s stoopid…and boorrrrinng. No jumpscares, no boobies and no kung fu.
[Sidebar: This is probably an excellent time for me to pass on a very valuable trick I’ve learned: if you read more than one misspelled, grammatically-raped review which includes the key words “stupid” “nothing happens” “boring”, “didn’t even make no sense” etc, that is slackjawed-speak for “low tech, character-driven film, which relies on building suspense rather than lazy gimmicks and is too unpredictable and complex to fuck around on Facebook while watching and expect to know what’s going on. I literally go out of my way to watch these movies and with very rare exception, I end up being one of those lying sack of shit paid reviewers who likes the movie. Try it sometime. When it comes to quality horror, anti-reviews are invaluable. Now back to my very labored point…]
But hold on–I see you out there, raising your hand, saying, “But some of those people are paid reviewers!”
True. In rare cases, usually with extremely low-budgeted, life-savings-self-financed terrible mistakes made by people who have never made a movie in their life (nor will they again) and are panicking because they are getting dogpiled, you might find a suspicious slew of effusive reviews, usually all grouped together…but those fake reviews are hilariously obvious: “Literally the greatest film ever made! I laughed! I cried! I rededicated myself to God and saved my marriage. I can’t wait to BUY the movie so I can watch it every single day for the rest of my life oh my god, it is such an inspiration!! 10/10!!!!!”…meanwhile, the rest of the reviews are more of the short, 1/10 “What the fuck was that dog shit?” ilk.
I suppose what bothers me the most is that this is yet another contemptible indication of the entitlement epidemic already saturating a country convinced of its own exceptionalism and, for fuck’s sake, it wouldn’t hurt any of us to learn a little humility, that just because somebody disagrees doesn’t mean they’re bad. In other words, Yes, Virginia–different tastes and opinions than your own exists. Really.