Sunday, June 20, 2010
Don't read this post
I have a weak spot for “Don’t” titles. You know, the ones that go:
Don’t answer the phone; Don’t go in the house; Don’t look in the basement; Don’t look now…
There’s a simple elegance to using a title like, say, Don’t go in the woods.
We all know, saying “Don’t” is the ultimate “Dare you.”
How many times alone do we see that line in one or the other variation used on movie ads for exactly that reason?
Countless times, no doubt.*
And whenever modern American cinema uses the word “Woods” in its title, it’s to provoke the image of some backwoods hicks in the audiences mind.
Don’t go in the woods; “I dare you to face the incest degenerated backwoods mutants.”
I like those titles, I think they tell us a lot about how we, as a society, tick. The worth of the movies that tag along with them is questionable at the best though, often all they strive for is to capitalize on the audiences lowest instincts.
So what’s that saying about me, that I keep remembering those while forgetting far superior works from the same era?
I honestly can’t tell, just keep in mind:
Don’t torture a duckling…
*And often enough I really do find myself afterwards thinking that I should have heeded the warning, and had better not watched the movie, if for a completely different reason.