Today I took a chance on the movie Sunshine with Cillian Murphy, the dude who was in Fantastic Four and directed by the Slumdog Millionaire guy.
The premise is interesting: the Sun is dying and 8 astronauts attempt to restart it by shooting a bomb the size of Manhattan into it. I'm unsure if the science behind it makes any sense but hey, that's what I like about Sci Fi in the first place is that it doesn't have to make sense all the time. Visually it is pretty awesome too and some of the dialog is decent. The enormity of the task before the astronauts kept me interested until:
A naked Freddy Krueger who "talks to God" and exercises in extreme sunlight starts sabotaging the ship and killing the astronauts. Straight into a less gory Event Horizon
Why? Was that really necessary? I can't remember a movie starting strong and going weak this fast. It reminded me of Stripes for sheer whiplash of awesome to lame.
I might be in a minority, but the unknown is a far more scary plot device or whatever you want to call it. Star Trek The Motion Picture, for example, was pretty spooky to me. The idea that there might be things out there that are all powerful and ancient make me think more than a blob of homicidal goo or viruses that turn people in to sea monsters. Even just thinking about the size of the universe scares me. It's just so big.
Is it to guarantee a wide enough audience to make the budget that sci fi movies need to include corny horror movie aspects? Did successes like Alien typecast sci fi as a horror platform?
As I write this, I remember a movie that did give me hope for Sci Fi movies in the future. Moon with Sam Rockwell. But that's a different topic altogether. As is Solaris (the Clooney one). I could've sworn they called me stupid for two hours with that one.
I guess I'll watch They Live again. Roddy Piper, John Carpenter, and it works.