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The simple concept movie

Old 09-24-18, 10:10 AM
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The simple concept movie

Why are these such a hard sell nowadays? Is it because audiences expect and want more "depth"? Is it because attention spans are shorter? Is it because movies are being made more on the marketing concept than the story concept?

Some of the best movies were simple concepts:

Jaws: A killer shark attacks swimmers.

Halloween: A masked killer murders people on Halloween.

Predator: An alien hunter hunts soldiers in a jungle.

Alien: A deadly alien ends up on a cargo shuttle.

A Nightmare on Elm St: Deceased child murderer Freddy Krueger is burned alive and kills the kids on Elm St in their dreams.

Now a days we get:

The Meg:
Spoiler:
A prehistoric shark thought long extinct happens to escap to the surface where its killed. But just kidding, there are really two of them and they have to kill them again.


Halloween:
Spoiler:
Michael Myers kills kids on Halloween because he was raised in a white trash family and murders his sister on Halloween night because she was a slut and becomes obsessed with masks before breaking out and killing some teens who happened to include his baby sister that he loved.

Unless you prefer that Michael was trying to kill his sister who is killed in a car wreck so he trys to kill his niece, because he was cursed on his birth by the thorn symbol and the cult of thorn led by the man in black who was his other doctor in the asylum wants to use him as a weapon. Or something.



Predator:
Spoiler:
The predator is not an intergalactic hunter for sport, he hunts because his tribe wants to genetic engineer them with the traits of the best species that they kill in order to form a super predator.


Alien:
Spoiler:
The Aliens were created after a group of scintists who wanted to go and make contact with the creators of the universe go to a different planet, where magical black goo is used by an android named David who is trying to create a perfect species on another planet and creates the Alien.


A Nightmare on Elm St:
Spoiler:
Freddy Krueger is really the gentle Mr. Krueger who kills the kids of Elm St in their dreams because he was falsely accused of molesting them until its really revealed that he did moleste and kill them for...reasons?


Sure some simple concept movies sneak through(47 Meters down, The Shallows) and yet it seems like Hollywood doesnt want to make them by and large anymore, instead choosing to be "epic." So what is so hard about making them today?

Last edited by Groucho; 09-24-18 at 12:55 PM. Reason: added spoiler tags
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Old 09-24-18, 10:19 AM
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Re: The simple concept movie

It's easier to replicate an original than to come up with something original.
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Old 09-24-18, 10:44 AM
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Re: The simple concept movie

I feel like you're being a bit unfair because you're comparing the "tag line" of the original movies with the full plots of the remakes / sequels. For example The Meg is being advertised as "Jaws with a Giant Shark" and none of the other plot bits you mention are part of the marketing push.

That said, there have been several original simple concept movies that have been popular in recent years: The Purge, Get Out, The Quiet Place...even last year's best picture winner The Shape of Water. Etc.
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Old 09-24-18, 10:45 AM
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Re: The simple concept movie

I guess when you're doing a remake (and some being remade for seemingly the 10th time), you need to expand the story so it doesn't seem so redundant.
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Old 09-24-18, 11:11 AM
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Re: The simple concept movie

I'd argue that movie concepts that seem simple usually have more going on, and that's why those movies become classics. Halloween was cited as a "masked killer on Halloween", but I think there's a lot more going on. Specifically, it takes place in the suburbs, a location not used often in horror up to that point. In almost every previous horror movie, it was the spooky castle, the haunted house, the graveyard, the woods, whatever. You could sort of blame the protagonists for going where they don't belong. But Halloween brought it home. Hell, it's in the tagline of the movie.

Now, in many of the examples cited in the first post, the commonality is a detailed backstory. A why. I agree with some of this to an extent, and I gotta at least partially blame George Lucas and his prequel trilogy. Seriously. The original trilogy of Star Wars, we didn't know why Darth Vader was such a mean MFer, and there was some mystery. He was a Jedi who fell to the Dark Side. Don't know how, or why, and it didn't matter. But then Lucas made three films where we just had to see why, and it was a total letdown.

And it seems that in most movies now, especially "reboots", they take great pains to give us a detailed backstory.
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Old 09-24-18, 11:32 AM
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Re: The simple concept movie

Lots of spoilers in that OP...
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Old 09-24-18, 12:01 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

I don't think anyone's lives will be greatly affected by the spoilers.
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Old 09-24-18, 12:11 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
I'd argue that movie concepts that seem simple usually have more going on, and that's why those movies become classics. Halloween was cited as a "masked killer on Halloween", but I think there's a lot more going on. Specifically, it takes place in the suburbs, a location not used often in horror up to that point. In almost every previous horror movie, it was the spooky castle, the haunted house, the graveyard, the woods, whatever. You could sort of blame the protagonists for going where they don't belong. But Halloween brought it home. Hell, it's in the tagline of the movie.

Now, in many of the examples cited in the first post, the commonality is a detailed backstory. A why. I agree with some of this to an extent, and I gotta at least partially blame George Lucas and his prequel trilogy. Seriously. The original trilogy of Star Wars, we didn't know why Darth Vader was such a mean MFer, and there was some mystery. He was a Jedi who fell to the Dark Side. Don't know how, or why, and it didn't matter. But then Lucas made three films where we just had to see why, and it was a total letdown.

And it seems that in most movies now, especially "reboots", they take great pains to give us a detailed backstory.
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Old 09-24-18, 12:15 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

Originally Posted by E Unit View Post
I don't think anyone's lives will be greatly affected by the spoilers.
There's little indication the post is going to have major spoilers about recent releases. We're a forum about movies. Yeah, I think there's impact.
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Old 09-24-18, 12:16 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

Originally Posted by E Unit View Post
I don't think anyone's lives will be greatly affected by the spoilers.
[Frasier Crane] Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father. In Citizen Kane, Rosebud is his sled. In Murder on the Orient Express, EVERYONE did it! [/Frasier Crane]
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Old 09-24-18, 01:03 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post

That said, there have been several original simple concept movies that have been popular in recent years: The Purge, Get Out, The Quiet Place...even last year's best picture winner The Shape of Water. Etc.
Wait, what?
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Old 09-24-18, 01:32 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
Wait, what?
Just guessing, but I think Groucho's concept for The Shape of Water is "woman falls in love with fish-man," not just the concept of a fish-man itself.
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Old 09-24-18, 04:14 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

What amazes me about Halloween is nobody thought of it sooner. It seems like such a no brainer.
Teen horror movies had been around since the 50s.
Babysitter urban legends had been around forever.
I have to wonder, if you walked into offices of AIP with the concept of Halloween circa 1965, would they think it was brilliant or throw you out.
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Old 09-24-18, 04:41 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Just guessing, but I think Groucho's concept for The Shape of Water is "woman falls in love with fish-man," not just the concept of a fish-man itself.
My definition was even broader than that, I really just meant "New IP".
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Old 09-24-18, 04:48 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

The more I think about it, the more I think the OP is conflating "simple concept" with "expanded backstory".

Most of the movies listed, new and old all are simple concepts, and in the cases of the remakes they could still fall under the "simple" description. The only difference is in the backstory. Now if you're saying that today's movies have to explain too much, I'd agree (see my Star Wars example a few posts up). But the concepts of the movies are really the same.
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Old 09-24-18, 04:59 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

Let's greatly minimize "classic" movies and needlessly over-aggrandize "contemporary" movies. Got it
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Old 09-24-18, 05:34 PM
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Re: The simple concept movie

John Wick was a man seeks revenege for the death of his dog.
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