On Screen Presents: Why we enjoy bad movies

Dylan Wright , Alex Eiden, and Rachael Eyler


Dylan Wright, Arts and Entertainment Editor

There are a few categories of films: movies people love, movies people like, movies people don’t care about, movies people hate, guilty pleasure movies and finally, those movies that are so bad they end up becoming great.

These are the films that people love to laugh at; the movies that are made fun of for their lack of execution or how far off they were from their original goal. There are groups dedicated to watching horrible movies just to make fun of them.

So why is it that people enjoy bad movies?

A person only has to look at a bad movie to see something special happening. A value can be found in the sheer ridiculousness of some of the film’s plot or dialogue. The fun is in making the movie into a joke, and to make an unintentional comedy into something too good to pass up.

It’s almost a form of film recycling: taking something that was considered used and worthless and finding a new purpose for it.

One example is the remake of “The Wicker Man,” starring Nicolas Cage. The film is meant to be a horror movie, filling the audience with psychological terror and haunting imagery.

Instead it gave its viewers a hilarious movie that is filled with face-palm moments. From Nicolas Cage punching out a woman while wearing a bear costume to his constant cries of “How’d it get BURNED?!” a lot of fun can be found in how serious the movie takes itself.

Is it mean to laugh at a movie instead of with it? Maybe, but the film is still being enjoyed and ingested by audiences who may not have given it a second glance. “So bad it’s good” status grants a film new life, and helps repurpose what can be considered a failure into a triumph. Movies that were considered complete failures become cult classics.

Though filmmakers go into a film hoping for a successful box office return or critical acclaim, oftentimes that goal isn’t obtained. However, the fact that flops are now appreciated in a whole new way means that an audience can find entertainment and enjoyment in even the worst of something. It’s a nice thought that a ray of hope can be found in a dark and gloomy time.

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