Criticsm Vs. Bullying: Rex Reed’s V/H/S/2 Review Is A Slap To The Face Of Film Criticism



But at least Rex had all his facts straight about the other segments, describing exactly what happened so people could understand what he missed – oh wait, of course he f#cking didn’t. In another showing that just continually proves that Rex Reed doesn’t respect his readers or the medium enough to even put in the extra effort to research correct information, Reed completely misses the mark on plot details. If only there was some online database that collects information about every movie that’s been/being created, letting Mr. Reed at least provide correct information in his false review. You know, like IMDb (Internet Movie Database), Wikipedia, or even just going to f#cking Google and typing V/H/S/2 and clicking the first link that appears. In fact, let’s see what happens. OH LOOK! IMDB IS THE FIRST SELECTION THAT COMES UP. It’s one thing to provide a review that lacks any critique at all, but it’s another to provide a review with no integrity, professionalism, or a shred of common decency towards the filmmakers.

So let’s see how far off he was. His first description says “a mountain biker pursued by flesh-eating zombies.” Well, that’s kind of right, except the mountain-biker is actually a zombie himself, and we watch flesh-eating zombies pursue their next meal. Our main character isn’t running away, except for the first minute where he is human. The story is completely the opposite of what Rex said, making him 0/1. Next up he says “a cult of Satan worshipers.” Damn you Reed, OK, you’re 1/2. By saying the most general statement about “Safe Haven,” you’re actually correct. This last description is inexcusable though: “a sleepover invaded by psycho kidnappers told from the perspective of a GoPro camera attached to the back of a dog.” Dude, seriously. THE NAME OF THE SEGMENT IS “ALIEN SLUMBER PARTY.” Psychopaths? Ugh, his utter disregard for factual data infuriates me, because as a reader, if I believe I have a better database of knowledge than the reviewer him/herself, why the f#ck am I reading his critique?

I normally wouldn’t be so nitpicky about such a mistake, because let’s be honest, everyone makes mistakes. But Reed’s repeated neglect and overall complete ignorance of factual data comes across as nothing but lazy, hateful, disrespectful, unprofessional, and horribly inexcusable – especially for someone who holds himself on such an illustrious pedestal. I already highlighted his gross mis-explanation of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters last time, but Reed’s non-existent attention to detail reared its ugly head yet again in his Pacific Rim. He states: “[Guillermo Del Toro’s] debut film was a neat little horror called Kronos, but I have personally disliked everything he’s done since. I was not a fan of the labored, overrated Pan’s Labyrinth, and I hated the equally contrived and pretentious ghost story The Orphanage.”  The Orphanage. The movie directed by J.A. Bayona, and presented by Guillermo Del Toro? You are aware he didn’t direct Mama either, right Rex? These types of errors make his voice weaker and weaker as the frequency builds up, and this has been going on entirely too long. Yet with his boisterous voice, Reed keeps ramming these blunders down people’s throats in an unapologetic display of power, banking on the status he’s built over the years just to hear himself blubber on in what he thinks is a genius-type fashion.

But that’s not even the worst of it. The biggest injustice to come out of Reed’s comments are again unnecessary insults from a crotchety blow-hard who puts down the very medium that made him somewhat recognizable in the first place. To quote Mr. Reed, our team of directors are just “seven unknown directors hell-bent on remaining that way.” Again, if you know nothing about a genre, then keep your f#cking mouth shut. It’s that simple. Honestly, not following film criticism until I started writing myself, I had no idea who Rex Reed was – and I’m not afraid to say that. I knew Ebert, Siskel, and then younger people that I actually read on sites more geared towards my generation. But you know what I did, Rex? I Googled your name and read up on your life so I could keep my article factually correct and therefore more powerful. You saying these directors are unknown shows how much you pigeonhole yourself as a critic, and seriously makes me wonder what business you have rating a horror movie anyway. Granted, none of these guys have the recognition of Scorsese or Kubrick (yet), but every one of them are becoming a mainstay in the cinematic world.

Starting with Simon Barrett (“Tape 49”) and Adam Wingard (“Phase I Clinical Trails”), these two have teamed up on a number of features (A Horrible Way To Die/VHS/The ABCs of Death), along with their upcoming film You’re Next, which happens to be one of the most hotly anticipated horror films of the year (not to mention being a festival circuit juggernaut that sites have been talking about for years now). Then you’ve got Jason Eisener, the only dude cool enough to rock a golden Millennium Falcon chain in his IMDb picture, another contributor to The ABCs of Death, creator of the cult-worshiped Christmas horror short Treevenge, and writer/director of the feature Hobo With A Shotgun. Don’t forget Timo Tjahjanto though, yet another The ABCs Of Death contributor who is best known for his horror film Macabre, and future repeat collaborator with his “Safe Haven” counterpart.

OK, I’ll throw the dog a bone and admit those names you might not know unless you’re into harder genre stuff. Since Rex has shown he doesn’t give a damn about horror (seriously, scroll through his Rotten Tomatoes profile and see his recent horror ratings. He gave Cabin In The Woods 1/4), but even so, you cannot sit there and tell me Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sánchez are unknown. Whether you like horror or not, you’ve heard of The Blair Witch project. Being one of the first successful “found footage” films, coming years before Paranormal Activity, what Hale (producer) and Sánchez (director) accomplished cinematically has been recounted time and time again by Hollywood gurus, and a slew of copy-cat films have tried to achieve the same overnight success of a budgetary gold mine that showed a return of 20,592% on a $600,000 budget (once marketing and such had been added to the equation). To call them unknown is a puzzling falsity.

Our last director, Gareth Evans, is another name I got a good chuckle out of Reed calling unknown. Granted, it appears Reed had much more important things to do last year than catch Evans’ film The Raid: Redemption, which was heralded as an insta-classic adrenaline rush, and is hands-down one of the best action films in years. The rights were bought almost immediately, a US release was granted, and a green light was given on the spot for a sequel. Evans is one of the hottest new directors around, and pulled himself from Rex’s “basement of the unknown” the minute he made The Raid: Redemption. Surely he’ll be in even higher demand after teaming with Tjahjanto on “Save Haven,” which stands as one of the most gripping, entertaining, and unabashedly creative horror shorts in years. You know, the one Reed wrote-off without seeing?

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