Sam Raimi Proves his Irrelevance, “13: FEAR IS REAL” Needs to be Put Down like Eight Belles.

Posted by Peter Hall - January 7th 2009 @ 11:12 pm

“13: FEAR IS REAL”, a reality show on The CW produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, is an insipid crime against the senses.  A more obnoxious show the Son of Perdition himself could not design.

Thirteen volunteered social amoebas are slapped in front of the cameras to run through the same formula of all reality shows: challenge, failure, elimination.  This destined-to-be-canceled bit of programming is angled around challenges and situations intended to scare the contestants.  No one in their right mind would be scared by anything on this show, however.  I’ve seen more fear in the eyes of startled runners on “LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE” than anything in this mess warrants.  Few of the contestants are indeed in a proper mind state, the majority of them scream or run with as real a personality as silicone can shape.

When SPIDER-MAN 3 came out fans the world over bemoaned the doppelganger what had taken over Sam Raimi.  No one could have predicted that his creative choices would worsen.  Why he and lifetime producer pal Tapert got involved with this show exceeds comprehension.  The technical merits are a free clinic for frontal lobotomies.  An awful voice over from the founding member of the Jigsaw fan club is high art compared to the editing department.  The post-production crew behind this dreck still feels in the year 2009 that shaking title cards are scary, as if there is a wraith within the moving pictures choking the evil, blood dripping letters on the screen and not some guy in a trailer with one hand on a keyboard and the other on his career-issue orange bottle of anti-depressants.

The entire production is burdened by an unimpeachable understanding that at no moment are any of these sheeple placed in any legitimately threatening situation.  One couldn’t fire a cannonball through the set without hitting 5 PAs, 4 camera men, 3 sound guys or two assholes whose horror roots have hit a point of no return.

Even the title of the thing is belittling.  Is there a popular contention I am unaware of that fear is not real?  Is it not one of the eight primary emotions?  Are the producers laying down a gauntlet woven out of unicorn bullshit with the intimation that recent horror productions generate no real fear?  Is 13 a scary number still?  Is it supposed to be frightening that they’re all playing for $66,666?  Are we a nation of 8 year olds?  Please explain.

I don’t accept the argument that I’m not the target audience for this show just because it is the lead in to a repeat of “90210”.  I am the exact audience of anything produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert.  Still, the demo who watch “90210” have seen scarier videos on YouTube than anything this limp dick has to offer.  And for the love of God, don’t show me a trailer for THE UNINVITED at every commercial break.  Do not lord that shit over me.

The only enjoyment to be had in the entire premiere episode is when Leah, the most dreadful human being to ever grace their beat mug across my television, snags some clothing on a branch while running in the woods at night.  For a brief moment one could live the fantasy that the real-world bartender would hang herself on a tree.  Alas, she does not.  She keeps running while I keep hoping the bar she tends is located on the Gaza strip.

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  1. Birdy
    January 8th, 2009 | 11:31 am | #1

    I was kind of lukewarmly looking forward to seeing the show–partially hoping it might be at least entertaining to have on in the background while I did something more important. Like flossing.

    After reading this, I’m glad that I forgot it was coming on, and watched a good movie instead.

  2. R.J. Sayer
    January 8th, 2009 | 12:17 pm | #2

    i’m just always glad to see a reference to early-90s Nickelodeon game shows.

  3. January 8th, 2009 | 12:57 pm | #3

    Seriously, you couldn’t work in a GUTS reference, too? AGGRO CRAG!

  4. January 8th, 2009 | 1:34 pm | #4

    Alright, next terrible thing I come across I am working in as many Nickelodeon references as possible.

  5. Brian
    January 8th, 2009 | 3:05 pm | #5

    Not to toot my own horn, but when I was in 6th grade (1992) I entered a video in a contest on Nickelodeon and it was chosen as a “young filmmakers” spot or something. So if you could reference that too, the Nick completist would appreciate it.

  6. Matt
    January 8th, 2009 | 5:38 pm | #6

    YOU CAN”T SAY THAT on this web site…anyone…anyone..:) am I reaching here

  7. January 8th, 2009 | 7:23 pm | #7

    Brian, YouTube or it didn’t happen.

  8. Brian
    January 9th, 2009 | 9:31 am | #8

    Peter, I wish…that video is long lost. I guess it didn’t happen. Shoot.

  9. January 10th, 2009 | 4:11 pm | #9

    Lost to the digital $hit-box forever…. :(


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