When it comes to chicken, the battle is easily won – light meat kicks dark meats ass every time. The same is pretty much true in films. Good guys are the light and they were white or descend amongst pillars of light with white doves aflutter while bad guys wear black and crawl up from the depths of shadows kicking kittens – who are probably also light colored. That’s the way its been for decades and it will be that way for decades more, but we’ve taken it a bit far, eh?
I should say we as in this recent generation because the current object of my angst has also been around for decades – sunlight destroying monsters. What the hell is up with that? This is fresh in my mind thanks to the second season of True Blood as sunlight has long been associated as a weakness of vampires – normally causing them to erupt into flames or slowly turn to cinder and even, apparently, making them “glitter” like they’re starring in a Broadway production. Fine, whatever, vampires. But other monsters too? What’s the deal? Even original screenplays that are, for the most part, original, decide to cop out. “We just have to wait til morning!” No, you just have to kill every mother fucking monster in your way, brother.
I reviewed The Burrowers a few weeks back and while many of the monsters did survive, the ones that died weren’t killed by bullets, poison, or being stabbed a lot. No, they didn’t die until the sun came up and then they slowly burned to death. Where the hell does that come from? Vampires I guess. But nature isn’t ripe with animals that shun the sun. You know why – the sun brings life. Which is, I guess, why the sun that gives life to the good must bring death to the bad. WE GET IT. Light versus Dark. Sunlight versus Shadow. Enough already!
You don’t even have to be clever about it. Waiting for the sun to come up isn’t clever. Neither is shooting more monsters or tricking them into diving off cliffs. But the latter is awesome where as the sun is the ultimate “my monster movie sucks” cop out. I want a monster movie where they try to hold out for sunlight and then they wake up to the first beams of sunlight and CRUNCH. MONSTER TIME. Because animals don’t burst into flames when they’re in the sun! That’s just lazy and has been beaten to death. My final verdict (and my verdict is final) is that sunlight can no longer generically destroy evil. Only vampires and other creatures of lore that have a specific back history of being set aflame by sunlight can continue to be killed as such. If you have cave dwelling sons of bitches and you want them to be sensitive to light or get sunburn easily – fine. But no more cop outs. No more plain good versus evil, light versus dark. Work for it. Because the next time I see simple sunlight cause some creature to burst into flame I’m going to burst past my boiling point.