Indie cinema. The mere mention of these words to general horror fans is enough to make them curl up in a ball screaming for you not to show them anymore shot on handy cam rubbish with terrible FX and story lines a five year old could write.
The thing is, the majority of indie cinema isn't like that at all. Much of it showcases talents that you'd be hard pressed to find in the majority of Hollywood movies, and deals with subjects Hollywood wouldn't dare touch. The fact of the matter is that the majority of horror fans seem to lump any movie that looks terrible, features terrible acting or terrible FX as an indie movie. Chances are that they are, but everything those films are about should not be synonymous with the indie genre itself.
Take the monster movie Splinter for example. Beautifully shot, amazingly creepy special FX, and enough gore to satisfy any horror fans blood lust. Would it surprise you to know that it is an indie horror movie? How about American Mary? Incredibly dark and rather gory, yet also funny at the same time, with amazing characters and a deep and unsettling story. Again, would it surprise you to know that American Mary is also an independent horror movie.
When ever I see horror fans argue on the net (and this seems to happen a lot, as horror fans are an incredibly passionate bunch) the horror fans defending indie horror always seem to bring up how The Evil Dead is an indie horror movie, or Night of the Living Dead is indie. The movie industry has moved on so much since those movies were made, and it seems that nowadays movies are so much harder to make, and if you don't have the power of advertising, your little movie won't even get noticed, hence why indie movie directors have to rely on blogs and word of mouth for their movies to get noticed. That's where us horror fans come in.
Which brings me back to indie cinema of today. Troma are still going strong, and are about to release Return to Class of Nuke 'em High. Toetag are fine purveyors of underground cinema, with each release showcasing the talents of director Fred Vogel. Patrick Rea's awesome Nailbiter is another incredible indie release that anyone with even a passing interest in monster movies should take a look at. James Balsamo is another director making amazingly funny and crazy genre movies, adding dashes of comedy in with the scares and gore. There are many more indie directors out there that deserve a mention, and are working incredibly hard to get their movies seen. So when a friend brings an indie movie over for you to see, don't dismiss it so soon. Give it a chance. It might open your eyes to a whole new world of movies.
Just because Hollywood doesn't support these filmmakers, does not mean they only churn out misfire after misfire. Just take a look at how many bad films Hollywood makes every year. Does it get the same reputation as the indie genre??