FILM by Shane “Netflix” Hnetka

Another October is ending and so is another 31 Days Of Horror — or as this year’s installment was called, 31 Days Of Hammer. It was a lot of fun writing a month-long series about Hammer Film’s library of legendary fright flicks on As for next year’s topic, who knows what that will be? I’ve been doing this for a while — I wrote my first 31 Days Of Horror in October 2009 — and seven years later, I still haven’t run out of horrifying movies to talk about.

Fighting The Future

Well, Netflix sure didn’t get much in the way of actual theatrical screenings for its first theatrically distributed movie, Beasts of No Nation. The company released the child soldier drama in theatres to ensure it would be eligible for awards when Oscar season kicks in, but, being Netflix, it also put the movie on its streaming service at the same time.

Not surprisingly, most theatres boycotted Beasts of No Nation because of the streaming. Worse, the film did pretty poorly in the couple of theatres it was screened in. Nevertheless, Netflix claims to be quite happy with the results and since its subscribers pay a monthly fee, I’m sure Beasts of No Nation already made its money back. Kind of.

As for me? I saw it on Netflix. Great movie. Would I have gone to a theatre if it hadn’t been just sitting there? Maybe.

The Horror, The Horror

The latest Paranormal Activity movie is also reaching armchair movie watchers faster. Paramount will put the film on VOD services only 17 days after its theatrical release. Again, theatres are boycotting, dropping the film before it arrives. To be fair though, it is the sixth Paranormal Activity flick and would only have a two-week lifespan near Halloween. After that, who cares?

It’s been clear for years that the way we watch movies has changed and while the dinosaurs are trying to fight extinction they can’t seem to stop the comet from hitting them. Or maybe that’s the wrong way of looking at it. While people do watch more films at home than ever, they still go to theatres. Especially since everything now is all big and epic and blockbustery.

Just look at the new Star Wars movie: its advance ticket sale crashed Cineplex’s website, and several other movie ticket sites in the States. If it’s something people want to see, they will see it no matter where it’s screened.

Paranormal Activity maybe not so much.

Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd. He also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at