Dear Fox Atomic,

Greetings from balmy Minnesota, ladies and gentlemen. I suppose if I were a more cordial man, I'd play nice and say something like, "Welcome to the neighborhood" since you're the new studio/prodco in town. Maybe I'd bring over a fruitcake or something. However, I am not a very cordial man, I don't live in your neighborhood as of yet and I don't like fruitcake. Besides, after the first two inane releases this newbie company has put out, I'm not sure I want to welcome you anywhere.

It isn't because I'm not a cordial man that I didn't address this letter to some sort of president or CEO or big kahuna of this company, rather it's because I haven't the foggiest idea of who that might be. I couldn't find a corporate site for Fox Atomic or even Fox for that matter, so, I guess this is adressing the company as a whole. I went on the website for Fox Atomic and I found a lame mixture of MySpace, YouTube and gossip sites and, oddly enough, very little on the actual, you know, movies that this company puts out. Weird. But, I'm not writing this letter because I don't know who's in charge over there or that you have one of the worst studio sites ever. I'm writing this letter because your first two movies, and the similarly moronic way you made them, just baffles me.

The Hills Have Eyes and 28 Days Later were both fairly decent successes, sure, both earning in the low-to-mid $40 million range. Both didn't cost much either, with Days costing $8 million and Hills costing $15 million. Solid profits, for sure, and for two movies with no real bankable stars (then anyway) and gory violence, their dual successes is actually quite a feat. But, in true Hollywood fashion, you wanted more. No one would've questioned a sequel if either had made $100 million, hell, even $60 or $70 million. Yes, sequels have been made where original movies made even less than $40 million, but these aren't the sequels you'll see in the sweltering summer months, for sure. I can go along with sequels being made for both of these movies, sure, especially since they were both set up as such. I'm just wondering why you guys picked the filmmakers you did to make the sequels.

It didn't hurt at all that those first movies were helmed by some talented directors. Hills was helmed by the hot French filmmaker Alexandre Aja, whose High Tension (which was only his second movie!) I found to be a magnificent horror flick, and 28 Days Later helmed by Trainspotting's Danny Boyle. So, who do you get to direct the sequels? Martin Weisz for Hills, who had done one obscure foreign flick the year prior and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo for Days. OK, I haven't seen Fresnadillo's Intacto, but I've heard good things and, actually, I didn't mind his direction all that much in the sequel. Weisz's direction was horrid for Hills, though what really plagued both of those movies is the lack of a solid script.

While Wes Craven certainly is a tremendous horror helmer, I was really surprised to see he was the writer here, along with his kid Jonathan. He hadn't written anything significant since New Nightmare, save the flop that was Pulse, and having him JUST write the movie was a tad puzzling to me. The three other writers besides Fresnadillo that it took to write the savagely boring 28 Weeks Later all had such spotty resumes that I was surprised they could land such a high-profile gig. So, you replaced two sets of hot writers and directors for a writer more known for his directing lately and a director more known for... nothing on Hills and one good writer for three not-so-good writers on Weeks. Don't seem like an even swap to me, kids...

It just seems to me that this new studio just wanted to get out there and be noticed, so they bum-rushed two good original films into being sequelized just for the sake of being sequelized. No one was clammoring to see either of these flicks sequelized. There was no public outcry demanding more zombies or hill people. Sure, there is some talent in these films on both sides of the camera, but there was a whole lot more on both sides of the camera in the originals, which both came out before this was even a damn company. It looks like you're going away from the horror with your new flick The Comebacks, which I guess is good, but I'm still on the fence big-time about this one since it sounds eerily similar to Necessary Roughness... For a studio that's just starting and trying to get its name out there, do you really think the best way of going about that is by making sequels that no one cares about or rip-offs of originals no one cares about? I'm no business major, but that doesn't sound like too solid of a financial plan to me, and if it wasn't all about the money than you wouldn't have jumped ahead with shoddy source material. I just hope Fox, not you guys, but the regular 20th Century Fox doesn't make a horror film for awhile, so you guys can't gank it.


Brian Gallagher