Love or hate Suicide Squad, it is unquestionably one of the most talked about movies from 2016. Even the most hardcore defenders of the movie can probably acknowledge that there were some serious issues. And those that hated the movie are probably frustrated because it feels like there is a great movie in there somewhere. There were other ways that director David Ayer could have taken Suicide Squad and a YouTuber has given us a video that shows us what it could have looked like had the movie taken more of a horror route. It surprisingly kind of works.
The video comes courtesy of YouTuber Ryan Ziegler, who took a bunch of footage from Suicide Squad and set it to the sounds of "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" from Resident Evil VIII. There were definitely some horrific elements, or at least horrific imagery in Suicide Squad as it exists. This video leans heavily into those elements and by using a very creepy song and cutting things together just right, it is pretty easy to see how Suicide Squad could have embraced those elements and become a very different kind of movie. Perhaps the most interesting part of this video is that there is absolutely no dialogue, so it plays more like a music video than an actual movie trailer. Also interesting to note, the song is a cover of an old Burl Ives folk song, which originally didn't have any horror connotations at all.
Suicide Squad, as we know it, was pretty far from a horror movie and was balancing two very different tones. On one hand, parts of the movie were sort of wacky and colorful, like Guardians of the Galaxy, but on the other, they got very dark and pretty gritty, which is much more similar to what we saw in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Outside of some pacing issues and a pretty forgettable villain, the imbalance of these two tones is arguably one of the movie's greatest weaknesses. Recently, even director David Ayer made it clear that if he had a time machine, he would go back and change some things about Suicide Squad. Here is what he had to say in a recent social media post to a fan who complimented him on the movie.
"Thank you so much. I know it's a controversial film, I really tried to make something different, with a look and a voice of its own. I took inspiration from the insanity of the original comics. Making a movie is a journey, not a straight line. I learned so much. People want what they want, and everyone has a personal vision of how each character should look and walk and talk. If you set out to make a mass appeal movie, it's easy to end up with vanilla. But I went for it. And I know Squad has its flaws, Hell, the World knows it. Nothing hurts more than to pick up a newspaper and see a couple years of your blood, sweat and tears ripped to shreds. The hate game is strong out there. The movie was wildly successful commercially. And the World got introduced into some very cool characters in the DC Universe. And that success is due exactly to the wonder and power of DC, of its characters. Would I do a lot of things different? Yep, for sure. Wish I had a time machine. I'd make Joker the main villain and engineer a more grounded story. I have to take the good and bad and learn from it. I love making movies and I love DC. I'm a High School dropout and used to paint houses for a living. I'm lucky to have the job I have. I have to give the characters the stories and plots they deserve next time. Real talk. (And no, there isn't a secret edit of the film with a bunch of Joker scenes hidden in a salt mine somewhere."
It doesn't really matter how fans, who are pretty divided on Suicide Squad, or David Ayer feel about it now. What's done is done. Either way, the movie was a big hit at the box office, bringing in $745 million worldwide, despite the fact that it was mostly trashed by critics upon arrival. Warner Bros. is moving ahead with the DC Extended Universe and David Ayer is attached to direct the Harley Quinn spinoff movie Gotham City Sirens. While that movie will surely be different, he can maybe learn a thing or two from something like this.