The movie Ti West admits was awful

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For decades, there’s been a steady pipeline of filmmakers who cut their teeth in low-budget horror making the jump to expensive studio-backed blockbusters, but Ti West has yet to join that number, although it’s debatable as to whether or not he’d even be interested.

Names including Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Kathryn Bigelow, Guillermo del Toro, James Wan, James Gunn, David F. Sandberg, and Andy Muschietti all cut their teeth on relatively inexpensive tales of terror before graduating to the world of iconic properties and effects-heavy action, but West has so far resisted the temptation.

He rose through the blood-soaked ranks at roughly the same time as Adam Wingard, with the pair two years apart in age and helming a number of popular genre-bending nightmares at around the same time. However, while the latter has moved on to Godzilla vs. Kong and the sequel The New Empire with a live-action Thundercats and Face/Off sequel also in the works, West has remained true to his roots.

His two most recent features to date have given him his biggest commercial hits by far, though, with X and Pearl combining to earn over $25million at the box office on cumulative production costs of just $2m, but West’s experience on trying to put his own spin on an existing IP may have helped sour him on doing something similar for a long time, if not ever again.

For his fourth film, West was recruited to helm the follow-up to Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever, but 2009’s Spring Fever ended up being cursed by the grubby fingerprints of studio interference. He was so dissatisfied with the end result that he requested to have his name removed from the final cut and replaced with the well-known pseudonym Alan Smithee, but his lack of Directors Guild of America membership at the time saw him denied.

While West confessed to The Playlist that the reason he took the job was to test out the studio filmmaking environment for the first time, he also admitted that things didn’t turn out as he’d imagined once the producers started getting more and more involved with what he was doing.

“I tried with Cabin Fever 2 to make a really crazy cult sequel, and I believe I could have done it had I not been derailed,” he said. His initial attraction to the sequel was that he was told he could do “whatever I wanted with it,” which saw him name the first four months as “one of the best filmmaking experiences I’ve ever had in my life.”

“I was super-psyched on the movie; but then it went from, ‘You can do anything you want, we’re supportive of that, and we agree with everything you want,’ to, ‘Actually, we don’t want that anymore.’ So, that’s when things went south,” he continued, referring to his standing on the film being “in the Alan Smithee category.”

He’d have disowned it if he could, but having been left unable to do so, West has no other option than to distance himself as far away from Cabin Fever 2 as possible.

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