ZEMECKIS: POLAR EXPRESS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SCARY
HOLLYWOOD – ‘We could have made it realistic, but I wanted the kids to be really terrified,’ said Robert Zemeckis, taking a break from a junket about his new film Flight to talk for a moment about Polar Express recently voted the scariest non-horror movie ever made. ‘I hate Christmas. It’s a poisonous time of commercial greed and my idea was Tom Hanks would be the Freddy Krueger of Christmas.’
The power of the film was shown recently when a cinema in North Carolina accidentally screened Polar Express instead of Paranormal Activity 4. The shocked patrons fled the cinema, pausing only to vomit or void themselves.
I put it to Zemeckis that the technology was not yet there to make convincing CGI movies using motion capture but he vigorously disagreed.
‘People talk about uncanny valley, but that’s bullshit,’ he said, chewing a corn dog. ‘The problem we had was we modelled the body movements on the actors, but for the faces and the eyes we modelled those off suicides who had been fished from the Hudson River. That was our mistake.’