How to Ruin Your Own Movie: The X-Files: I Want to Believe Edition

Yes, I'm a fan of the X-Files. Right from the start I never missed an episode, even as I winced each time they offered their cute twist on some popular horror or sci-fi film. I laughed along with everyone else whenever Darren Morgan wrote an episode, I covered my eyes along with everyone else during the one about the inbred hillbillies who loved bludgeoning people to death, and, like everyone else, I felt pity for Stephen King when he turned in perhaps the worst script of his career, "Chinga". And that's in a career marked prominently by the utter awfulness of his original screen- and teleplays.

That being said, I was never a big fan of the show's 'mythology'. By the time the movie came around it was pretty clear they had no idea where they were going and that everything was being made up as they went along, and I noticed just how much, on average, the 'monster of the week' episodes were superior to the ongoing alien mystery episodes.

So when I heard the X-Files movie was going to be an entertaining one-off thriller, I was excited.

That excitement didn't last long, though, as it became clear that Chris Carter had very little interest in making a horror movie starring Mulder and Scully. No, he was too busy worrying about how his main characters' various belief systems compared to one another's, and the low-key relationship drama that could be gleaned from the conflict.

I can't remember the last time a film's title featured so prominently and awkwardly in the dialogue. Every possible kind of belief is addressed, and the various pros and cons of having those beliefs or not are addressed. It's all very talky, and pretty much the exact opposite of why anyone would go to see an X-Files movie.

All I wanted from an X-Files movie was Mulder and Scully solving a spooky mystery over the course of 90 minutes. What I absolutely didn't want, and this is what just killed the movie, was sixty minutes of Mulder spooky mystery solving on his own, and forty-five minutes of Scully complaining about how she doesn't want to solve spooky mysteries any more because she's too busy working as a medical doctor in a Catholic hospital.

Do you know what no one goes to see an X-Files movie for? People butting their heads, frustrated, against hospital bureaucracy. Unless the bureaucrats are giant insects, or something like that. In that case, it would be fine.

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