'They Got To Get Over That Crap': Michael Rooker Calls Out TikTokers While Defending Kevin Costner's Horizon After Poor Opening Weekend

 Michael Rooker stands looking concerned in a field while leaning on a shovel in Horizon: An American Saga.
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The 2024 movie Horizon: An American Saga is an interesting scenario that opens the door to discuss how modern audiences engage movies. With a 181 minute running time, Horizon’s seemingly poor opening weekend might spell doom to some spectators following Kevin Costner and his ongoing epic. Which is the perfect time for defenders like co-star Michael Rooker to step in and call out what’s been called the “Tik Tok-ified” audience of the world.

It all started in a conversation between The Walking Dead vet and a contributor for TMZ, as Rooker was spotted at the airport and engaged in a chat. As part of the epic Horizon: An American Saga cast, one could have bet that he’d have some thoughts on last weekend’s $11 million debut; and sure enough he did.

When responding to the initial question of how he felt about Horizon: Chapter 1’s public response, Michael Rooker bluntly laid out the following:

It’s real cinema, folks. So be prepared. We ain’t used to that shit. We’re used to 90 minute movies. Everything is 90 minutes. Give me a break. Get over that shit. Let’s watch a movie that actually tells a story where you learn about the people and grow to like them or hate them. It’s not all fast and cut, cut, cut.

In all fairness, I’m one of those viewers who’s firmly on Team Horizon. I praised the picture greatly in my Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 review, and I stand by my praise as strongly as ever. But even looking at this from the outside, and with the increasing number of demands for the 90 minute movie to return on social media, I’d still be siding with Michael Rooker on this one.

And of course, there are people that are making the case for Horizon: An American Saga being a more successful TV show than it would be a theatrical feature. Which once again could be tied into the social media mindset, and the larger question of whether or not audiences are being "Tiktokified." As such, the second part of Michael Rooker’s impromptu interview offered this answer to that very concern:

Totally they are. Of course they are. They got to get over that crap. They got to learn what it’s like how to watch real cinema, please.

It’s strange where a movie like 12 Angry Men can be rediscovered, or something like Tomorrowland can find a new audience it lacked in the first place, through the power of social media clips. At the same time, that delivery system has such sway with younger generations that if you want to push people towards your movie, you’ve got to play the game.

However, I like to think of myself as the “Good Cop” in this scenario, as Michael Rooker's trademark bluntness has given the world a pretty chilled version of “Bad Cop.” Or rather, “Annoyed Cop,” as there’s nothing bad about what the man said above.

In the name of peace, and getting more people to see Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 in theaters, I want to appeal to TikTok nation personally. So before we close the matter once and for all, just know that when you see Horizon, this is the man you’re supporting:

Any questions? I didn’t think so, unless the question is “Where and when can I see Horizon: Chapter 1 in theaters?” Well partner, you can find that picture show in a theater near you, at your earliest convenience. And don’t forget that Chapter 2 is coming on August 16th, so you’ll have plenty of time to see it again before that point, if only to refresh your memory.

Also there may or may not be some huge Horizon dramatic heartbreak in the future, so you kinda need to know what's going on. Now get out to those wide open cinematic spaces, and enjoy the great outdoors of this larger than life vision!