Being a huge fan of horror films I have in recent years lost faith in this genre of film. Commercial horror films that is.
Some of my favorite films are the new-Hollywood horror films from around the 68 to early 80’s. Because this was the era after Motion Picture Production Code (film censorship laws), the filmmakers used their new freedom to create some of the most shocking (at the time) films. Of course i also enjoy Hitchcock, and a few 90’s films. Some of my fave horror films are for instance The Shining, The Exorcist, The Sixth Sense, and The Birds. Quadruple THE!
I believe it is hard to come up with an original idea these days, but still, how hard is it to make it scary? I mean, in a psychological way. The new horror films are only meant to scare you in the moment, and not after. These scares are made out of loud noises building up to moments that actually isn’t scary at all, if it wasn’t for these loud noises. It’s like the audience is frighten of the sudden loud noise, not the actual picture, character or situation in the film. Of course this is an amazing example of how important music and sound effects are in films, but i think it’s a cheap way of making a scary movie. It’s like there’s no thought put into it, as they only rely on these sudden noises. When I watched Sinister in the cinema for instance, I was so exhausted after the film because of the constant building-up-to-a-scare sounds and music. The actual “scare” that the sounds were building up to however, was just a few insects, or a lawnmower… LAWNMOWER! And what about Paranormal Activity? How many are they supposed to make! I know they make a lot of money on these films, and I find it sad that money controls this industry as much as it does. I admit i thought the first one was okey, idea wise. Not very scary, but I enjoyed the low-budget documentary Blair Witch-ish influence.. But that was many years ago! I’m tired of all these sequels and prequels and whatever. When I watched the last one in the cinema, I only got frightened because of all the 12 year old screaming around me. Another example is the films The Purge and You’re Next… I have only seen The Purge, because i don’t want to see You’re Next.. Why? Well, they look exactly the same!! People in masks, trying to get into your house, killing people… How exciting! I know the actual plot is different from each other, but it looks pretty much the same.. Only that the people in You’re Next would fit in the “What Does the Fox Say” video.
And of course, if it isn’t the loud noises they scare you with, it is the massive amount of blood, or grotesque killings that makes your stomach turn. It’s not about the story anymore, it is about the sounds and visuals. For instance, I find the two first Saw films to be very good. The last… million.. however, it seems like they only put in torture and blood just for the sake of it. The more the better! And i do understand that this appeal to their audience, the fans of Slasher films, but also having a story, would be highly appreciated. I’ve also seen that these torture/bloody scenes have moved out of the Slasher flicks and into normal horror, which means you can’t choose. I personally don’t have an issue with blood and torture scenes, I find it hilarious at times because it is so overly used.
I am not saying ALL new horror films are bad, but a lot of them are. One film I have found a bit scary in the last few years is Insidious though, so in between all the rocks, there are some gems! 😉 Other than that I favor the non-commercial international horror films at this time in history! Like for instance Ringu (JPN), Audition (JPN), and REC (Spain), and I actually find the Norwegian film Villmark to be pretty decent too.
So I mean, is this time the death of horror films? Are there no more original ideas, so we have to re-make all of them? Has the filmmakers and studios just become lazy and redundant? Or do they really just give us what we, the audience, want?
“What’s your favorite Scary Move?”
The next Paranormal Activity perhaps! No thanks!
– CinaMonster –