The horror genre, like many others, is ever-evolving to meet the criteria of its audiences across the world of cinema. As we evolve as a society, so do our fears. But, is modern horror keeping pace? Or, better yet, is it even trying to?
I am posing a question to you – is the horror genre still ‘good?’ Chew on that a little. To answer this, I have dedicated the next three short paragraphs on points, I believe, need to be addressed in the horror genre. If you agree; or, have anything to add, my Twitter is at the bottom of this article.
1: Lack of Variety
When one takes time to have a glance at, ‘so-called’, horror films released in the last ten years or so; it’s not hard to notice that they have disturbingly similar stories, consisting of: paranormal possessions and haunted houses. Take, as an example, the new horror with Martin Freeman, Ghost Stories; or, Paranormal Activity. These two themes seem to be the crème de la crème of the, once, innovative genre. There’s no Sci-Fi; no monsters, or even slasher flicks anymore. Now, all we get is a house, complete with spooky kids, and maybe an untouchable demon (with slight deviations). It would be nice to add a bit of variety to the genre.
2: Curse of the Remake
I understand it isn’t just horror going through this at the moment (here’s looking at you, Disney); but, remakes are all over the place with the horror genre (IT, Carrie, Amityville Horror, etc). To prove this, I conducted an experiment. I asked a group of individuals to answer the same question, at random points in their day. The question was ‘name the first three horror movies that come to mind’. From the result, I can assure you that consistently at the top of the list was a remake of a classic horror film. Whilst remakes aren’t always bad; they are often unnecessary. Also, need I mention, we have seen the story before.
3: Jump Scares over the Story
The use of a loud sound and a quick cut has become a standard in horror today. It startles you, and then nothing. Except cheap thrills, it adds nothing to the story whatsoever. They’re lazy and cheap showing a lack of the director’s, understanding or willingness, to drag out the tension, which, in the words of Alfred Hitchcock himself, is key. Heeding this advice and adding more to story depth will be fulfilling for the genre. Take, for example, Get Out and The Quiet Place, critically acclaimed, these films focussed on story over jump scares. We need to see more horror’s like this.
So there it is. What do you think? If you’d like to discuss this more in-depth you can tweet to me @ThatGuy_Alex.
by Alex Udraufski-Osborne