What has happened to horror?

Every time there is a new horror film out every horror fan wants to see it. “A new horror? Fantastic!”

Until you actually go to the cinema and then realise, “wow, what a load of crap”. Horror films nowadays are just made for the gore factor. The horror genre has been around for over a century now so we all know the conventions. They’re even being told to us in films such as Scream. This is why it’s so hard to find an actual scary film anymore. They’re all jumpy or gory but nothing ever scares anyone. Well, when I say anyone I am excusing the percentage of people who scream when the eerie music starts or a door opens by itself. That percentage know absolutely nothing about horror and honestly, I hope it stays that way otherwise there would be no action or blood seen in a film again.

You may be wondering what my point is in this post. To be honest, I’m just putting out the question and trying to get you to think. Classic horrors such as Nosferatu used shadows and music to scare the audience. It was the element of imagination which made people feel terrified. Nowadays it’s only the gore that is used which is purely there to disgust the viewer, not scare them.

Horror has lost it’s uniqueness and one day I hope I can bring it back.

I love the adrenaline you can get from being scared but knowing afterwards that everything is fine and ‘it’s only a film’. Horror films make the perfect escapism. They have the music, the mise-en-scene and just the reputation for being completely different to reality.

The only thing I hate is when films such as Paranormal Activity are released and there’s a huge hype about how ‘terrifying it is’ or how ‘rubbish it is and it’s a waste of money’. Please, just stop! I do not care what the majority vote is about a certain film. If I want to see it I shall.
When I did watch Paranormal Activity it made me jump. It did scare me. It was the first film to have done that in years. Some of my friends couldn’t even sleep afterwards. You might be thinking I’m just talking rubbish right now but this is all true and it’s because we allow ourselves to be involved in the film. We allow it to draw us in. Other people are so intent on rejecting anything they don’t believe in, anything that might pull them away from their beliefs or just their routine, that they just push away anything else. That’s what I believe anyway.

Horror films should be about the scare not about how disgusting the film is. Hostel and Saw are perfect examples of this. They are made purely for the gore factor and yes, times change and things evolve but we mustn’t forget what the purpose is of a horror film. I don’t want horrors to turn into a generic genre. Yes, most genres are now evolving and there are hybrid genres being created but horror is something which needs to be remembered. The element of the scare is crucial and people are forgetting that it’s important.

I’ve heard so many things about how horrors do not even need a good storyline. Apparently, if the film has enough blood and guts the audience won’t care. Really? Is this what it has come to? Because I don’t want to carry on being a horror fanatic if that’s what has become of horrors.

Bring me a horror film which is scary and not just made for the money and isn’t over the top with blood and we shall see. Horror might return to the greatness it once was instead of being the conventional rubbish it has become.

5 thoughts on “What has happened to horror?

  1. I don’t think it’s the horror movies losing their touch, rather it’s the viewing public who have been so desensitized that modern horror has little to no impact anymore. In the 70’s, when Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Exorcist were released, people were throwing up in the aisles, fainting, running out screaming, and even holding prayer circles outside of the theaters in certain places. Now, in the 21st Century, the world has pretty much seen as much violence by the age of 12 as the last generation had seen their whole lives. Horror movies today, or at least the vast majority of them, rely on cheap “jump scares”, the same tired cliches, and the inevitable sequel/remake. I think, and I don’t think I’m the only one who would agree, that horror movies are going to have to take that next step and go to the next level of shock and horrify. I thought that The Hills have Eyes remake did a very good job as far as going to a new style of keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, wondering in fear if the baby was going to be eaten, and the explicit levels and displays of violence. Horror films are going to have to start targeting more delicate subject matter, like rapes, harming/killing children/babies, focusing on personal agony, and more explicit deaths like the man in the outhouse in THHE when he eats a shotgun shell. We, as humans, have seen too much real life horror to be scared anymore by onscreen horror movies. Am I wrong?

    1. That’s exactly my point and if I hadn’t just be ranting for ages I would have gone into more depth about the public being desensitized as I wrote my media coursework on it before. I think that screenwriters have become lazy though as they now know how people have expectations of the horror genre and they are just trying to disturb them rather than scare them and as you said, we do see a lot of horror in real life so we have become desensitized to what we see on screen. Honestly, I just want someone to actually make something which is unique and stop creating the same old storyline because it is repeated in nearly every horror we see today which has made them all predictable.
      It’s probably mainly to do with the audience as that is who they are trying to cater for but I’m fed up of seeing the same generic rubbish and CGI effects. Maybe technology has ruined films as well. But really it might just be humanity who are ruining genres as we have high expectations and as we have evolved films have stayed the same.

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