What the hell is wrong with horror movies these days?

WHYIZZIT that just about every so-called “horror” movie of the last 3-5 years (except maybe the remake of Dawn of the Dead) is nothing more than a psychological quagmire designed to confuse the viewer long enough until it’s too late to get your money back when you finally realize that NOTHING FREAKING HAPPENED! Give me Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, even the Monster of Piedras Blancas anytime! Any thoughts?

Only that I disagree and have never found Frankenstein or The Wolf Man to be even remotely scary, which is certainly not something I can say about, say, The Ring, The Others, 28 Days Later, and a number of other recent horror movies (even Freddy Vs. Jason, which I think was the best Freddy or Jason movie ever).

I think we’re in a pretty good period for horror, myself (abysmal remakes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead notwithstanding). We’re going through a bit of “let’s all be like The Ring!” right now, but that’s better than seventeen billion slasher flicks (and I like slasher flicks) or some other horror fads past.

There are no horror movies anymore.

They are shock and startle movies.

MHO of course.

While I disagree with the suggestion that there are “no” good horror movied any more, it IS undeniable that a large percentage of latter day “horror” films are pretty tepid.

Why? It’s because of the target audiences. A truly gory movie loses out on the teenage market, and teenage girls are the most avid moviegoers in America.

So, “horror” movies have to be toned down- teenage girls like to be spooked, but they don’t like to be grossed out.

And the target audience also explains why so many latter day “horror” films have female protagonists (Naomi Watts, Sarah Michelle Gellar, et al).

… …

… … …


The end.


Spilled my popcorn.
I for one will see House of Wax on opening night just to see Paris Hilton murdered.
I think they should just cast annoying actors in these to bring in the audience.

It seems like most of the horror movies to come out in the last couple years use exactly the same “tactics” to scare the viewer. There are some horror movies in the last few years that were not really original but that I did think were good. I really liked Cabin Fever although noone else seemed to.

Puhleeese. The Ring and The Others were boring films. Yes they had atmosphere but they failed to deliver on the set up… Oooo a horse is going crazy… Arrrgh a little girl is coming out of the TV. OOOhh his statement about not belonging foreshadowed her being dead.
What a bunch of baloney.

These films are disjointed messes with a twist ending. Big freaking deal. 28 Days later was a rehash of the Romero films but about a tenth as scary as the far superior Shaun of the Dead was.

These are all style and no substance… sorry. There is nothing innovative about them nor are there any real genuine scares. It is like the way teenagers thought SAW was some fantastic thriller when it was only a mere shadow of Se7en’s style without any of the intelligence.

Damn it when will they make an intelligent horror film that will be more than a few quick cuts and banal dialogue

You complain about the Ring that was fairly original (to American audiences that is) Then you complain about rehashes. What exactly are you looking for? Something that’s a new rehash?

What constitutes ‘substance’ in your opinion? Have you tried say Shadow of the Vampire? Horror movies have always been a ‘treasure among trash’ genre. Just because you can look back and pick out the treasure doesn’t mean new good films don’t exist you just haven’t sorted them out yet.

And ten years ago I was complaining about when will they make horror films that aren’t just teenagers getting chopped up like idiots. Then Scream came along and I was pining for the days of stupid teenagers dying instead of ultra hip teens being all ironic before dying. Horror is one of the hardest genres to do so whenever a successful formula appears it’s going to be copied until you can’t stand it anymore the people stop going to horror movies for awhile then something comes along refreshes the genre and the cycle starts again. It’s the sad fact of being a horror fan.

(note: some of what I said was just me talking in general and not specific rebuttals of what kingpengvin was saying)

As opposed to horror staples like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Texas Chain Saw Massacre? This is hardly a new phenomenon.

Though female movie leads shouldn’t be unconventional-god forbid!- (but sadly are in a world where the male experience is still presented as the norm), their existence is a little odd, especially in movies where most of the other female characters are killed in long, drawn out, gory scenes that are usually chock full-o-nudity. If you believe
Carol J. Clover, they’re stand-ins for the teenage male audience members. She presents a convincing argument, though I hope things have changed a bit in recent times.

As for modern horror, well, I just finished watching Darkness and… sigh. What a piece of utter crap. It’s no more shocking than Friday the 13th VIII. The film industry notices a trend (in this case, uh, boring, badly-written, poorly acted quasi haunted house flics involving dark pasts and creepy children) and butchers it until it bleeds dry, like so many skinny dipping camp counselors.

It is nice to have a break from the spate of self-referential horrors in the mid-nineties (still think *Scream[/] was genius, though). IMHO, Ginger Snaps, Dawn of the Dead, Cabin Fever and Ringu have been some fo the best horrors in the past few years, but this creepy kids and ripping-off-the-Japanese is getting old. Anyone have a prediction for the next wave of horror?

Well, another Japanese horror remake is on the way (or is this one Korean?): Dark Water, starring Jennifer Connelly. I saw a trailer for it before Kung Fu Hustle.

Maybe you’re picking the wrong horror movies? Or maybe your tastes are particular toward the older ones you mentioned? Because horror movies, like all kinds of movie genres, change with the times. Until the Hollywood fixation on the Japanese horror movie trend dies down, you’re going to be dealing with movies built around creepiness, ambiguity, and sometimes character studies. I’m not sure where Hollywood will go next – maybe they’ll start mining Thai "flying heads "horror, or dig around in the Japanese area of zombies and Yakuza, or maybe they’ll suddenly “discover” Italian horror movies and start remaking Fulci and Argento. It’s hard to say, Hollywood is fickle, and it’s easier for studios to churn out unwanted sequels and currently, uncreative, CGI-heavy remakes of low-budget classics because they don’t like to take risks.

Is House of Wax a remake of the Vincent Price movie? It doesn’t look like it from the commercial, but of course that means nothing. Please say it ain’t so!

I am pretty sure it is a remake. The only similarities between the two might be that there is a wax museum and people being covered in wax to go in the museum, but it is a remake.

Also, on its imdb page it says the new one is a remake of the 1953 version.

Not only that The Others just pissed me off. For months you’d hear ads and people saying "ooh it’s so unexpected there’s this tiwst. So i watched it on a plane… about 10 minutes in i made a guess as to what the “twist” was and said to myself "I am so going to be pissed ifg I am right.

I was.

Stupid movie.

I mean if the whole selling point of your movie is “there’s a twist” and you can see the twist coming like it was a glowing mack truck shooting off fireworks and playing Hello Dolly at top volume from roof mounted speakers, it’s infuriating.

BurnMeUp, I saw it coming too and I suck at figuring things out usually!

Re House of Wax: Damn. Doesn’t anyone even try to come up with new shit anymore?

Slightly off-topic:

Why is it that so many “horror” movies coming out recently are using the titles *(but more often than not, not the plots) of older horror movies?

Recent years have given us the often straight-to-video:
**She Creature

Wasp Woman

How to Make a Monster

Teenage Caveman

House of Wax

Thirteen Ghosts

House on Haunted Hill

What’s the point? They can’t come up with new titles? ow long until we see “new” versions of The Killer Shrews and Missile to the Moon?

Nah. The Others was a really good movie, and not because of “the twist.” It was good because of its craftsmanship. Almost zero special effects used in the whole thing, and yet it was suspenseful and scary. The scene with the two kids in bed, where the the little boy is growing more terrified by the second, was masterful. Very well-done movie. I went to see it without any knowledge of there being a twist, and I was pleasantly surprised that they managed to make a modern horror movie without a million CGI effects.

I never saw what was so great about the so-called classic horror movies, and I’ve seen them all. “Frankenstein” and “Bride of Frankenstein” both have a lot of unintentional humor, but nothing scary happens. “Dracula” may be the most boring movie ever made, which is saying something, given the crap that Hammer put out.

The only genuinely scary horror movies I can think of from the good old days are “Nosferatu” and the much, much later “Black Sunday.” “Susperia” was okay, too.

I think that “The Shining,” the currently much-maligned “Blair Witch Project,” and “The Ring” blow the doors off almost everything that came before.

I think The Ring was at least a step in the right direction. But I also think that it failed to live up to its premise- I was kind of let down that nothing was explained, and I wasn’t even given enough of a framework for it to be a “leaving it to the audience’s imagination” things.

I really liked The Others. I don’t remember it well, but I know I liked it.