If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Within the last few years, there has been a decline in good horror movies. To me, it seems that these movies have lost their storytelling, and that filmmakers only care to make something more brutal, and use more blood, and more carnage then the last film that came out six months ago. The last horror movie I saw in theaters was the Rite, I liked it, it was psychological horror; reminiscing of the Exorcist. As I go through snippets of upcoming horror films, I swear, the story sounds like something that has already been done ten times in one year.
Sure some stories in any genre of film can seem like it has been done before, but I like to think that horror is different, unlike other genres; horror is in action, rather than words. What I mean is that you are drawn to a horror film because of the kills, not what witty remarks are said. But I see that lately, that remakes of franchises are becoming more popular to make, rather than originality. I admit some remakes are really good, while others are really terrible. To me one horror film is enough, no need for part two, and part three; unless it is part of the story in some sense, not to be made just because the first installment made money.
The point I am trying to make is that we need better horror films, something with substance, and can be as compelling and vivid both in story and scare.
What do you think of the horror movie genre?
What are some of the better movies in the last decade?
Which did you seriously felt disappointed by?
What is your overall favorite horror film?
I think the genre has really gone down in quality due to lack of storyline, and overdone kills.
Some of the better movies are:
Some I feel disappointed by:
My overall favorite horror film is Psycho, for me, one of Hitchcock’s best films. Probably the best horror film of the golden age.
I think you might be overstating the problem, just a little. The horror genre has always had a large ratio of crap to classic. Usually what happens is somebody will make a good and/or successful film and then others will try to imitate it. After Jaws came out in the 70s, people started making vicious animal movies (Orca, Grizzly, Piranha) and their sequels, and of those derivatives only Alien (originally pitched as "Jaws in space!") was really good. After Halloween, people started making slasher movies (there are too many to list), and of those the only decent one was A Nightmare on Elm Street. During this past decade we had torture porn (of which only the first Saw and Hostel movies were pretty good), zombie movies, Americanized remakes of Japanese horror (The Ring was probably the only good one, though I think it's overrated), found footage (Cloverfield was the only good one) and of course, the remakes of the old horror movies. I think most people believe this decade has sucked because of all the remakes, because not only are they making crappy films, but they're making crappy films without even trying to be creative, or even derivative.
Out of all the horror movies that have come out in the last ten years, I think the Resident Evil movies are the worst because of how they butchered the source material by changing it from really gory, visceral survival horror to a mostly bloodless superhero franchise.
You get one really good idea that works, then everyone tries to copycat it in hopes of getting the same response as it. Problem is that the copycatters TOTALLY disregard what made the copied concept work in the first place and simply just make it a cheap, uninspired knockoff. Then they act all shocked when people don't respond....
Like I just spoofed in the Akira announcement blog, these exec types think there's some magic business formula that they simply have to deduct in order to have longevity success and acclaim when the fact of the matter is that all you gotta do is just need to genuinely make a good fucking movie.
You are 100% correct. I find that horror genre, now instead of actually trying to scare us, like the films are supposed to, they instead try to disgust us. I find nothing scary about the Saw Series, it is simply grotesque, it's an attempt to disgust not to scare (although sometimes it is amusing to see the next device or trap Jig Saw comes up with). I find the same thing goes for a lot of modern horror movies too. Just look at "The Human Centipede." I have not heard one word of someone saying that film scared them, I only hear that it completely grossed them out. So I figure that's what the horror industry is today, not an attempt to scare us, or frighten us, they simply try to gross us out.
What makes me sad is in the past decade or so, I have only one or two movies that made me check under my bed and not go to sleep that night and that film was "The Blaire Witch Project."
Honorable mentions in the past decade go to "28 Days Later" and "The Ring."
The genre has become "Hollywood-ized". It's all about making a ton of money on a low budget now, instead of creating a genuinely good flick. They milked the slasher genre to death, and now with the success of films like Paranormal Activity, they are going to milk the whole haunted house thing to death. It's sad, but true.
If you want to see a good horror film from this last decade, check out Drag Me To Hell. A fun horror comedy that, while a little predictable, is tons of fun, pretty creepy, and has all of that Evil Dead era Raimi charm.
As for a film I was really dissapointed by, I'd have to say it's that latest Nightmare on Elm Street remake/reboot/thing. Now, to be clear, I knew it was a platnum film and that meant it had almost no chance at succeeding, but hey, I had hope. I think the main reason it bugged me so much is that the film was just boring. No good kill,s no new thrills, and not a scare in sight. In my opinion, that's one of the few film franchises that could benefit from a reboot, with all the new CG tech we have now, but they managed to fuck it up with a completely uninspired script that adds nothing new or interesting to the source material....
... So much potential wasted...
My all time favorite horror film? Hmm... I gotta go with the Thing. Shit is classic. The atmosphere and creature effects are unmatched. Here's hoping the prequal doesn't suck balls.
Hey, that Willard remake is actually pretty good. I think Crispin Glover is awesome in it, and some of the cinematography is great. However (and perhaps this is why you don't like it), I'd classify the remake as more of a quirky drama than a horror film if anything.
Also, I love Crispin's cover of Ben. Got that shit on my iPod.
I agree with what these guys have been saying. The horror in the last decade has had its moments but most of the films I've seen are remakes of older films or Japenese films or the zombie/armageddon concept. Other horror films also use the shaky camera effect which I think is pretty good concept but is now widely overused. I enjoy the comedy horror such as Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland etc. I hate films that rely solely on the use of 'jump' horror and gore, personally, it's pretty weak. One I didn't really enjoy but liked the sub plot was Halloween. The Saw series are alright but are getting quite old now but I liked the concept. Doomsday was my most hated out of the three I've said. My favourite of the decade would be REC, The Ring, 28 Days Later, The Descent, The Grudge, The Orphanage etc. These are the films that actually were quite scary and clever.
All time favourite horror would be Night of the Living Dead because I enjoyed the whole idea of being surrounded by zombies in a house, though it wasn't particulary scary, it had great acting and it was the first mainstream zombie film. Another would be the Blair Witch Project which is very scary because its the things you hear but cannot see which make you scared, which is much scarier than actually seeing the person/thing. ;)
One rather recent movie I saw that I actually liked was Pandorum, which was about some people waking up on a massive spaceship that has been taken over by monsters. Unlike most horror movies, this one had a really good atmosphere--really dark and claustrophobic. I think that's something most horror movies seem to be lacking these days--atmosphere. Just about all the slasher movies take place in the suburbs, trying to prey upon the audience's fear of having their comfortable, mundane lives disrupted. Some movies have succeeded in this (The Exorcist, Paranormal Activity, the original Halloween), but in an age where you can hear about a new suburban atrocity on Dateline every other week, this aspect doesn't seem as shocking, anymore.
The horror movies that audiences most-frequently cite as their favorites are The Shining, Jaws, Alien, The Thing, The Exorcist and countless zombie movies. With the exception of The Exorcist, these movies all have one thing in common: a bleak, nightmarish situation where escape is extremely difficult if not impossible. The Shining had a snowed-in hotel; Alien was set on a spaceship trillions of miles from help; the last hour of Jaws was set on a boat stranded in the ocean; The Thing was set in the Antarctic (combined with the aspect of not knowing who is human or not); and zombie movies tend to deal with a global pandemic where there are no places to escape to.