Is Horror Dead? / Does a changing of the guard mean the end of a genre as we know it? | MovieMaker Magazine

Posted: October 8, 2010 in Scifi
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Found this article some time ago and now seems like the perfect to to bring up this topic. Looking over the past couple of nights, I’ve noticed that a good deal of the horror movies I’ve enjoyed have something to with some type of monster ie Humanoids of the Deep, Prophecy ( not Christopher Walken), and The Beast Within. Even zombies to a degree would be on par with this creatures but having said that most of these movies were from the 70’s and 80’s. Before the age of CGI, there was a great deal of rubber latex makeup effects and animatronics effects. From Dick Smith to Rick Baker to Rob Bottin and to the late Stan Winston, these were geniuses of creativity, true masters of horror effects that have yet to be surpassed still to this day.

I have no problems with a mutilation of someone by a beast/monster or a slasher film that finds new ways of killing people but straight on torture, just torture, just doesn’t speak to me. Compare my statement to a comedian who is funny without having to swear versus those who constantly drop the f-bomb. What I want are for films to be interesting to watch with moments of sheer terror that doesn’t have to rely on just torture for thrills. The Cell with Jennifer Lopez is an amazing film to watch because of director Tarsem’s unique visual style plus add in the performance of Vincent D’onofrio as Carl Stargher and you will have an experience that you will soon not forget.

But I digress, I’ve learned that everyone, yes everyone, has a right to like what they like. I may not agree with these newer films but if it makes you happy in the sense that you enjoy them then by all means, have at it. They are all yours for the taking. Just give me my landshark eating zombie with raping men and women on the friday the 13th on elm street and I’ll call it a day.

Is Horror Dead?

Does a changing of the guard mean the end of a genre as we know it?

by Christian Toto | Published August 1, 2008

Heather Matarazzo in Eli Roth‘s Hostel: Part II (2007).

Torture porn showcases like Turistas and Hostel: Part II didn’t cut it with critics or moviegoers; Freddy, Jason and Michael are either showing up infrequently or basking in retirement—and there hasn’t been a breakout horror hit since a puppet named Jigsaw jump-started the grotesque Saw franchise back in 2004.

Though they’re trying, a new crop of young horror directors are having a devil of a time resurrecting the genre. Rising star Eli Roth’s reputation took a hit when his highly anticipated Hostel: Part II tanked. Neil Marshall delivered one of the better frights of the decade with 2005’s The Descent, but took a creative leap backward with the recycled mess that was Doomsday. Rogue, director Greg Mclean’s follow-up to the 2005 cult hit Wolf Creek, snuck into only a few theaters earlier this year before its inevitable date with DVD. Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween remake earned a tidy profit but left fans clamoring for the low-budget original.

Combine this with the old guard’s disappearing box office clout (George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead earned less than $1 million in its theatrical release earlier this year), and audiences are left wondering: What’s next on the horror horizon? Who can scare us silly again?

Legendary special effects guru Tom Savini, who worked on many of Romero’s classic films and is an actor and director in his own right, scratches his head over the genre’s current state.

“It’s hard to tell what phase it’s in,” Savini says of the cyclical genre, which rotates from old-school creature features like Frankenstein to psychological terrors such as The Haunting. Today, what amounts to an original idea is having a cell phone that can kill you, he laments. Horror fans are noticing the dearth of quality scares.

“When I go to [horror] conventions and do Q&As, you can tell they’re starving for something,” he says. If the last year has laid the groundwork for any trend it’s toward films evoking the video game experience, says Savini. Both Cloverfield and Diary of the Dead used a video camera as the audience’s main viewpoint, and scenes from each could easily be translated to a shoot-’em-up style video game. “That mindset—that point of view—is what’s important to the young audience,” he notes.

via Is Horror Dead? / Does a changing of the guard mean the end of a genre as we know it? | MovieMaker Magazine.


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