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The same thing that has always been wrong, I would say. As said before, horror is an elementary education of the pop culture of the time. The fears presented in horror are the fears of the age they appear it. When a movie comes a little too early, or a little too late, they flop. You have to strike while the iron is hot. UNFRIENDED would not work two years from now. It works now. BLAIR WITCH worked when it did, and began a series of unfortunate “found” stories..all of which are becoming quickly hackneyed under the weight of time.

The SAW films? Enough already..
ROB ZOMBIE? I never could stomach it..
REMAKES? I never appreciated them to begin with.

The website BLOODY-DISGUSTING’S Brad Miska wrote up a story about what is wrong with the genre.. a few valid points presented:

For me, the biggest thing he nails is that modern horror is littered with fake jump-scares. I often cite the use of authentic scares in reviews of films I love – most notably ones directed by James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring). Many studio films fatigue the audience with bullshit jump-scares that utilize loud sound design to make the audience jolt out of their seat. They aren’t being scared, they’re being yelled at. That’s not horror. He relates it to having sex – films are blowing their load and releasing tension too early, leaving the film’s climax to have little to no effect.

Graphic description .. but I see the point. Horror is slow and methodical.. it brings you to a point where you realize the conclusion is awfully scary.. Deep and disturbing .. that was the success of this autumn’s M NIGHT film THE VISIT. It took a while. You got to enjoy it.. and you got surprised at the end.

Lastly, he [

Chris Stuckmann] points to expectations vs reality as a major issue. Marketing of The Village is his prime example, in which he points out that even M. Night Shyamalan regrets the false advertising. Studios need to get asses in the seats and will do so by any means necessary (For example, much of the footage in The Gallows trailers and TV spots weren’t actually in the movie).

I agree.. Another good example of advertising to seduce is this past week’s failure CRIMSON PEAK. It was a romance horror.. And it failed, because as people found out it was not the ‘scariest movie of the year’ that was promised, they shunned like an Amish sinner in Lancaster county.

Fans vote with wallets, for sure. But sadly they vote for what is heaped on them by studios that just want quick bucks off of horror flicks.

A few horrors that were good, and not because of profit, exist in the past few years.. THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT, IT FOLLOWS, and the BABADOOK. 

You can find a lot more gems on Netflix. Lower budget gems. I talk about them often on this website. And you should search them out as well.. 

Rummage through the pile of studio-produced garbage and find the things that matter.. the prizes in the puzzle of horror.

There are truly really scary things out there. Sadly in the way we’re given films, you have to search them out yourself. They certainly will not be handed to you.

I would love to hear feedback.

What do you, reader, say is good and bad about modern horror?



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