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Author Topic: The decline of the horror genre  (Read 476 times)

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Offline AngelsSonataTopic starter

The decline of the horror genre
« on: October 04, 2015, 08:04:57 AM »
Now I'm just curious whether its me or whether anyone else shares these same feelings, but do you ever feel like the days of true horror are gone? I've been on a binge of horror films, a mixture of the classics and the new stuff, and one thing that came to me at the end of my binge was that the horror fames that were released since 2000 onwards haven't been as good as the classics.

I know its all a matter of personal opinion, but does anyone else feel the same way?

Offline RedPhoenix

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 11:55:39 AM »
I don't know that I necessarily agree. Horror movies certainly go in a cycle of:

- Good indy horror movie comes out on low budget, makes tons of money
- Studios think this means there is a market for horror, oversaturate it with crap and force bad sequels
- Nobody sees them, studios pull the plug on horror
- Repeat

And this cycle has been going on forever. I think The Ring for example is one of the best horror movies ever made and that was 2002. And then that kicked off a stream of American remakes of japanese horror movies, of which I don't think a single other one was above a half a star imo. Then you have the The Babadook in 2014, a really good and really deep Australian-Canadian film that tripled its budget and has kicked off a surge of family-horror movies like Insidious and Sinister which were both surprisingly watchable but whose terrible sequels are now running their course.

Classic horror movies also didn't have special effects, and special effects have made a ton of horror movies lazy. They just wait for their CGI monster to pop out and say boo and think that'll cut it. There also don't seem to be any directors these days that focus on horror to the extent that some of the old ones did, probably due to contract issues and how strict studios are now, for example nobody has ever done suspense as well as Hitchcock if you ask me.

So I guess my opinion is the days of horror as a consistent genre are gone, and that we now live in an age where good horror movies come out of nowhere and you sometimes have to dig for them, but I don't think that means true horror is gone totally.

Online CaptainNexus616

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 04:37:27 PM »
I normally stay away from the Horror Genre not because its scary but because of the loop its fallen into consisting primarily of Jump scares and the Home Footage angle.

The majority of horror movies that come out today usually focus on the protagonist filming the entire movie its an overdone angle at this point.

I have to agree with Red no one really builds the suspense or tension anymore now a days.

Offline Drake Valentine

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Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 07:30:44 PM »
I actually wrote a long, lengthy, rant about horror genre being gone years back; where it is floating around E(think it is on E) is beyond me.

Though the primary factor is.

-Most directors now focus more on gore. Gore does not make a horror movie a horror movie. Gore does help in making a horror movie, a horror movie; but it is the context of how such is used.
-Special Effects. They are over done, way over done.
-The Villain. Just isn't scary, normally.

And 2000s? I can vaguely recall many good horror movies that were 2000s that were 'horror' movies.The only one I can reasonably think of is Ju-on: The Grudge(The Japanese version that makes the Western version look like Hello Kitty,) Dark Water(Japanese horror movie) and well, I think that is it. Although, the thing about Ju-on is it is an actual series of different movies. I believe the Grudge ones took place after the Curse series.

Edit: Also, I believe saying Horror movies fell off the map during 2000s is giving them way too much credit. I don't recall many good horror movies back in the 1990s compared to master works of older generations that were scare worthy. (First Alien, old Dawn of the Dead, The Shining, Variations of older Dracula movies, House on Haunted Hill, Nosferatu movies, so on and so forth)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 07:38:52 PM by Drake Valentine »

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Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2015, 10:10:38 PM »
I think it's a 2014 (maybe 2015) horror movie but it's called the Atticus Institute. I'm not a fan of found footage, but this is a way you do it right, documentary style. It's sort of like how I envisioned World War Z being filmed instead of what we got. Not a lot of runny shaky cam garbage, lots of intense focus. I was actually surprised at how much I liked it.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2015, 06:16:51 PM »
I feel the same way about horror. I love good horror, but really hate all this commercialized crap that has replaced it over the years. Speaking of movies only, a lot of the crap that hits the screens today seems to follow a common and sadly predictable format. Typically something like this:

* Protagonists are introduced ( typically care free 20-lings who think more like children than like adults )
* The 20-lings embark on a journey.
* The 20-lings start to dink alcohol and strip a little. They might even have first-time sex.. >.>
* Bad things happen to the 20-lings - especially the ones who drank alcohol and had comically vanilla sex
A.  The 20-lings try to run away! 
B.  There is a flashy display of guns and bullets followed by a manly shoot up.
* One or more of the 20-lings survive and the bad guy is dead or missing. The latter indicates that there will be an even worse sequel next year.

I think one the big things that I miss is creativity and strangeness. I want to sit there and think, "what the fuck" as I'm drawn into the story. I want to feel some sense of surprise, wonder, shock, and pity as the story unfolds, not this celebratory "we have guns and big balls and we're gonna win this!"  nonsense.  Most of all, I want a damn story, and a complete one.


Offline AngelsSonataTopic starter

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 01:52:26 PM »
There have been some very valid points, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels the same way about the genre as a whole.

TaintedAndDelish- You've hit the nail on the head in regards to the plots of most modern horror movies. They seem to have fallen into a constant pattern. Though I will say this, Cabin in the Woods was one that surprised me. I did enjoy that quite a bit because it did break the mould of movies that have been released in this day and age.

Offline RedPhoenix

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 01:56:25 PM »
Cabin in the Woods really surprised me with how good it was, but I don't know that I'd call it a horror movie.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2015, 11:15:53 PM »
You know, I read a book a year or two ago on writing horror ( Writing Horror - Mort Castle ). One of the things that was mentioned in it was that many writers had turned away from writing straight up horror and instead, started to add elements of horror to stories of other genres. Ie. writing darker suspense or medical mystery novels. If I remember, I'll look for the book and quote something.

I liked "The Descent ( both the original and sequel)".  While it started out like your typical horror movie, it played on different fears and took a very different path - turning strange without being silly.




Offline AngelsSonataTopic starter

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2015, 08:27:03 AM »
Cabin in the Woods really surprised me with how good it was, but I don't know that I'd call it a horror movie.

It does make for an interesting question; whether a movie that plays on the different tropes of a horror movie but at the same time has humour then can it be called a horror movie? Though saying that, the same could be said for the Scream movies.


Now there's a movie that I haven't seen in a while. I didn't think much of the sequel, but definitely loved the first movie.

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Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2015, 08:32:13 AM »
Actually the horror genre probably hasn't declined or even peaked. Generally with horror most of it is so much dross, but there comes a few crystalline bits of awesome. Seriously, think about all the standards of horror and then think about the countless other B flicks and things that came out around it. Have things really changed that much?

Offline AngelsSonataTopic starter

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2015, 09:01:20 AM »
Actually the horror genre probably hasn't declined or even peaked. Generally with horror most of it is so much dross, but there comes a few crystalline bits of awesome. Seriously, think about all the standards of horror and then think about the countless other B flicks and things that came out around it. Have things really changed that much?
That's a very good point, and I think the same could be said for most genres these days.

Offline Beorning

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2015, 11:15:00 AM »
I wouldn't say that the horror genre is really declining these days. I may be mistaken, but I have the feeling that there have been worse periods for horror, like the late 80s and early 90s...

These days, we get a lot of crap, but there are still great movies being made. "Sinister" was pretty amazing, IMHO, as was the small-budget "Starry Eyes". There even are good found footage movies - like the Australian flick "Tunnel", which really worked for me.

We are also starting to get great horror on TV, like "Penny Dreadful"...

Offline RedPhoenix

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2015, 11:38:41 AM »
Actually the horror genre probably hasn't declined or even peaked. Generally with horror most of it is so much dross, but there comes a few crystalline bits of awesome. Seriously, think about all the standards of horror and then think about the countless other B flicks and things that came out around it. Have things really changed that much?

Yeah that's sort of what I was getting at. You could say "look all these terrible movies made of genre X these days the genre is dead" but if you look back you would see that the classic age of movies just seems good because the ones that weren't terrible enough to gain cult appeal have kind of fallen off the face of the earth and nobody remembers them. There were a lot of "creature feature" type movies that relied on their special effects back in the day too but nobody really remembers them outside of like MST3k. If you go back far enough there are thousand of movies that are literally not preserved at all, for example the MGM warehouse fire destroyed so many silent movies we really couldn't say at all if any genre was good or not back then.

I guess though I'm kind of going the other way with it and saying good movies have always been an anomaly and bad movies have always been mass produced we're just more aware of the movie that are made these days because we have to suffer through them whereas the terrible movies of yesteryear have faded away leaving just the ones that enough people are think worth watching to judge...and even a lot of them are bad!

It does make for an interesting question; whether a movie that plays on the different tropes of a horror movie but at the same time has humour then can it be called a horror movie? Though saying that, the same could be said for the Scream movies.

Scream was definitely a horror movie. Cabin in the Woods was more like an action movie in a horror setting, like how Alien was a horror movie set in a sci fi setting.

Offline Beorning

Re: The decline of the horror genre
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2015, 03:52:15 PM »
For me, "Cabin in the Woods" was more comedy crossed with deconstruction. I don't consider it a true horror movie, as it wasn't really scary.