I really do not get horror movies. The ones labeled “horror movies” that is. There are horror movies all over the place, just that at the label says “romantic comedy.” And that`s just the beginning.
The reason I am writing this is cause today I tried to watch “The night of the living dead“. It`s a classic, the movies is great, praise thy lord for he hath deliverth…
I stopped watching after ten minutes. Maybe if the ghouls/zombies would get Barbara before she reached the house, we`d all be spared.
And the whole thing got me thinking…what is the purpose of a horror movie?
For me, the ultimate horror movie was (I`ll explain the past tense later) IT by Stephen King. I know. But I was ten and for days I did not dare to venture into the bathroom myself. I saw it a couple of years back in the library and rented it, just so that I could see if the old magic was still there. Of course, it was not and I laughed through most of the parts that made me close my eyes and cover my ears a decade ago. Assuming that they did not re-do the movie, turning it into a laugh-o-fest, something else must`ve change.
The point of horror movies is to (d00h) induce horror into the viewers. Different people are scared of different things, but there are some stereotypes of things that most people find scary. For example, something unknown. With fangs. Or something known. With fangs. Come to think of it…you really cannot go wrong with fangs. Then there`s kids. With (you guessed it) fangs. The problem is, as soon as you establish something as a stereotype, the horror is gone. Stereotypes are meant EXACTLY for the reason of REMOVING the feeling of FEAR and HORROR and not to induce it. I`d be more scared of a zombie who would want to debate the global politics and would insist I put two cubes of sugar in his tea than I would be scared of a zombie trying to eat my brains out while muttering incoherently about proteins.
And what do these movies do? They are a stereotype breeding farm. There`s always dark. There`s always a power shortage. There`s always some meaningless fuck scene meant just so that the IT can move closer and get one of the participants and there`s always a happy ending with a gloom promise that lurks in the background. Stereotyping your ass off.
The prefect horror movie right now would be about a smiling vampire. Who would walk around all the time, smiling his ass off. People would wait and wait for him to attack and ravage some buxom virgin, but all he would do is smile and quote Byron. That would scare the shit out of me.
The movie industry (no, not just good ole hollywood) of course thinks differently. They established a list of things people are afraid of and all they are doing now is putting one and two together. “Let`s make this one about *looks at the list* a robotic vampire, who wants to *flips to page two* take over the world by fucking *flips to page three* every single baby in New York, making them his henchmen who then *flip* terrorize the east coast by setting people on fire by the words of “gugga gugga” and a rattle.”
And of course, horror movies are the genre with the most sequels on this planet. Which is bizzare. I mean, if you scare a guy once, how many times the good ole BOO!!! would work? Three? Four? Ten? How many tea-drinking, byron-quoting vampires would the audience take? My guess…not that much.
And the same goes for horror movies. Which are mostly a relief for the directors since they a) don`˙t need a story-line b) don`t need good role actors c) don`t need money for the creation of the movie, since everything happens in the dark and d) can stamp dozen movies and more with the same formula. Although I must admit, seeing Scream 98 would be a scary experience. Just imagine Neve Campbell being an 80 year old student. SCARY!
And as for creative title…how does this sound?
“Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D” (imdb)