The state of American Horror Movies

I’ve been saddened by the recent “horror” movies coming out of Hollywood as of late. Most now seem to be nothing more than torture porn, which I hate. Some are “the crazy guy with a knife/chainsaw” type. However, a real good and actual horror movie is something I haven’t seen in a while. Paranormal activity was one of the lamest shows I’ve seen. It started off with some genuinely interesting build up and some very creepy and subtle things. However, the ending was so incredibly lame that it ruined all that it could have been. I thought it was the worst until I saw PA2. Less build up, less creepy, and an even worse ending. A haunted house, and the possessed person just walks in and snaps the dude’s neck? What haunting is like that? Last night I watched “The Last Exorcism.” Again it had a good set up for what could have been a great scenario. The fake exorcist encounters a real exorcism. It had that now too popular “shot by a hand camera” thing going which actually could have worked because of the dark house and the single source of light. They could have done some genuinely creepy things with lighting. (see Silent Hill 3 for how to do that.) However, the exorcism itself was very short, very lame and very un-scary. I am thankful that they didn’t have CGI in it which every other American horror movie has nowadays. It must be in their contract or something. When I think back to the days of “The Thing” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” I see practical effects that look soooo much better than anything CGI could do. The effects were real and there. When a ghost or zombie (yes, there’ve been CGI zombies.) is done by computer, its obviously CGI and so it is no longer scary. Look at “The Ring.” Samara, when she comes out of the TV, its special effects, but the ghost is played by a real person and a real person has such nuance and character that a CGI could never touch it. That does bring me to the point of Asian Horror movies. They understand that horror comes from the unknown and they build it up slowly, letting the dread and suspense (look that word up Hollwood) until its all finally unleashed at the end. Now, J-horror isn’t perfect either. Its also become stale and re-used too often. A Haunting in Connecticut was a good example of what to do, but it wasn’t perfect. I’m still waiting for a good, scary movie to come out and not some CGI’ed/shaky camera/torture porn pile of crap. OH, where is someone with vision and talent? Alas. Alas.

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~ by Minimum Wage Historian on March 20, 2011.

One Response to “The state of American Horror Movies”

  1. To be honest, there should be a serious examination of the crap that Hollywood excretes. They are apparently putting it out there because people want to see it. They want it to be easy. They want it to be anything but challenging. That should be enough to flag it as something worth evaluating as a reflection on our society (generally, horror films tell us a bit about ourselves at the moment..see the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers/McCarthy-ism as an example).

    The problem seems to be that the filmmakers want to please the masses (got to have the money!) while dumbing things down so that no one has to think too much (gore is the easy way to gross the audience out and make them feel they’ve got their money’s worth).

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