Are Modern Horror Movies Any Good?

There’s no denying it, horror is one of the biggest and most popular movie genres there is.Just what is it that makes horror films so appealing?

People love to be scared and watching a horror movie is a great way to experience being scared in a safe environment.Then there’s the social aspect, watching a horror with friends, and laughing aloud when one of them jumps at a particular scene makes for an entertaining night out. Horror movies have entertained the masses for decades.The popularity of the horror movie just seems to get bigger every year.

I absolutely love horrors, flesh eating zombies,vampires even murdering psychopath’s it’s all good.But in my opinion, the horror movies coming out right now are just not as good as they used to be.

Let’s take the Saw series  for example, saw was a great horror movie. It was different from anything that had been done before and in many ways it broke the mould from your typical horror picture. It had it all gore,action,suspense and more than enough plot twists to keep any horror fan happy. Then they went and committed the cardinal sin of horror movies. They made a sequel, not just one sequel four sequels. So we are now on saw 5 and god help us saw 6 is on the way. 

I’m not saying that any of the saw sequels were particularly bad but by making so many they have taken away the originality that made the original Saw so good. Another problem I have with the so called modern horror  is that they rely way too much on gore and gross out tactics. Whatever happened to being scared without seeing a head chopped off?

The most notable example of modern horror movies resorting to gore and gross out tactics is the Hostel series. Again i’m not saying that these were bad films (okay so hostel 2 was a bit bad) but they rely more on blood and guts than classic scares.

Thankfully not all modern horrors use these cheap tricks. Take for example Last House On The Left. While the film did have a few gory scenes one of which included a microwave and a head, the rest of the film is carried by  good old fashioned suspense. I wont spoil the movie but if you haven’t  seen it I highly recommend it.

Regardless of my opinion on current horror movies it’s obvious that this genre will continue to entertain us for many years to come.

Horror Movies – Not For the Faint Hearted

Horror movies are one of the top entertainment genres that have taken the world by storm. These movies are designed to be scary to an extreme nature that allows the viewer to experience an adrenaline rush of a different kind. This article will give you some different information as to why horror movies are so popular and scary in this modern day and age. Here are a few things you may not have known.

A horror movie is classed as just that, horror. These movies are made with the intent of suspense, blood and gore, and with bone chilling special effects. There are many different themes that are used when making one of these movies. The usual themes are of a supernatural type effect, which may be off killer ghosts, never dying zombies, aliens and monsters, plus strange and dangerous creatures or mutants. They can also come as axe wielding maniacs, as well as chainsaw murderers, vampires, killer dolls, voodoo rituals and many other things that can be classed or used as a scary theme.

The best time to watch these types of movies for full impact is of a night. When watched of a night it adds more fuel to the fire, causing the suspense to heighten and the tension to build with anticipation. They are usual dark in nature, with little light so you cannot see the person who is dangerous to the victims. You also do not usually see the bad person until halfway through the show.

To add more suspense, special type of suspenseful music is added to build the moment. The music is one of the more important things because it keeps the viewers locked on what is about to happen. Without the music you would loose concentration in certain parts where it is suppose to build up until something frightening happens.

Horror films are something that is not for the faint heart. To watch a horror movie you need to be able to fully immerse yourself into what is happening. A great horror film will have you scared all the way through, as well as leave you with an eerie presence or sense when finished.

Horror films are popular in this day and age, so if you have not tried this genre yet, then why not give it a go and see what you have been missing out on all these years. But just remember you will be scared.

Top Horror Movies

We watch movies in order to experience a roller-coaster ride of emotional responses. Horror movies aim to evoke fear, whose family of tertiary emotions consist of shock, alarm, mortification, panic, hysteria, horror, terror and fright. Whether or not a horror movie is good or bad is subjective. This short article explores those movies which are commonly regarded as the top horror movies; the movies that – for one reason or another – most potently engaged our fears.

Psycho (1960)

Originally a book by Robert Bloch, later adapted for the screen by Joseph Stefano, and famously directed by the late, great Alfred Hitchcock, this is the seminal slasher movie that shocked America and set the fear-formula for many future horror movies. We have a serial killer who dresses in drag to imitate his Mother; we have a beautiful heroine who, shockingly, dies a third of the way in; we see a bloody bathroom scene that was all the more jarring for earlier audiences, who were unused to seeing toilets on cinema screens. But none of this captures what really terrifies us about Psycho, for psycho is an exploration into madness, a place where – God forbid – anyone of us might one day journey.

Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

A group of people hold up in a farmhouse and must fight off the hungry advances of an approaching zombie army. Written by John A Russo and George A Romero, and directed by Romero in 1968, this is the original zombie flick that even today ranks as one of the top horror movies ever put on film. What makes it so scary? Honestly, I think it’s the simplicity. We have a lonely farmhouse besieged by the undead and no explanation as to why the dead are rising, other than the haunting line “when there is no more room in hell, the dead shall walk the earth”. We have zombies obsessed with one thing: eating the living; and the living obsessed with one goal: avoiding becoming a zombie-dinner! Even the film stock is simple: grainy black and white. At times, perhaps when the camera jolts and the sound crackles, as we watch brain dead zombies tear apart and chew on their freshly dead neighbors, we get the distinct impression of documentary filmmaking. Simplicity can be terrifying.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

The movie that proves sequels can surpass their originals. Boris Karloff reprises the role that made him famous, that of The Monster and, likewise, James Whale returns to direct another sinister masterpiece. The primary theme in both Frankenstein movies is man should not play God because there will be horrible consequences; indeed, even The Monster is aware that his existence is an abomination. What makes Bride better than Frankenstein? I’d say both Whale and Karloff use their experience of the original to enhance their performances.

Halloween (1978)

In Halloween we see a deranged murderer escape a mental asylum and return to his home town where he slays the local teenagers. The movie opens with a scene from the point-of-view of Michael, a young boy who proceeds to massacre his sister with a kitchen knife. This sets a shocking and unpredictable tone for the rest of the movie. Yet again simplicity in horror proves to be the terrifying ingredient, easily making this one of the top horror movies ever made. Michael is a simple, yet efficient killing machine, much like the shark in Jaws. What we find so chilling about him is his God-like ability to remain alive, but – as they say – you cannot kill the bogeyman!

The Exorcist (1973)

The best word to describe The Exorcist? Shocking. A girl who becomes possessed by an evil entity and her mother enlists the help of two priests to save her. Watching this movie you get the distinct impression that what you see is real. Audiences are compelled to believe both the Devil and his demons exist. But what truly shocks are the taboos: a weak, alcoholic priest; intense use of blasphemy; a young girl who urinates, curses, blasphemes and implores a priest to sexually gratify her. The Exorcist leaves you with a persistent uneasy feeling, wherein you find yourself believing more so in the devil, a creature whose evil is definitely unquantifiable.

There are many more top horror movies but you’ll find the five listed above to be those commonly regarded as the scariest.

The 80’s Horror Movie Movement: Freddy Approves This Message

The magical 80’s Horror Flicks

The horror genre is as old as the movie industry itself. Horror movies have evolved significantly over the years from the in-your face scary monsters of the 1920’s to the more cerebral fare of the 1960’s which saw some excellent movies such as Psycho and The Exorcist in the 70’s. This was the time when the horror genre moved mainstream from its largely B grade status.

The 80’s

The horror genre reached its pinnacle in 1980’s and 1990’s with classics such as Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th and The Evil Dead. The 80’s saw computer generated special effects seep into horror flicks. The trend probably began with Dawn of the Dead in 1978 or Alien a year later. But thanks to liquid foam latex and animatronics, movie makers were able to stretch human figurines into bizarre and distorted shapes. The 1980’s can be regarded as a golden era for the horror genre, with several movies attaining cult status. The movies had such an impact on the audience that even to this day you can find at least one Jason Vorhees or a Michael Myers in any given Halloween party! Though the movie Halloween came out in 1978, the Michael epidemic carried on throughout the 80’s to this very day. The scary movies of the 1980’s portrayed spine-chilling horror in a different light. With newer technology seeping into the movie industry, all the monsters that lurked the shadows in the 1950’s and the 1960’s were brought out into the light.

And Now

By the middle of the 80’s, horror movies for the most part became hokey and obvious. We went to a horror movie to root for the bad guy. Freddy, Jason and Michael had become our heroes in a bazaar way. Fast forward to today. Horror movies today or better still, the past 10 or 15 years, are downright scary. From the creepy-walking girl in The Ring (2002) or the non-scene ghosts in The Paranormal Activity series. We don’t find ourselves idolizing them, in fact, all said and done, we don’t want to think of them as we are climbing into bed at night. Although I didn’t particularly find the Paranormal Activity movies all that great, I have to admit, they kept me glued to my seat until the anticipated, climatic endings. Horror movies re-gained what they had lost in the 80’s, the scare factor. Movies don’t need big knives to be considered horror movies, they need to scary people.

A Brief History Of Horror Movies

Horror movies has been around for almost as long as movies have been made. Before looking at the horror movie it may be best to look into horror in literature. Knowing this can help our understanding of horror films and where they come from.

Horror in literature left a legacy that helped to propel this genre into films. If there had not been such a legacy of literary works then we may not have the same movies we do now. The term horror was first coined in 1764 in a book by Horace Walpole’s called The Castle of Otranto which was full of the supernatural. In the following centuries literary giants like Edgar Allan Poe championed this genre with great works like The Raven. Some of the great horror movies of today are based on old horror stories like Frankenstein and Dracula which were both written in the 1800’s.

At the beginning of horror movie history these movies were often ones that had the supernatural in there. In the late 1890’s short silent films was where these movies start. The Frenchman Georges Melies is thought to be the creator of the first horror film with his 1896 short silent Le Manior du diable. Around this time the Japanese also tried their hand at this genre with Bake Jizo and Shinin no Sosei.

The first full horror film was an adaptation of the hunchback of Notre-Dame. Many of these first horror films were created by German film makers as the early 1900’s were the time of the German expressionist films. These films have influenced horror film makers for decades to Tim Burton. During the 1920’s Hollywood started dabbling in the horror genre with Lon Chaney Sr. Becoming the first American horror star.

It was in the 1930’s that the horror film was first popularized by Hollywood. Along with the classic Gothic films Frankenstein and Dracula there were also films made with a mix of Gothic horror and the supernatural. In 1941 The Wolf Man was an iconic werewolf movie created by Universal studios. This was not the first werewolf movie made but is known as the most influential. During this era other B pictures were created like the 1945 version of The Body Snatcher.

In the 1950’s there had been many innovations in the technology used to make films. Additionally in this time the horror film was divided into two categories being Armageddon films and demonic films. During this time social ideas and fears were placed into movies but in such a way that it was not direct exploitation.

The 1960’s were the time when many iconic movies came about. Hitchcock’s movie The Birds was against a modern backdrop and was one of the first American Armageddon films. Perhaps one of the most influential films of this time was Night of the Living Dead. This movie brought zombies into the mainstream and it also moved these movies from the Gothic horror to what we know today.

The history of horror movies goes back to the beginning of movies. The long history shows how they changed from Gothic classics to what we know today.

Sexuality and Horror Movies

Have you ever thought that there is a connection between sexuality and horror movies? What is the key in capturing the viewers’ attention? Well sex combined violence. And horror movies are almost always about sexuality even though it is very obvious or subtle. Sex and horror became almost inseparably. You know the classic scenes where a naked woman gets killed in the shower, or the women who get raped by monsters in order to continue their species, the slasher films in which women who are very proud of their sexuality are seen as deserving to die (an example are cheerleaders), sexual domination often evocated in horror movies and so on. Even Frankenstein, who is seen as a threat to the male animal’s sexuality.

The classic examples of sexuality in horror movies are the Vampire stories. They are aroused by beautiful women, but they only want to drink their blood. There is also a subgenre to this type of movie, the so called lesbian vampire stories in which their sexuality is explored to its maximum.

In horror movies appears also the voyeuristic intentions. And there is just one small step from this to pornography. Horror and sexuality are both taboo subjects for adults to talk to in front of children. However all humans have certain needs and erotic dreams, some dream about making love with the loved one on a beach while the sun sets, some to have intercourse with strangers on the kitchen table and others who fantasize about being strangulated while having sex. It is said that before dying from strangulation one has an orgasm like never experienced before, so this could make a very good plot for a horror erotic movie who wants to explore sexuality.

Sexuality is also used in some horror movies in the form of binding the heroes before the big confrontation or at the end of it, as a reward for surviving through it. Here we can find sexuality in its perfect shape; everything goes right in these types of sex scenes.

Some other scenes related to sexuality are those in which the heroine walks around naked through her house and the killer is inside, playing with her mind, calling her, whispering to her (talking about Hitchcock’s Phycho movie who used this recipe for the first time back in the 60’s), others are crimes who happen in strip clubs. Talking about sexuality! Even the moment when the killer is about to murder his victim and immobilizes it while whispering or touching her neck is full with sexuality.

Another recipe for a good horror movie is using the characters’ sexuality to kill the bad guy. A heroine seduces a killer in order to destroy him. Teenagers who explore their sexuality and end up being punished by forces of nature for doing this, sexual repression, the striving for self acceptance after being abused by psychos are all scenarios for horror movies. All the characters like Vampires or slashers are using the same motive. They show what consequences decadence could have. It’s all about sexuality in the end. Sex and horror do mix, and they mix very well. These are the two things that are included in everyone’s subconscious and little of them talk openly about it. The scenarists that create horror movies found the soft spot and in order to obtain a successful movie it takes two: terror and sexuality. And, of course, an inspired plot.