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Joker94's avatar

Do you think the horror genre has gone downhill in recent years?

Asked by Joker94 (8180points) April 26th, 2011

Lately, they seem to be retreads of Saw or Hostel, going for the balls-out, torture-porn approach to it. Also, whenever I see the aggregations on Rotten Tomatoes, most new horror movies seem to get poor reviews. I’m not a huge horror fan as it is, but there are definitely horror movies that look good to me, and I haven’t seen one come about lately. Am I just living under some type of rock, or is there a shortage of quality horror flicks?

Also, does anyone make slasher flicks anymore?

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49 Answers

Michael_Huntington's avatar

American horror died in the 90s.
The Europeans and Asians are the only ones who can make decent horror movies these days, but even they have a few diamonds in a mountain of shit.

syz's avatar

The Saw series makes me fear for the future of our society – how anyone not sociopathic finds that to be entertainment is beyond me. And M. Knight Shamalon has done a pretty good job of damaging the genre. But there were plenty of crappy-stupid horror flicks in the past. They’ve just faded from memory.

KateTheGreat's avatar

It seems as though the horror film industry is running out of ideas. The good slasher flicks were made back in the day when people were more sensitive to the carnage, which made it AMAZING to watch. It was a thrilling experience for many. Nowadays, each new film is going for the shocking effect. They’re bringing in more and more gore, sex, torture, and filth. It seems as though the people of today are more immune to everything that the horror world has to give. So each time a new movie comes out, they try to 1-up each other and create a new sense of fear. They end up creating a bloody pile of shit instead of creating something that actually makes an impact.

ddude1116's avatar

Horror movies have always followed that pattern. When it wasn’t retreads of Saw or Hostel it was monster movies back in the sixties, and the Eighties with slasher flicks. Occasionally, you’ll get a good one, or a string of them, and much more frequently nowadays you get god-awful ones. Eventually, some up and coming filmmaker will devise a new horror concept and make a movie that scares the pants off of everybody, and then soon that concept will grow trite and overused as well. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s hardly limited to horror alone.

Joker94's avatar

@Michael_Huntington Asian Horror is supposed to be where it’s at. American remakes of them aren’t even as good! One Missed Call…never again…
@syz I’m a believer that there’s entertainment value in watching someone get splattered, but superfluous torture kind of tries the nerves.
@KatetheGreat Weirdly, most movies that try to 1-up each other get criticized for not being as good as the originals, or for just being all guts and no glory.
@ddude1116 True, but you can’t deny it’s most prevalent in horror. There are a bunch of horror movies that come out in a year, all of which seem to follow a similar vein. As far as dramas and other movies go, it’s not too often that you see a string of genres trainfuck the theaters. Except for Summer

Joker94's avatar

I shouldn’t have said most prevalent. I meant mostly, my apologies.

Vunessuh's avatar

The only horror I really have any respect for anymore is the horror produced by the asians and the french.

And I agree that M. Night Shamanalongadingdong is an idiot and should be the victim in a grueling snuff movie.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Vunessuh “A Serbian Film with M Night”?

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think all of the movie industry has gone to the dogs. When the best movies are bad versions of so so TV series, it is time to hire some new talent.

mrrich724's avatar

Nah. There are still great horror flicks out there. Paranormal Activity scared the crap out of MANY people without ever showing you what the ‘creature’ (for lack of a better word) looks like.

I Spit on Your Grave had me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what was around the next turn . . .

I’m sure I can think of more, but these are the two most recent I’ve revisited lately.

And as many “exorcism” movies come out lately, some of them are pretty freakin’ terrifying!

filmfann's avatar

Currently, the best American Horror is in the revolution in Zombie films.
It just amazes me how this genre is new again!

atomicmonkey's avatar

Yeah, I dunno. Seems the same as ever to me. There’s always more crap out there than gold – and it’s always been especially true for horror. A lot of cynical producers see horror as an easy cash spinner and so a lot of movies get made by people who possess no affinity or affection for the genre. But I think it’s always been the case with horror. You gotta sit through twelve Leprechauns before you hit an Exorcist… or whatever.

Joker94's avatar

@filmfann I completely overlooked zombies! How the eff did I manage that?! It got completely revitalized in the last two years!

Michael_Huntington's avatar

“Well, I’m now done with ‘The Last Airbender 2’- Who are you?! What are you doing in my studio?! Wh-what are you doing? NO! Don’t stick that in my eye! I swear I won’t make another film again! AAAAHHHHH!!!”
[M Night gets an eyegasm]

yankeetooter's avatar

I think the horror genre started going downhill when blood, guts and gore became more important than suspense…

Michael_Huntington's avatar

They’re coming to get you, Symbeline

Joker94's avatar

@Michael_Huntington My lord…M. Night raped that series..

yankeetooter's avatar

I’ll cite the example of the weeping angels in the Doctor Who series to support my point made above. No blood, guts and gore, but I was never so scared as I was watching these episodes…

LukeFonFabre's avatar

I highly doubt it because horror genre is splitting into two different kind of horrors; regular horror and gore horror.

Joker94's avatar

@yankeetooter I only watched a handful of Dr. Who’s, and the Weeping Angels were genuinely scary, mostly because the thought of them was scary.

yankeetooter's avatar

@Joker94 But you didn’t need the blood, guts and gore. Your mind/imagination helped create the scariness of the episode…(getting on her soapbox, clearing her throat). People (especially kids) don’t read anymore, and so they have lost their ability to imagine. Therefore, everything has to be larger than life in the movies-no one can imagine stuff any more. Everything has to be “in your face”, blood spurting everywhere, everything spelled out, etc. (And I make a lot of generalities here, so please forgive me…)

The type of writing that my students have the hardest time with is when they are asked to create a story, or put themselves in someone else’s shoes, because as a society we are losing our ability to imagine things…(gets off her soapbox.)

Joker94's avatar

@yankeetooter Over-the-top-ness has just become a staple of modern cinema, I think. I’m okay with that to a degree, I like it when used stylistically. I point my finger at Kill Bill.

But you’re right, the fact that you had to think about the angels it what made them frighten you. The questions raised over their nature are more frightening than there appearance (which itself is dang creepy as is). It’s one of those “You always fear what you don’t understand” things, I guess.

Berserker's avatar

I often wonder what people mean when they say older horror is better than today. If you look back at stuff like from the eighties, it’s as ridiculous as anything we see now. It’s always the same types of concepts, but set into whatever culture and time period they were made in. In most cases it’s an attempt at slight realism in order to introduce the fear factor when the shit hits the fan.
Some people might comment on stories and original ideas. Granted. Halloween hit the nail back in the late seventies, before that it was Psycho.
Now whenever someone comes up with new or original ideas, they’re either just ’‘stupid’’ ideas or something to that effect. People say they want new and original stuff besides what has defined horror for so long, yet they say anything new that which is presented is stupid, or something to that effect. If you look at a lot of older horror, it really isn’t any more intelligent than most now. Which also makes me laugh when it is stated that people would love to see new stuff that reflects what horror ’‘used’’ to be. I ask you, how is Nightmare on Elm Street any different then say…Heartless? Actually they are very different…this is a trick question. XD

I do not see a decline, because horror is actually one of the slowest movie genres to evolve. (irony) Times and styles change, but it’s always the same shit; some ridiculous plot that orchestrates for naught but a killing ground. I’m not being biased here, I love horror of all kinds to no end, but it is, on the surface, a very primitive genre. But given what defines it, that’s good enough, since general horror is sought for simple wants; safe fear.
It’s complex in that you can use it with anything, hence why there are horror movies about like, everything. Which, unfortunately, makes it seem ridiculous a lot of the time.

Now some of you mention that all horror is today is blood and guts. I’m not entirely sure this is a new concept. I’ve seen horror from the seventies that are absolutely nothing but shock value. Explore a bit.

I’m not bashing older horror; I love and respect it. But it really isn’t any different than what we get today. For example, I’m not that big a fan of the Saw series, but it did try something new, using old concepts. It has a gritty, dramatic urban feel, and even though it sucks at story telling, it made a damn good effort in making that primary, besides the famous ordeals. A bit like Hostel. But eh, anyone ever seen Blood Sucking Freaks? get back to me.

I get the feeling that countless remakes are what bothers people. Well I enjoy them, they are good ways at seeing things in differing angles, all the while preserving famous franchises. (even if only by using that as an opportunity to re-release original versions) Again, I don’t see how having countless famous horror flick remakes is any different than yesterday’s countless sequel cough ups. Again I say, horror has not declined much. People may dislike most of what comes out the day, but if you only knew how many horror movies from the past nobody knows about, because people didn’t like them and so, never saw the light of day.

As far as the fear factor goes, I do admit, I have to go for foreign horror to get my fix, at least most times. But I denno, Cookers is a modern horror flick. I’ll suggest that to anyone who wants a good freak out.

There’s a lot of shit out there man, but then, there always has been. People shouldn’t base their definition of horror on some select few famous titles. As someone already said, there’s lots of gems out there, past and present. Revolutions are made, sub genres are brought back, explored again and what have you. My main point is though, a lot of what people in this question mention are things that have existed for years. They define horror. I think the problem mostly lies in personal opinion or how offended one gets, rather than what horror is. But I don’t understand it.

Psycho is awesome yes, and I guess some movies win for doing it first, but that doesn’t mean that everything else that comes after is crap, especially when considering the source and that, back when Psycho was made, people barely knew what hermaphrodites were. XD

So the answer is no. Horror has not declined. Some is a lot more clever than others, some is a lot more gorier, and some is scarier. But this has always been, and will continue to do so, as long as the genre exists, due to its strict boundaries. Check out Antichrist, by the way.

I’m trying my hardest myself not to go on opinion alone, but rather from observation and what I know of the genre, but I think people are being very strict on little ol’ horror. Sure, Dracula has a lot more class than Michael Myers, but look at all the spinoffs HE got haha.

To be honest with you guys though, I don’t really know much about the technical side of horror. There are many factors to consider, when exploring its evolution, or lack thereof.

I just enjoy it, so while I love everyone who posted in here, I kinda get tired of that whole if it’s new it’s crap thing. XD Same with music, same with video games, same with fashion…and I think I drank too much. :D

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Symbeline That’s so weird. I am watching Antichrist right now, before you even suggested it!

Berserker's avatar

@KatetheGreat Good luck. :) They asked me for ID when I rented it, there’s even a warning on the case.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Symbeline Pshh, I’m watching it online and there was a huge warning that said “only for mature people who have thick skin”.

Pandora's avatar

Recently? Its been down hill since Alfred Hitchcock wrote his last story. He knew how to make you freak over everyday things. Can’t see a bunch of crows gather without getting creeped out and I know many people who admit to getting spooked out when showering in the house alone.

yankeetooter's avatar

Showering alone is no problem, @Pandora , but I agree with you about the bird thing…

Berserker's avatar

@KatetheGreat I find the whole thing rather…unsettling. But all those warnings are only due to the end parts lol. The whole ’‘thick skin’’ thing is pretty funny though…you’ll see why later on. XD

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Symbeline I hope it’s good. The beginning is boring me :(

Berserker's avatar

Well, let me know when you’re done. :)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I have been very disappointed with most of the horror movies I’ve recently watched. It seems as though they have run out of original ideas so they remake old ideas and they turn out cheesy. The only movie that recently impressed me was Black Swan.

atomicmonkey's avatar

@Symbeline I enjoy watching the remakes also. Even if they aren’t as effective, it’s always interesting to see what a ‘right now’ version of the older ones feels like. They’re perfectly valid (I enjoyed The Crazies, for example) and even if they suck, it’s still interesting to compare. There are no original ideas (for any genre.) They can only put a new spin on what’s come before and possibly mashup a few sub genres. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

sixteenarmsbill's avatar

They don’t leave very much for the imagination now and i belevieve the true horror is what you imagine happened so yes has gone downhill.

Berserker's avatar

@atomicmonkey Aye, I liked The Crazies too, or any remake of a movie I was already a fan of. As you say, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But same goes for older horror.

Joker94's avatar

@Symbeline Damn. Thorough answer. I enjoy remakes, so long as they are good ones. I referenced One Missed Call earlier because it was a neat concept that had a bogus movie lol. I think a remake has to bring enough new ideas to the table to keep things interesting, but making sure that it keeps enough the same. Also, I get sick of the fact that movies are remade shortly after the originals’ premiere. (as a general thing, not just in horror) @atomicmonkey makes a good point by saying the “right now” version is always interesting, which is why I prefer remakes being of older flicks than more recent ones.

Berserker's avatar

A remake should keep the elements of its source, and go from there, if it plans on actually being more of a sequel than anything. The remake of Friday the Thirteenth was actually really just a sequel that had nothing to do with the actual sequel. It wasn’t the Jason I know, but I did appreciate that they tried something different while keeping the Jason flair. I guess it was more of a re imagining, entirely. New ideas to the table. (plus the origin of the hockey mask was better in the deleted scenes than what was given to viewers in the presented movie lol)

Halloween by Rob Zombie promised to explain what Mikey was, which was never really explained to us throughout all the sequels that tried to save face. The remake explained fuckall that we already didn’t know though, besides some cliché about Myers living in a dysfunctional family. (which was never hinted at in the original) But it was fun to watch, and has style.

I do find it funny that in one remake, they made Jason all intelligent and cunning, while in the original, he’s a brainless brute, and that in the Halloween remake, the intelligent Myers became a complete, emotional berzeker when he’s supposed to be this heartless killing machine.

I denno though, it all seems to work for me lol.

ddude1116's avatar

With horror, though, sometimes the backstory removes the layer of fright that comes with the air of mystery. For instance, I really dug the original Halloween, but Rob Zombie’s remake seemed to want you to connect to Myers, which I thought showed him as more of a sympathetic entity than a frightening one. Which, in turn, made the movie seem like more of a drama than horror in my opinion.

woodcutter's avatar

The last good horror movie I saw was “Silent Hill” Not even sure if it qualifies as horror. I think all they are now are summertime quick buck makers where the best part of the movies are in the ads.

Berserker's avatar

@ddude1116 Yeah, damn true. Before, Myers was a…monster. You did not wish to connect with him. Now it’s some emo shit. And I know he was a monster, because as a little girl that fucker scared me to no end. Now he’s something else, but maybe if I was 12 back when that remake came out, he would scare me. Times and all change, yeah? Anyways, your here answer beats it all, love it. I was so caught up in all that Mikey explanation thing which I mentioned on this question before that I forgot the intent, besides turning him into a retard. I thank you. I like learning. :)

cockswain's avatar

Antichrist disturbed me.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Antichrist thoroughly bored me. Just finished watching it.

cockswain's avatar

Sure, it’s kind of pointless. But the close up clitoris cutting scene bothered me. There was also some amputation I recall, but not clearly. I didn’t like either of those parts.

yankeetooter's avatar

Spoilers Alert, people! Lol!

Berserker's avatar

It was about how the chick fucked the guy over in making him think she was fucked, so she could resurrect her son, through her own fuckery. Sorry all you got was the maiming lol.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Symbeline Hahaha, I didn’t get what it was supposed to be about at all. Thanks for clarifying it!

yankeetooter's avatar

No, @Symbeline that was enough to convince me that I never want to see the movie…thanks!

ucme's avatar

No I don’t!

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