Friday, July 17, 2009

Horror Movies: All But Dead?

The Horror Movie genre has itself become one of the walking dead lately.

Seen a really interesting, inventive horror movie recently? That's right, nobody else has either.

The genre has degenerated into formula slasher junk, remakes of tired franchise series, and comic-horror spoofs.

How many more tedious revisits to vampire or zombie characters do we have to be subjected to?

How far back do we have to go to find a horror movie with any kind of fresh concept? 28 Days Later? The Ring? Blair Witch Project?

What was the last imaginative creature feature to come out? The Host? Jeepers Creepers? Mimic?

The last slasher film with any glimmer of an actual thought was The Strangers. But not in a good way. In that movie, the attackers are anonymous, practically faceless strangers. Why did they do it? "Because we could," one of them answers. They drive away unknown in an old pickup. There are no consequences.

The Strangers is amoral and nihilistic. It represents a final dead-end road of sadism for its own sake. If the Horror Movie is to survive, it needs to get off that road and find new ways to portray the elemental fears of modern human existence.

Otherwise, the genre will become its own last, mutilated victim.

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