Back in 2009, this blog did a post asking if the Horror movie genre had itself become one of the walking dead lately. Not much has changed since then.
We still get too much recycling of well-worn stereotype plots. How many more vampire and zombie retreads do we need to see? How many more formula slasher movies that kill off victims by ever-gorier methods?
Occasionally, a fresh new take on horror themes will appear. The creepy paranoia of The Ring, an import from Japanese horror films. The pandemic hysteria of 28 Days Later. The claustrophobic intensity of Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity.
Sadly, these inventive breakthroughs are all too rare. Last year's Insidious was an unsettling portrayal of hidden demonic forces around us. 2012 has so far offered only Cabin in the Woods, a sardonic commentary on the empty nihilism of the whole slasher movie format.
If the Horror movie genre is to revitalize itself, it needs to get off a stale, dead-end road and find vivid new ways to portray the elemental fears of human existence in modern society. That's what the Horror genre is there for, after all.