What Happened to Horror?

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What ever happened to great horror movies? It seems that over the past few years, decent horror movies have been few and far between. I fear that the horror genre is in the process of fizzling out. What is the cause for the pitfall of my favorite movies? Could it be that producers might be more careful about taking on such projects because today's audience is more difficult to convince?

Back in the 1980's we were easily entertained by horror movies. We were obviously much younger than we are now and perhaps a little more suggestable. Nevertheless, we watched slasher films and horror movies that included all types of bizarre creatures, not to mention clowns and puppets. Did we question their validity? Of course we did, but we used our imagination and blew off the fact that the plots were ridiculous. We were aware that dolls don't come to life and that monsters aren't real but it still entertained us. These creepy films would provoke us to think deeper about the unknown. Our imaginations ran wild when it was time to shut off the lights to go to sleep. You couldn't shake the clip of the clown in Poltergeist grabbing Carol Anne's heels from underneath the bed. You remind yourself that this could never really happen, and then you hear a noise and your heart starts pounding. You block your ears and realize how ridiculous you are being as you finally drift off to sleep.

I'll never forget my first experience with The Exorcist. I say experience because I had a taste of this frightful film before I was old enough to watch it. I was probably about nine-years-old when I decided to sleep over my aunt's house one night during the summer. We were having a heat wave and I always enjoyed swimming in her pool and would usually end up spending the night. She and my uncle evidently thought I was fast asleep when they decided to watch The Exorcist. All I had to do was hear the sounds coming from the living room and I thought I was going to pass out in fear. The sounds of the attic and the growling, swearing and screaming were enough for me to run out of bed and demand for my mother to pick me up. I convinced my mother and my aunt of course felt horrible. Months later, I was still tucking two blankets around my entire body at bedtime so there was barely an opening to breathe. You can imagine how relaxing that was in 90 degrees.

Believe it or not, The Exorcist did not scare me away from watching horror movies. I had more opportunities to rent more daring and more frightening films, as I got older. I became a horror freak by high school. I got my friend hooked as well. Every time we hung out we would at least rent one horror movie to get our fix of adventure and scare each other to death until we fell asleep. You might find it funny that one of our rentals was actually The Rocky Horror Picture Show (we didn't read the back of that one). Every time I went to the movies whether on a date or with friends or family, if the choice was up to me, my companion knew what they were getting into. I would very rarely be interested in spending money at the movies to watch anything other than a nail-biting thriller that was sure to keep me up all night.

Pet Sematary was another hit in my book. I was fifteen years-old when I saw this at the movies and something about the entire film made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. The interesting thing is that I was not as scared of the fact that creatures were coming back from the dead as I was of the sick sister, Zelda, laying contorted in bed calling Rachel's name. That was probably one of the most troublesome clips I've seen in any movie to this day. Pet Sematary took me out of reality and into a creepy place full of morbid thoughts that were borderline troubling. That's when you know you're watching a good horror flick- when you question your own sanity for two hours. That was also well before Steven King movies died (I'm talking about pre-Green Mile of course).

You have the idea. I love horror. Horror is the one of the reasons why I love the movies. I must say that dramas are a very close second. Combine the two and you have a winner. Psychological thrillers are great sellers but are more intricate than your average film. Unless the writer has a psych degree, there is plenty of research to be done to ensure that everything is accurate. It takes a highly intelligent movie to outsmart most of us these days- not to mention the fact that the movie would need to have an added twist of its own to make it stand out from the rest. Some of the most interesting movies of all time are psychological thrillers. Some great examples are The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, Jacob's Ladder, The Sixth Sense, Fatal Attraction, Misery, Carrie and Psycho. My list of course is much longer.

Why am I telling you all this? To send you back in time to personalize your own horror movie experiences! Take all of the movies that made you hold on to the edge of your seat, cover your head in the middle of the night, double check under your bed, look behind the shower curtain, think twice about touching a Ouiga board and not want a clown at your birthday party and compare them to the following films that have been released over the past few years: Jennifer's Body, The Happening, Whiteout, Mirrors, The Mist and so on. These were certainly not blockbusters and there are plenty more where they came from. Don't get me wrong, there have been a few decent horror flicks here and there over the last few years but they were very few and far between.

I miss you horror films! Now if only we could wake Stephen King from the dead and bring back the same M. Knight Shayamalan that gave us The Sixth sense, have them collaborate with Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorcese on a movie written by Sylvia Nasar and we might be on to something.

By: Francis David

Franis helps people learn about Dish TV Satellite TV, and how they can save money every month with popular Dish Network Packages. Dish has advanced, award winning, Dish DVR and Dish HD receivers, there is a lot of good news to share and also help people determine the right package.

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