The death of horror films
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It’s the season for horror films. With several cable channels featuring a month of scary movies to celebrate Halloween, it’s easy to get lost in the ghosts, gore and creepy lore. Unfortunately, it is increasingly hard to scare the general public. The horror industry has become a culture of one-upsmanship, doing everything they can to get moviegoers to yipe and holler. While this has provided for some great gore and haunting scenes that stay with you long after the credits roll, horror films are beginning to get a little repetitive. They all seem to fall into three categories. The first group is focused on the gross out factor. Franchises like “Saw” and “Final Destination” have made millions by pumping out sequel after sequel trying to murder people in the most disturbing ways possible. The second category is focused more on things that lurk in the shadows. Ghosts and the paranormal are huge in the industry right now. The “Paranormal Activity” series is the most popular with a new installment set to be released soon. The third group can be broken into two subcategories. These are the remakes and retellings of classic horror films. A new version of “Carrie” was just released in theaters and rocker Rob Zombie revived Michael Myers for a reboot of “Halloween” that has even spawned a sequel. The problem for horror fans these days is that it is increasingly hard to find a film that hasn’t already been done. I understand that horror has been a growing industry since the 40s and you can only scare people so many ways and times before it gets old. However, the world is full of so many creative people, it is hard for me to believe that there are no new ideas in the realm of scary out there. In fact, there are some films with great plots and ideas but no funding to do them justice. If big budget filmmakers keep playing it safe, nothing new and adventurous will be done. In a world full of real life horrors, people look to scary movies to escape for a little while. If there’s something more horrifying on film, the real world could be a lot worse than it already is. It will be a challenge to create a horror film that can terrify a desensitized audience, but I have faith it can be done and am patiently awaiting the day I leave a theater shaking with fear.