When watching a horror film, do you frequently find yourself asking questions such as: ‘Why are you going into the creepy house!?’, ‘Why aren’t you running faster!?’, ‘OMG! Why won’t you turn around!? He’s behind you!’.
I know I can’t be the only one out there finding myself questioning the thought process of some of these characters out there. After going on a horror movie spree the past few days, and believe me the film choices were quite varied, I began comparing some of the older horror films to some of the newer horror films that are being released today.
You can call them cheesy and even a little silly, but I am a firm believer that the classic horror movies will always stand out more than current day ones.
Sure, nowadays, we have thousands of ways to alter the visual effects that we see on screen. Digital enhancements such as CGI have completely changed the way we SEE things on the screen. If you’re looking for something futuristic that requires intense visual animations and creations such as movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars or Wonder Woman, than the CGI realm is like a dream come true for you.
Maybe it’s just my age starting to come out, but I find myself loving films that dated before CGI and computers were big. (Not that I don’t love these these visuals, I just am a firm believer that CGI doesn’t need to be used for absolutely everything).
Two of the films I found myself watching this past weekend were from the Friday the 13th and also the Nightmare on Elm Street series. One could make the argument that these 80’s films were incredibly cheesy, and I wouldn’t deny it… because it’s true, they really are.
In regards to movies today, I find myself almost expecting certain things to happen or certain people to die. Oh! You’re going into the shed in the middle of the woods all alone? Yeah, the killer is in there and you’re gonna die. Oh! You’re being chased through the woods by a werewolf? Yeah, you’re probably gonna get eaten.
Also, today’s movies are so wrapped up in the technological and computer effects that much more time is wasted on visual than creating that suspense. It’s a Pop Culture thing. More funding for movies is spend on Visual Effects, Filming locations and for higher ‘in-demand’ actors.
Back in the 80’s and prior, it was all about the suspense. Not about seeing someone’s entrails getting ripped out and thrown all over the place. Today when I see horror movies I find myself being more ‘ugh, that is gross’ as opposed to before when I saw movies like original The Exorcist or IT and found myself sleeping with all the lights on and showering away from that dang shower drain.
I also admire the fact that Classic Horror Villains have their own taglines. Like ‘Never Sleep Again’ for Freddy or ‘What’s your favorite scary movie?’ for Ghostface.
Then there is the music factor. Classic Horror Directors KNEW exactly how to get people reeled in, or hiding underneath their covers. I won’t lie, when I was watching Friday the 13th there were certain parts that had me hiding. Not because I’m squeamish, please, The Walking Dead has pretty much made me immune to that. It’s the whole suspense thing! The music, the weather, the realism! Also, the classic villains had so much more personality and you grew attached to their story.
Maybe what we need is more original characters, and also less sequels. How many times are we gonna see the boogeyman in the closet, the werewolves in the woods or someone having their brother or sister or fourth cousin possessed? A sequel or even a trilogy for a specific series can still be good, but you’ve got to mix up the plotline a little bit each time.
Also, it could be all about who is making the film. Because I’m telling you right now, the revamped IT has me shaking in my boots. The IT team really knows how to handle the classic villain of Pennywise the Clown.
In Nightmare on Elm Street the villain was still the same, and he still did the same shenanigans, but there was still a different twist to the storyline every time. Very different from all these shark movies nowadays. Shark swims. Shark Kills Swimmer. Human musters courage and kills shark. Sharks are now evil.
Perhaps it is just a personal opinion, but to me, I will always find myself more drawn towards the classic villains. They really laid the foundation for the horror genre, no matter how cheesy the acting may have been.
What do you think? Do you prefer classic horror movies over modern day ones?
Julia recently published her first novel, titled; Anomic. She is currently co-authoring a novel called ‘Snow Falls’. She has a B.A in Communications with concentrations in Professional Writing and Public Relations. She is also in the United States Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer, and is currently in the process of going back to school for her Masters Degree in Business. When she isn’t writing, she is co-owner of a film production studio called ‘Valentine Productions LLC’ and she frequently spends her weekends acting in films, or being a stuntwoman.