5 Trends That Could Use a Vacation from Horror
We all love of us some originality, but sometimes it’s hard to come by. Hollywood likes the dollar bill. They like the safe bet, and risky flicks aren’t typically viewed in favorable fashion; there’s no point in stepping out on a limb with a questionable script when you’ve got a Halloween sequel on deck. So we find ourselves stuck in these agonizing and repetitive ruts, viewing the same films time and again, disguised only by title and a few different faces. It’s time for some refreshing stuff to hit the market, hell, it has been for years. Here are a few things associated with the genre that could step aside and allow room for something innovative. It seems a vacation is in order.
Zombies: Zombie trends come and go. They have since the 1960s, and they’ll continue to do so. However, at this point in time we’re juggling an overload of undead beasties and it’s becoming quite tiring. Just to support that I’ll list some of the films tapped to be, or already saw release in 2013: World War Z, Warm Bodies, Frankenstein’s Army, Infected, The Zombie King, Zombie Hunter, Rise of the Undead, Zombie Resurrection, Zombie Crush, Grave Reality... and on and on the list goes. Let’s give it a rest guys.
Remakes: I don’t necessarily mind remakes. Every now and then a reboot surprises (I’m still impressed by the Friday the 13th remake, believe it or not) and surpasses the quality of its predecessor. It’s not common but it happens. The Crazies, The Fly, The Last House on the Left, and The Hills Have Eyes are all examples of elevated tellings. But the amount of films that feel entirely unnecessary and do nothing to improve upon the original source are too abundant to count. Flicks like The Fog, The Wicker Man, The Hitcher, Prom Night, Psycho and The Haunting should have never been remade.
Slashers: When slashers are successful they’re terrifying. Unfortunately they’re not often successful. For every Halloween there’s a New Year’s Evil; for every Black Christmas there’s a Humongous; Friday the 13th? We’ve got a Pandemonium to counter that. There is no consistency in the slasher subgenre. And that hints at a need for some time off. Let some ideas simmer, come up with some unique concepts. There’s no reason slasher films can’t disappear for a decade and make a strong resurgence with some fresh ideas.
Found Footage: Filmmakers seem to turn to found footage work when they’re not crafty enough to come up with a mesmerizing story. I mean no offense to aspiring filmmakers traveling this course, but I honestly feel this is a lazy method of filmmaking. The stories are often the same, the twists almost always fail to shock and it seems every film of this nature attempts to borrow some element, big or small from The Blair Witch Project. Don’t get me wrong, there are some awesome POV work out there; I thoroughly enjoyed Cloverfeild, Evidence, Apollo 18, Paranormal Activity and Troll Hunter. But there are so many wretched efforts out there it’s nauseating. You want to talk terrible FF features? How about The Amityville Haunting, Area 407, Hollow or Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes? There’s too many terrible handheld cam flicks to list, and we could all benefit from not being reminded of their existence... as well as a rest...
Ultra-Violence/Torture Porn: When flicks like Hostel and Saw surfaced, there seemed to be some promise in this new subgenre. Inside and Martyrs reinforced those thoughts. Then it all went to hell. Torture porn flicks are generally terrible. I haven’t seen one I enjoyed in quite some time. In fact, these flicks are generally so bad I can’t even think of any titles to warn you of. That’s a powerful statement.
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