Hope for Horror?

I love horror movies. It’s what I grew up on. But horror movies have lost their majesty for me lately. Why? In short; They suck.

They all follow the same basic plot:

(Person/group of persons) are (attacked/tied to supernatural/horrific creature/incident) and (fight to get out of/break free from/kill the horrific problem).

They don’t.

They all die.

The end.

 

It feels like the person writing the horror movie is flipping me off.

Not to mention it’s boring. And I don’t bore easily, so that’s saying something.

 

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HOPE FOR HORROR MOVIES?

Holly-mallow brought a movie home from school from one her friends, who all are avid horror movie watchers, and I’m very glad she did.

The movie was “Mama” and while not the most terrifying and not the most horrific in terms of the creature, not the quickest or slowest at build up or suspense, it had a good plot. It wasn’t annoying or stupid. The characters didn’t do stupid things that EVERYONE IN STUPID HORROR MOVIES DO, they didn’t have the stereotypical characters doing stereotypical things. And the ending was great. It had a down point – so it still kept to the horror movie tradition of not having the “happy ending” but I liked the ending. And I wanted to watch it again.

Another horror movie I saw within the past year or so and liked was “Insidious”. It was creepy, people didn’t do stupid, annoying things, and everyone didn’t die at the end.

You know that movie, “Cabin in the Woods”? It had some major stereotypical stuff going on and everyone died in the end but it didn’t annoy me. Sure, I wouldn’t watch it again because I don’t think it was that good of a movie, but the stereotypes and the dying in the end – it meant something. It told me something, it made me think about humanity and how far people are willing to go to keep themselves safe.

 

If you want to write a tragedy, write a tragedy. But tragedy and horror are two different genres! The occasional tragic horror is all fine and dandy but every single one?

Horror is supposed to expose the truths we don’t want to take a look at. It’s supposed to disturb us, creep us out, show us things that could really happen and scare us into taking a closer look at the “monsters”. Horror isn’t meant to be only superficial scare tactics. Horror should MEAN something, tell us something, expose something, make us think.  Fear can tell us so much about ourselves, society, and how far we’re willing to go to stay safe. Horror takes the deepest, darkest part of human nature and pokes at it. And then hopefully it shows someone rising above it, above the darkness and fighting it. Whether they all fail or not isn’t the point, it’s that they tried.

But when every movie ends with them failing, and is filled with nothing but the superficial, it loses its entire point for existence.

 

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When every single horror movie, book, and show is made for shock value – lots of sex, lots of blood, lots of gore, lots of screaming – and no plot or characters to make you  think, or that you even care about, it loses its value.

There was a guest post on Kristen Lamb’s blog the other day and I read it after writing this up (I wrote this post three weeks ago) and couldn’t agree with her guest blogger more. I also find it interesting that we were thinking the same thing as the same times, but I digress. You can find it here – really go read it, then you’ll know I’m not the only person who thinks horror should have meaning.

 

So because I find it impossible to rant about something without getting goofy as well, AND I find myself laughing more than being creeped out with the past seven horror movies I’ve seen, here are some things that drive me nuts about horror movies that I think have gone past being overused, stripped of their value, or just make me throw objects at the tv. Because, come one, I’m not going to throw food. Food is good.

 

HORROR MOVIE CLICHES

This is how it’s going to go down….

  1. Blond or have a rack? You’re so going to die first.                                                    
  2. Having sex? Someone is going to kill you.
  3. Are you annoying and everyone is yelling at the screen, wishing you would die already? Yeah, you’re going to live.
  4. The hot chick that mysteriously looks perfect and has a bad attitude? She’s going to get you alone and eat your heart out by sucking it out of your earlobes. And no one is going to suspect her.
  5. “Hey! I’ve got a good idea! Let’s split up!” *headdesk*
  6. She is not going to remove her high heels. And she’s going to trip. And then crawl instead of getting up again and running.
  7. The “Deer in Headlights” moment: Someone pointing a gun at you/coming at you with a sharp object? I know – you’re not going to move. You’re going to stare at them and whimper, like that’s going to save you.
  8. Your flashlight and/or cell phone? It’s going to die the EXACT moment you need it.
  9. Everyone is going to ignore all the coincidences.
  10. “My car wont’ start!”
  11. The killer is stalking you. It’s silent. You’re hiccupping, screaming, whimpering, begging, MAKING LOTS OF NOISE, because that’s not going to help the killer locate you.
  12. I’m being chased. Hey – why don’t I run up the stairs, where there’s no way to escape and effectively trap myself? Yeah, that sounds like a marvelous plan.
  13. The protagonist just escaped the axe murderer who wants to shape her into a living doll/eat her intestines while she’s still alive/stitch her into his mattress – whatever. But when she escapes and wanders around the silent building looking for her friends who were also captured, she’s going to call out, “Is anyone here?” But don’t worry because the killer is totally deaf.
  14. When the killer has a gun? It never runs out of bullets.When the “good guys” have the gun? Two shots fired and you’re out of bullets.
  15. The laws of gravity no longer work.
  16. “Sudden Case of Conscious”. Yes, the person who just drilled a hole in your baby sister with a potato peeler, is not doing it on purpose and the demon inside them just went *poof*. It’s your girlfriend again. Really. Don’t kill her. She’s sooo sorry, and doesn’t know what’s going on.

 

stockvault-skull101134YES some of these are funny and do not bother me. Some of them are used really well and some are very realistic. (I mean come on – you’re panicked, you’re running through the woods – it’s likely that you’re going to trip. But holy hell, you didn’t break your leg, you can get up and run some more.)  When you put them ALL or most of them in EVERY SINGLE HORROR MOVIE? Not so much.

 

So here’s for hoping more horror movies come out with interesting characters, a good plot, as well as spooky atmosphere, creepy creatures, and twisted endings where everyone doesn’t die, leaving you wondering why you rented this stupid movie.

Grrr. 😉

Do you think horror movies should have some meaning to them?

Are you fine with the clichés and “let’s kill everyone” endings?

Did I miss any horror movie clichés? Which ones annoy you the most? Which ones do you like?

Any good horror movie recommendations?

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12 Comments

Filed under The Odd Bit

12 responses to “Hope for Horror?

  1. Anonymous

    I think that your post was great!

  2. I see someone has a few opinions on horror movies. 😉

    The falling down cliché disappoints me too. If you notice, it’s mostly women who do it, like they’re either too weak to run properly or too dumb. I just don’t like it.

    I believe each genre has their own strengths and weaknesses, good movies and bad. I also believe many horror movies try to capitalize on the success of other films more so than other genres. Look at all the straight to DVD rip offs of successful box office films. Too often studios and producers are looking to turn a quick buck instead of creating something genuinely good and entertaining. All that does is turn many casual horror fans away, and waters down the genre as a whole.

    To be honest, I’d like to see more women in places of power within the horror genre. Female killers, villains, heroes, or whatever. Hell, even directors and executive producers. If we start naming the greatest horror villains, few, if any, will be women. The same can be said for behind the camera too. I think that’s a shame.

    That’s why films like Near Dark (1987), directed by Kathryn Bigelow and Pet Cemetery (1989), directed by Mary Lambert are so important. Obviously Kathryn went on to bigger and better things in Hollywood (the Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), but that’s often not the case for any female director, especially one that started out in the horror genre.

    Sorry, I guess I have a few opinions on horror as a genre too. 🙂

    • No apology needed. I agree with everything you said! (Except for the fact that I haven’t seen all of those movies.)

      I see you fixed the female villain shortage. 😀 *mwahahahahahahaha!* I’d love to see the same thing happening in movies. Society just doesn’t see women being as dangerous as men.

  3. Jae

    That’s typically why I avoid horror movies. For me it seems like they’re all just slashers lately, trying to shock you with how much they show. I’m interested in story more than anything, obviously, so no thanks! I think one of my favorite horror/scary movies lately was “The Conjuring.” The whole thing is about hope, which seems starkly absent from horror movies these days. And it’s got some good scares in it. 🙂

    • Exactly! Why can’t they balance the amount of slashers and horror movies with a plot? I don’t think it would kill them.
      Oooh, I haven’t seen that one yet. *grins* Thank you for the recommendation. I’ll let you know what I think. 😉

  4. I love your horror movie cliches 🙂 oh, don’t forget the one-liners that people sometimes say when they finally kill the main killer. Like “heads up” when they chop their head off or something.
    Most horror movies are funny to me, that’s why I go for suspense-type genres. I think a good movie that could be considered horror is “The Haunting of Connecticut” (both the old and new version). I mean, it’s not jump in your pants kind of scary, but it doesn’t have any of those silly cliches. That’s why I enjoy possession movies or the supernatural more than movies with visible killers in them. Makes for a more interesting plot. But instead of going up the stairs, people go down them into the basement where the demons usually live. Silly humans.
    By the way, the picture of that eye is fabulous. Where did you find that? I’m kind of obsessed…

    • *facepalm* How could I forget the one liners and the basement? There’s something terribly wrong with me. 😉

      I like the Haunting in Connecticut too. I tend to like “horror movies” with a plot more than “slasher” films. They’re boring. And kinda stupid.

      lol I found it on http://www.morguefile.com/
      I think I searched “horror” and it came up on the bottom of the page.
      Yeah, its cool huh?

  5. Your list totally reminded me of Randy’s list in Scream, and it made me smile cuz I liked Randy. And every time I say, “I’ll be right back,” I can’t help but think of that movie. 😀

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