Happy Halloween, folks. Time is still limited so I probably won't flesh this out as much as I should.
6) CGI and bad costuming. Just because you can show something in supposedly alarming detail doesn't mean you should. Think back to everything (horror wise) that's visually frightened you in your life. I'll bet any amount of money it's been based on glimpse and half seen peripheral vision. Someone walks into a room when you're not expecting it. Cat's jumping out of unseen hiding. The half seen figure in the background. Those are frightening. Mansquito? Really? Alien was probably one of the most terrifying movies I've ever seen. Ditto with The Exorcist. SyFy movies, just not so much.
5) Monster Hunting Super Heroes. I think that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the best TV shows ever. It remains that because Buffy was so thoroughly humanized through the whole series. Joss Whedon understands that Super Hero Monster hunters are a matter of fantasy, not of horror. What scares us real folk are being put in the situation of facing horror on our own, as humans. It can be a nice idea that we be gifted by God with super monster fighting powers, but how scared can you be if the monsters stand no chance? Too many books, too many movies, are giving the normal folk Green Beret training and angelic super humanness. That's nice for them. But the rest of us still deal with horror knowing we have bad joints and a limited ability to escape or fight. Things I adore that do not violate my sensibilities, Cujo, Dracula, actually this list runs pretty long. But the recent trend (Priest and many others) is to the super power monster killer. I like that in terms of fantasy, but not so much horror.
4) Remakes. I almost wrote that as $) Remakes. Give me a fricking break. Most of them suck; they suck rocks. Halloween is possibly one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Rob Zombie thought he could do it, and do it better. Does anybody really think he did? John Carpenter did The Fog. It was atmospheric, slow building and really kind of frightening. The remake was lame ass movie BS. The Texas Chainsaw Massacres, a great horror movie. The remake? Are you joking? It sucked. Now there are rumors that Alfred Hitchcock movies will be remade. ~facepalm~ The beloved and I just watched a movie which was a total remake/ripoff of Fright Night, except the neighbor was a Werewolf instead of a Vampire. Good Holy God, that movie sucked so hard. Seriously, writers and producers, find something original ... please.
3) Vampires v. Werewolves. The only tale ever where that actually made sense was Underworld. Yet everybody seems to want to do it now. Why? It is not a new thing, but it is trending upwards. I really don't like this at all.
2) Romanticizing of monsters. Do not get me wrong. I know that many monsters lend themselves to sexuality and sexualization. It's part of the genre. Vampires have long been in the same unholy grouping with Succubi and Inccubi. That isn't what I'm writing about. In the mid-70s (1976?) there was a version of Dracula played by Frank Langella. This vampire would walk on the beach with you, read you sweet poetry, play you a love song and then drain your blood. What BS. I hate that movie. Now, we have vampires that sparkle in the sunlight, play baseball and run to defend their virginal love interest. Give.Me.A.Goddamned.Break! Vampires are monsters. Werewolves, though cursed, are monsters. These things are not Fabio. They are destroyers of life and hope. This trend I hate most of all, save ...
1) Torture porn. Don't get me wrong, again. The Saw movies actually involve a huge creative element. Saw one and two are actually good movies. That's not really what I'm talking about. Wes Craven gained stature from his movie Last House on The Left. I was disgusted by that movie, and even more by the remake. This is not horror; it's gratuitous violence. Horrific? Absolutely. But it has spawned an entire genre of weak titillation and masturbatory fear. If you don't what I'm talking about, watch the movie Wolf Creek. It's not that this stuff isn't frightening. It is and it should be. But what exactly does that say about us as a culture that we would actually watch this stuff? I hate this crap, really. I haven't been able to make it through any of it. If this is your thing, and I pity you, then there is The Hills Have Eyes 2, Wolf Creek, Hostel and it's endless sequels. I haven't been able to make it through any of them. Deliverance was probably enough for me.
Anyway, I hope that I haven't upset anyone. And I wish you all a great All Hallows Eve.