Just recently i was watching this movie called “House at the end of the street” which, according to Wikipedia, is a ‘psychological horror’ movie. It sounded interesting so i watched it and at the end i realized, there was nothing scary about the movie. I mean yes i was, for lack or for better use of the word, startled in some parts of the movie but nope, not scared and that got me thinking “Is the horror still alive?”
Movies like Poltergeist (1982) and Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and even the most recent, much talked about ‘The Conjuring’ take horror to a very personal level. ‘Poltergeist’ shows how a ghost interacts with the girl through the television.
While the Conjuring starts by talking about the story Annabelle doll and then just like ‘Poltergeist’ goes on the possession of the house by a satanic spirit.
And then comes, Nightmare on Elm Street. The movies punchline itself was “never sleep again“, how creepy is that?
The entire point of such movies, i felt, was to pick up the basic things like Sleep, television, the house you live in , the doll you play with and give it a scary edge and that’s why you just had a chill run down your spine. Its not the kind of scare you get you see a scary face, its the scare that you get when you think about it. What if i sleep and i am attacked? what if my doll isn’t actually just a doll? What if my house is haunted? At first everyone dismisses such absurd ideas but as you ponder over it more and more you realize its possible. To make matters worse and validate such happenings you get to know that the stories of Annabelle Doll and the house in The Conjuring are very much real.
Horror movies these days either have one psycho killer, one schizophrenic psycho killer or just really disgusting faces. Take the movie “Shrooms” for example, its a story(spoiler alert) about a group of college students being chased by someone who is trying to kill them but it turns out the person who was trying to kill them was a member of the group (Schizophrenic psycho killer alert). It is pretty scary coming to think of it but when executed in a movie, it comes off as a suspense thriller movie than a scary movie. Be it the Texas chainsaw massacre or House of wax or Chucky the doll they are all attempts of movies to make it seem scary but its actually just full of suspense.
Horror movies should be “Damn i cant see this anymore” and not “i wonder whats gonna happen next”. They don’t necessarily need to have a scary face or a psycho person just a real effective way of making sure the audience goes home and thinks about it and is convinced that its possible. So now that horror movies are more like suspense movies, is the horror still alive?