It’s time for those hideous Halloween Horrors, folks!
So let’s ask, why are today’s Horror movies so horrific now?
Have they finally reached the hideous pinnacle of horrific perfection they sought for all those decades? And whatever happened to those nostalgic horror classics of old that were quite benign in comparison? And are people glad, mad, or sad that high-tech special effects enhanced graphic scenes of horror are so freaking uber-realistic now?
Over the past seventy years or more, horror movies have changed drastically – and horrifically. This eerie genre has literally evolved from low-budget, cheesy special effects driven B movies (although they’re considered memorable classics) to gorily graphic, hideous CGI enhanced masterpieces of horrific proportions. If you have ever seen the old classical movies about the Frankenstein monster, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, even the Invisible Man, so on and so forth, they were indeed suspenseful thrillers, but I would not classify them as what we now know as Horror, considering the extreme changes that have evolved.
Today’s horror movies involve enough blood to fill several bathtubs, enough carnage and gore to make a weak man vomit his entire entrails out, and truly realistic CGI special effects to make you think what you’re seeing is really happening, and such graphic scenes may induce hideous ightmares in your sleeping hours.
We’ve got a slew of bloody slasher and serial killer flicks, armies of flesh and brain eating zombies, bloodsucking vampires, gruesome cannibals, and other grotesque creatures beyond your imagination, which are all just the tip of the iceberg.
As if that’s not enough, the element of gruesome torture and violence has been brought into the spectrum, especially with the SAW franchise of movies. Forcing victims to inflict psychological or physical torture to free themselves (like sawing off your shackled leg to escape) has become very popular. Let’s not forget Strangeland, and the three Hostel movies. Then we have cannibalism flicks, such as Silence of the Lambs, The Hills Have Eyes, Ravenous, Cannibal Holocaust, etc.
The Frankenstein monster, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and all the rest, have been replaced by the likes of Michael Myers, Jason, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, Pinhead, Hannibal Lecter, and others. And of course legions of hideous zombies walk the Earth. There are so many zombie movies, dating back to the 1930s, that you’d go insane trying to count them all! I almost did! (I found them all on Wikipedia) And they’ve gotten so graphically horrific, I suspect they’re actually real! In fact, I’ve heard people (mostly conspiracy theorists and nut-jobs) declare that a zombie-type virus could in fact become a reality (perhaps due to diabolical genetic engineers playing God — or the Devil!) and a large-scale zombie pandemic now seems realistic and possible in our world! Yikes!
We must ask the psychological questions: why do people want to be scared? Why do we wish to be exposed to violence and scenes of graphic horror? Being your typical carnival ride wimp, I was always leery of roller coasters and such gut-wrenching thrill rides, thinking I was going to fall out and plummet to my death — even though I was securely strapped in. On such insane rides sometimes I would see loose change or wallets or purses and other stuff flying from secured people in their seats. If I lost anything it would usually be my lunch. Although many people have stronger stomachs than I, who can more easily enjoy the thrills and chills, I admit I was not one of them. At first I even avoided horror movies, although as a child I did like the old classics, I suppose because they were usually void of great amounts of blood and gore and other gruesome scenes, which has become the hallmark of today’s horror movies. But in the last several years I’ve become desensitized and don’t mind seeing such hideous crap. I even learned to like those adorable zombies as they stumble about mindlessly and groan and moan all the time and tend to fancy eating brains, which are actually putrid disgusting creatures I would be repulsed by as a child.
But do we want to be scared because we hope we will become desensitized to horror? Are we hiding from our own inner horrors by facing outer fabricated horrors? Or because we think we deserve to be victimized by some kind of element of horror in our lives? Do we think we deserve bad karma and therefore exposing ourselves to tons of horror movies will help us achieve self-inflicted retribution? Or is it just a way of getting away from our otherwise boring lives? I don’t know, but I’m still looking for the answer – or answers. So far, all I know is, I find certain kinds of horror movies are just fascinating — like those stumbling stupid goofy zombies. I particularly like the comedic versions, as portrayed in Shawn of the Dead, Fido, Zombieland, and Aaah! Zombies! and others.