It’s Halloween and it’s horror movie time here at Grump Factory. (Yes, it’s past Halloween, but what are we going to talk about? Thanksgiving movies?) I’m sure you’ve noticed, since Dracula has moved into the neighborhood. :(
It recently came to me how the trend in horror movies has shifted so drastically over the past decade or so. Nowadays it’s gore, gore and MORE GORE! Not that we were ever lacking gore in horror movies, and I’m not here to say gore doesn’t have its lovely place in scary movies. But sheesh, people. There’s a reason the current crop of horror movies are called “torture porn.” It’s not even really about scaring you anymore. It’s about filming, in detail, how the killers eviscerate their victims and keep them alive until the last possible moment where they finally slash open their carcass with a giant scythe and bathe in their blood. While that example may (or may not) be over the top, I think it’s fair to say that the horror movie that kicked this particular trend into gear was Saw, now in its fourth (?!) iteration.
But it wasn’t always like this. Remember that time in the 90s when horror could be tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, post-modern and self-referential? It wasn’t so much about horror, but deconstructing horror movie cliches and subverting expectations, all the while delivering the thrills one expects from a horror film. While not the first movie to do this, Scream has arguably been the most successful of this breed.
Now to lock them in a cage together and the first one to kill the other gets the antidote to the poison!