New faces of fear

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The horror movie industry is evolving in the right direction

By Dylan Randolph, Editor in Chief

Nosferatu, Frankenstein’s monster and the blob are just some of the monsters that used to terrify audiences all around the world. Some would even say that monsters such as Dracula, the Werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster were the “Godfather’s of horror.” While this argument may be debatable, what isn’t debatable is that horror movies have evolved over the years and it may be for the better.

Hollywood as a whole is moving in the right direction with new age horror films by finding new ways to scare viewers. (IMAGE FROM FILMAKER.COM)

When horror movie cinema was created back in 1896 with the film “The House of the Devil” it would only be a glimpse of what was to come in the future. Soon cinema would see creations such as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Blob” or basically any supernatural entity the mind could think of. The reason that these movies struck such fear into people’s hearts was due to the fact that there was absolutely no way to fight these monsters, having an enemy that they could not kill or that was never heard of petrified people to think that there may be some possibility of the monsters plaguing the earth. However, once audiences realized these ghouls had a weakness and were seemingly unrealistic the fear started to go away.

So the question was, how do movies scare audiences without involving these supernatural entities?

Well Alfred Hitchcock figured out the solution to this dilemma in 1960 when he released his classic “Psycho.” Movies such as “Psycho,” “Halloween,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and many more spawned a new realm of darkness, which brought real life terror to crowds. These movies were successful due to the fact of reality. Screenplays like these honed in on the fact that people are vulnerable, giving them no place to hide when killers are around. Realizing that they can’t trust anyone because the stranger that they are meeting is actually a self deranged serial killer looking for their next victim.

When these slasher films really hit home was in the 1980’s with Wes Craven’s “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Freddy Kruger was such an iconic horror movie villain because he made it so victims could never escape from his grasp because he would invade their nightmares and either kill them in their dreams or make them kill themselves from paranoia and exhaustion. But again with every trend, there comes a downfall. Once people developed enough courage to fight off these villains, horror movies needed to adapt.

In 1973 the first glimpse of what people would soon come to know as their present day terror with the hit classic, “The Exorcist,” directed by William Friedkin. Although viewers would not really see a taste of the paranormal/demonic realm again until the 2000’s with the “Paranormal Activity” series, people all around the world today flood movies theatres on opening nights to get a look into what many people would call real life experiences. While it is argued that ghosts and demons do not exist, these films bring the possibility to life and have audiences jumping with fright in every scene. After watching films like “Paranormal Activity,” “The Conjuring” and “Insidious” people would go home and try to sleep with all of the lights on as they questioned what exactly made the floors creak in the hallway.

While many of these new horror films don’t put a face to the terror that does not make them any less horrifying. Hollywood as a whole is adapting to their new audiences every year, but horror movie classics have been evolving since the creation of the film industry. What will be next, Aliens? Plague? Childhood nightmares? The only way to find out is to keep lining up every few months or so to see what will send chills down the spine next.