By: Hugh Brown
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY- Movies, for decades, have been a balancing act. There are those who see the film industry as a business venture and those who see it as an artistic medium. These two groups are constantly at odds with one another. The business side of film is only interested in money while the artists just want to tell a story. There has been a trend recently of businessmen taking the art out of film and hiring directors that will make the smartest financial decision instead of taking risks and creating “art.” Horror movies especially have become a product in recent years. Since the 1970s and ’80s, the “golden age” of the horror/slasher genre, horror films have become less interested in telling a story and far more interested in selling tickets for cheap scares. That’s why I absolutely detest them.
The golden age of horror had films with beautifully crafted special effects and people committed to the craft. Even the bad films (“Friday the 13th Part V”) had special effects artists that put a serious amount of time into their craft. The current craze of the “jump scare” is essentially cheap thrills that do nothing more than elevate your heart rate. Horror movies built on tension or anticipation are hard to find these days. No, I do not mean anticipation that a scary demon face will pop out and a stock sound effect will blow out your eardrums, but anticipation because you (the audience) know something the characters do not. The reason these jump scares are so common has to do with studio executives hiring lazy, unimaginative filmmakers who make a product, not a piece of art. These products do, however, make the studios money.
Modern horror films are tough to watch when you don’t like jump scares. They have devolved largely into nothing but bad acting and weak scripts that hold up a plot that has to do with “demons” who like to jump out and make loud noises. Do yourself a favor: instead of seeing the newest horror movie, go home and watch a classic film. Don’t bother giving studios any money to see “Happy Death Day 2U.”
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