It has become more and more obvious that contemporary horror films do not seem to meet the standards of some of the classics. With the new improvements in cinematic production and equipment it seems that horror flicks would step up their game and be absolutely amazing, but unfortunately they are not. Only once in a blue moon there will be a decent horror movie that is released in our era. The majority of horror films are just lacking terribly in story, originality and actual horror. Why is this? I have come up with 2 vital reasons on why today’s horror movies are just not what they used to be.
1) Computer Generated Images (CGI)
It’s no surprise that the 21st century film industry relies heavily on CGI. I’m not saying that I hate CGI in every movie, but it is certainly abused and over used in basically every film. CGI can add a creative element when used thoughtfully, but personally, I strongly believe that CGI should be just be eliminated from the horror genre. My reason? Simply put, CGI looks fake! It tends to make a horror movie creature look incredibly fake throughout an entire film. There is hue of artificial “plastic doll like” saturation in every scene. For example a fairly recent film, The Conjuring 2 heavily uses CGI as an attempt to make scenes look “scary,” but unfortunately it was overly obvious, and the creatures look incredibly fake. Take “The Crooked Man” for example. I understand that this is a cartoon creature and was supposed to look childish in some way, but it just looked so terribly fake. “The Crooked Man” would have looked 100 times better if he was constructed out of prosthetics and machinery to create a slightly more realistic character with a much more eerie effect. Another Example is the evil nun. Take a look at the before and after picture when CGI is applied.
The main noticeable difference is that you can’t see the nun’s terrifying face because it is covered by black animation. This is the problem! Horror movie’s seem to neglect the art of makeup and prosthetics and have decided to just start slapping CGI right on top of everything.
I cannot begin to express to you how much I hate jumpscares. I’m not saying that horror movies should completely abandon jump scares, but I would certainly suggest that they be significantly reduced. This is my thought process on jump-scares… If you were to remove all the jump scares in a particular horror film, and if that film is no longer scary, then the movie is trash and you should start over. I apologize for being blunt, but it’s true! Contemporary horror flicks seem to build the entire horror factor on jump-scares alone when they should be focusing on writing a scary story. The Exorcist is a prime example of a great horror movie with very few jump-scares yet the film still leaves you in horror and dismay. This is because the story and mythology of the film is horrifying and doesn’t need a bunch of jump-scares to prove that. Instead it depends on a riveting plot, amazing special effects and strong acting. These 3 things are key to making a fantastic horror movie that can make it a classic. I hold out hope for the future of the horror genre and will wait for a mind-blowing horror film to drop from the sky.