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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 20th 2024

Is the horror genre improving?


Over the last few decades,
I generally have distanced myself from the horror genre because of the gratuitous violence and absence or weakness of plots. I still can say with conviction I really like John Carpenter”'s “Halloween”(1978),though, I begin to peter out in interest with the inglorious sequels (by an assortment of directors”“Rick Rosenthal, Tommy Lee Wallace, Rob Zombie, etc.). I think I can live quite well with “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984), but the sequels get down-right crass and redundant.

I remember back in the 1950s and 60s, one horror director in particular, William Castle, scared us kiddies pretty well with flicks like “The Tinker” (1959), “House on Haunted Hill”(1959), “13 Ghosts” (1960) and “Macabre” (1958) without all the sanguinary stuff that could at times make you skip dinner. By the 1970s, audiences called for more blood and guts leaving Mr. Castle to be obsolescent.

The modern horror genre (circa 1980 to the present) is almost totally geared toward the adult audiences. Is the horror genre improving? I think it is in a number of respectable, intelligent and interesting horror flicks out in theaters. That doesn”'t necessarily mean the modern horror genre is completely out of it”'s rut yet. It means there”'s hope for a lot better movies ahead.

“Pyewacker”(2017), “The Babadook” (2014), “Goodnight Mommy” (2015*), “It Follows” (2014), “Get Out” (2017) “A Quiet Place” (2018), and presently at a theater near you is “Hereditary” (2018), a frightful family affair, starring Toni Collette. For all you who haven”'t seen the classic thriller/drama/horror “The Exorcist”(1973) directed by William Friedkin, please see it.

* German in English subtitles.

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