#1
I imagine this must seem like a redundant question, but what exactly is the purpose of a horror film? I have always been under the impression that they are made to frighten the viewer, and when I was younger, pretty much anything in the least bit disturbing or unusual could have that sort of effect on me. But recently, I feel like my notions of what a horror film should be have been challenged, as it seems that most horror films coming out today (and for quite some time) seem to be focused on simply shocking the viewer, usually through giving them a grisly, visceral moviegoing experience.

Is this really the sort of thing that sticks out in people's heads? When I think of the films in the past decade that I found most frightening, such as Signs and The Blair Witch Project, I am pleasantly disturbed by their ambiguity, the incredible build up of tension, the lasting feeling of dread after the ending, and genuine quality of the scares not in what they show but what they suggest. Call me crazy, but anticipating a guy cutting his foot off for 90 minutes isn't exactly my idea of terror.

Does anyone actually enjoy the way horror films are mostly made these days? I don't want to seem like an uptight bastard, but what exactly is the difference between pornography and a film that shows graphic violence and torture simply for the sake of making the viewer uncomfortable (or the contrary if you're into that sort of thing)? I can honestly say that I love watching a good horror film, but I would never go to something like a horror film festival because I would simply be disappointed by the usual overturning of dread with the idea that people are horrified simply by something bloody and visceral.

So tell me, am I wrong about the definitions of horror films? Am I just targeting a limited area of the general horror palette? Can anyone recommend to mesome horror films that I actually would like? Or am I just being way too critical of this sort of thing?
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#2
Without horror films Tony Iommi would've never thought of the idea of "scary music" AKA Heavy Metal.
#4
Horror films aren't what they used to be. I just watched 28 Weeks Later, and it was okay at best.
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#5
I like the intrigue and am fascinated with the Macabre. It's like asking for what purpose did H.P Lovecraft write his Cthulian mythos or Dream cycle tales.
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#6
Yea, horror movies are very bland, overly gorey( too much gore loses it's effect quickly) and with bland plots...
we need a horror movie renaissance
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#9
*shrug* you're just not watching the right horror films. Though, I'm into gore, so I doubt any of my recommendations would be of any help to you. Here they are though...go see:
Audition
High Tension
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (old one)
#10
Movies like Jason, Nightmare on Elm Street, and others aren't really good horror flicks. They're just slashers. A good horror movie is like, "The Silence of the Lambs." Not blatant blood and guts, but an actual storyline, that builds up the tension. Something jumping out at you is a cheap scare.
#11
There has been a handful at most of good horror movies released over the past decade or so, I think term Horror should be separated from the Gorefests released over the past decade. I mean really, it's so corny and cliche it's an insult.
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#12
I agree. I want a horror film to affect me psychologically, not make me jump every 5 minutes like Resident Evil: Extinction (Although I did enjoy that film for what it was).

I want to see films more like Halloween. That film made me scared of looking out side the windows that night. What other films are there like that?
#13
Quote by b r y a n
*shrug* you're just not watching the right horror films. Though, I'm into gore, so I doubt any of my recommendations would be of any help to you. Here they are though...go see:
Audition
High Tension
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (old one)

the old TCM had little, if any actual blood shown, and was scary

but no gore isnt bad, its when they over do it

like zakk wylde and using pinch harmonics in sabbath/old ozzy songs
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#14
Horror films are made for one thing, to scare you into watching them (i.e. scare you into paying money to see them) So yeah, anticipating aguy to cut his foot off isn't that scary, but watching the bastard do it freaked the hell out of me! I think you are thinking a bit too much in to it, and no offense. A horror film isn't meant to be anything but a viceral experiance that freaks you out. People like to be freaked out in a safe atmosphere just like they like to laugh. By deffinition a horror film should lack substance and substitute it for something that freaks you out! So while I appreciate the fact that you actually used your brain and thought about this (once again no offence I am comending you for thinking in a world where people do not.) Horror films are not meant to be thought about, just watched.
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#15
Yeah the best horror films play on your imagination. These days horror movies have completely ignored every rule of a good horror movie. And don't get me talking about CGI and crap like that. The ironic thing is I think they're attempting that very renaissance you mentioned that we need. Unfortunately though all they've accomplished is some of the most bland movies yet made. Somebody needs to come up with an original, well written, horror movie based around an actual story. And I don't want to see one piece of CGI. If you need to use that, than you've already missed the point.
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#16
All directors/producers/whoever-is-in-charge need to do is take a classic yet subtle Poe or Lovecraft short story or tale and make a movie out of it. (No, not Cthulu) but there are plenty freaky stories/old books that can be made into a classic horror imo if not "hollywood-a-fied".
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What's the big deal with Gibsons, anyway?
I've heard loads of Gibsons being played before
and they don't sound any more special than
any other guitar.

^UG's King Of Fail.
#17
old horror movies are the best ones

the ones rely less on over the top gore and violence and use a good plotline and create suspense and tension to scare you, not make you wanna puke are the really good ones
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#18
Rent the old horror movies from the early 60's with Vincent Price. To my surprise, the Pit and the Pendulum was pretty damn suspenseful. If anything, it's something new.
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#19
Horror movies are made to get your girlfriend to hug you when watching it because shes scared...
nuff sed
?!
#20
it has to do with two things:

humans seeking an adrenaline rush.

and, moreso what the industry has become since 70s exploitation movies and the recent surge in gore flicks, that "car crash" mentality. you know, you see a grisly car crash on the highway and you know it's disturbing but between your fingers you look at the decapitated children and the bits of brain and skull on the street. it might make you sick, but we have that weird inclination and curiosity to be disturbed and see, for lack of a better term, fucked up shit.

maniac (1980) is the perfect mix of suspense and gore. it's a great movie.
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#21
I think I'm losing taste in horror movies because I'm growing up and they don't scare me as much as they used to.

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#22
Yeah... the only reason for horror movies are to get your girl to move closer to you...
The only movie that ever made me jump a bit is the original "The Exorcist". Other than that, everything's too played up. Its not even real anymore... I mean, the Saw movies are just damn repetitive now!
#23
threadstarter you are absolutely correct. i think horror films should be more about the eerie storyline instead of only gore which as good but its spoiled because you see it so much today. the suspension definitely makes a horror movie what it is, in particular something that makes a person think about for hours after the movie has ended. with twisted mysteries that are unanswered and things that are dealt with in real life. not some random psycho killer that goes around and cuts peoples heads off for fun which is possible but isnt very typical.
#24
Quote by primusfan
it has to do with two things:

humans seeking an adrenaline rush.

and, moreso what the industry has become since 70s exploitation movies and the recent surge in gore flicks, that "car crash" mentality. you know, you see a grisly car crash on the highway and you know it's disturbing but between your fingers you look at the decapitated children and the bits of brain and skull on the street. it might make you sick, but we have that weird inclination and curiosity to be disturbed and see, for lack of a better term, fucked up shit.

maniac (1980) is the perfect mix of suspense and gore. it's a great movie.

+1
#25
Quote by primusfan
maniac (1980) is the perfect mix of suspense and gore. it's a great movie.

Agreed.


Also, I recommend The Thing and Last House On The Left for great horror flicks. Last House on the Left is ****ing disturbing.
#26
i dont watch as many plain horror movies as much as i watch horror commedys and zombie movies. **** like army of darkness and shawn of the dead ftw!

i think the reason for certain movies is different.
movies like hitchcock's "psycho" are about building suspence, whereas a slasher i sawe reciently called "hatchet" was just about killing people in unique ways. (belt sander to the face and head ripped in half by the mouth, to name a few)
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#27
yeah i like the old horror movies more

I usually watch a ton of them when halloween is coming up since there are always a ton of horror movies on tv at this time

the shining is one of my top 3 favorite movies. not scary to me at all really, just really like something about it.
#29
Horror films make you feel things normal movies just don't, fear being the obvious one. The best horror movies rely on suspense, as what you can't see is always going to be scarier than what you can. Humanities fear of the unknown and all that.

I think as a genre, horror is getting worse before it gets better. Hostel/Saw and the like just aren't scary and storywise don't even hold up as films. Just set pieces of gore (Badly directed in Saw's case) linked by badly and badly written. Look to other countries for the best horror of today. Switchblade Romance, Them and The Descent (Neil Marshall is the best the UK has to offer).

Edit: Despite my hatred for modern gorefests, I love 80's slasher films. Funny, more than scary.
#30
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Watch Number 23 and 1408; great suspense and no gore whatsoever.


1408 was kinda crap.

Aaaaaanyyyyywaaaaayyyysss....

Old horror movies > new horror movies

Gore is not the problem, it's the films being too hollow and streamlined

If you want to be really scared, watch the original Carnival of Souls... it's in the public domain so you can watch it/download it for free, just look around.

Cronenberg's The Fly - proof that not all remakes suck, plus an excellent mix of tragedy and horror.

Oh and zombies >>>>>>>>>>>>> vampires
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#31
Want real horror? watch the top ones made in japan and thailand. you won't be disappointed. the suspense is immeasurable unlike the crappy ones made in america
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#32
Quote by Renka
Watch Number 23 and 1408; great suspense and no gore whatsoever.


1408 was a dreadful.
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Quote by madbasslover
What's the big deal with Gibsons, anyway?
I've heard loads of Gibsons being played before
and they don't sound any more special than
any other guitar.

^UG's King Of Fail.