April 1st 2008
When you think of horror films today, what do you associate them with? Most people in the neo horror age are quick to answer with a single word and think nothing of it, this word is gore. To any cultured person, this is a noticeable transition from what the genre used to be. Horror in the media has developed from the once psychological horror with a splash of blood for good taste, to the now characteristic portrait of modern horror symbolized by the bloodbath in every scene without the tub, or in some cases such as the movie saw , with the tub. Despite the change, today’s slack jawed idiot moviegoers, like what they see and waves of cascading blood are enough to make a good film, but it wasn’t always like that.
The old horror films as stated above were far more simplistic in nature often focusing on one plot or entity and a group of people to deal with said entity. A good example of this quality can be seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s “the birds”. This film was not actually scary, but it explains the afore mentioned point very nicely. This movie had all the workings to be a great horror film, and it was in its time. A small town is invaded by flocks of seagulls and a murder of crows that litteraly does murder people. The reason this worked is because it attacked the minds primal senses. The fact that birds could really go crazy one day and maul you as u left your house is a psychological terror. In contrast, a modern movie would emphisize less on the psychological aspect, and use strong visuals to affect the viewer. The movie ‘The Mist’ for example also uses a swarm of creatures, but it is done in such a way that the viewer is not frightened because it could happen but because of what is seen.
Not all old horror films hold true to this standard of psychological horror though. Films such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Friday the 13th developed what is know known as a popular sub genre of...