First off, I want to clarify something. Despite the title of this blog, I actually love horror films. The truth is, unless it’s a spider crawling across my hand or a moth flying into my face, I actually rather enjoy being scared. Don’t look at me like that, it’s perfectly normal! The problem with being a horror fan however, is that there are so few good scary films out there. I tend to find them all largely overrated and underwhelming and I can count the number of good horror movies I’ve seen recently on one hand. Or maybe even on one finger. And if you’ll permit me to, I’ll explain why.
- Horror plots are often completely lacking in originality. Whether it’s a ghost, an axe wielding maniac or the creature from the black lagoon, it’s always about a seemingly immortal villain chasing after some scantily clad girl until the inevitable ‘trip, scream, die’ combination. They tend to all follow the same plot with absolutely no variation, which might be good once or twice, but after a while it becomes predictable and dull.
- All the characters in these films seem to suffer from an extreme case of stupidity. Logic just goes out the window, and it’s almost pathetic how easily they die. Of all the defences they could use, screaming at the villain is the least effective and yet still the most utilised method of survival. I get so frustrated when I watch these movies, and even though I know they can’t hear me, I spend most of my time imploring the characters to grab a weapon, or listen to the wise old guy, or get out of the house, or stop talking and just shoot already!
- The villains just won’t die. I mean really, that dude in that movie (let’s face it, I could be talking about any number of films in the genre) was human, and it took shooting him twenty times, burning him alive, chopping off his head and then feeding him to pigs before he was actually down for good. And even then his damn ghost came back in the sequel. Let’s be reasonable, people. Coming back once, while overdone, is ok for a bit of scare factor. Coming back six or seven times is just ridiculous.
- The absence of real scares replaced by an abundance of cheap thrills and over the top gore. Often, horror films just focus on how much blood and guts can be spilled in a two hour period. Believe it or not, horror is not all about bodily fluids. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a bit of a sucker for a creative death (don’t look at me like that!), but sometimes less is more. If more filmmakers focused on creating actual terror instead of just hacking and slashing, the genre might be greatly improved.
- So many terrible horror films have even worse sequels. It’s not bad enough that the first film was appalling, then they have to go and make a second one too? I guess I can understand wanting to capitalise on the popularity of a bad film – even if that popularity is entirely based on the inability of people to appreciate what decent horror is – but they’re giving the genre a bad reputation!
- There’s a ridiculous amount of superfluous nudity. Now before you go calling me a prude, I would like to point out that I love a nude woman as much as the next person. But I don’t see why nudity has to be an essential part of horror. Unless a girl has a monster bush and teeth in her vagina (oddly enough, the second part is actually a plot of an obscure horror film called Teeth), naked bodies really have no place in a scary film. And if there is nudity, it should at least not be a main focus point.
- So many supposedly scary movies lack terrifying villains. A lot of more recent films have been advertised as ‘the scariest film of the year’ or something of the like, but when it comes down to it, the villains are no more frightening than a ball of cotton wool. I mean hell, I’ve seen kid’s films that are more terrifying than some of these horror movies. It’s simple; if you want to scare people, make a scary movie. If you want to bore people, make Sinister.
- The dog always gets it. It seems that whenever a horror film features a pet of some kind, it always ends up dead. Who does that?! If you want to kill all the idiot characters, fine – most of them deserve to die anyway – but leave the dog out of it!
- A lot of so called horror is actually thriller, and people are too stupid to know the difference. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve picked up a movie labelled horror, and when I’ve sat down to watch it, it’s not in the least bit frightening. Don’t get me wrong, some thrillers can be pretty creepy, but that still doesn’t make it horror. If I pick up a film that is meant to be scary, I don’t think it’s expecting too much to be scared.
- After years of watching scary films, it’s getting harder and harder to spook me. Admittedly, that isn’t the fault of the horror genre. But I’m counting it in this list because with all the technology and creativity at their disposal, filmmakers should be able to make movies that test the limits. However most horror films that I’ve watched are so tame that they’re boring. There is nothing even remotely shocking or affecting about any of them, and often the only reason I remember them afterwards is if they’re particularly appalling. If you want to make a great horror film, break the boundaries. Cross some lines. Make people feel uncomfortable. Bottom line? Scare us.
So there you have it; ten reasons why horror films are lame. It’s bad enough that I can think of even one reason why the genre is failing to be entertaining, much less ten. But being a horror fan means that more often than not, I end up disappointed. Maybe I should look into paying people to jump out at me unexpectedly. At least that way I know I’d get scared.