Thursday, 1 September 2011

redefining the horror movies genre.

Usually when I have a sleepover with friends or cousins, the one activity everyone wants to indulge in is watching a horror movie.
My reply: I don't do horror movies.
They call me a sissy.

I ain't no sissy. Horror films today are most definitely not horrifying. They don't stab a crippling fear into my heart. Most of them are immensely disgusting and fill you with utter revulsion. Minus the blood, gore and sound effects, nothing substantial remains but really bad acting.

Wiki: Horror films are unsettling movies that strive to elicit the emotions of fear, disgust and horror from viewers.
Disgust? Check.
Fear and horror? Fail.
Unsettling? Yeah. My stomach.

Add to that: A lasting impact, perhaps of dread. I'm not an authority on this genre, but I opine that the movie should end with a sort of hopelessness, where the protagonists think they have got out alive, vanquished evil and everything will now be fine and dandy, but it is far from it. To illustrate: I Know What You Did Last Summer and its sequel.

Horror films can be categorized into mainly 3:
1. The unhinged killer out to savagely slash everyone on the planet.
eg.: Saw and its many unnecessary sequels, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street etc.

2. Apocalypse scenario where all of humankind has been infected with a killer virus mutating them into zombies that a precious few survivors must save themselves 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later and others I can't think of right now (feel free to add)

3. Lingering on the supernatural or demonic - the devil, witches, haunted houses, spirits, vampires and the like.
eg.: The Exorcist (this one just made me want to hurl), Devil, An American Haunting, Final Destination etc.

I refrain from watching them all. As for vampires, I prefer them in the form of Damon Salvatore.

Evil, but oh so yummy.
If you agree with me even remotely, worry not. There are movies out there that do not traditionally fall under the genre, but in my opinion they most certainly should.

To name but one:

No one said horror must be limited to the image of a psychotic murdering whack job carving numbers into the flesh of his victims.

Narrated by Matt Damon (I never liked him but now I like his voice) and starring the honourable men who destroyed the American economy, caused a two year long global recession and brought 50 million people around the world out on the street. 
Explained lucidly with graphs and videos so even a layman can comprehend, Inside Job makes intentions very, very clear. Nobody, read nobody in power cares about the common man. Wall Street has corrupt egotists running amok, all out to make a quick buck, no matter whose life's savings are lost to get that buck. As if that wasn't bad enough, they are also pulling the strings in politics. They are in academic institutions that the world holds sacred. They are everywhere. It's like a cockroach infestation. 

When a robbery takes place and the police discover the criminals, all steps are taken to apprehend them and recover the stolen goods, which once inspected are then returned to the owners. So now, when the people responsible for robbing America of billions of dollars have been discovered, why have they been allowed to run home scot free to sunbathe on the decks of their yachts and dive into pools overflowing with their ill gotten wealth like Uncle Scrooge?

not that Uncle Scrooge's wealth is ill gotten.

The movie does not prepare the viewer for the climax. It induces despair and strikes that elusive emotion of terror in one. You think I'm overacting? Watch it and tell me it didn't scare you, even a little.

Only fitting I rate this as per the 'feelings elicited' by a horror movie as stated by Wiki (and me):
Fear, with the knowledge these men are still in power and that nothing will change (that takes care of the hopelessness and lasting dread);
horror at the thought of what they're are capable of and what they have done;
disgust at the insurmountable and insatiable greed that got us into this mess and what the money was ultimately used for.

Definitely unsettling.


  1. Seriously.
    Minus the sound played during perfectly wrong timings..
    Nothing is scary.

  2. I know right?!
    Agreed, the sound sometimes can freak one out :P

  3. so is this a review or ur views on the horror genre? i cant tell :S

    Im more of a supernatural horror fan myself, i dont buy the likes of "Slasher" movies, like saw and its endless, useless sequels. i do however enjoy the likes of "The Ring" and "Gothicka", the first part of "The grudge". revamped Japanese movies.

    as for ur taste in vampires, i think its shared by those who share ur same X-chromosome..

  4. Just an opinion of horror movies of today, the ones of yesteryear I think, were more original.

    Revamped Japanese movies.. I've only seen The Grudge, Devil (original was Hellevator lol :D) and Shutter. Not a fan..

    Don't be so severe on my species! :P Damon Salvatore is a lethal combination of strength, charm, dashing good looks, selfishness, indifference, thoughtlessness, hedonism and plain EVIL. If ever there was a more fitting villain, it was him. In the first season anyway..


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