Horror movies, what is with peoples facination with the genere? Horror stories, ghost stories they are as old as mankind I think. From fairy tales to to literature, horror has always been a part of it. Fairy tales, in their original versions are very gruesome and scare little kids, which of course was their purpose. Take Red Riding Hood for instance in the early versions the wolf usually leaves the grandmother’s blood and meat for the girl to eat, who then unwittingly cannibalizes her own grandmother. ”Charles Perrault explained the ‘moral’ at the end so that no doubt is left to his intended meaning: From this story one learns that children, especially young lasses, pretty, courteous and well-bred, do very wrong to listen to strangers” (source Wikipedia). This is just one example of the many fairy tales we all know, their origins are scary as… Well you get the gist.
Horror in movies has evolved too, and it evolved al lot. The days when Nosferatu, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll And Mr Hyde and The Invisible Man were scary are long gone. When American Werewolf in London came out in 1981 I remember being so curious about it that I sneaked back to the staircase ( I was supposted to be in bed ) to watch a movie show which aired the trailer. When the lead character changed into the wolf it freaked me out so bad that 15 years later it still could not watch it, come to think of I ‘ve never seen the film in it’s whole.
I remember getting over my fear over horror. Me, my sister and two friends (I think we were between the ages of 10- 12) rented The Omen (1976), which was considered one on the scariest movie at that time (I saw it some 10 years later) and watched it early in the morning so we could get over it during the day. After wachting it I got over my fear really fast. Nightmare on Emlstreet was next. The scene where a young Jonny Depp gets pulled through his matress by Freddy and the whole fountain of blood appears. Well that was new to say the least. The idea of someone coming into your dream and kill you, that still is food for thought.
Who hasn’t seen Jaws, Friday the 13th, Childsplay, Halloween and of course The Shinning. Looking back on them they are still great movies to watch, but are not as scary or gory like horror movies now a days. Maybe The Excorsist still creeps people out seeing as there are still alot of movies that follow up this theme and still scare the heck out of people, The Exorcism of Emily Eose for example, but not as much when The Excorsist originally came out.
Today most horror flicks are about zombies, pandemics etc. They are great to watch but it has become somewhat mainstream. George R Romero still is one the best zombie movie producers, The Resident Evil franchise is fantastic and can’t wait untill sept of this year whem prt 5 hits the big screen, but it is more of the same. Hostel, Saw 1- ?? (actually the 1st Saw I really liked, more of an intense thiller than a horror flick, Seven on steroids:)) but these not scary, they’re sick. I mean your watching a film on how to butcher a person and learn 101 ways to do it. My understanding for entertainment is somewhat different I guess.
Ghost movies, on the other hand, are and have been great. With ghost films I mean films like House on Haunted Hill (both original from 1959 and remake from 1999) Ghost Ship, The Others, Women in Black (which I still have to see) and Paranormal Activty and this one freaked me out. I wachted it alone at home on a rainy fall evening. I need to mention my house is old, it dates back to 1913 so it has its creeks and cracks when there is a strong wind (actually the wind will be howling near some windows:) ). The whole combination is kinda freaky when wachting one of the best horror movies of recent times.
The thing with ghost stories is, is that ghost are enities we all think could be real, even amongst the sceptics. Shows like Ghost Hunter (International), Most Haunted play in on this. One doesn’t know what to think of it and that is what makes ghost movies the best horror films and Paranomal Activity is proof of that. Even thought it’s fake it still creeps everyone out, simply because we don’t know if ghosts are real of a figment of our imagenation. Which brings me to the up coming movie “The Awakening” a ghost movie set en pre world war 2 England (1921). Setting for the movie, an old English all boys boardingschool. Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) is approached by Robert Mallory (Dominic West) to investigate the recent death of a student. After having seen the trailer I think that for fans of Ghost movies this is going to great. The setting, the era, the atmosphere it breaths are all good ingredients for a proper Ghost movie. The Awakening will be in cinemas August 17th 2012.