The horror behind horror stories

Writer explains his distaste for bland movies

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The horror behind horror stories


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Hollywood releases a large number of horror movies every year. But in the past few years, only a couple of films could be classified as excellent horror films. Nowadays, every horror movie has the same plotline:

1) The movie is introduced with a spooky backstory about the death of a child.
2) Then, a new family moves into the house that hosts aforementioned dead child’s spirit.
3) Soon after the move, the family’s child or pet starts behaving strangely.
4) An exorcism is performed.
5) The family beats the demon.
6) The family moves out of the haunted house, only be followed by a new ghost in a spooky open ending.

After step 6, production companies release three more installments of the same film.
Not only are the plots the same, but the characters are also the same: the broken couple, the toddler who sees the ghosts, the disrespectful teenager and the renown exorcist.

Due to the repetitive plots and one-dimensional characters, horror films are highly predictable. The worst part about their predictability is the fact that the few jump scares are also predictable. Essentially, horror movies are a waste of money.

The simple solution? Originality.

This year, there was one highly successful horror film: “Get Out.” The reason for the tremendous success was the originality of the film. “Get Out” tells the story of Chris Washington, an African American guy, as he spends his weekend with his white girlfriend’s family. However, during this family weekend, Chris uncovers a harsh reality about his girlfriend’s family. “Get Out” was so well executed that horror and comedy elements complemented each other.

“IT” was another highly successful film this year. “IT” is also classified as a horror comedy movie. Unlike “Get Out,” “IT” fails to properly execute both genres in one. The comedy aspect of the film is overwhelming. The movie also has predictable jump scares which diminish the impact of the film.

A few decades ago, horror films reached their peak. Films like “The Shining”, “Alien”, “The Exorcist” and “The Blair Witch Project” are classic horror films. Their enormous success can only be attributed to their originality. Now, there is a lack of innovation across all genres of film. I believe the tremendous success of “Get Out” will spark a change in the horror film industry – a change towards originality.