Remember when horror movies involved Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, zombies, ghosts and demons? Maybe throw in a psychotic leprechaun, shark, or a set of possessed puppets? Those were the good old days.
These days, horror has resorted to something I can no longer stomach. I can deal with evil in the forms of things I can’t personally relate to – the “other”, the “alien”, the “non-person”. The damaged monsters like Freddie and Jason and Michael were pushing it but you could still see them as the nightmarish freak show that only lived in the realm of fiction.
Now it seems the masses can only be entertained by the ruthless horror that “average” humans inflict on humans. It’s unconscionable and disgusting and I don’t understand why so many people consider it amusing. I can’t get away from it right now since it’s October and so many channels are showing Halloween movie marathons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge horror movie fan…or I was anyway. But the movies and shows from the past few years are really starting to kill it (heh heh) for me. I’m tired of the torture porn being passed off as entertainment.
At first I thought maybe I was just getting sensitive in my old age or something. But then I thought about this example: The Walking Dead. In the beginning, I found the show fascinating as all these people figured out a way to survive and escape the zombies that were hiding around every corner. Now the zombies have become an afterthought that are easily dispatched without the characters breaking a sweat whenever they happen to wander into a scene. Instead, the focus has shifted from surviving zombies to surviving other humans and the battles of group dynamics and personal demons gave way to gang rape and cannibalism. As much as I want to continue to watch the series to check in on characters I’ve come to care about, I don’t think I can do it anymore. I’ll have to just read an Internet synopsis the next day because it’s easier to gloss over the ugly parts.
Not that every old horror movie uses the supernatural or monster plots to scare people. Far from it. I can’t stand any of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. But I guess what bothers me most is how the demand for this type of movie or TV show has grown until it’s really hard to escape. Even the movie trailers on TV expose me to scenes that I never wanted in my memory and now they are stuck there. Humans doing awful things to humans and other humans can’t get enough of it. That makes me sad. And angry and disappointed.