Could ´It´ Be the End of Horror?

Michael D´Agostino Aidan McAdams, Staff Writer


Horror movies.  Do you watch them?  Do you even like them?  Based on data, students in 2017 LEAST FAVORITE type of movie is horror.  Is this generation just not scared by anything? Way back in the 1970s when classics such as The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and Jaws people were scared out of their skin. Then the genre transitioned into the 1980s and was still able to create fear with legendary films like A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Shining, and The Thing. So what happened in the 1990s? The level of fear dropped significantly because the decade was faced with a lack of originality. The 1990s was filled with recycled versions of once terrifying movies with sloppy remakes and poor new ideas like The Exorcist III, Tremors, and Child’s Play 2. The best franchise that came to life for horror movies during the 1990s was Scream, however some people look at the slasher franchise and laugh. Ultimately the genre saw a merge with comedy films once spoof horror films began to be made. Examples include Scary Movie, Haunted House, and Sharknado. These films left their audience laughing ultimately reducing horror films from the mecca of fear to a newfound comedic platform. So now the question must be asked, are horror movies dead forever?

After concluding extensive research into the subject, horror movies are on the way out for many age groups.  “I was never into scary movies anyways.”  Says Jen McAdams, a middle aged women whose age shall not be specified.  Adults who were not into scary movies were less likely to have their kids watch scary movies, and if they did not then the kids themselves would probably not like scary movies.  Harvard graduate Frank D’Agostino shared his opinions on the subject.  “It’s all about movie tastes, I might like to scared but my wife certainly doesn’t!”  When looking at popular TV shows the trend is even more apparent.  The loads of comedies being aired shadows out the handful of horror shows. From a more youthful perspective IHS senior Matt Rugo was asked about his favorite type of film genre to which he responded “probably action comedies because they are entertaining and funny”. When Matt was asked about his thoughts on horror films he stated “They are interesting but scare the sh*t out of me so I don’t care for them” which gave hope to horror films that they still can bounce back from their lull as the laughing stock for film genres.


An interesting note however is that horror shows like the Walking Dead tend to have more dedicated audiences compared to the casual watchers of the Big Bang Theory.  This seems to have to do with the fact you can just tune into any episode of any comedy show and immediately feel the aura of humor surrounding it.  However the same can not be said about a horror show that is generally very plot based and has more build up to events.  For example, I can watch a random episode of Friends and appreciate it almost as much as a dedicated watcher.  On the other hand, a first time Stranger Things watcher can’t watch episode seven right away and have much to any appreciation of the show.  And the amount of dedicated watchers is running out.  In today’s world where you can open instagram and expect instantaneous satisfaction by seeing something funny quick is the opposite of the horror movie franchise.  This franchise is build around suspense and waiting for the right time to grab the audience’s attention, and make them not know when to expect emotion.  

There was a brief brightspot recently. The fall of 2017 saw the release of the mystery/horror film “It”, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. After originally being made into a three episode mini series back in 1990, a modern remake was filmed in an attempt to revamp the franchise. Actor Bill Skarsgard played Pennywise the Dancing Clown who has gained serious attention for showing people what it felt like to be scared again. Not only was Skarsgard’s acting good but he truly brought fear into the eyes of all who saw it. IHS senior Matt Rugo said that “it was terrifying and the clown was really scary”.

If the release of It doesn’t spawn a shift in the quality of horror films, than the cultural shift that has been taking place since the 1980s will soon be cemented and the end of horror movies and the ability to strike fear in the souls of all who watch it will have arrived.