Is it horror or just horrible?

Braden Mizell, Staff Writer

As Halloween rolls around the corner yet again, seasonal entertainment follows close behind. Horror movies tend to come out in the season of spooks to make for some sweet sweet box office revenue. But as it always is, people that argue about horror movies always rise out of their grave year after year. It is an age-old question: are modern horror movies worse than the classics.  Fans of the horror genre are divided on that infamous question, and a true consensus has never been reached. It is understandable as to why this discourse comes up time and time again, as horror is one of the original genres, not only for movies but for literature as well. Modern horror movies tend to rely upon jump scares in order to get a cheap reaction out of the audience. Jump scares aren’t a new phenomenon to horror movies, and they have gotten rather predictable. It is very common to see the setup where a character opens a door, the music subtly rises, tension is building up, and nothing happens. Yep, there was nothing horrible on the other side of the door, what a relief. But then BAM, when they close the door the monster was standing directly behind the character. Modern jump scares tend to follow the pattern: build-up, more build-up, just a little bit more build-up, psych out, then the actual pay off. Sometimes they do not even have the decency to even try to be interesting and cut straight to the pay off with no build-up. Classic horror movies aren’t safe from shame either. The horror genre saw a massive boom in the ’80s and ’90s, and the list of b-list movies alone easily goes into the thousands. Classic horror was mostly quantity over quality gig, and while there were some that where truly horrifying like Halloween, Nightmare on Elms Street, and Psycho. But most of them where absolute garbage that was thrown to the wayside. Even the best were predictable, with their formula being: character does something stupid/get separated, the character dies in a unique way, rinse and repeat until there are only one or two people left, then kill the monster. Sometimes there is an added bonus of sequel bait where it is revealed that the monster was never truly dead. The real takeaway here is the same as it always has been: movies are subjective, even the worst movies are probably someone’s favorite, so just watch the movie and enjoy it.