A discussion on why westerners can't make horror movies anymore

kainedamo

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So why can't westerners make horror movies anymore?

Americans have made some real classics of the horror genre. You could probably name hundreds of them. Hitchcock films, Halloween, The Thing, Hellraiser, Candyman, Dawn Of The Dead, Nightmare On Elm Street, Chucky, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, there are loads. There are freakier and scarier than the ones I've mentioned.

Horror movies disappeared for a long, long time. Then came Scream. I don't like Scream myself. It brought back interest in the horror genre, and ever since there has been a huge overdose of horror movies. Loads and loads of them. But the thing is, most of them are just plain rubbish. At best, they're entertaining, at worst, they are horrible bore fests and bad ideas and just generally badly made. Some of them get really overhyped. Look at Hostel, for example. How boring is that movie. How it even qualifies as a horror and not a porno is mind boggiling.

I can understand that studios see horrors as a quick and easy way to pull in the teens and make some quick money. So I get that alot of these horrors are dumbed down teen rubbish. Studios having too much control is a big problem with movies in general. But we still get good romances, good action movies, good comedies, good dramas, so why not good horrors?

The best that we get is entertaining horrors like Freddy vs Jason, which is just a really silly affair. Or a remake like The Hills Have Eyes. I enjoyed Hills Have Eyes, but it ain't scary. The closest to genuine scary has probably been Saw. Saw is a good solid original idea, something missing in American horror. Some good moments. But it's let down by being too over the top.

What ever happened to atmosphere? I can't remember the last time an American horror was released that had actual atmosphere!! Ambiguity, psychological, atmosphere, suspense, what has happened to these tools?

What in your opinion was the last classic horror movie? Do you agree that good western horror movies are a thing of the past? We need some good ones again.
 
Saw wasn't really scary as it was psychological. But yes, it's the closest thing we've gotten to scary in such a long while.

The last truly scary movie... I would think maybe Se7en? But if not, Silence of the Lambs.

There just needs to be more visionaries like John Carpenter and Wes Craven (when they were in their prime of course). And less studio control would be nice as well.
 
I think there are a number of reasons....

1. Movie-goers want instant gratification these days. Slow build-ups and increasing tension are out. Immediate shocks and disgustingly elaborate violence is no substitute. And yet what is the strength of the J-horror wave? Exactly.

2. The best horror movies play on the fears of the public at the time. In the 50's it was communism, in the 70's it was ecology, in the 80's we had serial killers. In the current climate, people are not worrying about these things, they are worrying about racial tension, terrorism, and the morality of their Governments. Not easy issues to handle in horror movies (but perfect for such films as X-Men).
 
SILENT HILL
THE FORGOTTEN
WHAT LIES BENEATH
SIGNS
SIXTH SENSE

nuff said...
 
The problem comes from people who don't take the genre seriously, and just want to do cheesy teen-slasher crap that makes money (so, basically, capitalism). Oddly, if you look at movies like "Signs" and "War of the Worlds", recent sci-fi alien invasion movies, they have a lot more in common with horror than most of the crap out now. They're tense and brooding, with focus on actual characters, with occasional payoff (tripods destroying ****, alien sightings), but mostly focusing on the actual people, instead of just having hillbillies with knives chasing people.
 
Silent Hill coped out. Could have been so much better. It would have been the perfect film to go the psychological route with, while throwing in some mystery, confusion, ambiguity, a dream like quality too. But no. The movie hit a few of the right spots but not enough.
I admit, I d don't know what The Forgotten is.
I haven't watched What Lies Beneath, it looked lame to me.
Signs was pretty scary at times, Shyamalan's scariest movie I'd say. But with all Shyamalan films, there is a sense of security, of safeness. With a Shyamalan film, you know that nothing THAT scary is going to happen, you know things will turn out ok. He knows how to have you on the edge of your seat, but his movies are more kind of emotional dramas than horrors, he hasn't got a single movie you can't watch safely with your kids.
 
Kevin Roegele said:
You're joking.....
You really are joking....
....is a thriller.
....is a thriller.
...is a thriller.
ARE YOU JOKING?!:o :o :o :o :o

It would have been the perfect film to go the psychological route with, while throwing in some mystery, confusion, ambiguity, a dream like quality too. But no
WHAT!?!... it had all of that?!
 
To be fair, Guillermo del Toro can still make some pretty creepy stuff. :up:

Land of the Dead was good, too. Although it wasn't an all out fright-fest. Almost more of a sci-fi/adventure flick, I guess.
 
xwolverine2 said:
the ring was dam good too

There I agree with you. But The Ring is a straight port of a Japanese horror movie.
 
Silent Hill didn't have enough of that stuff!

Silent Hill did alot of the right stuff. Fantastic sets, great look to the foggy world and hell world, and of course a great premise and idea behind it. But it didn't have enough of the right stuff and there was alot of problems script wise. Too many characters. Sean Bean's scenes interrupted the movie. The movie could have been so much more of a mind ****. The CGI bugs were unneccassery. Pyramid Head should had a bigger part or not be in the movie at all. There wasn't enough weirdness. In the SH games, you question whether or not this stuff is just in the character's head. You don't have that with the movie. The movie had bad dialogue, the "explanation" scene was awful, the movie had alot of problems.

I liked the film, but it could have been so much more.
 
Kevin Roegele said:
There I agree with you. But The Ring is a straight port of a Japanese horror movie.
but we made it better.



silent hill was perfect
 
kainedamo said:
Silent Hill didn't have enough of that stuff!

Silent Hill did alot of the right stuff. Fantastic sets, great look to the foggy world and hell world, and of course a great premise and idea behind it. But it didn't have enough of the right stuff and there was alot of problems script wise. Too many characters. Sean Bean's scenes interrupted the movie. The movie could have been so much more of a mind ****. The CGI bugs were unneccassery. Pyramid Head should had a bigger part or not be in the movie at all. There wasn't enough weirdness. In the SH games, you question whether or not this stuff is just in the character's head. You don't have that with the movie. The movie had bad dialogue, the "explanation" scene was awful, the movie had alot of problems.

I liked the film, but it could have been so much more.

Exactly. Silent Hill demonstrates all the problems with horror movies today, which is, "Why spend half the film tantalizing the audience with whispers and shadows when I can throw hordes of CGI monsters at them?" :rolleyes:
 
but we made it better.

Bull ****. Everything about the original is better. It completely drips with atmosphere. The acting is better. The remake feels too americanized. It's not the same cinema experience at all, even though they practically copy it scene for scene.
 
People are actually still watching american horror movies ?

It's been more more than 20 years since the genre died in Hollywood. If you want great horror, go look where quality is. Which is, ANYWERE else.

Hollywood killed itself.

Then again, horror has been badly used everywhere. Japan had a great boom in the mid 90's, and then they repeated themself a million times, killing any credibility they ever had.

People all around the world don't know the simple difference anymore between suspense and horror films. And that way, suspense got everywhere, and horror just disappeared.

The first half of the eye was pretty incredible back then, same thing with the original Ju-on and the ring. The first quarter of the descent (2005 english movie) brought a new kind of fear, which was pretty incredible in itself.

Silent Hill had the biggest potential ever. I really liked the movie, but as an horror movie, it failed miserably. I hate them for that. How the **** do you kill the horror in silent hill ? Only Hollywood and Gans know how.

Hills have eyes was greatly shot. Beautiful movie, the director of High tension is the best thing to happen to slashers. But it's a friggin remake of a texas chainsaw massacre rippoff. What a waste of talent. Still interesting and pretty intense, if not scary.

Underground filmmakers will be the ones giving back the horror genre it's dignity. It's actually people like me that gives the genre hope. Come on, fellow filmmakers, do as I do, make your own movies. Horror is not about budget, but about fear. Let's put the fear back into the genre.
 
Blair Witch Project is the last American horror movie I enjoyed thoroughly. I watched it as a teen and totally believed the hype about it being a true story. It was original and all about the atmosphere.

Final Destination was a fun movie in a morbid kind of way. You just want to see the odd ways people would die, but the story itself was interesting. Not scary though.

So yeah, the last American movie that really gave me the creeps was Blair Witch Project.
 
kainedamo said:
Bull ****. Everything about the original is better. It completely drips with atmosphere. The acting is better. The remake feels too americanized. It's not the same cinema experience at all, even though they practically copy it scene for scene.
totally agree, Ringu was WAY better than The Ring
 
the only thing we're good at anymore is exploitation horror such as saw and hostel, and slasher flicks, like the texas chainsaw remake...there are still a few people out there who can do it right, like Land Of The Dead shows...hopefully the new Tarantino/Rodriguez horror double feature will be a push back in the right direction...
 
kainedamo said:
Bull ****. Everything about the original is better. It completely drips with atmosphere.

Sorry, but I found the remake far more atmospheric. The country settings were fabulous, and the cabin where Rachel watches the tape, a lot more atmospheric than the original, which looked like a room at the Red Roof Inn.

Aside from showing Samara's face, I much preferred her crawl crawl out of the television than the original. The dripping water, the look of her body as though it had been submersed for years, all much creepier in my opinion. Not to mention the look of the damn bodies (although by the time the sequel came out, the look was more comical)! When Rachel's sister was taking about it at her niece's funeral, and then they had the quit cut to the body, I was scared.

The acting is better.

That one's debatable. If there's one thing I hate in Japanese horror movies, it's the abrupt melodramatic breakdown. It's like, one minute, the person has the whole "deer in the headlights" look about them, then a second later, they're a sobbing mess on their knees!

The remake feels too americanized.

That's a just a dumb comment! Of course it's americanized!! It takes place in America!! You gonna tell me you expect the remake to feel like a foreign film, despite taking place in America?!?

It's not the same cinema experience at all, even though they practically copy it scene for scene.

I don't know about scene for scene. The basic structure is there, yes, but the specifics of Samara's origins, and the quest Rachel goes on are almost completely changed. And I think that makes the film better, in the sense that they were able to make it its own, while reaching the same conclusion as the original. It's not like the remake of say, The Grudge, which did nothing but port Americans in the the story without changing the setting, and then ultimately missing the point of the ending of the original.
 
No offense, but a lot of America's horror films are considered clasics for their cheesiness and violence than thier ability to scare. I mean, when you think about it, Friday The 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Evil Dead are more popular for their high octane level of gore than anything else. Loads of violence doesn't make a film scary. I suppose Pulp Fiction can be cosndiered a horror movie, then? Granted, they're disturbing, but also are dated.

I personally think the best American horror movies are The Shining, The Omen, The Exorcist, Silence Of The Lambs, Se7en and Pyscho. Those are the films where the violence takes a backseat and the film's pyschological elements as well as their realism make it so scary. Honorable metnions in my book go to Devil's Advocate and Saw, which weren't great but had some truly chilling moments.

Westerners make horror films that are, for the most part, mich more genuinely disturbing. I mean, look at their stuff. I haven't seen some of it, but from what I've heard it's ingenius.
 

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