What Are The Things You Dislike most about Modern Horror Movies ?

The mentality of making movies has changed so dramatically. Horror films used to be the most lucrative genre for low budget producers. I sometimes hear about a very low budget film--amateur type--with an interesting premise. There was one about people on a barge with monsters in a lake. Not original but there's potential for it to be decent, especially if the characters and tension are thought out. The Flesh Eaters was super cheap and yet very effective.

I heard about a guy who was a film critic and he has a Kickstarter film going--a horror film. I am not excited because it is found footage (which I hate). Also he revealed he is pansexual.
Do I need to know this in deciding whether to watch his movie? If he told us his favorite food or sports team, then it would be a done deal, of course. I would have to rush to see whatever he made if he loved avocados.
 
The mentality of making movies has changed so dramatically. Horror films used to be the most lucrative genre for low budget producers. I sometimes hear about a very low budget film--amateur type--with an interesting premise. There was one about people on a barge with monsters in a lake. Not original but there's potential for it to be decent, especially if the characters and tension are thought out. The Flesh Eaters was super cheap and yet very effective.

I heard about a guy who was a film critic and he has a Kickstarter film going--a horror film. I am not excited because it is found footage (which I hate). Also he revealed he is pansexual.
Do I need to know this in deciding whether to watch his movie? If he told us his favorite food or sports team, then it would be a done deal, of course. I would have to rush to see whatever he made if he loved avocados.

Hammer made some of the greasiest Horror and science fiction films of all-time and , they were quality ans so were some American Internationals films.
 
I think my two biggest problems with modern horror movies are the following:

1. The urge to explain. Oftentimes a film has a somewhat effective atmosphere, or particularly unsettling imagery, but then squanders it with banal exposition. Generally speaking we really don't need the monster's back story, or an explanation of the precise mechanism by which a curse is activated and its motivation.

2. "It's actually about real life." All horror touches on "real life," duh. Shoving this realization in the audience's face does not actually make the horror feel more relevant, just less effective. So many promising films get ruined by the filmmakers' desire to shout "This is actually a metaphor for losing a parent/ cancer/ divorce/ loneliness, guys! We're not just a genre movie, we're serious stuff!"

I guess the above two points could be subsumed into one: A fear of ambiguity, irrationality, and loose ends- all of which feature heavily in a lot of effective horror.
 
What are ‘Modern Horror Movies’? Perhaps ‘Hollywood’ ones. If you’re serious about horror (and know anything) you avoid English language ones. Turkey, Argentina, Spain (esp Spain, actually) stand out as good producers.

Threads like this exasperate me — as a minority fan (in terms of genre preferences) on this site the stuff that gets thrown around… my god. It’s like seeing those Twitter posts where someone unremarkable somehow has 2k+ followers by asking questions like ‘what’s your favourite horror, you can choose only 3’.

So reductive.
 
What are ‘Modern Horror Movies’? Perhaps ‘Hollywood’ ones. If you’re serious about horror (and know anything) you avoid English language ones. Turkey, Argentina, Spain (esp Spain, actually) stand out as good producers.

Threads like this exasperate me — as a minority fan (in terms of genre preferences) on this site the stuff that gets thrown around… my god. It’s like seeing those Twitter posts where someone unremarkable somehow has 2k+ followers by asking questions like ‘what’s your favourite horror, you can choose only 3’.

So reductive.

It's a fair point. It's a shame that discussions get stuck on US/ Anglosphere films. One of the finest horror films I've seen in the past 10 years is The Wailing, directed by South Korea's Na Hong-Jin (who previously directed the excellent thrillers The Chaser and The Yellow Sea).
 
It's a fair point. It's a shame that discussions get stuck on US/ Anglosphere films. One of the finest horror films I've seen in the past 10 years is The Wailing, directed by South Korea's Na Hong-Jin (who previously directed the excellent thrillers The Chaser and The Yellow Sea).

Loved the Wailing. I’ve loved Asian horror for about 20 years but it’s becoming very samey. There’re some great Asian horror tv shows on Shudder, Netflix etc.

I can see the limitation of our thinking in past decades, but the availability of non-Hollywood horror via streaming, indies and YouTube counters that nowadays. My advice would be don’t go see ‘modern horror’ (whatever that is) if you’re expecting no jump scares or the usual cliches and tropes.

I’ll still watch a film where a new family move into a house — one of my favourite setups— but if it’s American mainstream I know it will be the same old same old.
 
Loved the Wailing. I’ve loved Asian horror for about 20 years but it’s becoming very samey. There’re some great Asian horror tv shows on Shudder, Netflix etc.

I can see the limitation of our thinking in past decades, but the availability of non-Hollywood horror via streaming, indies and YouTube counters that nowadays. My advice would be don’t go see ‘modern horror’ (whatever that is) if you’re expecting no jump scares or the usual cliches and tropes.

I’ll still watch a film where a new family move into a house — one of my favourite setups— but if it’s American mainstream I know it will be the same old same old.

What are some Turkish, Spanish, or Argentinean films you'd recommend? I don't think I've seen anything from Turkey or Argentina.
 
What are ‘Modern Horror Movies’? Perhaps ‘Hollywood’ ones. If you’re serious about horror (and know anything) you avoid English language ones. Turkey, Argentina, Spain (esp Spain, actually) stand out as good producers.
And that is the alarming and depressing thing. In 1970, if you listed horror films of the year--you would have a few Spanish titles (Amando de Ossorio), and some Asian ones--mainly Japan, Brazil perhaps too, but the rest would be Europe or North America. Dozens of directors who specialized in horror for film or tv.
And these days, Europe and North America have the worst output.
All the energy and excitement and passion is gone, or, if there are decent films being made, they are buried.

It should not be this bad.
It shouldn't just be Blumhouse and dilettante horror films like the Witch--that walks the line between horror and drama.


Maybe some of it is just a lack of desire but I think the monetary restrictions on media opportunity is the main culprit.
In 1970 there was Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Curtis Harrington, Jess Franco (for better or worse), Bob Kelljan, Jean Rollin, Al Adamson (definitely for worse), Dan Curtis, Freddie Francis, Peter Sasdy, Robert Fuest, Gordon Hessler, Daniel Haller, Terence Fisher, Peter Collinson, Stephen Weeks, Pete Walker--and this is just English language films or dubbed into English---not including the murder mysteries and thrillers.
 
What are some Turkish, Spanish, or Argentinean films you'd recommend? I don't think I've seen anything from Turkey or Argentina.
Aterrados/Terrified is probably the best horror I’ve seen for many years. Very original and it has a couple of set-pieces that turned my blood cold. There’s a recent Spanish one set in the civil war in a country farmhouse about a woman and her child. I’ll post the name when I remember it.

I recently saw an incredible Turkish film where the police go to check out a disturbance… it’s got a strange name like Baskin or something. Very strange and enjoyable, I suspect, because we are so used to watching horror with a western eye, that when we watch foreign horror films or non-English-language horror films they give us a sense of isolation or otherness that is missing in the safety and cosiness of American horror.

Having said all that about western and English language horror, the horror films that I have really enjoyed from Hollywood such as Sinister; such as The Conjuring such as Paranormal Activity 1-3. I have watched The Witch, Midsommar and The Lighthouse — also The Babadook (obviously). But if I want to watch something that is a real treat and original, I will watch a non-English language horror film.

I have noticed there have been a lot more productions made as a short series lately and these can be really terrifying. They allow they allow full character development and backstory without going into some boring origin prequel movie franchise.

I think people wanting to watch original horror need to do a bit more research before paying out the money and then complaining it’s something they’ve already seen 10 times.
 
And that is the alarming and depressing thing. In 1970, if you listed horror films of the year--you would have a few Spanish titles (Amando de Ossorio), and some Asian ones--mainly Japan, Brazil perhaps too, but the rest would be Europe or North America. Dozens of directors who specialized in horror for film or tv.
And these days, Europe and North America have the worst output.
All the energy and excitement and passion is gone, or, if there are decent films being made, they are buried.

It should not be this bad.
It shouldn't just be Blumhouse and dilettante horror films like the Witch--that walks the line between horror and drama.


Maybe some of it is just a lack of desire but I think the monetary restrictions on media opportunity is the main culprit.
In 1970 there was Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Curtis Harrington, Jess Franco (for better or worse), Bob Kelljan, Jean Rollin, Al Adamson (definitely for worse), Dan Curtis, Freddie Francis, Peter Sasdy, Robert Fuest, Gordon Hessler, Daniel Haller, Terence Fisher, Peter Collinson, Stephen Weeks, Pete Walker--and this is just English language films or dubbed into English---not including the murder mysteries and thrillers.

^this!!

And, it just occurred to me, that as Hollywood is so figures-oriented, I suspect they restrict themselves to categorising a horror audience as teens and thus dumb it down (even tho today’s teens are so switched on and capable of grasping themes and symbology).

I also get frustrated as a horror reader; so many outstanding stories to adapt but no, let’s keep on pouring out the Blumiverse franchises.
 
Actually, in some of those cases the lack of money inspired greater imagination. That was true earlier, too, as when Val Lewton had little budget and went more for atmosphere and a healthy script, or with George Romero and Night of the Living Dead.
 
A recent American release I really liked was David Bruckner's The Night House. Takes its time and keeps things suggestively creepy. It does veer a bit toward the "hey kids, this is a metaphor" but didn't drive off the cliff with it. I was less impressed with Bruckner's previous film The Ritual.
 
Actually, in some of those cases the lack of money inspired greater imagination. That was true earlier, too, as when Val Lewton had little budget and went more for atmosphere and a healthy script, or with George Romero and Night of the Living Dead.

So true. Limitations often make great strictures for work. The recent structures of a Covid lockdown lead to the massive success of indie cheapie ‘Host’. Whilst not my favourite horror, and only semi-original, it was far better than, say, the horrendously vapid Texas Chainsaw Masacre on Netflix.

It chapter 1&2 were a riot and highly enjoyable but that’s because Pennywise/The Losers/ SK are pop-cultural touchstones for us. Pennywise is cool not scary. How did we end up feeling joy for a child-killing Alien in a clown costume? The same way we did with Freddie Krueger. Isn’t child abuse and murder the most horrible thing? Yet here are two massively successful franchises that make their protagonist ’cool’.

Horror is so complex and diverse but it gets treated as a ‘kill count’ movie by so many.

Ftr I don’t find gore or blood scary. I find it lazy. I’d rather see jump scares than gore. Bring back the creeping dread of an M R James story, not the gore of 70s and 80s!! If anyone’s seen the 1968 Omnibus version of ‘Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’ with Michael Hordern as Professor Parkins you’ll see no gore or jump scares need be employed in horror to evoke a visceral reaction.

 
And that is the alarming and depressing thing. In 1970, if you listed horror films of the year--you would have a few Spanish titles (Amando de Ossorio), and some Asian ones--mainly Japan, Brazil perhaps too, but the rest would be Europe or North America. Dozens of directors who specialized in horror for film or tv.
And these days, Europe and North America have the worst output.
All the energy and excitement and passion is gone, or, if there are decent films being made, they are buried.

It should not be this bad.
It shouldn't just be Blumhouse and dilettante horror films like the Witch--that walks the line between horror and drama.


Maybe some of it is just a lack of desire but I think the monetary restrictions on media opportunity is the main culprit.
In 1970 there was Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Curtis Harrington, Jess Franco (for better or worse), Bob Kelljan, Jean Rollin, Al Adamson (definitely for worse), Dan Curtis, Freddie Francis, Peter Sasdy, Robert Fuest, Gordon Hessler, Daniel Haller, Terence Fisher, Peter Collinson, Stephen Weeks, Pete Walker--and this is just English language films or dubbed into English---not including the murder mysteries and thrillers.

60's and 70's are definitely my favorite era for horror, and there always seems to be another forgotten gem waiting to be dug up. For instance there seems to be a whole raft of great Mexican films that have yet to be made properly available to the Anglo audience. Some great recent films I've seen from this era are Daughters of Darkness and The House with Laughing Windows. I'm currently in the middle of a German horror flick delightfully titled The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism and so far it compares well with classics from Hammer and Bava.
 
I agree with what's been said about mainstream Horror, but I'd add A24 as an American production company that deserves your attention. The movies by Ari Aster (Hereditary and Midsommar, with the exception of The Strange Thing about the Johson's cause that's simply disgusting), Robert Edgers (The Witch, The Lighthouse, The Northman) and Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation) are considered modern classics. There are also less known movies by this producer. I'd mention Lamb and X.

I also agree that Horror is a very international genre though, and The U.S. has lost its dominance (if it ever had in the first place). Thailand makes great horror. I recently watched a movie from Guiana called La Llorona, which is great.
 
60's and 70's are definitely my favorite era for horror, and there always seems to be another forgotten gem waiting to be dug up. For instance there seems to be a whole raft of great Mexican films that have yet to be made properly available to the Anglo audience. Some great recent films I've seen from this era are Daughters of Darkness and The House with Laughing Windows. I'm currently in the middle of a German horror flick delightfully titled The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism and so far it compares well with classics from Hammer and Bava.


Mexico was influential on the gothic horror cycle--they may have sparked the Hammer gothic phase which in turn inspired the AIP Poe series.


Cheaper can definitely be better for creativity.

There's a quote by Orson Welles which I like repeating: an absence of limitations is the enemy of art.

Another problem is the MST3K attitude--there's a mocking attitude towards a suspension of disbelief nowadays and I think it hinders the ability to appreciate straight horror stories, especially economical made ones with an imaginative theme.

I really hate found footage films though.
I despise them because the lack of traditional narrative structure and musical scores and photography---it's not a boon for horror to do everything like a news documentary.
I really hate them.
 
I really hate found footage films though.
I despise them because the lack of traditional narrative structure and musical scores and photography---it's not a boon for horror to do everything like a news documentary.
I really hate them.

I admit I liked the first Blair Witch and also the first Paranormal Activity, though I wouldn't hold them up as masterpieces. I suppose found footage could be roughly construed as a cinematic equivalent to found manuscript stories like Machen's The White People (not that any of these films is that good). I agree that "found footage" doesn't seem to carry much promise as a sustainable sub-genre. I think the last film I saw in this strain was As Above, So Below which was a waste of time (and a waste of a great title and premise too).
 
I admit I liked the first Blair Witch and also the first Paranormal Activity, though I wouldn't hold them up as masterpieces. I suppose found footage could be roughly construed as a cinematic equivalent to found manuscript stories like Machen's The White People (not that any of these films is that good). I agree that "found footage" doesn't seem to carry much promise as a sustainable sub-genre. I think the last film I saw in this strain was As Above, So Below which was a waste of time (and a waste of a great title and premise too).

The Blair Witch and its found footage gimmick and other plot devices didn't impress .
 

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