Have I reached my maximum spoop capacity with horror movies?
Come with me now on a journey back to 2009. Barack Obama had been inaugurated as president, shit was going down in Sudan and Darfur, and the airy love-ballad “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (₭€$₴؋ on the international market) was all over the airwaves. As autumn loomed in the distance, TV audiences were graced with a trailer for an upcoming horror flick. However, instead of laying out every detail of the plot and spoiling every twist like trailers today, this trailer mainly focused on movie audiences. It showed them jumping and screaming. It showed their moments of vulnerable terror as the reeled in fright at the events happening on the screen. It was an exciting trailer and one that made horror fans, like myself, absolutely salivate.
That movie, of course, was Paranormal Activity.
A classic in the Horror genre of films is the Slasher sub-genre. Anybody who is even fairly familiar with horror movies might recognize the concept of a slasher film: stalking psychopath terrorizes group of protagonists and viciously murders them, often in creative or convenient ways. This sub-genre itself has spawned many of the tropes and patterns often attributed to the horror genre as a whole, such as the whole “rules” concept presented in detail in the Scream series.
In the past, I’ve had to introduce friends and acquaintances to horror movies. I have watched an absolute ton, as horror is by far my favorite genre of just about any media, but not everybody has been so keen on horror for most of their lives, maybe occasionally seeing some mainstream fair but not much more. As such, I have an arsenal of films to introduce people to different elements of horror, from the seriously artful to the campy and ridiculous. When it comes to slasher films, there is only ONE clear choice as to which sadistic murderer needs to be the first one to stab their way into a newbie’s heart.
So, I recently watched Veronica on Netflix, the supposed movie “so scary, people can’t make it through more than halfway.” While I still enjoyed the film and it’s retro vibe, I found myself disappointed in the lack of things that were generally scary enough to motivate me or anyone else to want to turn the movie off. Now, I am a considerable horror fan (I avoid the word “buff” because it often invites the gatekeepers) and have watched tons upon tons of horror films, so it’s definitely possible I am just jaded by all the scares I’ve endured. However, I’ve noticed a trend in horror films that is generally bothering me and just sucks the horror out entirely.