4/30/13

Scary Movies . . .

I should clarify, right up front, that this post is in NO WAY a criticism ON or judgment OF people who enjoy horror/slasher/thriller/murder films and is, instead, merely my thoughts on why they may be so popular. Everybody relax. 

I was just sitting at my computer and I, out of boredom, surfed over to IMDB.com and clicked on the trailer gallery. As it is almost officially "summer movie season" (Iron-Man 3 will kick it off Friday, if I am correct in my impression) and I wanted to see what else was coming and I was sorta' shocked to see SO MANY horror/slasher/thriller/murder films in the gallery . . . The Evil Dead gets a remake. Carrie gets a remake. The Ring gets a not-so remake (The Lords of Salem) and there are "new" films like Mama, The Purge, The Conjuring, Dark Skies, and You're Next and ALL of them have come out recently or WILL come out in 2013.

I should clarify - I quit watching "the evening news" and TV in general a long time ago. A major reason was all the blood, gore, violence, and pain, and suffering. I don't go see horror movies. I've never enjoyed them - an embarrassing/true story for another post has a punchline of "I saw the movie The Grudge and did not sleep for THREE nights and STILL don't like to think about it. I didn't watch TV on 9/11. I didn't look at or watch or seek out any photos/video of the Boston bombings a few weeks ago. I don't like violence, death, chaos, or pain . . . real or simulated.

I guess my question is WHO DOES? Let's be clear - LOTS of people. Saw movies have made a "gagillion" dollars. They are up to, what, Paranormal Activity 431? They keep rebooting and remaking and re-imagining and doing origins and sequels to every horror/blood movie ever made and they do it for a simple reason . . . profit.

But WHY? The question is still "why." Especially this recent "brand" of horror movies where families are attacked in their homes and where sons and daughters turn on parents (possessed or otherwise) and where spouses face "them or me" decisions, etc.?

I remember once seeing an interview with the guy that made the original Night of the Living Dead and he said that the rise of horror films in the 60s and 70s, like the rise of comic book heroes in the decades before, is a reflection of us feeling unsafe in our world. That we have enemies and that we want to believe that either a hero will save us or we will save ourselves/outlast the threat. Am I alone in presuming this wave of "domestic horror" (my term - but use it if you like) movies where families are attacked in the home is a further reflection to where we feel that danger happens? In a federal building in Oklahoma City? A school in Colorado or Connecticut? An office tower complex in lower Manhattan. Twice? Times Square? The finish line of a marathon? Our own homes daily?

Will anything end this trend? Will "we" decide one day we've had enough? Will our securities be buoyed or our confidence improved? Will we find peace in the bloodshed in the real world and not pay $10/ticket to consume it?

These are the things that keep me up at night and out of the trailer gallery at IMDB.com.