This blog entry will be about my view that great Thriller and Horror films are on the decline.
My favourite film genre has always been horror films and thrillers be it sci-fi thrillers or crime thrillers. I am writing this article as I cannot remember a recent truly great horror or sci-fi thriller film.
To me what makes a truly great horror film like any great film are characters that are realistic and you truly care for. Whether it be the main protagonist or supporting cast there are no wasted characters.
Even though more of a sci-fi film the original Alien was incredible for this. Whether it is Ripley, Dallas or Parker to the other victims of the Xenomorph each character has development and personality traits that can be endearing to extremely frustrating.
Modern horrors have lost this ability. Apart from the protagonist most characters feel like they are there just to be come victims of the monster or serial killer in the film. Instead more focus is spent on trying to development “cooler” and more shocking ways to kill people. But this equally leads to another feature of modern horror films that have led to their decline.
CGI although when used correctly can make a film a spectacular and visual feast when used incorrectly detracts from a film. Also a modern trend seems to be to distract from the poor storytelling and characters with the dazzling and shocking CGI deaths. Some of the greatest moments in horror films are the practical effects used. The use of practical effects with modern technology is undoubtedly superior to CGI when giving better and more realistic scares.
Alien Covenant despite some flaws demonstrated how CGI can be used in the correct way to help develop the plot and thrills in a sci-fi thriller. Movies such as Hostel, Blair Witch and the remakes of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre instead of having a slow build with a mix of characters making logical decisions that means you truly want them to survive we have characters making absurd decisions and showing no real emotions leads to you not caring what happens. This in turn takes away from the shock and the scares from their death scenes.
Looking to the future what I hope to see is a return to great story telling so the audience truly cares about the characters which makes their deaths that much more shocking and scary.