With October 31 tomorrow, you don’t have to look too far to find bloggers and online magazines recommending all sorts of horror movies to view this Halloween. I’ve done that sort of thing before (http://exm.nr/LKGGSh), so I’ll offer something new this holiday. Here are my “10 Hopes for Horror” in the coming year.
LESS FOUND FOOTAGE HORROR
This sub-genre of horror, starting with THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT in 1999, may have reached its limits with so many duds coming out year after year since. And the diminishing returns of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise have certainly not helped. The idea of documenting terror even when your life is being threatened still remains absurd and few filmmakers have found a way to get around that basic narrative issue. Let’s hope more of them come up with a stronger horror point of view than the done-to-death handheld POV.
BETTER PARANORMAL ACTIVITY MOVIES
The fifth one is coming out in January so hopefully the series will start finding new venues for ghosts than suburban homes. With video cameras everywhere these days, there’s no excuse to not expand the settings for ‘documenting’ frights in this yearly franchise.
|Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Fox's SLEEPY HOLLOW|
MORE HORROR ON TV
Horror has found a real home on television what with THE WALKING DEAD, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, VAMPIRE DIARIES, and much more all thriving in prime time. Even this year’s SLEEPY HOLLOW on Fox is a monster hit. And NBC’s new take on DRACULA has started with great promise. DEXTER may be done, but there’s room for plenty more like ‘em.
MORE HORROR SHORT ANTHOLOGIES
There are more sequels planned for the V/H/S and ABC’S OF DEATH franchises, which could be terrific. (The first ones were.) So what other horror themes could be given to filmmakers to keep making such shorts? The Ten Commandments? The 50 United States? New Year’s Resolutions?
LESS REMAKES AND SEQUELS
For every great re-do like this year’s MANIAC (http://exm.nr/12aFy13), there are so many remakes that are best forgotten. Sequels too. This year even gave us a sequel to the remake of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE from last year. It was surprisingly effective, considering the luridness of the material, but it still makes one long for more original stories.
|Lina Leandersson and Kare Hedebrant in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008)|
MORE FOREIGN HORROR
We’ve been lucky with the likes of Guillermo del Toro, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and THE DESCENT invading our shores, so let’s keep bringing in more horror imports.
NEW HORROR ICONS
SAW was an amazingly successful franchise, but is Jigsaw or his puppet really that iconic? MAMA was scary as hell, but she’s a one-off (http://exm.nr/UYeKKZ). Where is the next Freddy Kruger or Michael Myers? We haven’t had a big horror star in a while, no?
MORE ANIMATED HORROR
FRANKENWEENIE (http://exm.nr/R2OeSi) and PARANORMAN were terrific all-family horror films, but couldn’t an animated frightener aimed at just adults be truly killer as well? Animation houses do amazing work, and not everything has to look like a kid’s movie, so let’s give them a shot at some full-length horror features.
MORE REAL LIFE HORROR STORIES
There are plenty of great true tales throughout history, and they can scare up the money at the box office too, as THE CONJURING has proven (http://exm.nr/1azLSlg). More history lessons, please. After all, truth is always stranger than fiction.
STOP KILLING ANIMALS FOR CHEAP THRILLS
If you’re a pet owner, you find this trend in modern horror abhorrent. If you’re a horror buff, you scoff at the lazy kills of offing the family cat or dog in movies. Enough already!
It’s becoming a ‘golden age’ of modern cinematic horror in many ways, certainly on television. And with so many of today’s filmmakers taking this genre so seriously, I hope they share my hopes and make horror even better. And scarier.
What are you hoping for? Share your thoughts with all of us!