Falling to Pieces

Well summer has set and the cool breeze of fall has transformed our lush green landscape to beautiful red and orange colors of October.  This is my favorite season of the year, where everyone becomes a fan of the horror genre.  Fortunately, I am happy to report that the horror genre is alive and well all year round.  Instead of just having your basic monster movie marathon for Halloween night, the genre has spread through all mediums for different audiences and different sub-genres.  All genres of tv and film expand and contract through the decades.  For those of us who are children of the 1980’s, we grew up during the tidal wave of “slasher film” movies.  Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre are all heavy weight franchises that hit their stride in the 80’s.  Even with bad reviews and very thin plot mechanisms rubber latex and fake blood ruled the silver screen making these one man teenager garbage disposals into the new “Universal Monsters” for the next generation.

By the late 80’s into the early 90’s the slasher film died a slow painful death making way for more psychological/supernatural thrillers such as The Silence of the Lambs, Hideaway, The Prophecy, Hellraiser, Candyman, Seven, Village of the Damned, Interview with a Vampire, Lord of Illusions, and The Sixth Sense.  These films all had rather large production budgets, solid plot structures, and veteran actors.  Yet, with all the money spent on the pseudo horror genre films of the 90’s, horror was on the decline.  Until Wes Craven’s Scream was released which jump started the horror into the new millennium.  Throughout the 2000’s horror came roaring back with major studio slasher remakes Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween.  Horror sub-genres were brought front and center breaking box office records and is bringing flocks of people to the theaters.  All genres of horror are represented.  You have gory films like the Saw franchise.  Supernatural thrillers such as Paranormal Activity, The Skeleton Key, Exorcism of Emily Rose, Lost Souls, and Dead Silence.  Monster based horror using every creature possible; vampires, werewolves, zombies, and ghouls all earning major praise and box office credits.

Today we are still surfing the high tide of the horror genre, not only the big screen but with the invention of streaming media online via Netflix finding older genre films that are now getting a rebirth of interest from old fans and a younger new audience watching them for the first time.  Horror has also taken its popularity and transformed it to television with shows like Dexter, True Blood, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, Grimm, and Being Human to name a few.  Horror genre has even made a home in reality TV as well, making searching for the real sightings of the supernatural.  Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State are shows that try to give the viewer proof of an afterlife.

The question now is where does horror go from here?  Will this over saturation of the entire genre lead to a major decline?  Will audiences get tired of the same old clichéd archetypes?  My answer is yes there will come a time when horror  rescinds its bloody hands.  Even now with movie companies simply just remaking every genre film they can think of just to make a dollar is clearly killing audiences off.  At the same time new ideas are being cultivated sparking interest in more independent films bringing something fresh and new to the table.  Just as the summer descends into fall and into the depths of winter, so will horror.  And just when you think it’s over the seeds for a new spring will sprout bringing life back into the genre.  So to all you horror fans out there enjoy your day in the sun for it will soon turn into fall.