No frights for Halloween movie nights

Josh Slusarek, A&E Writer

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I consider the month of October to be the prime time to go to the movie theater, eat a bunch of candy and popcorn with my friends or family and get my pants scared off by a scary movie.

At least, that would be what I would do if it weren’t for the fact that “scary” movies aren’t all that scary anymore. I don’t get the same sense of fear someone from the 70’s or 80’s would have gotten from seeing a true horror film on the big screen.

You see, back in the Golden Age of Horror, people would line up the street to see the latest slasher flick like Friday the 13th, Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street and they would have a great time. At least, they would…Until they saw one character they could relate to most suddenly get attacked by this Hollywood monster that would strike fear into even the toughest of moviegoers. Even if the effects didn’t seem the most realistic at times, people were terrified of the now household names of Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger.

Sure, you get a slasher here and there that breaks through the barriers of modern day horror and gains attention like Happy Death Day or rebooting of certain slasher franchises that just won’t die like Halloween.

With these new age slashers, one could say that the Golden Age of Horror never really ended. However, these films are in such a small quantity. Instead, a wave of new horror dealing with psychological torment and the supernatural have come to share the spotlight.

Films like A Quiet Place and The Conjuring series excel in this demographic. They gain an audience and give them what they come to see, low budget jump scares and the feeling of existential dread. However, they are not as relatable as older horror movies.

This is partly due to the advancement of what the average consumer accepts as “horror.” Over time, the horror industry has evolved to be more inclusive and has adapted to the political view changes made by the general public. This is done to make the films more acceptable to the audience.

With this advancement, however, I think there lies the death of relatability within the horror genre. It’s easier for me to relate to a group of teens out in the woods having fun and living life to the fullest, only to then suddenly see everything go wrong, than it is to relate to a person, family or group having to deal with the obstacle of an entity from an unknown origin. Don’t get me wrong, I love all things supernatural, but having the villain be a ghost or an alien just makes the story seem too outlandish for me to get scared by it. I’d much prefer to get scared by a being that is more rooted in reality, like a psychopath with a troubled youth.

With this loss of relatability goes the true scare factor. Jump scares will never compare to watching a character I can relate to, slowly go further down a rabbit-hole where they need to figure out a way to escape, beat their enemy or die trying.

I can understand why people enjoy New Age Horror films, I still enjoy them too, just not for the scares. If I want to be scared, I can rely on the real horror to get the job done.

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