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thomasbright
June 11th, 2010, 01:32 AM
Wondering what has happened to genres we were once so aware of seems to be the order of the day when watching films and reading books. Never more apparent than in Les Wiseman's desire to turn horror into some kind of bitch-slapping, arse-kicking, action film with the obligatory overlong love scenes thrown in.

"Underworld" was weak, there is no denying that, yet not as weak as many critics described it, for it brought together two of horror's most loved icons, the vampire and the werewolf and gave them characteristics which (I felt) worked within the stereotypes built around them. The newest dish on the vampire/werewolf double menu Underworld: Evolution, leaves no doubt as to what the new horror viewers crave.

Yet I am not sure of what I mean when regards what has been lost here for surely most of the horror films on show these days would seem more in keeping with Wiseman's films than this idealistic view I have of horror, stemming from Poe and Stoker. Has there ever been clever, well thought out horror films or is their general appeal that of action or gore or both?

I have to look back and admit that the best of the horror films over the last thirty years that have had me checking under the bed and in the wardrobe have not actually been vampire or werewolf related. Lost Highway (David Lynch) was merely (?) the journey within a deranged mind, The Devil's Backbone (del Toro) was a wonderfully creepy ghost story and The Omen (Donner) featured none other than our number one villain of all time, the devil himself.

Thinking back to vampire and werewolf flicks, I am battered by "Silver Bullet" (Attias) more a coming of age film than any real attempt at dealing with the werewolf, "Salem's Lot" (Hooper) one of the weakest films of recent years and "Blade" (Norrington) -- need I say more here?

Chuffalump
June 11th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Sacrilege! Surely no love scene containing Kate Beckinsale (UW2) can be too long?

It seems that most more recent 'horror' films, that give that actual scary feeling, have been based on HUMAN activities. Hostel, Hills Have Eyes etc.

I personally believe that us Brits generally do horror more horrifying. Just compare The Descent to The Cave. Also Creep, Dog Soldiers and 28 Days Later. More visceral somehow, maybe because of the lower budgets there is less temptation for massive effects? Of course there's practically anything by Clive Barker too.

I was going to say that one exception was 30 Days of Night which had some scary moments but it had a British director according to IMDB.

saintjon
June 12th, 2010, 09:13 AM
Well Underworld was a blatant World of Darkness ripoff, so if it seemed over action-like it was probably because they were ripping off a pen and paper rpg (not really doing a terrific job of it either, vampires have all their crazy powers and werewolves have.... none?).

The biggest problem horror movies have right now is they are too mainstream. They are seen as producers as the fast track to easy money so they churn out at a lot of garbage.