With Halloween quickly approaching, we're likely to see a whole new slew of horror films with graphic violence and even some high end CGI. Some people may enjoy this, but those like me will miss the days off the old fashioned scary movies where what was really scary was what we didn't see. The House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price, or The Haunting with Julie Harris and Claire Bloom were classics that no current horror film could match. Even their remakes fell far short of the terror these originals produced.
It's sad how many current filmmakers have forgotten what made these old black and white horror films so great. It wasn't the onscreen gore or some CGI designed monster that sent shivers down our spines. It was the thought of what could be hiding in the darkest shadows of the room or just around the corner out of view. It was our imaginations that scared us more than what we saw on screen. The thought of what could be hidden would cause us to think twice at any creak we heard in our homes, or duck under the covers as we attempted to fall asleep that night.
With the new films, it's not through the mind that they create terror but through the shock value of what's seen on screen. Take the Saw films as an example. We don't cringe because they're scary. We cringe at the heinous situations and choices the characters have to make. There's nothing that keeps us up at night wondering if the noises from the other room might be more than the house settling. The minute a movie like Saw is over, there's nothing playing in the back of our minds about what may be out there. The visual scare is over and so too is the psychological effect that it may have had on us.
That's not to say that some CGI or gory violence is completely out of the question to give us a good scare, but when a film relies completely on this and the shock value of it, the long term scares that made the older films so great is completely lost. It makes for lazy filmmaking, not to mention the story which seems to suffer. Actually, the whole movie seems to suffer because they rely so much on the visual effects while ignore the psychological side of horror films.
I miss the days of the old time filmmakers. I miss the times when they scared you so much with what you didn't see that you'd curl up to the person next to you and cover your eyes, or fall asleep at night with your head ducked under the covers as you wondered what was causing the creaking in the house. It didn't require gore or CGI monsters. It really didn't require much at all. Just a great story and the idea of what might be hiding around the corner. Give me those types of films again and I'll be a happy girl.