The other day I was tting at my computer, probably wasting time
when I noticed the televion on in the distance. Of course, some modern-day, contemporary horror flick was on. It got me thinking that it truly has been a while nce I had found a horror movie scary enough for me to actually drop whatever it is I am doing and t through it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good B-movie every now and again, but usually the movies are portrayed as being B-movies from the start. However, nowadays the movies that are supposed to be the best in horror are utter crap in my opinion.
Thinking on the subject matter a little further, I realized that most of these crappy movies share one common feature. The horrible feature I am referring to—a less-than-appealing plot—is ealy disguisable when you actually look for it when watching most contemporary horror films.
You can’t really blame the directors for trying though. If you look back at the horror genre over the past few decades, they all seem to follow the same general direction; a girl (usually blonde) running about senselessly, she falls, she hurts her leg….she dies. While that type of plot structure worked in the beginning, it quickly became used, abused, and overrated. I think that modern-day horror producers realized that the traditional horror plot was in need of some renovation.
So what probably happened was that producers tried to unleash their ingenuity, creating a script completely different from that of the traditional horror plot. However, instead of making for an awesome new horror movie, this so-called new direction that producers were aiming towards led to a plotline totally unrecognizable from anything we are used too (think Jason X,. Therefore, in the case of producing any type of horror, I feel as though one can try too hard; and the moviegoers have to suffer the consequences of this overcompensation.
If I were to hold a seminar, preaching to producers and directors what I want to see in a horror movie, I would first say that the plot needs to be as fresh as posble. We are tired of seeing the same old plotline, the same old ending, and so on and so forth. I call this the “Scooby Doo Syndrome.” At the end of every episode of Scooby Doo, the “gang” methodically catches the bad guy every time, rips off their mask, and is greeted with the familiar saying, “and I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you kids and that medaling dog.” For once, I’d like to see the gang not catch the bad guy, or at least drag it out into a two-part series.
From there, I would suggest a little confuon. In other words, create plot that twists and turns, keeping us guesng. In fact, you want to make us feel as though we know what is going to happen, but then take it in a completely new direction; for me, horror and unexpected surprises go hand-in-hand. Perhaps allowing the bad guy to win would be a neat feature because nobody expects it. Instead, everyone expects the bad guy to triumph throughout the movie, racking up a major body count, but ultimately in the end, long out.
In the end, the point to take away here is that you don’t need a completely new plot (although it helps) to draw in a crowd, you just need to put a spin on it to keep it somewhat fresh and original. Let’s face it, with all the horror movies that have emerged throughout the years, a completely new plot is hard to come by.