Of course you’re getting this from the perspective from someone that’s deaf. It seems modern movie goers believe that a horror movie isn’t any good unless its choked to the brim with non-stop jumpscares. So movie writers, directors and producers no longer take the time to build upon the characters in their movies, nor do they build upon the atmosphere allowing for the senses of dread, despair, fear and terror but instead now solely rely on the body’s natural fight or flight response trigger.
Generally this is started by an initial loud bang or any sort of sudden, sharp noise. It’s easily noticed that this is the case for a hearing person if you were to watch a horror flick and just mute the audio and enable the closed captioning. All those various jumpscares that damn near make you shit yourself normally, no longer give you any impact in the slightest.
Don’t get me wrong, a good horror movie can cause me all these various forms of fearful emotions. I can feel fear, dread, anxiety, fright, terror and abject horror and no those are not all different words for the same thing. Each one describes a different emotion, a different feeling.
However if your “horror” movie relies too heavily on the jumpscares, then your story just isn’t going to stand out, let along be able to stick. There are horror movies I can’t logically be afraid of like anything involving a little kid. If the scary thing that’s freaking everyone around me out is a little girl being creepy, I just don’t find it scary in the slightest because I can just punt that bitch over a fence. So needless to say The Ring sucked.
The best horror is not centered entirely around the scary thing, it’s the characters themselves that are experiencing this thing. Showing the characters on screen cowering in fear with abject terror on their faces, unsure of what to do, where to go and how to survive. And it doesn’t even have to be that itself. Take Psychological Horror as a genre for example. Those movies are often misadvertised as a creature feature or a slasher to the public in the trailers and the audience is upset because “the movie sucked” when really it was marketed wrong and thus attracted the wrong audience and giving the wrong expectations.
One of the beauties of the remake of the Evil Dead when a group of friends and this guy brought the guys sister to a cabin out in the woods to help detox her from drug use or something along those lines (I’m deaf and relied on lip reading at that specific theater, cut me some slack) and something about mental illness running in the family. And the chick gets possessed by the demons invoked from the necronomicon and then crazy crap starts happening all around and the druggy chicks brother starts to believe that maybe he too has a mental disorder and going insane. It’s psychological in the fact that Mia nor the brother really know if Mia is just going nuts or if Mia and her brother are going bonkers.
Though I’m going to grant that this version of the Evil Dead’s monster reveal is far different (above) than the original Evil Dead (bottom) with the newer one having a much larger budget and larger crew than the original. The above video isn’t the reveal of the demonic zombie, just the example of showing the newer Evil Dead. So let’s break this accordingly.
Monster reveal of the newest Evil Dead (2013) actually started at the beginning of the movie. And it was quite nice, but it left me wanting because who the hell were all these people? Who was Burny McBurntFace? Who was the old woman with the necronomicon? Who is this dude and his daughter and why should I really give a damn about them?
Then there’s the reveal in the original Evil Dead (below). Granted prior to this we’ve seen some camera movement in the woods that is meant to represent the evils movement through the woods towards the cabin and we’ve already also gotten the forest rape scene in which the woods come alive and breaks itself off a piece which results in the zombie demon reveal.
There’s many differences between the two movies in regards to how the demonic possessed dead look, especially in the eyes and the face makeup.
Hands down, though, the original Evil Dead wins in regards to building the terror needed most to be able to put me on the edge of my seat, however the newer Evil Dead does accomplish this similarly and giving those extra cringe of sympathy pains. Like in the original an actor (rubber leg really) is stabbed in the ankle with a pencil while in the new one you have an Exorcist tongue moment where Mia cuts her tongue in half. Both movies have a scene in which the forest breaks itself off a piece.
I’m saying both Evil Deads are relatively good in accomplishing more than giving me jumpscares. It’s not entirely bad to have jumpscares in a horror movie, but looking at old VS new, you’ll notice the older flicks like Friday the 13th had 2 or 3 jumpscares while the newer one has 16-19.
And like I said previously, since I’m deaf that loud noise they use is almost always beyond the frequency that I’m able to naturally hear, so might as well replace it with a dog whistle and boom, same effect on the general audience.
All these various cliches are also something that should be taken out back and shot in the back of the head. Close the fridge or misc door and suddenly someone is there, drop it. Open a door and a crow flies through, drop it. Black cat, yeah just no, drop it. Close medicine cabinet and see spoopy ghost, drop it. Sudden tense moment when the actor turns around with a jump scare that doesn’t show anything scary but a dude drinking some coffee or something? Drop that too.
Lots of horror fans are getting annoyed with modern horror. We’re not watching horror to see how many horror cliches a writer and/or director can throw into a single horror movie. We’re watching horror because we want to be terrified. I want to watch a horror movie and then have to sleep with every light on in the house because I’m afraid. I want to have nightmares.
If I wanted to see a ton of shitty jumpscares, YouTube is oversaturated with them. You gotta stop and think, you can be sitting there, watching a YouTube video of My Little Pony with an eggtimer app going and forget about the timer and suddenly nearly jump out of your seat when the timer goes off. There’s nothing scary about My Little Pony nor the eggtimer, but it still made you jump all the same.
Don’t get me started on the Found Footage genre. We’ve had enough “Found Footage” and “Haunted House” and “Dolls” and “Demonic or Possessed Children”. It’s a tired cliche at this point. Come up with something original, or get the hell out of the horror entertainment industry because you suck. Your jump scares don’t startle me and by the end of your shitty movie I’m left with the only truly scary thing being that I paid money to see that horse crap.