The inevitable transition from Horror to Slasher….

Its 1960. You are settling down to a screening of Alfred Hitchcocks latest masterpiece, Physcho. You are submersed into Hitchcocks art of physchological madness which is inevitably a killer on the loose. The most famous clip of the movie, the man killing the lady in the shower (with the classicly sharp, point background noise) sums up what I would now refer to as early horror.

Fast forward to today, and we can now refer to Hitchcock as one of the movie industry’s early pioneers. A director capable of successfully creating and capturing one of the most difficult emotions possible in cinema. Suspense. I had a friend who studied film at uni, and I remember speaking to him a few years back about the film “The Ring“. I had just seen this film and experienced the whole girl coming out of the TV screen etc and I was taken. This film had put me on the edge of my seat and had me waiting at the thought of what was going to happen when this girl finally got out of the TV. Telling my friend about the film, he shrugged his shoulder and made a statement I wont forget:

“nah, im not really into horror films, we dont even produce them at uni. Its too difficult an emotion to capture and draw out of an audience.”

He said this and a light bulb went off in my head (That doesnt happen often). This is the reason why I find most horror films boring. This is why I usually cant be bothered, and – this is the reason why a horror film is NEVER a box office smash. So, after years of producing horror films, and us watching them and getting nowhere, a new trend emerges to shock and demistify our perceptions of the crueltly of the world; Slasher movies.

When I say slasher, im sure you all think of the same film. SAW. SAW in a strange way was a revelation. Its release into the cinemas signalled a new breed of movie coming into the mainstream. Comparable in a strange way to snuff movies (for its originally acute sense of taste), slasher films such as SAW have become a huge success, netting millions of pounds worth of revenue at the box office.

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Why is this?

Well, I think its becuase we as people became bored with horror films, and call it whatever you want, but they just werent “entertaining” enough. This in my opinion is down to the sad world we live in where we only get a kick out of seeing images of human torture etc, but nonetheless, whatever sells; SELLS. 5 movies have been made around the SAW story (if you can call it that), and theres rumours of a 6th on its way. So what does this tell us about Hollywood and cinema? Are we all becoming more and more sadistic in our efforts to be entertained? Where will this go?

…..

Who knows. Thats my answer. Who knows.

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