When do horror movies stop being scary?

Ben at Views from the Sofa has set up this post concerning what horror films are scary and if they become less scary over time. It is interesting to see the differences in what people find frightening. Check out this post and leave a comment, we’d love to get more opinions about ‘scary or not scary’ and why…

Views from the Sofa

After my review of The Thing, a horror movie classic for many people, Michael over at Parlour of Horror took um-bridge with my claim that it wasn’t scary.  It had it’s moments but at no point did I really feel “horrified” or in any way scared by the events on-screen. After a small discussion we soon came to a slight consensus that the movie has lost it’s impact after twenty to thirty years… and it joins many others in that regard too.

Some of the movies which are considered classic horror only hold that title loosely. The Exorcist may have had people fainting in the seats back in seventies but struggles to raise an eyebrow today while Psycho is more interesting for some of it’s twists rather than any of it’s “scary” moments. As time has gone on, audiences have understandably become desensitised to violence and the thoughts of creepy…

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5 thoughts on “When do horror movies stop being scary?

  1. The Thing wasn’t scary? Your body being invaded by an alien organism and turning you into something that you’re not isn’t scary? Not knowing who to trust because you don’t know who’s who just by looking at them isn’t scary? I beg to diifer. I came to The Thing on a Sunday afternoon in 1982 for the monster and special effects; I stayed for the story because that is what scared the sh!t out of me and that has not changed one little bit in 34 years.

    • I felt the same, the intense paranoia was more frightening than the monster creations. But, obviously not everyone sees things the same. It took me a while to grasp that The Exorcist isn’t considered scary by younger generations.

      • I have to say, The Exorcist has never scared me or gotten under my skin. Other movies have, but not that so much. I love isolation in a film, that makes for really scary for me, and I way prefer a psychological horror, something that alludes to whatever is scary or gives you glimpses of it, as opposed to having the monster out front and centre. Unless it is a villain, not a monster, in which case I am on board (think like Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers). Also, jump scares don’t usually work for me. I way prefer a solid build of atmosphere than throwing random loud noises around or sticking something rapidly onto the screen.

        Fascinating how everyone takes something different out of a horror, I love the diversity!

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