Is this the end…of scary movies?

Does anyone remember the movie The Order? Probably not, and for good reason….it was awful.  For me it was a typical example of what we generally see in the area of supernatural thriller/horror movies, meaning it had a great premise but failed to deliver on just about every level.

I saw The Order back  in 2003 while I was in Airborne School.  I had just read William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist and re-watched the film so perhaps my expectations were too high (although I realize there are plenty of people who find The Exorcist silly and not scary; at least they think that way about the film).  Nevertheless,  I was very disappointed with The Order.

That being said, I can only think of three movies that have genuinely frightened me to my “existential core”.  They are:

The Exorcist

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

The Sixth Sense

To be honest, The Sixth Sense wasn’t “scary” on the same level as the other two.  However, I thought it an outstanding movie that treated its subject with intelligence and depth, where as The Order did not.  Furthermore, while I was “spooked” by The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and even The Last Exorcism I did not find the films  “spiritually” terrifying.

I’d love you hear some thoughts on why you think the majority of scary movies made are not scary and what you think makes a film truly frightening.  Of course, please give me some recommendations/thoughts/etc. regarding some of your favorite scary movies.

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6 responses to “Is this the end…of scary movies?

  • Rich White

    Horror movies have certainly become very predictable and overly reliant on gore rather than psychology. Paranormal Activity freaked me out though. Slash has just started Slasher Films, apparently to make genuinely scary films in the same vain as they were made prior to the 1970s i.e. psychologically scary rather than slasher gore.

  • Chad Cooper

    Cannibal Holocaust
    Hellraiser
    Wolf Creek
    Blair Witch Project

    … are the first ones that come to mind as having scared me and/or really gave me the creeps.

    • Clint Hardesty

      Hellraiser is about the creepiest movie/idea/book ever. I couldn’t get into the other Clive Barker books I tried to read, but I finished Hellraiser in a day and it scarred and scared me.

  • Dan Singleton

    I think a movie is more scary the more plausible it is, which is why the first two movies you mention succeed. I say plausible instead of realistic because showing violence and gore on screen just grosses me out and tells me the director wasn’t talented enough to scare his audience with the plot. BTW, have you seen Anthony Hopkins’ “The Rite”? Any good?

    • Clint Hardesty

      I agree. I have not seen “The Rite”. It did not get very good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Roger Ebert liked it and I tend to agree with most of his picks. I plan on seeing it.

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