IT’S OVER! Sorta…
The found horror movie crave is behind us.. So says Variety.. In an article celebrating the box office bomb that is the new BLAIR WITCH, the author, Owen Gleibermein, seems to celebrate the upcoming demise of the found horror movie. He also correctly points out that the demise may be far from happening–but the big profits of found movies may be over..
Horror is cyclical..
There may be some who have actually read postings of mine over the past many years. Thank you if you did. If you didn’t, this concept may be lost on you, so you let me explain my theory. A theory based off of observation and age..
I think horror movies and professional wrestling are allegories for the time that they originate.. the theme of any wrestling storyline or subject matter or popularity of a horror movie concept directly showcase the feelings, attitudes, and experiences of the generation that those said wrestling stories or horror movies come from.
The 1980s.. campy.. Ronald Reagan … The rise of the Christian right. The allegories abounded–Jason Vorhees from FRIDAY THE 13TH was as much a serial killer with a hockey mask as he was a Godlike figure who killed the sinners like a storyline from the Old Testament. Freddy Kreuger was a murderer in sleep, just as in the 80s what hurt us was behind covers. Wrestling? Hulkamania with the American flag and vitamins galore … Wrestling took on the campy feel and actually felt good. When Hulk Hogan beat the Iron Sheik, that fiction felt real .. as he dropped the leg on the Sheik and became champion, America had a feeling that reality just took place.
The 90s mocked the 80s. SCREAM made fun of the whole concept of 80s slashers… WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE attempted to kill off Freddy. Wish it would have. Stone Cold Steve Austin also chugged beer after body slamming authority on Monday Night RAW. The 80s kids grew up and moved into a new era…
In the 2000s, after 9/11 and torture policies, the SAW films became emblematic of torture porn… we accepted more blood and guts. Gore and torture.. Horror films showcased who we were—warfare and death on live TV, streaming online and on Facebook mobile. We see it all. Nothing more can be seen.. nothing more can be shocking.. We have become something from a horror movie itself…
So the death of found footage? Found footage is just a vehicle to deliver a theme. The theme of horror films..
And found footage is cheap. I don’t think it is going away, but certainly waning in popularity..
The good news: It seems like, as we move from torture into a new generation of desiring peace, we want storylines again. We want themes again that matter–big themes about life and death. Concepts that are move than just a few scares. The films IT FOLLOWS and BABADOOK are prime examples.. they portray women as victim and heroine, the ‘monsters’ are figureative and thematic.. and we get scared because the darkness of our minds is much more frightening than someone sawing their leg off to escape a demented killer.
We are maturing.. we are changing. And with it, so will wrestling and horror movies.
I end with a cautionary note… There is a chance that if Donald Trump wins, a remeregence of nationalism will come .. flags will wave.. and yes, the 1980s will be back in spirit. Expect a new Hulk Hogan. And slasher films.
Because just as much as horror and wrestling are thematic of the times we live in, life itself is cyclical.