An Open Letter to Modern Day Horror Film Directors

by Caleigh Farragher

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Dear Modern Day “Horror Film” Directors,

Don’t get me wrong–I applaud you for your inexplicable popularity and ability to somehow scare people.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but notice  that the increasingly grotesque and gruesome scenes in your movies no longer make me squeal in terror–instead, they leave me perplexed and wondering what the plot is even about.  In fact, I’m beginning to suspect that these gross scenes are an attempt to distract me from a script riddled with plot holes and unrealistic feats of strength and terror.

"The Roommate," 2011

For instance, when going to see The Roommate, some scenes were just so ridiculous that they couldn’t be real.  Take the kitten scene.  Everyone knows that kittens are adorable and make you melt on sight.  However, when this cute, harmless kitten named Cuddles is put in a dryer, it’s not scary; it’s just animal cruelty.  The reaction from the audience led me to believe that they felt the same.  So my question is, what were you thinking?  It’s just sad that you would thinking zapping a kitten would be terrifying…

Are you simply running out of ideas?  Or do you really think this is scary?  Each movie is becoming more and more predictable.  The sweet, naive, and pretty girl is showering, and then someone turns off the lights.  And then she gets out and feels around in the dark to investigate.  As if this would actually happen; no one is dumb enough to go out there!  And of course, no one is there (this is when you realize how fake this all is).  Then soon she will return to the shower and…boom! She’s dead. I admit maybe a few people are foolish enough to think it’s real or actually scary and scream…but not many.

I just have one question: what happened to you? Horror films weren’t always this way. What happened to movie like The Omen, when little boys were the devil and killed their mothers? What happened to when there were shark attacks that killed innocent people? When these movies came out people were actually scared. While the movie Jaws came out, beaches cleared for weeks!  Although the sharks were pieces of Styrofoam and the blood was syrup people were frightened.  We have much more realistic-looking technology and materials at our disposal today!  So how can you tell me the people at your movies aren’t petrified?  Did you run out of ideas?  If so, then why are you taking the predictable, lame route for a movie?  I understand these are popular, but maybe if you tried to surprise the us, we would scream instead of chortle.

Maybe you could try writing your own plot lines instead of the ones we all expect.  Also try to make them a little more believable; a schizophrenic room mate who doesn’t take her medicine, really?  So next time you are writing your screen play for the “next best horror film” think of this; we have probably seen it before.

Sincerely,

Not Scared

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