Slasher Snoozefest: Horror Needs to Move On From Dated Franchises


Karen Zhao- Courtesy of Unsplash

Theaters are seemingly empty after mixed reviews of “Halloween Kills”, the 12th movie in the Halloween franchise.

Kate Moores, Feature Writer

It’s time to start a new era in horror. In the aftermath of Halloween, audiences were presented with yet another remake of a classic-turned franchise: “Halloween Kills.” Being the twelfth movie in the series, it seems clear at this point that Halloween, or any holiday for that matter, involving some kind of iteration of Micheal Myers will indeed kill. The franchise is exhausted, and audiences are as well. 

Horror movies are something I look forward to every Halloween: the new scary flicks help get me in the holiday spirit. Disappointment is hard to feign, however, when I am only presented with yet another awful remake of a classic. “Halloween” (1978) was arguably a catalyst for the golden age of horror movies. It quickly became one of the most successful independent horror movies of all time, and the chilling slasher that barely showed blood was thrilling and new. Other cult-classics, such as “Scream” (1996) and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) strengthened the unique era of horror. 

Watching these classics is an annual experience for me: I sit down and allow my nerves to practically fry as cinematic genius unfolds on the screen in front of me, accompanied with splashes of blood. However, the remakes feel as if they were made purely because of guaranteed viewers via name recognition. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” has a total of eight iterations, and the fifth “Scream” movie is being released in 2022. These remakes are not coming from a place of true inspiration, and audiences can tell: “Scream 4” (2011) has a rating of 6.2/10, and “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” (1991) received a 22 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. 

Expecting something new for the genre and being presented with, yet again, a lazy remake of “Halloween” is one of the worst disappointments of the Halloween season. The campy flair of 1980’s slashers may have captured audiences at one point, but it’s not the 80s anymore. 

Even though the horror genre keeps these franchises as a reliable crutch, this is not to say that there aren’t any new, creative works being released. Jordan Peele’s films, such as “Get Out” and “Us”, brought out a deeper aspect of scary movies by applying the unsettling themes of the genre to relevant social issues. Director Ari Aster is known for his disturbing stories and excellent cinematography, with creativity shown in “Hereditary” and “Midsommar” that is rare in horror. 

However, for every refreshing and terrifying film, there is a cliched and worn out franchise limping behind; a re-release that serves no jump scare. The beauty of vintage horrors is within the nostalgia, which is something these regurgitated remakes cannot capture.