Horror: Then vs. Now


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The meaning of horror has changed into something more modern. Read more to find out what!

Emma Rubio, Staff writer

Early horror films are often considered more frightening than the more modern versions. Horror has, over time, changed.
Early horror films developed the idea of using suspenseful music to prepare the viewer. There are moments when a movie needs music to draw the attention towards the audience into what’s going on in the movie, and this is important in early horror films that are full of suspenseful scenes that go along with haunting music. As the scene has creepy music playing in the background, this causes the audience to feel anxious, waiting for a jump scare.
Modern movies, on the other hand, tend to deal more with quiet or more natural sounds. As the character walks into the scene in silence, it provides a sense of a creepy setting. The silence in the background causes the audience to predict what’s going to happen next, but this doesn’t always make the scene more effective.
A huge change in horror movies over the years is in the costuming. Most modern movies depend on horrific monsters who are often computer-generated imagery, or CGI. These costumes look real enough to the point people won’t notice that they aren’t real. The audience is thrilled and terrified because the monster does not take away from the actual focus in the movie.
In early scary movies, though, monsters would be animatronics or actors in costumes and make-up. This causes them to be more frightful, if the costume is effective, because they character comes across as potentially real. Whenever objects and physical people are involved in a scary scene, the horror can be taken more seriously than a modern horror movie and their monsters.
In horror movies, at different points of time, studios used blood or gory effects to terrify the viewers. This does serve as a great point to make the movie more heart-pounding. An honest portion of modern and early horror films have involved scenes with blood. Too many of these scenes and they can become distracting. Older movies hardly used blood and gore for their scenes. Instead, they would focus on themes that allow the audience to imagine the event, filling them with absolute fear.
Early movies create more of a heart-racing, suspenseful level of horror for the audience. Modern movies tend to focus more on “In your face” action. A good horror film needs just enough nice actions with features that can catch the viewers’ attention to the point where they are amazed by what they see on the screen.
If you are even stuck between watching either a modern horror or an early horror movie, choose an early one, especially if you have a good imagination. You’ll find the results much more rewarding and the sense of fear a challenge to analyze over time.

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