Generic horror film plot:
A young individual moving to/visiting a small woodland and closed off area of America to stay with some family member that they have a rocky relationship with, meet a man or a woman who the fall head over heels for, and start to slowly but surely fall in love. As the story progresses they eventually run into some psychologically disturbed individual who they may or may not have a past with. This monstrosity of a human then proceeds to kill the one’s the main character knows dearly for the heck of it.
Now if you’ve just read this plot I threw together in the time span of 5 minutes and it is similar to several films you may have seen in the last 3 years, there is a problem here…
The horror genre of the 20th century is a painful example of how originality is essentially gone from modern filmmakers. Time and again are there bundles of horror films released in a year that all have the same plot but just different titles. And to add more fuel to the fire, a vast majority of these films are incredibly awful and lacking in good content. It seems like a rarity that you see a scary movie and think, “I have honestly never seen a film like this before.” And even then, some films that you believe to be original, aren’t entirely original. We’ve even gotten to a point in time where directors of famed horror films are trying again and again to add to a story that has already been told, and they do an awful job at it.
Now everything I’m saying here legitimately applies to nearly all of the genres that are encased in cinema. But the problem seems to be most prevalent with horror films. But why is it so difficult for a director to come up with an original idea for these types of films? Is it truly so hard to sit down and put time and effort into creating an idea that is both original AND great, and then turn it into a film? It’s not, but filmmakers will give an illusion that it is.
Here is a prime example of a fresh take on the horror genre, it’s a film called ‘Unfriended‘. It’s a thriller revolving around a group of friends who lost a close acquaintance after she committed suicide. They all gather together for a group Skype session to talk about stuff in their lives, when they each get picked off by an unknown person/being.
This film is a dim ray of hope in a dreary world of unimaginative filmmaking. Some may look at this and say “Wow, this looks and sounds incredibly stupid.” But if you watch the trailer, there is a sense of distress and fear that you as the viewer can feel. It’s a rather perfect example to current horror writers and filmmakers that you can accomplish the feat of creating something original.
I can’t wait for this film to be released because hopefully directors will see it as a kick-start to a new generation of original horror films. Maybe one day we won’t see a trailer for a film that opens with “This summer…” and then proceeds to shove aerial shots of a suburban town or a group of predominately caucasian youths with that one black friend that everyone knows will die first…
Maybe one day…