Scary Movies Becoming… Less Scary? Or Just Less Popular?

Nicholas G.


October, being known for its reputation as the scariest month of the year, usually comes associated with lots of scary movies, and the effect is even greater when they are released on Halloween night itself, or at least near to it.  Many horror movies like the John Carpenter horror,  Halloween, and Saw, directed by James Wan, are both well known in the horror genre.  Alongside this, both of these movies are also known to have come with a long list of sequels over the years, including remakes.  These sequels, unlike the originals, were seen to be worse in comparison, and with the re-release of Saw coming out on the thirtieth, how will viewers react?


Halloween was a 1978 horror/slasher film whose story involved a young boy, named Michael Myers, murdering his sister.  Michael comes back to where he used to live after spending fifteen years at a mental hospital, and goes on a horrific rampage.  The sequels that came after put any other long-running series to shame;  Halloween 2, Halloween 3-Season of the Witch, Halloween 4:  The Return of Michael Myers, and six more movies to carry on the Halloween franchise even further, two of which being remakes of the first and second movies.  Unlike the very first movie, which scored a huge ninety-four out of one-hundred on Rotten Tomatoes, all but one could not even pass the fifty-percent margin on the same site, including the two remakes, one even scoring as low as a six out of one-hundred.  The remakes were directed by Rob Zombie in 2007 and 2009 for the first two Halloween movies, but neither scored above twenty-five.


On a separate roll of film, as it were, Saw took to theatres in 2004, with a re-release coming out this year on the thirtieth.  Saw’s story centered on a man who calls himself Jigsaw, who captures people and makes them perform inhumane tasks to escape death-traps, for the purpose of helping the people to, “Appreciate life.”  Like the Halloween franchise, the Saw films have a long line of sequels, including Saw 2, Saw 3, Saw 4, and so on, reaching the seventh and final movie, Saw 3D:  The Final Chapter.  The first Saw movie was met with a respectable score of 7.7 on IMDb, while the rest, following in Halloween’s footsteps, were given lower scores on the site.  The movies, surprisingly, were given consecutively decreasing scores for each new sequel, going from the first’s 7.7 to a 5.8 on the fifth, and increasing a small amount to 5.9 on the sixth instalment.  The last movie in the series was given the lowest score of 5.6 (All scores being given on IMDb).


When asked whether they like horror movies, a journalism class of nineteen at Westmount Charter School mostly responded no, while only six of that eighteen responded yes.  Those six also talked about their favorite movies in this genre, including movies such as Cape Fear, and two mentioning the Paranormal Activity series and The Shining, movies that, unlike Saw and Halloween, did not have any sequels, or had less of them.  Halloween and the Saw series were also named in this count, though, with one vote each.  So are remakes and sequels the way to go for horror movies? Not to mention, how will the re-release of Saw go this year?  The viewers do, and will always know best.


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