Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Shockumentary: The Latest Face of Horror

This year, horror has been turning over a new leaf, and I think it's for the better. Films such as the low-budget "Paranormal Activity" which was made for $15,000, was very successful at the box office. When I had heard about this, I was curious of what all the fuss was about, so I eventually checked out "Paranormal."

After I had experienced the supernatural thriller, I realized that horror is changing these days. Gone are the cartoony and over-the-top humor and in its place comes utterly terrifying images and situations. Our culture has become comfortable with Freddy Kreuger, Jason, and even watching people being tortured. Films like "Paranormal Activity" dive straight to the root of what scares us, 1. What happens when we sleep 2. Ghosts and evil spirits (the supernatural). "Paranormal" is effective and really surprised me.

Secondly, the torture porn film is being renovated as well. Instead of having half a dozen characters strapped into a torture device and watching them get diced one by one, audiences can just sit through spliced scenes of gruesome killings. A good example of this is "The Poughkeepsie Tapes." I'm not entirely sure if this film was even released, due to its disturbing content (the clip in the link is DISTURBING), but I have stumbled upon some videos of it on YouTube. Needless to say, I got freaked out.

"Poughkeepsie" is about a serial killer who videotaped his victims, as he was stalking them, capturing them, and torturing/killing them. The cops find the tapes (which number to at least 800) and sift through them looking for clues of the killer's identity. This concept seems really wrong to me, but that's where horror is going, and humans being human, we're drawn to that kind of stuff! I have not watched the film, but from what the videos I've seen... it's genuinely creepy.

If these kind of shockumentary films keep being made in 2010 that will be a sure sign that horror is evolving into something that is much more real and terrifying. Let's just hope people don't start copying what they see on the screen... even though that's been done before already, I'm sure.

Thanks for reading.