We’re just a week away from Halloween 2018, and so it’s as good a time as ever to examine what horror films tend to look like these days, and maybe even speculate as to how future generations will view the trends we’ve seen in the 2010s.
One unavoidable feature of many of this year’s horror flicks is that they’re often installments in a larger franchise, or they’re just outright remakes of old classics. There’s ‘Halloween,’ ‘The Predator,’ ‘The Cloverfield Paradox,’ ‘The First Purge,’ and ‘The Nun,’ all of which build on existing properties. And this inclination towards rehashing ideas we’ve already seen isn’t limited to horror, of course. It represents a decreased risk to movie studios. Name recognition alone can help bring in larger crowds for opening weekends of new installments.
Then there are the movies that make use of original ideas, and they stand among the best horror films of the year. Among them we have ‘A Quiet Place,’ ‘Hereditary,’ and ‘Mandy,’ all of which managed to make use of clever set-ups and striking visuals to establish haunting atmospheres and scare the bejeezus out of us.
It’s always difficult to predict how any of these films will fare as the years go by, but my best guess is that the original ideas will maintain positive associations in the future, not least of all for being memorable in some way, while franchise films will always have to compete with their predecessors in the series. And we can at least hope that the studios will learn an important lesson from 2018: original ideas with small budgets can in fact make a great deal of money, as well as attracting critical acclaim.