Why horror needs to regain its wit

Feature Robert Zak 20 Feb 2014 - 06:30

Recent horror movies have taken a sombre tone, trying to scare us with true stories and bleak endings. But where's the fun gone?

The recent teaser trailer for Oculus supports the murmurings that it could be one of the stronger horror films of the year. It was a no-nonsense checklist of what today's audience expects from their horror: a malignant mirror in a loft, a possessed-looking person, and a child whimpering out some ominous poetry. Check, check, check. The film will likely provide some stalwart shocks, and the plot promises to be a bit of a headspin but to this writer this is another in a line of 'good' horror films typifying a genre that's come to take itself so very seriously.

Having lost a prolonged battle to convince my girlfriend that there's something inexplicably romantic about watching horror films as a couple, I only recently started catching up on the genre's latest mainstream offerings; among them Devil's Due, The Conjuring, REC, and the Nightmare on Elm Street and Evil Dead remakes.

Interspersed with these, I've been revisiting some horror classics from generations gone by, including Rosemary's Baby, Argento's 'witch' films Suspiria and Inferno, as well as 80s classics, foremost among them A Nightmare on Elm Street. Disparate though these films are, they all display – some consciously, some not – qualities that today's horror scene is glaringly lacking: they all bask in a bit of absurdity.

There is something unique and unforgettable about Argento's incoherent plot twists and baroque stylisation, Freddy Krueger's schlocky one-liners, and Rosemary's Baby which evokes a darkly comical tone driven by the Satan worshippers – Minnie and Roman - who are essentially a gross caricature of nightmare nosey neighbours, bickering, prying, and forcing horrible food down Rosemary's throat which she's too polite to refuse. Even the ending is amusing, the fuddy duddies swooning over the demonic baby's (presumably clawed) hands and feet, while Minnie matter-of-factly tells Rosemary that Satan "arranged things because he wanted [Rosemary] to be the mother of his only living son."

It seems fitting to compare this to the recent Devil's Due, whose effective marketing campaign is concealing its justifiably negative reviews. The plot is a shameless rip-off of Rosemary's Baby, but presented in a charmless found-footage style that eschews kooky characters and subtle explorations in favour of (few) cheap shocks and a meagre illusion of reality (because, apparently, some people still believe that found footage films are real). There are no idiosyncratic nuances or moments of character-driven brilliance in Devil's Due. It has the classic goal of making us fear the encroachment of abject otherworldliness into the domestic space, but it's utterly lazy in doing so.

The giallo classics Suspiria and Inferno were awkwardly dubbed, with hurried endings and worlds that are just giant horrorscape designed specifically for maidens to perish in – populated by rooms that happen to be filled with barbed wire for victims to fall into, inexplicably homicidal hot dog vendors, and bursts of rock-operatic music during calm moments. You'll laugh more than scream at Argento's semi-comprehensible worlds, which nonetheless immerse you in their unique fairy-tale aesthetics. The belated final film in the trilogy, Mother of Tears (2007) loses much of its charm with a murkier, more realistic colour palette and blood that doesn't shamelessly look like it was bought in B&Q. In trying to integrate aspects of the modern horror paradigm into his unique style, Argento sacrificed one of the strongest points of his work.

Why has popular horror become so shy about embracing the absurdity of its own premises?

Compare the old Nightmare on Elm Street and Evil Dead with their recent reimaginings. The latter of these two deserves credit for successfully carving its own identity that distinguishes it from the original, its dirty, jittery style complementing the film's sense of franticness and panic. However, symptomatic of modern horror's void of wit and absurdity. Evil Dead offers plenty of no-nonsense shocks and thrills, but I'm starting to miss a bit of nonsense, and the genre's bygone ability to make me smile amidst the screams.

And then there's Freddy Krueger, whose makeover of recent years is intended to make him look more like a real-life burns victim than the eccentric Freddy we've come to love. With a perverse panoply of websites for viewing real-life pain and suffering, supernatural horror should put some distance between itself and real-world bleakness. Furthermore, the reboot more or less outs Freddy as a paedophile rather than a jolly old child killer, making it feel like a contrived and distasteful exploitation of a well-documented social problem. Freddy's executions, too, lacked the bizarre and comical 'evil genius' quality of the original films, sticking mostly to clawed-hand stabbings that a serial killer would have been equally capable of.

Is it somehow outdated to look at horror as a genre that should allow itself to get carried away in flights of fantasy, spawning environments and characters that have been spewed – semi-digested - from the recesses of the filmmaker's subconscious?

REC and The Conjuring are both strong showcases modern horror, both in terms of their ability to make us jump and – particularly in the case of the latter – their technical prowess. However, they're both equally subjugated by a need to rationalise their events.

In REC, the zombies are of the 'infected' variety, occupying a building that's been cordoned off by police, wrapped in a plastic quarantine sheet, and declared a health hazard. In The Conjuring, the ghost hunters give lectures about demonic possessions to packed-out university halls as if they were giving a humdrum Geology lecture. These aspects were by no means out of place in their respective films, but are just two examples of the mysterious, supernatural aspects of horror becoming frustratingly sensible and normalised. There is certainly quality in these films, but it feels more mechanical than magical.

Present-day horror filmmakers are enjoying the tools and technology at their disposal to make horror jumpier and shockier than ever, but in doing so have forgotten about other unique qualities the genre used to exhibit; character, charm, absurdity and inexplicable weirdness. It seems unlikely that old masters such as Polanski will return to the genre that brought him to fame, or that Argento will recapture the form and aesthetics that made his most absurd plots enjoyable. Likewise, iconic horror villains of the eighties are only going to get worse with age.

But trends come in waves, and once today's crop of horror makers acclimatise to the technical power in their hands and are given some free rein to experiment with it, then maybe we'll see a new wave in the genre; one that isn't afraid to venture that bit further from reality or embrace horror's inherent madness, creating characters and transporting us to the places that, at the moment, we can only fitfully dream of... or go back and fondly rewatch.

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The Hatchet Trilogy definitely plays for laughs and is a glorious throwback to the 80's

I dunno, dude, I think there are plenty of recent horror movies that embrace craziness and fun. The Cabin in the Woods is a prime example: it's gleefully over the top, and yeah, it's making a kind of meta-point about the genre but it's got a sense of humour and absurdity, definitely.

The REC series gets weirder and more out there as it goes on - the first one makes it seem like the zombies are just infected, but that final scene suggests there's something weirder going on, and there's a different explanation for the 'zombies' offered in the second one. And the third one is just brilliant fun.

But then I thought The Conjuring was really fun, in a scary way, and I'm one of the very few people who loves the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, so I guess we're just not gonna agree.

I have to disagree with one thing there. The third one is a big pile of poo. They start doing slapstick and pulling faces and dropping the handheld camera? It's an affront to the films in the series (of which the film-makers already stated they were going back to the original tone for Rec4) and it didn't even need to be the same outbreak. It felt like a 'Troll 2' kind of sequel.

I'd agree that most Horror films are too serious, and that while Cabin in the Woods is absolutely superb in it's execution of the humour side of the horror genre, it is but one film.

I think there's such a close relationship between horror and humour that they often come together naturally. There's a point where something can get so scary or so extremely horrible that, watching it, you just have to laugh (ie: Human Centipede). It's a very light hysteria. The ending of Rosemary's Baby does that really well. Yes, it's funny (and builds on the satire that underlies in the plot) but it's also - if you think about it - HORRIBLE. Like, if it were real, one of the worst things you could imagine happening to someone.

I don't think horror, as a genre, has lost that at all. I just think that you've picked a handful of deeply drab examples like Devi's Due or the Evil Dead remake and Mother Of Tears, which is the work of a director looooong past his prime (so can't rationally be compared to Suspiria, a work by a younger director at his height of creativity). You can pick lazy, unoriginal, dull films from any era. What's that (completely made-up) statistic people always quote? "90% of anything is crap"? :)

It's strange that [REC] is included there - it's a hoot, it totally 'gets' the genre and isn't afraid of controlled ridiculousness (heightening as the series the goes on). The final scene is a great example of horror hitting a peak of terror, building on the scares and the supernatural elements until it can't go any further. It made me jump, shriek a little bit and then laugh that something so ridiculous had scared me. But that's one of the great things about horror when it's done well - it can make you have an emotional response to something you know, in real life, doesn't exist... If it did, it would probably snap your mind from the shock of seeing it, but it doesn't. So we can laugh about it. If we're not laughing, we're not being scared properly.

In the 80s, horror fans complained about Nightmare on Elm Street's sequels and how Freddy was becoming more and more of a stand-up comedian who told bad dad jokes - those laughs were cheap ones. Then the remake came along, made him a more sinister villain again, and people complained about that. Genre fans love to moan about everything that's wrong with the current era and romanticize previous ones but there are some absolute corkers from the last few years (many of which are heavy on the black humour). A few examples: All personal choice but I loved Lords of Salem, the Maniac remake, Cabin in the Woods, Sightseers, Grabbers, Excision, Detention, Absentia. [REC] Genesis... There's still some great stuff coming out. If anything, for me horror is finally in its grand resurgence phase after nearly a decade of soporific Ring-like "soggy dead girl" movies. :)

I thought the opening scenes of [REC] Genesis were great - the way they set it up as if it would be another found footage movie then gloriously trashed that within the first 15 minutes. They're smart enough to realise the conceit has (many) limits and at least they came up with a convincing narrative reason to do away with it.

I thought it was the best [REC] film. It felt like a fresh, loving homage to OTT 80s spatter movies like Demons, Evil Dead, etc. But the overt humour definitely alienated a lot of viewers.

Wait, who said that? Because REC 4 is just being directed by Jaume Balaguero, right? REC 3 was just Paco Plaza; the first two they made together. So yeah, I'd expect 4 to be darker, because I've never seen a Balaguero film that wasn't horrendously dark and depressing, but I still love REC 3 a lot.

Cabin in the Woods is a great film, and while the boundaries of any genre tend to blur, for me it's an exploration of horror; kind of a horror-once-removed laughing at the conventions that the genre's built up over the years. Awesome film, but definitely not horror for me.

The Conjuring is one of the best recent horrors, but I think we'll be seeing plenty of Conjuring-types in the near future (Oculus could be one of them). But I do think that there is plenty of room in the genre for a bit of nonsense and absurdity (whether intentional or not) that currently I have to go back 25+ years to enjoy.
That said, maybe part of the humour of these older horrors comes from the fact that they're dated, and maybe I'm being unrealistic in expecting that to be recreated? I'll keep on hoping... or await viewing suggestions from DoG readers.

And shame on you for loving the bastardisation of Freddy Krueger :)

It might be the dated thing, actually. I dunno. I haven't seen the film of Rosemary's Baby, but the book seriously creeped me out - I don't know if I'd find more humour in the film?

The Nightmare on Elm Street remake is clearly the hill I've chosen to die on. Pre-Saw, NOES was my favourite horror franchise, but it does get utterly ridiculous after a while (i.e. three films, and that's being generous to the second one.) I think the idea of Freddy - a child molester/murderer who's returned from the grave to prey on teenagers - is so utterly utterly horrifying that the silliness of the original Elm Street films is actually a bit out of place. I really liked the darkness of the new one, the casting of Freddy as a kind of repressed memory that the teens need to deal with in whatever way they can in order to get on with their lives. It was a very different take on the NOES mythology, but I'd rather someone do something different (or at least try!) than just try to make an exact copy of the original. We've already got the originals, after all!

I think the writer needs to check out "You're Next", full of humor and crazy twists. It's a great horror film that starts in one sub genre, a family trapped in a home surrounded by masked, mysterious intruders and morphs into a far more EC inspired blackly comic piece. It's also one of the few modern horror films I can think of where the first act setting up the characters and situation is entertaining in itself with witty interactions and awkward relationships, rather than making time until the action can really begin.

I'm not sure I agree. I understand where this article is coming from, but I think it's an extremely subjective point. I watch horror movies to be scared - the scarier and darker they are, the more I like them. .REC, The Conjuring, Paranormal Activity and Insidious are a few of my favourites from the last few years - in fact, a few of my favourite horror movies full stop - because they're precisely that. They were dark, suspenseful, creepy and plotted out scares expertly.

Having a quirky, weird, humorous side to horror is fine, but I don't long for it. Even with my love of films like Craven's Elm Street, The Fly, Rosemary's Baby, Evil Dead 2, Braindead, Day Of The Dead and so on, the old horror films that scare me the most are the more serious ones; Psycho, The Haunting, Halloween... Besides, the comedy isn't completely lost in modern horror; You're Next had a wildly wry edge, and as someone else mentioned, The Cabin In The Woods is as rambunctious as you could get.

This feels like a (possibly justified) reaction to the hackneyed found footage/gornographic/dull remakes examples of horror movies that are floating about at the moment. I don't necessarily agree that all current horror movies are lacking in wit or originality, as many many others have pointed out. Inevitably there will be a lot of poorly made horror out there, horror is a relatively inexpensive genre to make with potentially very high returns. There was a lot of rubbish horror movies around in the 70s and 80s, and there are a lot of rubbish horror movies now.

Let's not forget; too much whimsy can damage the effectiveness of the horror. Anyone remember the Freddy Kruger rap?

There are lots of horrors still being made with silly or dark humour in them - to list a few... You're Next, Alyce (aka Alyce Kills), American Mary, Cabin in the Woods, Drag me to Hell, Evil Aliens, Black Sheep, Tuck & Dale vs Evil (okay, more like a comedy with some gore!), and I'm sure there's lots of others...

I have this conversation every time I talk about horror movies. I'll always be an 80s horror fan in regards to the humor. Hell, even when they weren't trying to be funny, they were funny. (e.g. Hellraiser)

I agree with the main point of this article but there are exceptions which have been overlooked. What about the 'Final Destination' series - which although of varying quality did have many comedic or wrongly funny death scenes, which made you laugh as much as squirm. And then we have the awesome 'Cabin In The Woods' which for me was equally a dark comedy or satire as a horror film.

Some of the examples I picked were indeed drab, and I used Mother of Tears to show a kind of then-and-now of Dario Argento, who seems to also have (unneccessarily) gone in a direction of more realism, doing away with the base colours of his older works (while retaining some of that inexplicable absurdity).

While I enjoyed REC, it still had that gritty, hyper-realistic feel. The zombies are a public health hazard, and the whole thing is framed as a news report. I just didn't see any kind of comicality or absurdity in it (aside from the inherent absurdity of zombies, of course). I recall only one solitary bit of humour in that film, when the old couple are bickering while being interviewed.

Of the films you mention, I've only seen Cabin and Sightseers, both of which I loved but neither of which I consider horror in the mold of those I talk about in the piece. For me, Cabin is (to lazily copy-and-paste what I said in another comment) an exploration of horror; kind of a horror-once-removed laughing at the conventions that the genre's built up over the years. Of Ben Wheatley films, I'd probably nominate Kill List as an example of horror that's original, darkly humorous, and unafraid of a bit of absurdity.

I'll check out some of your suggestions. As I said, I've only begun venturing back into the genre, and these are my early observations of the films that have been defining the horror's mainstream in the last couple of years (and that have had strong marketing campaigns). I look forward to digging beneath the surface some more.

Fair enough. I think we just watched [REC] through different eyes. :)

**SPOILER ALERT** I liked the way it went fully supernatural and offered a magical explanation for the zombies. It had that mounting hysterical effect of "oh, here's zombies... they're crazy, right? Okay, here's some evil science, some black magic and a f@#?ked-up ghost thing in the attic!!!" which for me is, to some extent, absurd (in the good sense of the word). I thought that was very much "getting carried away in flights of fantasy" (which, like you, is what I love). Do check out the third [REC] film if you get the chance - that's way more outright comedic.

I see what you mean about Cabin (although I didn't think it laughed at, more laughed with the conventions) but it worked for me as a horror as well as a very funny postmodern deconstruction. I think Sightseers maybe hit closer to home with me because I'm from Birmingham... ;)

Hope you enjoy any of my suggestions you watch. :)

I'd agree entirely that wide-release mainstream horror flicks are unbearably sombre at the moment, almost unwatchably so. Lots of great stuff from indies though, most notably for me Ben Wheatley's stuff.

Evil Dead 3 is a masterclass in that genre. I think we should put Bruce Campbell in every movie.

I have to disagree too...Another example is Bad Biology which is hilarious and is as tongue in cheek as anything in the eighties

... I don't want horror movies to be hilarious. I watch comedy films for that. One of the reasons so many few movies have managed to scare me is that they really are black humor mixed with gore. I liked a couple of the original Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but the first is the best and that's the one where Freddy isn't a burned clown. Also that's why I prefer the remake because at least they tried to make him scary and dark, as a ghostly serial killer should be. The only example of those kind of films that you refer that worked on both levels for me is Cabin in the Woods and to some extent You're Next.

I thought they picked the right guy to play Freddy in the remake. No one will be as good as Robert England though.
I think the best NoES is the first one though I think the third one blended horror and dark humor pretty well.
My favorite horror movie is probably Jaws. Though Halloween is not very far behind.

I agree with you Sarah. I've said for a long time that the true horror of Nightmare is Freddy himself. His torture of the characters in the first movie was disgusting yet brilliant, almost like he was toying with them as if they were children before killing them outright. The more comic book they made Freddy the more the original premise was forgotten, the less scary they became.

The whole genre is almost a parody of itself but we keep coming back for more. Horror seems to need to hit the stereotypical cliches to be classed as a horror. You try to be too smart and it's criticized for trying to be too smart. You make it with a hulking, seemingly unstoppable, supernatural killer then you are criticized for not being original. (the latter is the route we've taken in our new movie. I would mention it by name but i've already had my knuckles wrapped) :D

Rosemary's Baby is certainly no comedy, but its characters and events are definitely heightened to absurd levels

I agree about doing 'something different,' but the new NOES pretty much copies the plot of the original and just gives it a 'dark and serious' makeover. Certainly, this is preferable to further extending the parody that Freddy Krueger had become by that point, but studios' over-reliance on these 80s horror stalwarts (Freddy, Michael Myers, Jason, Chucky etc.) seems to be preventing new horror icons from appearing. Jigsaw from Saw is the only one I can really think of from recent times.

Hypothetical (and topically absurd) question: If studios were forbidden from using these old-school horror icons, wouldn't you be fascinated to see the kind of villains studios would come up with to replace them? Furthermore, would you rather watch new takes on old horror legends, or leave these legends to history so that new ones can be created?

Who down voted this?? On a geek site?!? Blasphemy!!

Sightseers is one of my favourite modern horrors (if you can classify it as such)

Look for a film called 100 Bloody Acres - I think you would like it based on what you've referenced

Indeed, and even if you don't Kill List and A Field in England certainly are.

I also remembered Berberian Sound Studio after I'd posted, which has a similar darkly-comic vibe. Indie brit-horror really is good at the moment.

There's loads of good horror around in general, the problems is that if it's not found footage/involving James Wan/has a marketable link to Paranormal Activity/has 3 years of fanboys fighting it's corner, it won't get a cinema release and therefore doesn't get sufficient marketing. As a result, the gems get lost beneath the also rans diluting Netflix and the supermarket bargain buckets.

My advice is trawl the internet for reviews and get to festivals as often as possible.

Cabin blows.

The Lords Of Salem is a more recent offering that I thought was a brilliant horror film. Shame one of the actors died during shooting so large chunks of footage/story were left out..

I never saw that one, from the trailer I just assumed the dark haired girl they focused on was connected to the mask people somehow and that would be the big reveal. Like it was an initiation or something..

Do you watch movies? There is an ABUNDANCE of 'witty' or at least wacky, fun-loving humorous horror movies. TOO MANY. This article is pure BUNK.

Cabin Blows. Hahaha good luck with that. either everyone else is wrong, or maybe you had IBS when you watched. That movie is amazing,.

I really see no need to put humor in horror films. Some of the best films thrive from the oppressive atmosphere, and a joke or humorous circumstance unfairly relieves the tension. I think about films like The Ring or The Grudge that are just absolutely daunting -- and they were some of the best horror I've seen.

When I think about the "classic" horror films, or even those that are recent and very good, they are basically devoid of humor, and that's a strength: Pontypool, The Banshee Chapter, Absentia, are all dramatic and wonderful films that rely on the atmosphere, atmosphere that would be ruined by one silly pun.

I know a lot of people here are praising Cabin in the Woods, but it's not a horror film, and it's not particularly astute. It makes fun of conventions that any horror fan knew were conventions many decades ago, and they are conventions of the worst films (mostly "slasher" films) rather than actual horror films.

Others have mentioned The Conjuring, which was probably the least interesting horror film in recent years. It relied solely on jump chords and little else. There was no atmosphere and the characters were essentially not that bright, and the "evil" spirits not all that evil.

Think about the classic horror films: The Wicker Man, The Ring, Don't Look Now, and so on. No humor, or very little at all.

Thanks, I'll give it a look :)

Hmm...newer horror fan and not quite as knowlegeble of the genre, but while horror films that feature black comedy, for my tastes at least, have their place, I believe they should be in the minority. I come to a horror film to be scared and to feel the dramitic impact of whatever evil the film features, not for it to be undercut by (admittingly well-written and well-performed) humor.

Speaking of the Oculous trailer, did anyone else spot the cameo from three classic Doctors at about the 50 second mark...

It;d be great if some geeky site mentioned some of these films, rather than updating us daily on the latest sounds to emerge from JJ's mouth.

To be fair, I think there's room for both (I like JJ), and I honestly think Simon and his team would put columns up about underground genre films if someone provided the articles. However, much of the site content relies on contributions of articles from its community, so I'd imagine it's more of a case of being sent pieces that fit with the tones of the rest of the site content. I'm not entirely sure of how you would structure such pieces, either. Would you review single films, and therefore have to choose the stand outs? Would you review films widely available (Netflix/bluray/'internet available'), or would you allow festival circuit reviews? I saw a fantastic comedy horror in 2009 called The Revenant that I championed to all and sundry for over 2 years before it received any form of release - how relevant would a 2 year old review be at that point?

I haven't watched the teen wolf series. It doesnt count since it's a movie,,but it doesn't look fun.

I agree that there was nothing funny about the Rosemary's Baby film. It's quite a haunting experience, even now. I suppose it's a kind of satire in some ways, but definitely not a comedy.
I also agree that the NOES remake had its moments. A good cast, first of all, and it was certainly better than the atrocious Friday the 13th remake (which seemed to be a remake of the first three films).
I actually liked the suggestion that cropped up at one point, that Kreuger was innocent the whole time and a victim of a hysterical lynch mob, but then they moved away from that. I thought that would have been an interesting idea to explore.

I really don't get the love that You're Next received. For me, it was a 50/50 split between characters doing clever things and characters the very next moment doing incredibly stupid things that made no sense.

Oh, obviously I'd prefer new stories than remakes, but that doesn't stop me from liking the NOES one! (Or preferring Let Me In to Let The Right One In...!)

And sure, they used the same plot, but what I mean about trying something new was, you never really quite knew what was going to happen next, because the characters were different, and the scares had been changed up. You weren't just watching, like, a crappy CGI version of the same things that happened in the original movie.

RE: Freddy being innocent, that's kind of like the witch trial movie I want someone to make.

Because, y'know, the actual women killed for being witches didn't have any supernatural powers, so there's something really tasteless about the way movies justify witch burnings by making the witches into actual evil magicians. I'd like one where the witch was innocent, but gets to take supernatural revenge after her death. AFAIK that movie doesn't exist, though.

(Having a City of the Living Dead icon only slightly undermines my righteous anger on this topic! My love for that film transcends everything else though.)

Den of Geek has mentioned Berberian Sound Studio in lists of upcoming movies to look out for, and in a music in film column. And as for Ben Wheatley's movies, A Field in England, Sightseers, and Kill List were all reviewed here.

Personally I've written long long lists about horror movies, including lots of obscure ones. So, you know, I think we do alright here. ;)

Seriously? No humour in The Wicker Man?

Tucker and Dale V's Evil

But when they come back from the grave to seek their revenge on their persecutors, the witchburners will be like, "See, we told you! They have supernatural powers!"

No, he's right. It sucked!

No to wit and humour in horror. I loathe the nightmare on elm Street sequels for its dire attempts at comedy. Horror should be dark, oppressive, terrifying. AND NOT FUNNY. the last thing I want to see is a demon or cenobite fart then wink at the audience. If people are that scared when they watch horror that they need a laugh to make themselves feel ok then they should be watching something else. Like mrs browns boys. Now that is sadly horrific.

I grew up loving Universal Horror, we all did I suppose. They never shied away from being gleefully macabre. Nor did Hammer or the wonderful Amicus films.Last time I really enjoyed a horror movie was Drag me to hell, everything a horror film should be.
New Horror just takes itself far too seriously

No, they won't, because they'll be dead. :)

I don't think that's true; I think loads of it is meant to be funny.

sorry i agree with sarah. being a huge wicker man fan, there is plenty of subtle dark humour to be found in the film.

sorry but paranormal activity, insidious and the conjuring are everything that's wrong with modern hollywood horror films. they suck!

In what way?

well they are just typical popcorn american horror films, they really have that sense of commercialism about them. just like everything these days really(mainstream music). there is a real lack of depth, intelligence and complexity.

asian horror films on the other hand leave their mark and most dont care about being too commercial.

Disagree completely, but I respect your opinion.

You haven't seen Rosemary's Baby? No wonder it was a glaring omission from your '50 creepy films' list!

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