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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

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Modern horror films continue to evolve and thrive in the entertainment industry

Jayme Sawyer
New horror movies being shown at AMC River Hills 10.

Horror films are more popular than ever with improvements on accessibility, creativity and realism, according to Don Diefenbach, professor of mass communication at UNC Asheville. 

“Our collective fascination with horror stories is as old as recorded history, and film provides a relatively new and powerful way of telling these stories,” Diefenbach said. 

Diefenbach said horror will continue to thrive through future generations without a doubt because of faithful fans, and new innovations. 

“This is not a trend that will end as long as there are people around to tell these stories,” Diefenbach said. 

Deifenbach said the horror genre has changed so much over the years, including themes, aesthetics, target audiences and disturbance level. 

“I feel we have been in a stage of horror films that are based on shock, disturbing the audience and upping the ante on those elements to break through and to make an impression,” Diefenbach said. 

The horror genre will continue to experiment and become increasingly unpredictable to give the audience something new to feel, according to Diefenbach. 

“I generally like an approach that is more psychological and suspenseful. All of these things are cyclical, however, and we will no doubt play out this current trend and discover new ones,” Diefenbach said.  

Skyla Ervin, freshman and psychology major at UNCA, said she enjoys old and new horror films, but said she finds herself most entertained by paranormal thrillers that impose unique themes. 

“‘The Conjuring’ is my favorite horror movie because it keeps me on the edge of my seat the whole time since it is based on real-life paranormal investigators, which makes it even more chilling. The atmosphere and creepy visuals really add to the scare factors,” Ervin said. 

Ervin said she believes horror films have improved over time with technology and brand-new eye-catching visuals, but the classics still give us a sense of nostalgia that keeps fanbases alive. 

“They are able to offer different types of scares. Even though older horror movies have a unique charm, modern horror movies are able to use technology to advance the realistic special effects,” Ervin said. 

Emily Parks, a new media major and sophomore at UNCA said she tends to prefer older horror movies over newer ones. 

“I feel recent movies are starting to rely too heavily on jumpscares and pointless gore to get a reaction out of audiences. Not that using jumpscares and excessive gore means a movie is bad, it really just depends on how it’s used, “ Parks said. 

Modern horror films overuse dramatic effects and shock value to disguise the dull themes and repetitive aspects of the movie according to Parks. 

“I personally feel older movies utilize more creative ways to scare their audiences. Also, with less advanced technology, they had to be resourceful and use practical effects as opposed to terrible CGI,” Parks said. 

According to Parks, CGI can make an overall good movie seem impractical and frivolous over time, especially when done poorly. 

“CGI is known to age poorly or look cheap. I would say present-day horror movies are becoming scarier but at the same time becoming worse. They will startle you but leave you with no real impact,” Parks said.

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