#1 Posted by HeckTate (1186 posts) - - Show Bio

I accidentally sparked a little mini-argument earlier when responding to the new Outcast teaser by saying that I'm usually not very interested in exorcism themed stuff and Kirkman would have to go a long way to distinguish himself from a genre which I find boring and repetitive. I followed it up by saying I'm not a huge fan of zombie stuff either, but that he;s still got my attention with Walking Dead, so who know how this one'll go. This sparked a whole argument about whether things like zombies, werewolves, vampires, were "overdone" or very generic in nature.

My take is that they are usually very generic, there are some standouts (Blade was mentioned originally) but for the most part, vampires are more or less the same all over the place, as are werewolves and zombies. This compared to something like "superhero" which I think is a lot broader a term, as there's a whole lot more room for variation. Which is not to say all vampire movies are the same, but if someone says "vampire" we're pretty much all thinking the same thing vs if someone said "superhero" there's a lot more room for variation.

What do you think? Are things like vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc pretty generic or do you think there's a good amount of variation between vampire titles, zombie titles, etc?

#2 Posted by silent_bomber (1598 posts) - - Show Bio

No, because they are characters that can be transplanted to a variety of different environments and themes, and a lot of the monster archetypes say a lot about human psychology amongst other things.

However, where it comes to your original statement. Exorcism/Ghost movies are amongst the most generic, repetitive horror genres out there as far as I'm concerned. Honestly virtually every one of these film is so similar to Poltergeist and/or The Exorcist that they might as well be remakes. Slasher movies are just as bad, and just as repetitive.

The problem that the second group have over werewolves/zombies/vampire's is that the are very strict on being set in the real world, with realistic characters, and leave very little room for inspiration/imagination/flair.

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#3 Edited by Yokergeist (12355 posts) - - Show Bio

No, because they are characters that can be transplanted to a variety of different environments and themes, and a lot of the monster archetypes say a lot about human psychology amongst other things.

However, where it comes to your original statement. Exorcism/Ghost movies are amongst the most generic, repetitive horror genres out there as far as I'm concerned. Honestly virtually every one of these film is so similar to Poltergeist and/or The Exorcist that they might as well be remakes. Slasher movies are just as bad, and just as repetitive.

The problem that the second group have over werewolves/zombies/vampire's is that the are very strict on being set in the real world, with realistic characters, and leave very little room for inspiration/imagination/flair.

#4 Posted by Ratatat (697 posts) - - Show Bio

not every horror concept is generic but the slasher genre is somewhat generic its just the same character that kills people...just to kill them jason,freddy,myers,chucky all basically the same person just different bodys and backstory they have no reason for why they kill people they just do and for me that's becoming generic among slashers

#5 Posted by kgb725 (6440 posts) - - Show Bio

No

#6 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

So you seem to be talking about the classic horror concepts here as opposed to the more modern ones, like the slasher and the torture porn sub genres as an example.

Are they generic? Only as generic as concepts that are widely used ones in any other genre. I mean if they are considered concepts and are widely used concepts then they are widely used and popular. I mean for example the zombie sub genre is a widely used concept it is pretty run of the mill these days since zombies are so popular, more specifically the Romero zombie. I guess to call a concept widely used or popular is a less negative way of describing it whilst when someone says something is generic they are using that in a negative way, and feel that it is overused/overdone etc. They may find it boring and therefore generic. For example I too find exorcism films boring and generic.

I mean you have to remember that these classic concepts go back a couple of centuries or more. Such as vampires and ghosts. The zombie concept was modernized by Romero and that has become the more known way of what zombies are like.

I will also point out how hard it is to come up with something new in the horror genre. It is no easy task. The newest horror concept is the torture porn era. Started by films like SAW and Hostel. Before that mainly in the 80's it was the slasher genre that was the hardest at work. That is why the 90's overall as an era are considered lacking in terms of horror because there just wasn't a whole lot of new stuff going on.

#7 Posted by The Stegman (23803 posts) - - Show Bio

So you seem to be talking about the classic horror concepts here as opposed to the more modern ones, like the slasher and the torture porn sub genres as an example.

Are they generic? Only as generic as concepts that are widely used ones in any other genre. I mean if they are considered concepts and are widely used concepts then they are widely used and popular. I mean for example the zombie sub genre is a widely used concept it is pretty run of the mill these days since zombies are so popular, more specifically the Romero zombie. I guess to call a concept widely used or popular is a less negative way of describing it whilst when someone says something is generic they are using that in a negative way, and feel that it is overused/overdone etc. They may find it boring and therefore generic. For example I too find exorcism films boring and generic.

I mean you have to remember that these classic concepts go back a couple of centuries or more. Such as vampires and ghosts. The zombie concept was modernized by Romero and that has become the more known way of what zombies are like.

I will also point out how hard it is to come up with something new in the horror genre. It is no easy task. The newest horror concept is the torture porn era. Started by films like SAW and Hostel. Before that mainly in the 80's it was the slasher genre that was the hardest at work. That is why the 90's overall as an era are considered lacking in terms of horror because there just wasn't a whole lot of new stuff going on.

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#8 Posted by WillPayton (9333 posts) - - Show Bio

There's just as much variety in horror movies as there is in superhero movies. You cant just take "vampires" and say there's no variety there, since that's just one instance... and it's a long established character type. If you change it too much then it wont be a vampire.

But, those do suffer from being around for a very long time... and hence they have already been explored and done/redone quite a lot... which is why they might seem "generic". But, if you consider the whole horror genre, you'll see that it has a lot of different types of characters and stories.

#9 Posted by Emequious_Swerve (1268 posts) - - Show Bio

@ratatat said:

not every horror concept is generic but the slasher genre is somewhat generic its just the same character that kills people...just to kill them jason,freddy,myers,chucky all basically the same person just different bodys and backstory they have no reason for why they kill people they just do and for me that's becoming generic among slashers

They all have a different reason for their killing. Most of them are revenge.

But yeah, the slasher genre is kind of beaten to death.

#10 Posted by nerdork (4038 posts) - - Show Bio

So you seem to be talking about the classic horror concepts here as opposed to the more modern ones, like the slasher and the torture porn sub genres as an example.

Are they generic? Only as generic as concepts that are widely used ones in any other genre. I mean if they are considered concepts and are widely used concepts then they are widely used and popular. I mean for example the zombie sub genre is a widely used concept it is pretty run of the mill these days since zombies are so popular, more specifically the Romero zombie. I guess to call a concept widely used or popular is a less negative way of describing it whilst when someone says something is generic they are using that in a negative way, and feel that it is overused/overdone etc. They may find it boring and therefore generic. For example I too find exorcism films boring and generic.

I mean you have to remember that these classic concepts go back a couple of centuries or more. Such as vampires and ghosts. The zombie concept was modernized by Romero and that has become the more known way of what zombies are like.

I will also point out how hard it is to come up with something new in the horror genre. It is no easy task. The newest horror concept is the torture porn era. Started by films like SAW and Hostel. Before that mainly in the 80's it was the slasher genre that was the hardest at work. That is why the 90's overall as an era are considered lacking in terms of horror because there just wasn't a whole lot of new stuff going on.

Agreed!

#11 Edited by Ratatat (697 posts) - - Show Bio

@ratatat said:

not every horror concept is generic but the slasher genre is somewhat generic its just the same character that kills people...just to kill them jason,freddy,myers,chucky all basically the same person just different bodys and backstory they have no reason for why they kill people they just do and for me that's becoming generic among slashers

They all have a different reason for their killing. Most of them are revenge.

But yeah, the slasher genre is kind of beaten to death.

yea but after the second or third movie they have killed every person that they wanted revenge on then it just becomes a contest of how many horny teenager can they kill in one night

#12 Edited by Emequious_Swerve (1268 posts) - - Show Bio

@ratatat said:

yea but after the second or third movie they have killed every person that they wanted revenge on then it just becomes a contest of how many horny teenager can they kill in one night

Well, its like a legacy thing. For instance Freddy was killed by the parents of Elm st. So he kills their childrens children, then eventually he finds a nemesis for like two movies, then eventually they introduce a new nemesis for the character. Same thing with Jason really and Mike Meyers just hunted his sister most of the time.

#13 Posted by Ratatat (697 posts) - - Show Bio

@ratatat said:

yea but after the second or third movie they have killed every person that they wanted revenge on then it just becomes a contest of how many horny teenager can they kill in one night

Well, its like a legacy thing. For instance Freddy was killed by the parents of Elm st. So he kills their childrens children, then eventually he finds a nemesis for like two movies, then eventually they introduce a new nemesis for the character. Same thing with Jason really and Mike Meyers just hunted his sister most of the time.

yea but like i said the revenge story gets less focused each movie and sooner or later it just becomes a killing contest i mean just look at jason x

#14 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@ratatat said:

@emequious_swerve said:

@ratatat said:

yea but after the second or third movie they have killed every person that they wanted revenge on then it just becomes a contest of how many horny teenager can they kill in one night

Well, its like a legacy thing. For instance Freddy was killed by the parents of Elm st. So he kills their childrens children, then eventually he finds a nemesis for like two movies, then eventually they introduce a new nemesis for the character. Same thing with Jason really and Mike Meyers just hunted his sister most of the time.

yea but like i said the revenge story gets less focused each movie and sooner or later it just becomes a killing contest i mean just look at jason x

Any film series with ten films in it is bound to have bad films or ones that change/loose focus.

#15 Edited by Extremis (3344 posts) - - Show Bio

@hecktate: I guess they feel pretty generic as, with horror, there's so much monotonous garbage out there for every good singular idea.

I always look to movies as a prime example. Horror is a unique genre in that it falls victim to fads and the current trends in the genre more so than other genres. Sure, all mediums fall victim to trends, but horror is the trendiest. It also feels like movie producers don't "get" what about these horror films is drawing people in, hence the feeling that it's a constant cash grab with sequels and what not. Lately it's been the shaky cam, video doc style horror flick that's dominating the horror market. And it's all because of one singular film: Paranormal Activity. Now because of one interesting singular horror concept, we get drowned out in garbage filmmaking.

This is why pretty much every horror movie franchise that has like 7, 8 or 9 movies, the only good one, let alone the only original one is the first one. Thats why horror archetypes can feel so generic as they are shamelessly beat to death more than other genre archetypes, at least from everything I've seen.

Another thing with vampires, werewolves and stuff is that as horror concepts first and foremost, they are pretty one track as far as genre goes. They're more restricted than superheroes.

As you mentioned, superheroes are much broader as it's not as limiting a genre as you can still explore an innumerable amount of genres within the superhero genre itself. So it's not as prone to the feast or famine trends of horror.

#16 Posted by Ratatat (697 posts) - - Show Bio
#17 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio
#18 Posted by Ratatat (697 posts) - - Show Bio

@ratatat said:

@mrdecepticonleader: yea that's what i just said dude....

Not really.... "dude"

i said after the 2 or 3 movies the movie starts loosing focus and you say "Any film series with ten films in it is bound to have bad films or ones that change/loose focus." its basically the same thing no need to argue this really....

#19 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio
#20 Edited by Ratatat (697 posts) - - Show Bio
#21 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio
#22 Posted by Ratatat (697 posts) - - Show Bio
#23 Posted by Emequious_Swerve (1268 posts) - - Show Bio

@ratatat said:

yea but like i said the revenge story gets less focused each movie and sooner or later it just becomes a killing contest i mean just look at jason x

Well yeah. You are not wrong. There is a lot of killing just for killings sake, in slasher movies thats pretty much the point of the films. I am saying that most of the films do have purpose for the killer to go off and kill those people. Of course there is weird exceptions like Halloween 7 and Jason X

#24 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@ratatat said:

yea but like i said the revenge story gets less focused each movie and sooner or later it just becomes a killing contest i mean just look at jason x

Well yeah. You are not wrong. There is a lot of killing just for killings sake, in slasher movies thats pretty much the point of the films. I am saying that most of the films do have purpose for the killer to go off and kill those people. Of course there is weird exceptions like Halloween 7 and Jason X

Id actually say the rest of the Friday the 13th series after the first isn't really about revenge. Jason kills anyone who comes into Camp Crystal Lake. Its more so a territorial thing sort of keeping his mothers legacy of keeping the camp closed and "dead" quiet, alive.

Out of all the horror franchises though that suffered for changing/loosing focus Id say the Hellraiser series is one of the worse victims of that.

#25 Posted by Emequious_Swerve (1268 posts) - - Show Bio

Id actually say the rest of the Friday the 13th series after the first isn't really about revenge. Jason kills anyone who comes into Camp Crystal Lake. Its more so a territorial thing sort of keeping his mothers legacy of keeping the camp closed and "dead" quiet, alive.

Out of all the horror franchises though that suffered for changing/loosing focus Id say the Hellraiser series is one of the worse victims of that.

He develops rivalries with certain characters, like Tommy Jarvis and the telekinetic girl, but yeah, otherwise he swears vengeance on any teens that do debaucherous things at Crystal lake, lol.

#26 Posted by jwalser3 (4849 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd like more creature flicks. Slashers are played out, vampires and zombies to. I mean something like an actual monster. One movie I actually liked was Mansquito. It was different and had a cool monster.

#27 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@mrdecepticonleader said:

Id actually say the rest of the Friday the 13th series after the first isn't really about revenge. Jason kills anyone who comes into Camp Crystal Lake. Its more so a territorial thing sort of keeping his mothers legacy of keeping the camp closed and "dead" quiet, alive.

Out of all the horror franchises though that suffered for changing/loosing focus Id say the Hellraiser series is one of the worse victims of that.

He develops rivalries with certain characters, like Tommy Jarvis and the telekinetic girl, but yeah, otherwise he swears vengeance on any teens that do debaucherous things at Crystal lake, lol.

Ha ha. True.

#28 Edited by MaccyD (3939 posts) - - Show Bio

@hecktate: @mrdecepticonleader sorta touched on the subject, but I'll g'wan anyway.

You're thinking of the modern interpretation of the characters. When most young people are asked about vampires, they think of teen angst, from Twilight, Vampire Diaries. When most young people think of zombies, they think of zombie virus apocalypse, from Walking Dead, I am legend etc.

Though these are pretty generic at this stage, it's very far removed from the original concepts of the "classic" horror creatures. Vampires were originally undead powerlords, which typically revolved around a hero fighting against the odds. Zombie's voodoo and living dead concepts are rarely seen these days. Though "classic" archetypes, the original concept horror creatures from folklore and literature are seemingly forgotten or overshadowed by the modern, popular type.

Modern horror tends to rely on realism. Whether through realistic villains and origins, it has lost most of its supernatural themes. The supernatural themes imo is what made the original horror concepts so sinister as it preys on human instinct: "the fear of the unknown". You can see the effects of losing this today, zombies are typically shotgun fodder and vampires are typically love interests.

That's just my take on the subject. :)

Note:if this is a grammatical mess, I'm sorry but I'm very tired and not bothered checking over and editing :P

#29 Edited by Wolfrazer (6383 posts) - - Show Bio

@emequious_swerve said:

@mrdecepticonleader said:

Id actually say the rest of the Friday the 13th series after the first isn't really about revenge. Jason kills anyone who comes into Camp Crystal Lake. Its more so a territorial thing sort of keeping his mothers legacy of keeping the camp closed and "dead" quiet, alive.

Out of all the horror franchises though that suffered for changing/loosing focus Id say the Hellraiser series is one of the worse victims of that.

He develops rivalries with certain characters, like Tommy Jarvis and the telekinetic girl, but yeah, otherwise he swears vengeance on any teens that do debaucherous things at Crystal lake, lol.

Or anyone else who comes to the Camp. :P Though there is something to be said about how a slasher can generate 10 films lol(11 if you count FvJ)...which is impressive. Were some of those films bad? Yes, but even so...in fact Jason is really immortal!

Not even bad reviews can kill him!

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#30 Posted by russellmania77 (14858 posts) - - Show Bio

jason - im evil, im gonna kill you

freddy - im evil, im gonna kill you

michael myers - im evil im gonna kill you

jigsaw - im not evil and i have too many sequels

#31 Posted by RogueShadow (10241 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, that's why I should be grand high ruler of the world and control everything because I'm so creative.

True story.

#32 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@emequious_swerve said:

@mrdecepticonleader said:

Id actually say the rest of the Friday the 13th series after the first isn't really about revenge. Jason kills anyone who comes into Camp Crystal Lake. Its more so a territorial thing sort of keeping his mothers legacy of keeping the camp closed and "dead" quiet, alive.

Out of all the horror franchises though that suffered for changing/loosing focus Id say the Hellraiser series is one of the worse victims of that.

He develops rivalries with certain characters, like Tommy Jarvis and the telekinetic girl, but yeah, otherwise he swears vengeance on any teens that do debaucherous things at Crystal lake, lol.

Or anyone else who comes to the Camp. :P Though there is something to be said about how a slasher can generate 10 films lol(11 if you count FvJ)...which is impressive. Were some of those films bad? Yes, but even so...in fact Jason is really immortal!

Not even bad reviews can kill him!

Ha true. Id say most of the films from the franchise are great. With only a couple of real bad ones.

It is interesting to consider the fact that FVJ is the last of both franchises and it brought them together.

#33 Posted by MaccyD (3939 posts) - - Show Bio

@mrdecepticonleader: @wolfrazer: Someone should really study why the heck Horror and JRPGs are the only genres to last 10 sequels in their mediums. :P

#34 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@maccyd said:

@mrdecepticonleader: @wolfrazer: Someone should really study why the heck Horror and JRPGs are the only genres to last 10 sequels in their mediums. :P

Well the James Bond franchise has 22.

#35 Edited by MaccyD (3939 posts) - - Show Bio

@mrdecepticonleader: I consider that a franchise/classic rather than a series, James Bond has become like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula at this stage.

#36 Edited by Wolfrazer (6383 posts) - - Show Bio

@maccyd said:

@mrdecepticonleader: @wolfrazer: Someone should really study why the heck Horror and JRPGs are the only genres to last 10 sequels in their mediums. :P

Really I think it is because of the Horror genre is(can't say for the other) in that, you don't really need to have a strong plot or characters of course this varies but speaking for slasher flicks really. This isn't to say you can, but they aren't really needed the fact that F13th went on for 10 movies show this, the movies didn't really need to go into detail with characters, the only ones out of the series that got any real notable depth to their characters which worked well were Jason and Tommy.

Even then the depth to the Jason character didn't seem to ruin the movies all that greatly(well aside from GtH and X, even then he is still popular).

Plus I guess it also helps that Horror/Slasher flicks are mostly just popcorn flicks in where the audience doesn't really need to care about a complex plot and all that.

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#37 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@maccyd said:

@mrdecepticonleader: I consider that a franchise/classic rather than a series, James Bond has become like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula at this stage.

I consider Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street etc franchises.

#38 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@maccyd said:

@mrdecepticonleader: @wolfrazer: Someone should really study why the heck Horror and JRPGs are the only genres to last 10 sequels in their mediums. :P

Really I think it is because of the Horror genre is(can't say for the other) in that, you don't really need to have a strong plot or characters of course this varies but speaking for slasher flicks really. This isn't to say you can, but they aren't really needed the fact that F13th went on for 10 movies show this, the movies didn't really need to go into detail with characters, the only ones out of the series that got any real notable depth to their characters which worked well were Jason and Tommy.

Even then the depth to the Jason character didn't seem to ruin the movies all that greatly(well aside from GtH and X).

Plus I guess it also helps that Horror/Slasher flicks are mostly just popcorn flicks in where the audience doesn't really need to care about a complex plot and all that.

Id say a good factor is due in part to the fact it is hard to make original horror. So it easy for certain films that do well to end up as franchises, I don't think there is anything wrong with that either. A good example of a franchise that did not do so well with more movies was the Hellraiser franchise because of the deeper plot lines and whatnot.

#39 Edited by MaccyD (3939 posts) - - Show Bio

@mrdecepticonleader: Well if you haven't guessed I didn't literally franchise as per the literal meaning, just I'm struggling for a more suitable word. I mean, James Bond will be out of copyright in 20 years... Just to make life easier, I'll say that I'm not including him as he originated outside of films.

#40 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@maccyd said:

@mrdecepticonleader: Well if you haven't guessed I didn't literally franchise as per the literal meaning, just I'm struggling for a more suitable word. I mean, James Bond will be out of copyright in 20 years... Just to make life easier, I'll say that I'm not including him as he originated outside of films.

No its alright I know what you are getting at. Like he is more in line with Dracula and Sherlock Holmes.

#41 Edited by HeckTate (1186 posts) - - Show Bio

Thank you all for replies, especially @extremis @maccyd @silent_bomber and @mrdecepticonleader. If you guys would be willing to field a followup question you'll have my undying respect (see what I did there with undying?).

Most of you pointed out that genres like slasher, exorcism, poltergeist type things are a lot more generic than even the more modern takes on the "classic" horror concepts. Do you think these more generic themes/plots help or hinder horror as a genre, or don't really matter? On one hand you have series which can successfully sell 10+ titles, but on the other they're more or less the same movie 10 times. Personally, as someone who came into horror through Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, and Alfred Hitchcock I kind of feel like being able to crank out the same story so many times kind of sets the bar low for horror, but at the same time it also makes the really good stuff stand out. What do you guys think?

#42 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (17822 posts) - - Show Bio

@hecktate said:

Thank you all for replies, especially @extremis @maccyd @silent_bomber and @mrdecepticonleader. If you guys would be willing to field a followup question you'll have my undying respect (see what I did there with undying?).

Most of you pointed out that genres like slasher, exorcism, poltergeist type things are a lot more generic than even the more modern takes on the "classic" horror concepts. Do you think these more generic themes/plots help or hinder horror as a genre, or don't really matter? On one hand you have series which can successfully sell 10+ titles, but on the other they're more or less the same movie 10 times. Personally, as someone who came into horror through Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, and Alfred Hitchcock I kind of feel like being able to crank out the same story so many times kind of sets the bar low for horror, but at the same time it also makes the really good stuff stand out. What do you guys think?

As I said in my previous post regarding the use of the word generic. I don't find the classic concepts generic. Really, more so popular concepts. That is not to say I don't find specific films, generic/boring. But that is the same within any other genre as well.

As someone who is a fan of the slasher genre overall, I feel that the slasher sub genre itself should be laid to rest. But the issue is with current horror films, is that nothing new is really coming out. We are "treated" to the constant stream of ghost and exorcism type films which I find boring and am not a fan of overall. And of course the torture porn which is the newest sub genre is still in full swing. So if we are to have the same sub genres be persistent (all of which I feel should be cut back as well) as opposed to anything new and fresh coming out, then I would rather see films in genres I do enjoy like the slasher be released. Though there really aren't too many recent slasher films that have come out, recently, so the genre has not being as strong as it was back in the 80's. And that is alright. I just wish more sub genres would follow suit.

Another thing you have to bear in mind especially when you are talking about the slasher sub genre, is that it gave new faces to the genre. The majority of the modern horror icons are slashers, Jason, Freddy, Michael, Leatherface, Chucky, Ghostface etc. They are to the horror genre, that Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Hulk etc are to the superhero genre. And with that since they are icons, they have made their marks on horror film history then they will likely continue in some form. And as I ranted on about Seed of Chucky here: http://www.comicvine.com/forums/off-topic-5/a-month-of-horror-week-one-wrap-up-review-1502860/ Shameless plug. I realize that we will always likely end up with sequels/remakes/reboots from these characters. Because they are brand to an extent. And that is okay I get that. It won't stop me from ranting about how horrible they are. And of course it won't stop completely new takes on horror coming out either.

The fact is that the slasher sub genre as I said did most of the work in the 80's and it raised the bar. And as someone who is a fan of the sub genre and who has an appreciation for it I would say it is easily among the good stuff. Not every film of course. But still it stands there just as tall as any works by King or Poe or any other horror works.