Warning: Technology Has Killed Horror

The Horror/Technology War

By its title, you probably think you know where this post is going.

As technology gets cheaper and piracy of the best CG software and courses gets easier, computer effects become the norm. When something becomes accessible enough, it’s used and overused in both blockbusters and indie films alike. Actors stand in-front of a green screen instead of a set and interact with people covered in more ping-pong balls than the floor of a Bangkok bar.

As much as I could write volumes about how the art of Stan Winston-esque practical effects add heart and warmth to a horror movie, that’s not where I’m going…

I want to take a minute out of my day to think about the plight of the bad guy.

The Golden Age is Over!

Think about it for a second… killers had it EASY in the pre-internet age!

Let’s take everyone’s favourite child killer, Freddy Krueger for example. Kids played outside all summer because there was nothing better to do inside. There weren’t any stranger danger protocols taught to kids. A forced friendly smile and a lollypop was all it took to lure a child into the back of a van.

I blame the prevention of child abduction on the obesity crisis. Parents are giving kids all the candy they want at home so a stranger’s cheeky Snickers won’t be enough to tempt them.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think an Oreo is enough to pull a kid’s attention away from the latest iPhone game that’s nickel and diming Daddy’s bank account.

Speaking of the iPhone… kids can now be tracked from their phone’s GPS or a tracking bracelet. Keeping a victim long enough to make a 90 minute movie with plot twists and turns would be cut short by armed police rocking up to the door.

Even getting away with it in the good ol’ days was easier. DNA evidence was in its infancy and although CCTV existed, telling André the Giant and Kenny Baker apart was difficult enough because of how bad the quality was. These things were hardly a deterrent!

The New Age of Horror

Don’t get me wrong… as a father of a 5-year old daughter, I thank the pioneers of technology for making the world a safer place. For the fictional fiends we all know and love though, it’s made life a drag.

Let’s hope that the technology we hold in our hands brings a new challenge to horror’s best writers and opens up the genre to storylines that weren’t previously available. Netflix’s Hush is a great example of how the horror of old can be seamlessly blended with the technology of new… I can’t wait to see what’s next. Until then though, give your favourite make-believe maniac your best wishes!