web analytics
Home | Articles special | How Has the Recent Horror Renaissance Opened up New Ways to Experience the Genre?

How Has the Recent Horror Renaissance Opened up New Ways to Experience the Genre?

The horror genre is constantly evolving and changing, and it’s clear that it often goes through cycles that are initially popular and then decline. For instance, slashers were all the rage in the 1980s, but then when audiences began to get tired of them something needed to change. That’s when Wes Craven shook things up with the release of Scream in 1996 and breathed new life into the subgenre. In recent years, horror has undergone an evolution in which the borders and boundaries of the genre have shifted, allowing filmmakers to experiment and exceed expectations more than ever.

Horror Media Has Opened Genre to More People

Part of the reason why horror films are finding so much success in the modern age is that the genre is well-supported in other areas of entertainment. The gaming industry has played a major part for years, with offerings like Silent Hill and Resident Evil helping to acclimatise players to scary themes. The online casino industry has helped bring the genre to more people as well, with slots like A Nightmare on Elm Street. Judging by the growth of roulette online with themed titles like Age of the Gods Roulette, it wouldn’t be surprising to see developers create some horror-themed roulette games for live casinos in the future.

The growth of the gaming industry over the last decade has enabled more people than ever to get an introduction to horror themes. Aside from console and casino games, there are also plenty of mobile games designed to thrill players with chilling content. Dead by Daylight Mobile is one of the best offerings, and the game allows players to feel as if they have entered a slasher film. They can either play as one of the potential victims trying to escape a crazed killer, or they can take on the role of the bad guy. There are various famous murderers from films to choose from in this one. Some other great mobile games for horror fans include The Baby in Yellow and Dead Effect 2.

How Horror Has Expanded During this Renaissance

In the days before streaming, many low-budget horror films went under the radar and were only discovered by dedicated fans. Nowadays, though, thanks to the rise of video-on-demand platforms, there’s almost always an outlet for filmmakers to get onto and earn a chance of getting noticed. This has enabled some of the more niche subgenres of horror to rise to the fore in recent times. The Terrifier franchise is a prime example of that.

Caption: A trailer for Terrifier.

The first offering from Damien Leone in 2016 was a low-budget picture developed with only $35,000. Thanks to the internet helping to hype up the picture, it went on to become a cult classic and led to a sequel, Terrifier 2, in 2022. It’s rare that pictures that depict such extreme violence become mainstream, but this is a trend that Leone’s movies seem to have bucked.

Streaming platforms have also allowed for a range of surprise horror hits that viewers hadn’t expected. When dropping pictures in cinemas, directors need to give a lot of the film’s details away in the trailer to sell a movie to audiences. However, this isn’t necessarily the case on platforms like Netflix and Disney+. This is why titles like Bird Box and Barbarian have enjoyed such great success. From their sparse trailer, audiences barely had a clue what they were getting themselves into when they watched these films. This gave the directors another opportunity to shock and subvert expectations.

Caption: A trailer for Barbarian.

There has also been a rise in elevated horror movies, in which directors have explored themes that have rarely been featured in movies of the past. Jordan Peele has been one of the leaders of this new expansion to the genre. His first outing in the director’s chair was Get Out in 2017, which dealt with racism in a chilling and unique way. He then followed this up with Us in 2019 and Nope in 2022, both of which received critical acclaim as well. Some other examples of elevated horror include Ari Aster’s Hereditary in 2018 and Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook in 2014.

What are Some of the Best Recent Horror Films to Watch?

It’s clear that the horror genre is still expanding, and directors are enjoying providing original experiences for viewers. New pictures are continuing to throw up ideas that haven’t been explored before, and this, in turn, helps the genre to evolve and progress. The Menu was a prime example of this.

Viewers didn’t have a clue what Mark Mylod was going to serve up in his 2022 offering, but many were pleasantly surprised by what they encountered. The film focused on rich diners at the restaurant of a celebrity chef, who are gradually sucked into a nightmare scenario. There are plenty of shocking elements in the picture, but there are also instances of comedy to lighten the mood.

Huesera: The Bone Woman is another recent film that has won awards and is helping to push the horror genre forward. The film by Michelle Garza Cervera is about a pregnant woman who has to deal with occult forces. What’s interesting about this one is that it doesn’t use jump scares or traditional horror tropes but still manages to frighten the life out of viewers with its disturbing imagery. The 2023 film is an example of how foreign-language horrors are finding it easier to get to anglophone audiences in the modern streaming age.

It’s clear that there are more ways than ever to experience horror in today’s contemporary entertainment scene. Along with games introducing scary themes, fans of these movies can find a wide array of subgenres easily on streaming platforms. Directors are having fun with the freedom that this expansion of the genre has brought about, and this is allowing them to give viewers things they aren’t expecting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.