Blood, guts, and suspense galore: How horror movies have changed

Blood, sweat and tears: the three ingredients to any horror movie ever made. From “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and Stephen King’s “The Shining” to newer favorites like “The Conjuring” and “Insidious,” horror films have come a long way.
To the untrained eye, older films may seem dull or unrealistic. But to someone who has dedicated his or her entire life to watching scary movies, the classics are just that: classic in every way.
The first horror movie ever made was a three-minute, black and white, silent film called “Le Manoir Du Diable,” or “The Devil’s Castle.” It was made in 1896. The plot is a bit unclear, but for the most part it has devil magic, skeletons, spooky people running around, and two guys who think the other is dead. In the end, one of the men finds out the other is alive and gets scared. Needless to say it is not necessarily a classic, but it did get the ball rolling for horror movies of the future.
“There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” This was said by renowned film writer and director Alfred Hitchcock.
Hitchcock, in many horror fanatics’ eyes, including my own, was the father of fright. He put fear into the minds of even the smallest spectators with films such as “Psycho” 1960, “The Birds” 1963, and “Vertigo” 1958.
This was the time when suspense ruled the theaters and nothing was scarier than the moment of silence before Lila Crane, one of Hitchcock’s characters, was stabbed in the shower by the seemingly sweet motel owner Norman Bates. That moment when the bad guy slowly creeps past a closet where the babysitter and the children are hiding, waiting to escape. That is the suspense that was so loved in the early days of horror.
I believe that the thought of the bang being less exciting than the anticipation has gone away in recent years of horror. With films such as “Saw” or “Hannibal,” the NBC original TV series, it is obvious that people crave more gruesome crimes to be committed before their eyes than to watch a character struggle to survive and fight for his or her life.
For a while horror films were, for the most part, filled with fake blood, huge gashes to people’s heads, and women in skimpy clothes. Horror had gone from the violins screeching in the background while the antagonist creeps towards its victim to a girl screeching in front of the camera as she hangs, only half alive, in a meat freezer naked.
It is unclear exactly when horror films made this change, but it seems as if writers and directors are starting to morph the movies even more. With blockbusters like “Oculus,” “The Babadook,” and “Sinister,” writers are beginning to take a deeper look into the supernatural realm, a place that is unfamiliar and quite eerie to us all. The concept of not knowing what lurks in the dark or the light is something that taps into an audience’s deepest fears.
Not knowing what will pop up when they turn around, or the feeling of being followed in their own home though no culprit can be found lurking in the shadows is a different kind of suspense that brings audience members back to the theater every time a new horror movie comes out, despite the ridiculously high ticket prices and stale popcorn.