4 Horror Movie Villains That Aren't Scaring Us Anymore


This is a call to action, which is a buzz term that people in offices use that means "get off your ass." For the sake of the horror film industry as a whole, something needs to be done. Horror, as a genre, is suffering through what film enthusiasts might call "shittiness." There is a lot of shittiness in horror movies because a lot of horror filmmakers insist on repeating the same thing over and over again. Well written, well acted and unique horror is hard to come by, and that's sad. But it's not incurable. There are time-honored concepts and tropes all through horror that can still be played with and made into something awesome -- we don't need to see the same Japanese horror movie 15 times in a row. I write screenplays that feature none of this crap, so it can be done! Please buy my screenplay. Or just don't make these movies. Whatevs.

#4. Vengeful Spirits


There's no law that says you need to spend eternity in everlasting peace, but why are all dead people such large-scale cock floggers?

Every movie featuring a haunting implicitly admits to life after death, which is a pretty big deal. And then 95 percent of those that exist in the PG-13 shock/scare oeuvre go on to piss all over the idea that you'll live on past death by suggesting that you're going to be a dick literally forever, slamming people's doors and appearing in mirrors or down halls when no one who isn't a film audience can see you anyway. Look at Paranormal Activity, The Ring, The Woman in Black, Insidious and countless others. Now of course the key element for it to be a horror movie is something horrible, but why are they such insufferable assholes? Is the horror that ghosts suck? They just suck and will always suck?


This thing is hooked directly into my own farts.

It's not enough anymore in a ghost story that you died horribly and your spirit is unsettled, like in The Sixth Sense -- you just need the magic of Haley Joel Osment to settle your hash, and then you and Patrick Swayze can move toward the light. Oh no. Now someone spends 80 minutes figuring out that, in life, you were forced to stress-test dildos until your hands chafed raw and so they have to burn down the old abandoned dildo factory so that you can rest in peace. Then they spend the final 10 minutes dealing with the fact that the dildo factory was actually holding you safely away from the good people of Dildonia and now you're going to go slaughter innocents en masse because you're just a prick. Up yours, ghost.

Vengeance is a fine motivator to do something awful in a horror movie, especially if you're no longer bound by the shackles of mortality. But damn, doesn't vengeance have a point? Getting revenge on everyone everywhere is just arrogant and douchey. Plus, when you're done, and everyone is a ghost, who do you think won't be hanging out with anyone ever? You, you dirty douche ghost. You'll have eternity to be pissy with no outlet because all the other ghosts will hate you for killing them.

What Can We Do?

I don't want to come out and say have your ghost not be a dickhead, but maybe give it some dimension. The problem with too many movie villains is they're flat evil. Who the hell is just evil for the sake of evil? Not even Tom Cruise is like that. Give them some depth, a reason to be pissy and a reason that they may want to hold back that pissy attitude sometimes. And maybe your twist ending should not be the same twist ending in every single other movie that was made this decade, maybe try that.

#3. Giant Things


To this day I love giant things. Show me something that's bigger than it should be and I will applaud. Shoes, a burger, boobs, I'm there. So the entire genre of giant monster movies was tailor-made for me and I still enjoy them a lot. I own Godzilla movies on DVD and I'm OK with that. I saw Night of the Lepus, a terrible movie about giant killer bunnies, and I sort of enjoyed that, too. It's really bad, though.

Though rarely as successful these days as ghost stories or slasher movies, monster still do alright. Mimic was about giant roaches, Sharktopus was about a, you know, sharktopus. There's Tremors, Anaconda, Cloverfield and gobs of others based around something that's mildly intimidating at normal size but much worse when it's truck sized. Right now, picture something that you don't want coming at your face, like a strange penis, and now imagine it's large enough to burrow through stone. Wow, that's intimidating.


Look how much topus I wield!

The reason anyone ever liked giant monster movies is because anything on its own has the potential to be frightening, except for bunnies, but when it reaches an ungainly size, we don't know what to do anymore. Everything in our world is geared toward shit staying the way it is. In fact, right now, if you happen to wear shoes bigger than about a size 14, you have some small realization of how awful giant things are to the rest of the world. We're just not equipped to handle stuff like that. Now if you make a bunch of giant things and, because they're giant, we just assume they have a taste for man flesh, well that's just horrifying. The problem is that's also sort of the end of the movie. There are giant bunnies/cod/Swedes and they want to eat people or stomp our cities to the ground and we have to fight them with the military or maybe J.Lo and most of our friends will get eaten before 90 minutes is up.

Giant monsters only have so many options in movies, and that's depressing because there's potential for more, there really is. It's just you don't see it so often.

What Can We Do?

Give that giant monster a job. A purpose in life. And have your protagonist respond logically. If all the bunnies on earth were as big as Buicks tomorrow, how would we reasonably adapt to that? Really big fences? Breed a race of even bigger dogs? Abandon faith and start worshiping a bloodthirsty rabbit god? There's a rich tapestry of potential ideas here. It's all fine and good to have one town in the middle of nowhere be swarmed by giant naked mole rats, but what if all the naked mole rats were huge and they started migrating into LA and Moscow, and maybe not even to eat us, but to destroy our crops and make giant babies that burrow into our homes and sleep there? That's a large-scale problem that we'd need to deal with. Make that movie, someone.

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Ian Fortey

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