The Echoes

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A love letter to HORROR

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Horror movies bleed creativity; they are full of life and emotion that no other genre can stir.Horror movies bleed creativity; they are full of life and emotion that no other genre can stir. Dating all the way back to 1896, with the four-minute long silent film Le Manoir du Diable (The Devil’s Mansion), horror movies have frightened audiences for generations. Over the span of 121 years this genre has spawned multiple sub-genres. Popular “subs” include action, monster, zombie, paranormal, and psychological; and less tasteful genres like gore, slasher, and-the absolute wild card-experimental films. In the earlier years of horror, monster movies were all the rave. Who hasn’t seen the Invisible Man (1933) and other classics like The Mummy (1932), Frankenstein (1931), and the infamous Dracula (1931). This epoch lasted nearly 40 years until people began to lose interest in horror. But then, one frightful night, a new era was born… sort of. In 1951, though technically a monster movie, The Thing from Another World (later to be reborn as the 1982 film The Thing) sparked a new take on terror. The Thing from Another World very well may have been the first real groundbreaking action horror. This film portrayed an alien creature bursting into scenes and leaving a reign of terror in its tracks.  In the meantime, a team of scientists use their limited resources and raw wit in an attempt to survive in an arctic tundra.  Not only did it bring fresh meat to the table, but it also had an intense fire scene that remains suspenseful and impressive to this day. The 1960’s and 70’s produced some amazing experimental flicks such as Jaws (1975), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Eyes Without a Face (1960) and the breathtaking masterpiece, Alien (1979).  This rolling ball picked up momentum in the the early 1980’s with the total adoption of slasher films. The movies went by the names of Friday the 13th (1980), Halloween (1978), Final Exam (1981), Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and a whole list of underground horror films that deserve respect for their awesome special effects that partner well with their beautiful, cheesy acting.  Along with slasher films was the “cooler older brother” of the subgenres: psychological horrors. While slashers are fun to watch, psychological horrors cut deep. Films like The Shining (1980), Silence of the Lambs (1991), and The Sixth Sense (1999) ask heavier questions that focus more on the story and less on the special effects.  Modern day horror movies are usually a bit touchy. There are some good movies such as The Babadook (2014) and Get Out (2017), and then there are movies like Unfriended (2014) and Happy Death Day (2017) which are a little underwhelming.  Directors are starting to figure out horror isn’t just cheap jump scares, but rather a beautiful unwinding canvas that should be treated as such. No other genre can take quite a toll on one’s emotions like horror.  Humans have an instinctual fear deep within their DNA and horror allows us to tap into that fear safely and then walk away at the end of the movie.

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A love letter to HORROR