Halloween: The night the cash cow came home

Halloween; the time of year to wear scary costumes (including the one bloke who thinks a skeleton t-shirt counts as a costume), go to horror themed parties and binge on sugar; the time of year when the supernatural world is at its closest, and souls revisit their homes.

As such, Halloween has become a veritable breeding ground for horror movies. With an almost guaranteed audience of horror fans craving their yearly fix, the film industry complies most readily.

However, compared to the excellent horror films of the past, the movies released around Halloween of recent times tend to play on film goers desire for cheap, late night scares, by trading on names that people will pay for; with reboots and dire sequels that never should have been made (Halloween: H20 I’m looking at you) filling the Autumn listings every year.

Such sequels tend to care little about the despair of ardent fans, with iconic characters and mythologies tainted by poor execution. For the cynics amongst us, the conveyor belt films of Halloween are only after our money, rather than our fear.

This year there’s yet another Paranormal Activity being released, the fourth in the franchise, which will undoubtedly fail to have the charm and chills of the original: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D – a sequel to one of the most famous films of all time, is also on the horizon, with what looks to be a very sketchy plot (isn’t Leatherface a little past it now?). But where there’s a trick there’s always a treat, and with it there is hope; this year we have the promising stop motion Frankenweenie – an original Burton take on horror.

Terrible horror movies have become somewhat of a Halloween staple. It is depressing to see so much unoriginality and fake blood around, though the odd gem can more than make up for it.

Ignoring the pessimism, perhaps All Hallows’ Eve is special, the one night when a plotless gore fest can be received gratefully. Adopt the mindset of a hyper, young child, light the pumpkins and go and get spooked.


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May 2021
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