WIHM: The New Horror
By: Lachelle Redd
From black and white to color, ghost stories, monsters, slashers and everything in between, horror has evolved to mean different things to different people. Some like a good old fashioned monster film, while others prefer more paranormal or supernatural characters. In the early days, onscreen terror was way more subtle, but little did they know, their characters would later become legends. With beings plucked from the local literature or folklore, vampires, zombies, serial killers, and other mythical creatures soon became the star of many Friday night movies.
Over the years, some stories would be told time and time again for the newer generations. Vampires evolved from monstrous, half dead creatures that slept in coffins to beautiful, college attending, eternal bad asses. Even Frankenstien garnered a newer approach as the years marched along. Always an experiment of sorts, the creature evolved to be more than just a mindless animated corpse. Werewolves soon followed and the traditional shape shifting beasts got a backend story that consisted of servitude to the vampire race or a family curse, depending on who told the tale.
Truth is, horror must evolve to meet the ever changing tastes of the newer generations. Stories that once pleased the more seasoned movie goer required an upgrade to meet the body count and/or blood lust of the new audience. Or as in the case with Twilight, teen angst in its rawest form. This set the stage for sparkling vampires which erupted much criticism between the old and new. Movies like the Lost Boys, near Dark, Dracula and Fright Night, remained true to the theme of Vampires being blood-thirsty, night-time killers. But this new set were “vegan” and kind hearted and wanted nothing but peace with their human and werewolf counterparts.
The series The Vampire Diaries also brought a new twist on the tale. In this popular show, the vampires had an extensive back story that was more like a soap opera. With new twists and turns each week, audiences were enthralled with Damon and Stefan Salvatore. With two dashing lead characters, the series boasted a long run and made household names of its stars. But vampires weren’t the only ones to see a rewrite.
The Underworld series gave werewolves and vampires a place on the screen together and soon we learned that a treaty existed between the two. But as usual, greed and power overcome one of the clans and the war is on again. Betrayal and lies bring about a new breed and new stories to tell.
In addition to wars and full moons, Ginger Snaps taught us that blood was truly thicker than water. Sisters, trapped by a blood curse when one of them is bitten, teach us the real meaning of sibling love and sacrifice. Not just bound by the moon, the curse was eternal and only removed in death.
The Slasher genre got an upgrade with movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th and the audience was on board in a big way. With sequels that would last well into the next decades, writers scrambled to find new ways to keep the slashers relevant and even scarier for the newer crowds. Everyone’s favorite slasher, Freddy Krueger, also saw a reboot that was met with mixed emotions.
In the end, everything must evolve, even our favorite characters and storylines. That’s what keeps the genre alive and new. There will always be arguments about who was the better Freddy, Jason or Michael. Not to mention, if vampires should exist in the sun or remain in the dark as a night crawler. Should Frankenstein’s monster have a stronger purpose or is he just his master’s experiment? With so many tales to tell, the genre will remain alive and kicking.
Lachelle Redd is an Indie author from Florida. Her works include fantasy, horror and science fiction. Not only does she produce her own material but she also enjoys working with fellow authors providing assistance as a ghost writer and consultant.
Redd currently has several novellas on Amazon for purchase. The majority of her work is novella length but make no mistake she packs a wallop of a story into a condensed format.
Redd’s current project will be a blog to help promote other artists and further her own platform in social media. After taking a break and taking care of family and self issues, it’s time to get back to work.
She can be found at the following:
Blood Reign Lit Magazine on FB
Lachelle Redd on Amazon.com
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The Horror Tree is a resource for horror authors which was created in 2011. The main goal when starting the site was to include all of the latest horror anthologies and publishers that are taking paying submissions. A resource useful for both new and experienced publishers alike looking for an outlet for their written material!