July 14, 2017 8:32 am

It’s pretty obvious that the main task of horror is to scare the living daylights out of us. Much as comedy is supposed to make us laugh, it’s usually a pretty good indication of how good a horror movie is when it has you hiding behind the sofa.

So why is it that many traditional horror motifs have become diluted in mainstream culture? It seems that there’s an endless procession of lame teen dramas that all attempt to be ‘scary’, and with the arrival of ‘spooky’ online games and these lightweight horror films, it looks like we’re going to have to search a little harder for our truly terrifying entertainment.

TV turn-offs

Television has been the biggest cause of the dilution of horror entertainment. Whilst zombie series like The Walking Dead managed to provide adequate amounts of fear, shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scream Queens and The Vampire Diaries have turned many of our most iconic monsters into mindless hunks.

And although the different tales in American Horror Story have a cool connected timeline that’s a little more interesting than other shows, it still has some way to go before it delivers some pure terror.

Unscary movies

There’s been a similar dilution of horror in our multiplexes too. Perhaps ever since Scream was released in 1996, there’s been a predictability about many mainstream horrors with banal movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Final Destination and Jennifer’s Body all feeling pretty underwhelming.

This is why movies like last year’s Don’t Breathe were such a refreshing taste of old school horror, and with even a goat becoming a new horror superstar in The Witch, it seems as though there’s still plenty of inventiveness out there.

Gaming futures?

The gaming realm also has a pretty disparate choice of horror treats. Console hits like Until Dawn gleefully used many of the teen horror movie clichés like the group of teenagers staying in an abandoned shack in the woods.

You can see evidence of similar “clichés” in other parts of the gaming industry too. In a recent list of no deposit slot bonuses you can even find diluted characters like ‘Elvis Zombies’ in Lost Vegas game, or the child eating witch but turned sweet, from the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales Hansel and Gretel.

It remains clear from this that concepts which used to be moral tales, or terrifying horror, have been watered down to what is in effect caricatures and light entertainment through most of the gaming industry.

It seems like augmented virtual could be the one escape from fluffy horror, and be the one outlet which will offer truly terrifying gaming entertainment. With horrendous kickstarter projects like Night Terrors in the pipeline, and calls for restraint in the latest generation of VR horror games, it looks like we could be getting our hearts racing over the coming months.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella