When was the last time you saw a horror movie that actually got your blood pumping or your adrenaline rushing? If you’re like me and in your late twenties this might be an experience you never have had. People can blame television and movies for desensitizing the last few generations but the fact of the matter is horror movies of today invest absolutely no time, or effort, into character development and even worse a lot of horror movies make the main characters (the ones we are supposed to be rooting for to stay alive) insufferable. I can think of maybe one horror movie in the last fifteen years that was genuinely scary and that was the first Silent Hill movie.
While the child actress was cringe worthy in that movie you had several characters that you felt for and could care about. They weren’t annoying (save for the young girl) and you really were rooting for them to succeed in their respective goals. For a movie to invoke any sort of emotional response a person has to become invested in that character or characters.
This is much easier to do in a book, I realize, but even an hour and a half long movie can have at least one or two characters who are not overly annoying or have so many faults they may as well be called “Sin McSinnerson”. I just cannot understand how horror movies have made it a trend to make the threat the one thing we cheer for. It seems counter productive in so many ways. Make us care about the heroes. Make us care about their friends and families. Let us be invested in their lives. I am not saying everyone in a movie has to be respected, but if you have an entire cast of characters that we disrespect so much we hope to see their head lopped off then we have an issue.