A horror-savvy colleague of mine posted this entry on her Facebook notes last year and I think it's a fairly accurate take on the younge...

Kids Today and Their Favorite Scary Movies

A horror-savvy colleague of mine posted this entry on her Facebook notes last year and I think it's a fairly accurate take on the younger generation's tastes in horror, much to the detriment of the genre. It seems that kid's nowadays actually enjoy the remakes and torture porn fare Hollywood has been pumping out in spades, with no respect or even knowledge of the classics.



Yesterday in my Composition I class I had my students read a sample cause and effect essay that was written by Stephen King. In it, King discusses why we watch horror films. Since we're nearing Halloween, my students started breaking off into side discussions about scary movies. After a failed effort to redirect the conversation, I asked each student to share their favorite scary movie so that we could have the conversation and move on. My surprising results:

Three students chose "Saw" as their favorite. Really?

A student voted for "The Strangers," despite its poor reviews. Her reason? It's a totally plausible scenario.

One student chose "Quarantine." This is the only movie that was challenged, as one of her classmates had an outburst from across the room: "That movie sucks!"

Two students voted for "Jeepers Creepers."

A student said that he really likes "Signs." I know that I'm opening myself up to mockery, but I like it, too.

A student chose "The Last House On The Left." I asked if she was referring to the original or the remake, and she said that she'd only ever seen the remake.

A student cracked me up and said, "Anything with zombies." I asked if there was a particular zombie movie. Nope. All of them.

Two students said that they don't have a favorite scary movie. They don't watch them.

What about "Poltergeist"? "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? "Alien"? "Evil Dead"? Do kids today watch horror classics? None of my students' top horror flicks would crack my top ten. I should have known that my Comp I class's scary movies would differ from mine when I introduced the article by Stephen King. Less than half of them knew who he was.


6 comments:

  1. I really want to try this in my mom's class. She teaches middle school. I wonder what they would say

    ReplyDelete
  2. I personally don't see this as the end of the world.

    Kids are gonna like new movies because they are new. Most kids just like most adults just go to whatever is playing at the multiplex. It happens.

    What we watch may inspire future tastes. I base this on my own experience, watching modern slashers when I was younger, Valentine, Urban Legends, Scream 1-3, eventually got me into watching all sorts of slashers. Of course my favorite movie series of all is Friday the 13th so I may not be a sign of hope. :)

    But I mean I guess my end speculation would be that what we watch can change and newer movies may become the old standards for teens but who knows what they may go back and look at. The kid who got dissed for liking Quarantine may inspire others to check it out, they may end up renting [Rec]. The fact that Stephen King is being taught in school when I read in high school all of it's being banned is a sign of something and may inspire somebody to get into him. I don't know, I just...none of this really worries me that much.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I should have known that my Comp I class's scary movies would differ from mine when I introduced the article by Stephen King. Less than half of them knew who he was.

    Okay if that's not a case for Goverment Euthanasia or at least a multi-person "Pimpslapping" OR a Pimpslapping FOLLOWED by some Euthanasia, I don't know what is!! LOL ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with forestofthedead. As far as modern horror goes, you could certainly do worse than choosing Jeepers Creepers and The Strangers. I grew up in the '80s/90s and am still forcing myself to develop an appreciation for some of the 30s-early '60s classics. As much as I prefer something like the original TCM, you can't really expect 8th graders to have tracked it down when the remake is so much more readily available.

    ReplyDelete
  5. At the risk of repeating, this all seems very obvious to me, kids are not going to research the influences of the films they like and a dusty old VHS tape looks the same to them as a dusty on 8mm reel with Dracula or a silent black and white did to us. Appreciation comes with age.
    If one of those kids turned around and referenced Faust (1926) then I think it would have been worth commenting on.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The funny thing about this is, most kids nowadays dont know about the originals because they are either not aware of them or have not done their research. With remakes/reboots of horror franchises, the film industry is keeping these franchises alive for the new generation of movie goers. Eventually, as we grow older, younger audiences will be seeing remakes of Horror Movies we are seeing today such as Saw, Hostel and Jeepers Creepers (to name but a few) in the future. Of course if its announced as a remake, these younger audiences might want to see the originals.

    Its like with me, I did not know anything about Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street till after I watched Freddy vs Jason, as dire a film it was, it introduced me to these two movie franchises and made me appreciate Freddy Vs Jason for that.

    ReplyDelete