HORROR MOVIES OF THE ‘00s
The New Genre Retrospective Novel From Adrian Roe
It was inevitable, really. Just a matter of time. Any art form that evolves and adapts to cater for an audience that has grown and expanded well beyond its original scope will eventually become a very different proposition entirely. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that. This cultural shift in demand and expectation leads to new ideas, new subgenres and new experiences that are not only enjoyed by many, but are also essential for the continued survival of a genre that has become more adaptable and diverse than any other in cinematic history. By the 1990s horror had become so popular, so acceptable it had almost become a parody of itself. To be clear, this isn’t intended as a negative point, but simply an observation of the cultural significance of the genre during this period. Mainstream acceptance allowed filmmakers to not only reach new audiences, but to also create entertaining and engaging movies that appealed to a whole new generation of horror fan.
To a certain degree horror had become somewhat sanitized, accepted and absorbed back into the system. A system that it would once appear to challenge was now welcoming these movies with open arms. Horror was safe, and no longer represented counterculture in the way it once did. So yes, a change was inevitable. Everything comes full circle, and the horror genre is no exception.
By the end of the ’90s you could sense that the floodgates were ready to burst open, as the ‘00s unleashed a new era of subversive horror. Torture Porn, New French Extremity and horror franchises that would leave their mark for years to come. It will also be noted for the huge resurgence in remakes. Films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and Dawn of the Dead (2004) were all symbolic of the fact that horror was very much returning to its roots, and a much darker time. Genre pieces from overseas were also making an impact, with films like Let the Right One In (2008) and The Orphanage (2007) offering a stylish and intelligent premise that had been largely absent during the ‘90s. British horror would once again find its voice, with movies like The Descent (2005) and Creep (2004) finding an audience both domestically, and abroad.
It can be said that the ‘00s represented an important turning point for the genre, one that we can now revisit within the pages of this book.
(Last Updated – 22nd Feb)