Do the benefits of unnecessary special effects in horror movies outweigh the drawbacks?

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Answered by: Jasmine, An Expert in the Horror and Suspense Category
I believe that this question is to be of great controversy among those interested in horror and suspense, but for me, the answer is no. At this day and age you can rarely find a horror movie that doesn't require the use of extensive, unnecessary special effects in order to stay true to its plot. Although interesting and advanced special effects may be appealing to viewers at first, especially todays teenagers, is it worth sacrificing one of the most defining elements of the horror genre? The feeling of true terror the audience walks away with once the show is over. A viewer may be initially entertained by the outstanding quality of todays special effects, but what can the movie industry expect audience members to take away from a film that relies solely on its special effects to captivate an audience? Let's think about a few iconic films belonging to the horror genre. We'll start with a movie commonly referred to as one of the scariest films of all time, The Exorcist. This movie truly represents what defines the horror genre. In a time where special effects were rare and of poor quality, this book based story affected people on a level hard to reach, no matter what technology you are using in the production of a film. This movie made your blood run cold and you spine tingle. It made you think about what you really fear, which is perhaps the most terrifying feeling an audience can take with them. Even without the presence of mythical creatures, extreme amounts of blood and gore, or grotesquely deformed characters, this film has left a legacy that few films have ever dreamed of living up to. The recently released independent movie Paranormal Activity successfully used classic horror techniques that require little to no special effects, such as unexplained noises, objects that move by themselves, and unseen evil to give audiences the thrill of the moment, without forfeiting the lasting terror that follow viewers everywhere they go. This film was able to reach out to and terrify an entirely new audience by using the most basic fear inspiring actions, actions that take viewers back in time; back in time to a film era where the fear inspired by a film wasn't left behind once the credits had rolled, which brings me to my final point. By focusing on drawing in an audience with intense, often unnecessary special effects, are movie makers losing sight of what really defines a horror film? Is the need to initially spark a viewers interest in a film worth more than the thoughts it leaves in the minds of the audience? As a fan of the horror film genre, I believe that a movie cant really be considered a part of the horror industry when the only lasting impression it leaves on the viewers is how advanced the special effects of the film were. In my opinion, a film is not truly horrifying unless its the last thing the audience thinks about and the main reason behind the terror and paranoia that stays with them long after the film has concluded.



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