Horror Movies Aren't Scary
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Why Horror movies Aren't terrifying

I assumed that where I would laugh at the predictable moments, my friends would jump out of their seats.

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Why Horror movies Aren't terrifying

As someone who does not usually scare easy, I will admit that I love horror movies. I love the element of surprise when the monster jumps out from the dark hallway, the demon appears in the background of a reflection, or the killer makes their final attempt in the climactic scene.

Still, recently, I've come to the conclusion that many recent horror movies have fallen flat and simply aren't terrifying. At first, I thought that I was too jaded, that I've watched too many horror movies in the middle of the night, and that I think too much about the plot lines that distract from the shock value. I assumed that horror movies that I felt disappointed by scared others, that where I would laugh at the predictable moments, my friends would jump out of their seats.

So I was excited when I sat down with friends and watched "Veronica" on Netflix. The trailer reminded me of the aesthetic from "The Conjuring" combined with "Ouija," and reviews - though mixed, as always - made me hopeful for a scare with viewers claiming that "Verónica on Netflix is very unsettling, I had to turn it off last night and continue it this morning just so I could watch in daylight."

For those unfamiliar with the movie, the title character, Veronica, lives in Madrid, Spain. On the day of a solar eclipse, Veronica and two of her classmates sneak away from the student body and the nuns who instruct them, in order to play with ouija board to try and contact Veronica's deceased father. As expected, the girls contact a spirit, though the encounter deteriorates quickly, and Veronica needs to deal with the repercussions of a hostile presence brought on by the ouija boards, and protect her three adorable younger siblings.

Though the plot lent itself as predictable, my friends and I remained optimistic, that the movie would live up to the hype as one of the scariest movies ever. However, after sitting through the movie for nearly two hours, we all voiced our disappointment; this was not the thriller we thought we would receive. That is not to say that we didn't enjoy the movie - on the contrary, I thought that the acting was believable, especially for a movie based primarily around children protagonists, though several of the scenes hinged on the humorous, such as when Veronica appears to walk across the pages of a book she reads.

At first, the movie held a lot of promise. However, by the conclusion, we were only left wondering why reviews claimed that watchers had to turn the film off, too scared to continue to the end. As one of my friends commented, the climax felt as if it would be an establishing scene for another horror movie - that is, where Veronica brought out its final stops, it would have acted only as mounting fear for another film. I can only conclude that Veronica was entertaining, in that I enjoyed predicting how each scene would play out, but I do not find that it was revolutionary.

Which then begs the question - why wasn't it terrifying to me? As with other movies, I think that there are several reasons why I wasn't scared. For one, I find that many horror movies fall into one of two categories. There are several films that like to jump right into the demons, killers, and blood. These lack plot, are meant only to terrify and forgo story for jump scares. On the other hand, there are those that have a good premise and appear to want to tell a story but are bogged down by a desire to also create suspense and drama. However, these movies are often front-loaded with exposition, and the scares leave little impact because they are introduced mainly towards the end, packed together in rapid succession, and the plot never seems to come to fruition.

I think "Veronica" suffers from the latter issue. The beginning introduces many promising ideas from a dead father, an eclipse, and a blind nun who seems to have extensive knowledge about demons. However, at the end of the movie, all of these elements leave more questions. What happened to Veronica's father? What was the point of having them communicate with a demon during an eclipse? What happened to the nun named "Sister Death?"

On the whole, "Veronica" is a good movie. But do I think it was scary? No, not in the least. There were too many tropes which lacked polish to make them stand out, and a story that seemed unfinished. Instead, I think I'll stick to The Conjuring or Sinister, which have filled my need for story and scares alike, no matter how many times I watch them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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