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New Study Says College Kids Don't Think 1978 "Halloween" is Scary

Posted: October 27th, 2013 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
New Study Says College Kids DonSubmit Comment
John Carpenter's 1978 horror film "Halloween" is celebrating its 35th anniversary and highlighting everything that made the movie such a classic. Many consider the film one of the scariest of all time and point out that it's been an inspiration for the many slasher movies of today.

To see if "Halloween" is still scary, Yahoo! screened the movie for ten college-aged viewers from around the country who have never seen it and then recorder their reviews.

When asked to rate the film's scariness on a scale of 1 to 10, the movie received an unimpressive 5.4. Some said that they were truly scared, but most struggled to find what exactly is so scary about "Halloween," that they called "forgettable."

"It was extremely corny. I found it immensely more comical than scary," said a UCLA student. Another student from Glendale Community College added: "It was one of the LOL-worthiest movies I have seen in a while."

Most pointed out that the movie was so unbelievable that it was difficult to be scared by it. "The ambiguous identity/powers of Michael are just not believable enough to scare," said a viewer. Others added: "Why did no one ever turn on a single light anywhere?," "I kept thinking, where are the parents? Why aren't they with their kids on Halloween?," and "Did people [in the '70s] just get naked while cooking because they spilled something? And seriously, Jamie Lee Curtis, you couldn't have made sure he was dead those TWO TIMES you beat him?"

But the main reason why so few younger people find "Halloween" not scary is because today's slasher films are bloodier, more sadistically deranged and feature more advanced effects. Of recent horror films, the viewers rated scarier: "1408," "The Cabin in the Woods," "The Conjuring," "The Descent," "Evil Dead" (2013), "The Omen" (2006), "The Ring," "Saw," and "Sinister."

Source: Yahoo!


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Displaying 47 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
cress writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 8:28:49 AM

I love the original HALLOWEEN, but it doesn't really hold up well over time. The creepiest parts of the film are the ominous, eerie framing of Michael Myers in some scenes. The scares don't come very often, except near the climax, which is well executed.

Of the other modern horror films listed above, the only one I thought was good was THE RING. The sequel, though, sucked my o-ring.

cress writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 8:29:48 AM

Oh, and THE CONJURING. I liked that too.
Cannon writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 8:59:26 AM


The original Halloween represents intelligent film craft but, sure, it's innate scares are likely dated at this point. It's really a movie for both devoted carnosaurs of the horror genre and cinephiles in general.

It's an important film to study for its themes and technical execution, but it wouldn't even make my Top 5 from Carpenter.

In any event, teens and college kids think alot of things, none of which is of any interest to me.
Avirex writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 10:03:42 AM

"New Study Shows Most Studies are Fundamentally Inaccurate and Misleading"
SACdaddy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 10:26:30 AM

"But the main reason why so few younger people find "Halloween" not scary is because today's slasher films are bloodier, more sadistically deranged and feature more advanced effects. Of recent horror films, the viewers rated scarier: "1408," "The Cabin in the Woods," "The Conjuring," "The Descent," "Evil Dead" (2013), "The Omen" (2006), "The Ring," "Saw," and "Sinister."

Nice examples Alex. Not a single "bloody" slasher film in the mix. In fact half of your examples are completely bloodless pg-13 films. Not to say these films aren't somewhat scary (The Ring, The Conjuring, and Sinister are pretty freaky movies). They're just not scary for the reasons you stated (bloodier, more sadistic, and more effects). These films all had good stories and mythos behind them that they successfully tapped into for scares. They're good because they relied more on story than gore and played on the audiences own fear of the unknown which is a lot easier to do when you have more original plot synopsis. Even Saw with all its gore delivered a new type of horror scenario, one where the "slasher" never actually touches any of his victims.

Kids aren't impressed by Halloween because its just not original anymore. In fact I'll say they're not scared today of the film BECAUSE it was so original and scary when it was first released that every studio and director since has exploited, copied, and rebooted its concept so much that people have been desensitized to it. Its not just Halloween. Try to watch The Exorcist or the original Dawn of the Dead now without laughing and you'll see my point. These films were so inspiring that they influenced the next 2-3 decades of filmmaking so much their original appeal was somewhat diluted with each copy and reiteration that followed. Then you start putting these films' concepts in basic TV shows (Walking Dead, X-files) and video games (Resident Evil) and you create whole generations that are preconditioned to handle these old scare tactics.

To their credit, new directors that have "real" success scaring their audiences have tapped into some new sources of fear (ie found footage films like Blair Witch Project or situational horror like Open Water) or have played on old concepts to distract the audience before they lead them to new places (like Cabin in the Woods). The slasher film had its day, now its time to move on.

Just a few films I think college kids would still find scary today if they were catching them for the first time:

John Carpenter's The Thing -- practical effects add a lot to the thrills but its the film's paranoia and isolation that provides the real scares no matter who's watching.

Lost Boys -- Still some of the creepiest looking vampires to hit the screen. Camerawork is still unmatched to this day. Plus its fun which is extremely lacking in horror films today. Its still the best tweener horror film ever made.

Alien -- Still the king of all sci-fi horror. Isolation, completely unique monster, jump scares, gore, believable characters, very modern look.

Aliens -- Same as Alien but also just something really unnerving about watching a bunch of tough guys be reduced to scared little children.

American Werewolf in London -- Its dark humor dilutes the scares a "little" but no one can say that about that transformation scene or any of the scenes where the wolf is stalking people. (still a sh*tload better than any modern werewolf film, except maybe Ginger Snaps).

The original Nightmare on Elm St -- Still by far the most creative horror film ever made. The idea of being killed in your sleep will never not be scary....well if done right (new NOES was complete sh*t).

Pet Sematary -- Creepy dream sequences, creepy cat, creepy old man, creepy kid....just plain CREEPY!!!

Creepshow -- The last story with the roaches is still by far the scariest thing I've ever seen in a film. It was scary then and its scary now.

Witches of Eastwick -- not the scariest film in the world, that is until the chicks piss Jack off. The vomiting scene is just plain AWESOME and so is pretty much everything else that follows it.

For my tastes, modern horror really hasn't done much for me lately. But I wouldn't have a problem putting the first two SAW films, Cabin in the Woods, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and especially The Mist on a short list of great modern horror films.
velocityknown writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 10:40:09 AM

"LOL-worthiest"

f*ck everything.
alexgi writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 10:55:07 AM

@SACdaddy: Those aren't my examples. The college students named those movies.
swoooop writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 10:59:52 AM

The movie is overrated. The original Evil Dead is scary and holds on great. Even the remake of Evil Dead was pretty good. But Halloween??? N!
SACdaddy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 11:12:13 AM

"not scary is because today's slasher films are bloodier, more sadistically deranged and feature more advanced effects."

Ok Alex so what modern slasher films are they referencing? Scream wasn't any bloodier than the old slasher films. And I can't think of any other modern slasher films that get wide release. Clarify please.
SACdaddy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 11:24:43 AM

I Know What You Did Last Summer?

Urban Legend?

Candyman?

Wrong Turn?

All of these films are at least 10 years old, so I'm not sure what slasher films they are referring to. None of the films they referenced are slasher films so I'm confused what they are comparing Halloween to.

Maybe the new Friday the 13th which was just like the old Jason movies?
SACdaddy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 11:36:21 AM

If they are talking about the Hatchet films then maybe they have a point, but I doubt that more than a handful of them even saw those films :)
hellsing writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 12:24:42 PM

so basically these collage kids have no taste in good horror movies
OneTime writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 1:37:34 PM

is hasn't been scary since 1980
Danger-Lips writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 1:44:04 PM

@velocityknown - Exactly. I'd be nervous if I agreed with the people who describe the original Halloween movie as "LOL-Worthy.
BJsforeveryone writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 2:53:36 PM

Yearh...but have they ever seen Halloween...on weed ???
PORN-FLY writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 3:02:09 PM

since when do we care what the f*ck college kids think anyway?

they can barely wipe their ass

you have to screen these movies for high school kids

slasher movies are for teens
not for young adults who cant even handle their beer
BJsforeveryone writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 3:04:27 PM

@SACdaddy
Agree with almost all examples !
First Elm Street is probably my alltime favourite horror.
Pet Sematary gave me nightmares 89-90 !
Lost Boys is on my top 3(vampire movies).
Thing,Alien and Aliens- true dat !!
Eastwick, I dont really like, but American werewolf in London is funny,creepy and has a nice look (makeup, no CGI)
PORN-FLY writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 3:46:30 PM

almost all the movies they rated as scary were released when they were in their teens or younger

The Omen remake???
the bong water is for filtering-not for drinking

how was this conducted?
did they announce before-hand what this was?
or did they just announce a free screening then get reactions afterwards?

there are too many variables that need to be taken into consideration

Halloween is friggin classic for what it accomplished on its budget in its time
without youtube,Project Greenlight or KickStarter

RIP
Marcia Wallace
who knew you would go before Bob Newhart?
Zeroguy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 3:49:01 PM

It's funny that they clam on about realism yet found the over the top antics of ghosts in the Conjuring or the fast cutting lunacy of morons in Saw more scary than a classic.

Halloween is one of the best. Whether it's scary is up to who you are. I remember watching it and Alien back to back at 15, not feeling scared at all. Then years later, I gave them both another go. After thinking of the situations and letting myself get immersed into it, they really were freaking.

As for the films listed, that are "scarier", I think the only one that got me good was Sinister. Creepy visuals and sound design, good story with likeable, fleshed out characters and all around scary.
The Descent was a good one too. Got less scary once the creatures were introduced.
The fact that people found the Omen remake and Evil Dead remake, along with Cabin in the Woods and 1408 scary is pretty sad. A by the book/numbers remake, a gore fear ripoff with bland characters and no identity of a proper tone, a cynical breakdown of the horror genre (which was good until the last 10 minutes), and just another adaption of a King story that meanders around too much.

Horror is a sad genre nowadays in which gimmicks reign supreme in Hollywood and no talented filmmakers actually attempt to make one. You have to search for the buried treasures in horror. Such as someone like Ti West.
PORN-FLY writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:04:00 PM

best point so far ZEROGUY

and LOU REED DIED!
and the colored girls go,"boo hoo-hoo boo-hoo hoohoohoo-hoo hoohoo....


PORN-FLY writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:08:52 PM

lets see how fast they change their tune
when they see a guy walkin around their dorms at night like Michael Meyers
*brb*
zxz writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:13:09 PM

I think it's still scary. The fact that these college students don't find it scary simply shows how desensitized they and many young people are to violence. Yes, it's not the most violent horror film, but I think it is still very scary.
Zeroguy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:14:07 PM

f*ck you pornfly. You just ruined my day.

(I know, don't shoot the messenger. Still, f*ck you.)

RIP Lou.
PORN-FLY writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:26:33 PM

i was just as pissed reporting it Guy(dont ever change your avatar, btw)

just now finished playing Take a Walk On The Wild Side along with Can I Kick It(atcq)
Zeroguy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:34:05 PM

I spent Friday and Saturday listening to Berlin and Transformer. Now Perfect Day is going to be impossible to listen to and Sunday Mornin' takes on a whole new meaning.

(I won't. I could change it to a sexy pic of Brie but I prefer this one. She's more adorable.)
PORN-FLY writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:34:29 PM

upset not pissed*
PORN-FLY writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:36:52 PM

Sunday Mornin' takes on a whole new meaning.

true and poignant
Zeroguy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 4:57:49 PM

Speaking of Perfect Day, it was used I. The trailer for a recent slasher film, You're Next. A good one at that.
Filmed in 2011 but released this summer, it was a film that didn't change things and played by the subgenre's rules. But it was really good. It created characters that seemed real and relatable and the the disruption seemed like it could happen. And the horror element was good. The villains were creative and fun to watch.
And while it wasn't scary, for maybe some good jump scares, it was still a fun movie cause it didn't take itself too seriously.
Tanman32123 writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 5:10:34 PM

Idiots. None of these people understand that this was made in the 70's? This is how horror was back then, It was scary for its time. Don't bash it, Apprecite it.

Also, sinister, the omen and 1408 weren't scary whatsoever. These people have no taste or knowledge towards what "Good" horror really is.
BlackDynamite writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 6:40:04 PM

1408 is boring, and not scary. Cabin in the Woods is a f*cking Comedy, and Sinister relied on pure shock value in two scenes.

Why oh why did i have to be born with this generation of f*cks.

Literally the only credible movies they rated scarier was the Conjuring, Evil Dead, and to a lesser extent, The Ring.
BlackDynamite writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 6:48:41 PM

Make fun of me all you want for it, but the only movie in years that i have found truly scary, is the Strangers. Not just because of the movie itself, but the concept that a pair of people that you have never met before could break into your house unnoticed, and stay in the background of your life, with you unaware that they are engrossed in the most intimate, seemingly private parts of your life for hours, just to strike when you least expect it, and brutally terrorize and eventually murder you in your own home, simply because you were there.

That seriously scares the sh*t out of me. The movie made me question whether i was really "alone" for weeks.

CelluloidMan writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 6:55:16 PM

In related news, college students described the original Ford Model T as not much of a car with many declaring "Ha!! Like, as if!!.."
minkowski writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 7:28:09 PM

When I watched Halloween for the first time some time ten years ago I didn't find it scary either, so I can see why college kids, highly conditioned by years of watching films like Saw and Wolf's Creek, don't find a film, wherein someone romps around in a mask, terrifying or even frightening. They've seen much, much worse.


"Nice examples Alex. Not a single "bloody" slasher film in the mix. In fact half of your examples are completely bloodless pg-13 films"

Sac, Alex never said the following films were slasher flicks, he simply pointed out that most "kids" these days are pretty inured to rather tame horror films, such as Halloween. Had he placed a parenthetical break before his list, as he should have, there would be no reason whatsoever to conflate one thought with the following.
Tanman32123 writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 7:28:43 PM

Lmao BlackDynamite go change your pic, that's mine lol
Zeroguy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 7:57:36 PM

I highly recommend the work of Ti West. House of the Devil and Innkeepers are two very horror based films that thrill. Slow burners though.
You're Next has been said it's similar to Evil Dead II in that it has scary moments but it's more comedic and fun to watch.
And I'll plug a Canadian grind house flick, Hobo with a Shotgun. Not scary but just a filing riot and Rutger is great in it.
Zeroguy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 7:58:18 PM

Filing=f*cking
sedibus writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 8:12:31 PM

Yeah, the original Evil Dead is a really scary movie.

I was going to mention films from european directors like Possession by Zulwasky but then, a good example of a movie that holds the fury of time is Evil Dead, indeed.

I know, I saw it past midnight a few weeks ago.
kickit writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 9:58:39 PM

Zeroguy: I think if anyone is pointing to realism in the conjuring, it's in the use of practical effects, even the best cgi can stand out/look fake.
Zeroguy writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 10:40:14 PM

@kickinit
The effects weren't bad. Some of the cgi is sh*t.
The Evil Dead remake used mostly practical effects and it was still sh*t. They looked good but the movie that came with them was bad.
Chris_G writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 10:46:42 PM

I loved Halloween growing up. But in all seriousness, horror films are the ones that have the shortest shelf life.

Horror just doesn't stay timeless in a way that mystery, drama, or action might. I think comedy is similar. They are very timely subjects. The younger you are, the scarier every film is, because as you get older, you "know" more horror films and elements, so you need "more" to be scared.

Also, just aesthetically, the older a film is, the more different it's filming methods and overally style is from today's standards. Not just effects, picture, and sound, but even the way certain things are filmed. So the older a film is, the harder it is for modern audiences to 'engage' in the film. Being engaged in a film and it's story is a very important part in it being effective on you, and with horror films it is VITAL.

So yes, old horror films have virtually EVERYTHING working against them when shown to modern audiences.
KillerCOck writes:
on October 27th, 2013 at 11:53:11 PM

It was always funny never scary.
Just like the Exorcist. Its the most misunderstood Comedy ever filmed.
SACdaddy writes:
on October 28th, 2013 at 12:42:57 AM

Lets be honest guys, are any of us scared by horror movies anymore. I can say I was legitimately scared of them when I was a kid, but ever since I sat back and watched the first NOES film when I was around 11-12yo with my dad I've found most of them somewhat funny (or just entertaining). That was one of the best days of my life when I started to enjoy horror films for their creativity and ingenuity. I don't believe horror films have to scare you to be effective. I haven't been scared by one in several decades but I still love them. As long as the film is creative through its plot, action, and artistic mission I'll be entertained. Maybe the better question to ask these college aged kids was "Did you like Halloween? not Did you think it was scary?"
Zeroguy writes:
on October 28th, 2013 at 1:20:21 AM

Films like Gravity or Buried are scary to me.
Legit horror films, have their moments, but aren't anymore.

I'm just annoyed some college kids are too add filled to understand the themes of Halloween and complain about the teens being morons, when most films are jut always morons doing dumb sh*t.
KillerCOck writes:
on October 28th, 2013 at 2:48:09 AM

Session 9 Creeps me the f*ck out
sherv writes:
on October 28th, 2013 at 6:33:52 AM

I'm the same as alot of folks here, seen so many horrors over the years they cease to be scary, except for Insidious, The Conjuring & parts of Paranormal Activity series.
nuttie30xx writes:
on October 28th, 2013 at 11:02:51 AM

for me the old halloween 2 scared the sh*t out of me when i was a kid the bit when he was chasing her in the basement of the hospital #classic the stuff they do today is sh*t insidious lol cabin in the woods pfft the conjuring omg mama best comedy of the year
Belmondo Bogart writes:
on October 28th, 2013 at 11:36:13 AM

Oh, please! As if I'm going to listen to a bunch of snotty, bratty kids who say things like "LOL-worthiness." Kiss my behind.

I viewed both "Halloween" and "Halloween II" this month and I enjoyed them both immensely. It beats watching a horror picture from today that is essentially extreme porn.

Kids don't know anything about movies. They'd probably say "The Third Man," "12 Angry Men" and "Grand Illusion" are horrible films.

Bah.

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