Are horror movies still scary today or is it all jump scares?


Jordynn Blackwell

Senior Ruby Calabrese sits and watches the Conjuring 2. There are three total movies in the Conjuring franchise.

Jordynn Blackwell, Managing Director

Freddy Krueger’s razor-sharp claws, Michael Myers’s sinister presence, the threatening force of Poltergeist–when we think of these horror movie classics, what comes to mind is the adrenaline rush of jump scares and unimaginable terror. Now, recall the latest thriller movie you’ve seen: was it actually scary?


In the past few decades, movie making has soared to greater heights, especially with technology. In the past, filmmakers had to use a significant amount of creativity to make their spooky visions come to life. In the most recent era of filmmaking, special effects, CGI for example, have made the lives of filmmakers much easier when it comes to horrifying theatrics. 


“I see a difference between old and modern-day scary movies,” senior Stella Whitefield said. “You can definitely tell, in the sense [that] films today have better special effects than ones from a few decades ago.”


Though special effects make the filmmaking process less difficult, some favor older movies, arguing that special effects and jumpscares take away the quality of the film.


“I think horror movies have become less scary recently. They’re just jam-packed with jumpscares, so much so that it consumes the whole movie and it becomes less scary.”

— Alexis Martins


Classics such as “Scream,” “Halloween” or “The Shining” are frightening and creative in their own right. Nevertheless, films made in recent years, “Candyman,” and “A Quiet Place” for example, use the ability of special effects to make the supernatural “natural.”


No matter if it’s James Whale’s “Frankenstein”, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” or Jordan Peel’s “Get Out,” each era of film is scary in its own right. Though directors in the past definitely had to brew up more inventive ways to bring the supernatural to the big screen, you can’t disregard the progress the film industry has made, all thanks to special effects.


So when you watch a horror movie this fall, ask yourself what makes it scary. You will probably appreciate the differences between the new and the old in the film.