Horror has been one of the most successful genres in cinema for a long time. It appears that people just enjoy being scared when there is in fact no real danger. But recently cinema producers have been borrowing a technique first used in 1950’s to increase the fear factor by releasing these films in 3D, so you can actually ‘be in the film and feel the danger’.
The first films such as ‘House of Wax’ and ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ used the basic concepts and technology of 3D, including the geeky glasses that gave you a headache by the end. But eventually Hollywood gave up the ghost and 3D horror (along with most 3D) was relegated to amusement parks and quirky one off productions where it remained until recently.
It began with the release of ‘My Bloody Valentine’ last year and more recently ‘The Final Destination’. So why the return to 3D? Audiences have complained recently of the ‘it’s all the same’ mentality towards horror films and so with the majority of movie goers now too young to remember the first venture into 3D, now seemed an appropriate time. This has served to renew the debate as to if it’s a gimmick or an effective movie development.
Unfortunately opinion has been leaning towards it all being a gimmick. 3D horror just doesn’t add enough for the price at the cinema (sometimes up to £3 more per ticket!) There may be a couple of moments where you dodge or are completely horrified at the sight of some of the images escaping the screen and onto your lap- I particularly recall the result of a violent car crash and subsequent shattered glass flying through the air around me in Final Destination- but for the most part the audience ends up being bored halfway through or simply gets used to 3D and it no longer becomes an effective way to scare you.
But with Saw 7 being released next year in 3D, along with a re-imagining of ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and even retro horror ‘Piranha’, it appears the 3D horror hasn’t been killed off quite yet.