• Rose East

My beef with modern horror

Updated: Nov 21

Really this is a problem with a lot of modern movies and television shows. To put it simply: the endings don’t make sense.

Shows and movies will have episodes upon episodes of amazing story build up with clues and hints leading up to a sensible ending. Things will be building and despite you having guessed the ending you’re still going to finish watching because it makes sense. All of a sudden like GPS switching directions on you at the last minute, “turn left NOW,” and the story has gone completely off track. What you thought to be aliens is really a sentient television creature that wants to harvest human bodies for some unknown reason (Await Further Instructions, 2021). The person who had been obviously cleared of being the killer based on evidence the movie has shown you from minute one is suddenly holding the weapon. Or worse yet, you learn that the whole movie of atrocity and mystique is a fucked up spoiled brats movie “set” where he acts out his sadistic desires to create a real life horror movie (A Classic Horror Story, 2021). What makes it worse is that once this big, nonsensical reveal occurs the story doesn’t take nearly enough time to explain what the fuck just happened. The events fold out how they would after any climax and then just like that screens fade to credits and you’re left underwhelmed at best and utterly annoyed if you’re me.

I would rather a movie give me the predictable ending that I anticipated but it’s done well with maybe a few tweaks on the details than to decide that outsmarting me is more important only to go completely off the rails. What could’ve been a great movie is now marked by an absolutely bizarre and pretentiously deceptive ending. It is the Game of Thrones curse of modern film. Spend most of your watchers time building to a certain point and then decide that you just HAVE to make the ending unpredictable. How many people do you know that rewatch Game of Thrones after the shit show of the final season? Me personally, not many.

I see this curse tainting horror more and more as new movies and shows come out. Ones that were marked as unique and intriguing by the general public fall to shame upon viewing. My plea to the community of creators far more talented than I could dream of being is to not try to outsmart but to go with the brilliantly devised take you had already. I can only speak for myself but the story that makes sense is the story I want to see.