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    Rio Piedras Campus Interview

    1-How do you think horror films have affected popular culture throughout the years?

    JF: I actually feel that the opposite has been happening; the state of society has been influencing "horror movies" throughout the ages. For example in the 70's, the era of "peace and love", Charles Manson came about to poison the times with his violent cult killings. Result: movies like "Last House on the Left", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "I Spit on your Grave" arose, definitely a result of the times.

    Same thing with today's spat of horror films; we live in a society axed on fashion, superficiality, equal rights and "trend". All of those aspects are apparent in the likes of "Scream" and "I Know what you did Last Summer. Cell phones, girls keeping their tops "on", slick clothes, the token gay friend…all those ingredients are a result of our times. So in regards to your question, I think the opposite happens on a regular basis, society and popular culture affects horror movies, not the other way around.

    2-What do you think are the most influential horror movies of all time?

    JF: The influence of: The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Psycho and Alien can be heavily felt in a lot of today's horror movies. They are staples in the genre.

    3-What do you think is the problem with current horror films?

    JF: In a quest to be "politically correct", I feel that today's mainstream horror films have lost their edge and are trying too hard to appeal to a target audience of 13 years old (Darkness Falls is a great example), therefore leaving the more mature viewer in the dust

    We need to go back to the grittiness, depth and harshness of the past (70's and 80's). We're getting too many horror "Big Macs" tossed our way and sadly when films like MAY, Ricky 6 or House of a 1000 Corpses actually manage to tap into the edge that was the "hey days" of horror they get limited or non existent releases.

    4-How do you see the future of the horror film genre?

    Horror works in cycles, it repeats itself constantly. We just saw the slasher sub genre re-appear and disappear. Now its ghost stories and creature features that are the main thing. If you think about it, we keep getting the same thing but repackaged and sporting a tone that echoes the times we live in. Horror will never go away, its part of our culture; I just hope that it regains its "bite" in the future. Studios need to stop being so money driven when it comes to making their pictures and actually concentrate and respect the "content" more. There are just so many "editing" botch jobs in favor of appealing to a target audience (kids) that a hardcore horror fan can take in one year.
  Copyright © 2003 John Fallon. All rights reserved