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Countdown to Halloween: A History of Modern Horror

Written by: Bobby Panzarella

Almost anyone you ask will tell you that horror’s Golden Era resides firmly within the ’80s (though the ’90s certainly held their own). How could it not be the ’80s? It was the decade of slasher villains, practical effects, and kickass synthesizer soundtracks. Not to mention just sheer greatness in numbers; we’re lucky to get one good horror movie a year nowadays! But one of the last gems of that era, Scream, has proven to be both a deafening end to the heyday of horror, and the beginning of something new.

Though it so effortlessly brought together and celebrated all the essential trademarks of the films before it, it effectively labeled the entire genre as silly and clichéd, not unlike what the Austin Powers films did for the James Bond series. Post Scream and its subsequent imitators (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend, etc.), the state of horror has been hard to nail down. I’ve broken things down to a few major categories to give you a better grasp on what horror means to the millennial generation.

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