The slash and stab
horror film, which relies primarily upon graphic violence to gain
a viceral reaction from audiences, reached the height of its popularity
in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Films such as 'Halloween',
'Friday the 13th' and their sequels and imitations, continued
to shock and amaze audiences with scenes of decapitations, slashings
and assorted mayhem, while racking up huge numbers at the boxoffice.
however,there has been a new trend within the horror film genre,
a trend which has seen blood and gore replaced by humor and the
shock of surprise. Among those filmmakers who have the adopted
the new trend is Sean Cunningham, producer of New World Pictures
'House' and the originator of the 'Friday the 13th' series of
" I think the slash
and stab film has pretty much run its course"
"For a while that particular
genre achieved a great deal of popularity. It seemed that people
were going to the theatre to be amazed and shocked, but after
a period of time, audiences started to become sensitized to the
violence. Once you take away the shock value of the violence,
the story must carry the picture. In most cases, that is just
the pictures adopting the horror/humor combination are 'Fright
Night', 'American Werewolf in London' 'The Return of the Living
Dead' and now 'House'
"Steve and I worked
to make a film that could reach a broad based audience, and could
be scary and fun, rather than scary and gruesome"
"It's kind of like when you're
a child and walking home at night and someone jumps out of the
bushes and says 'Boo!' First you are scared and then you laugh.
That's different from the guy jumping out of the bushes saying
'Boo!' then hitting you over the head with a tire iron. That's
painful and not much fun. It's very important to us that people
have fun with this film."