It's true, movies like Saw, The Devil's Rejects, and Hostel seem to be the antithesis to the WB-friendly, late-90's, ironic horror trend. As Eli Roth, the writer/director of Hostel and Cabin Fever, says:
I think scary movies are back. People clearly don't want to see a horror movie to laugh.Trends come and trends go...just ask Macarena, wherever she is. I agree wholeheartedly, in particular with the second statement (I'm in more of a "Well, we'll see, won't we?" place with the first.). My point of contention is that 'gore' does not equal 'scary'. 'Visceral' and 'grisly' don't equal scary...they equal gross. I don't refuse to watch a movie with gore, but I certainly don't get bummed out if a flick is blood-free.
I love Dawn of the Dead, with all it's blood and guts and the chomping on them, but it's The Haunting that scares me...and it's got exactly one visual special effect- and no blood (of course, I'm talking about the 1963 version, silly). When Jason Voorhees squeezes some unfortunate guy's head until the unfortunate guy's eyeballs pop out and fly towards me in magnificent 3-dimensional fashion, I say "Eww!" with much glee. But when Michael Myers stands in the doorway covered in a white sheet, stark still but audibly breathing, I get goosebumps...and on and on. The movies that keep me up at night tend to be the most 'tame' blood/effects/gore-wise: The Haunting, Halloween, The Changeling, Black Christmas, The Ring, The Blair Witch Project...
I haven't seen Hostel yet, and honestly, I don't know if I will. I'm really not into watching people being tortured. People getting their heads punched off by Jason, please, hell yes- bring it on. It's fun- fake fun. But hours of torture and cruelty? That's not fun to me, and it's certainly not scary.
Am I in the minority on this? According to Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations I am. As he states in the article:
With video games and all the entertainment options, it really takes a lot to impress audiences today. The level of violence and gore cannot be too intense for a lot of people. Horror fans in particular are very keen on seeing the most intense, violent images they can.These kids today, I swear.
You can read the article in its entirety right here.