Over my previous two posts I have compared the horror outputs of Europe and the USA with a view to finding which has been better for the years 2008/09. In this post I will attempt to reach the conclusion. America made some excellent films in this time, though they are often clouded by shoddy remakes and sloppy sequels.
However, when the films were good they were very good. Some of the films stateside really were a breath of fresh air in what sometimes felt like a smothering smog of mediocrity. New writers, producers and directors proved that if they are given a chance they can create something good fun and entertaining, something you want to watch. The problem at the moment across the Atlantic is that these opportunities are often reserved for the privileged whose name will pull in the crowds, if the film itself doesn’t. There is no question that Europe released some excellent horror films in that period and if I had looked at 2007 too then, I believe, they would have been run away winners. Film makers have be given a little more freedom, a little more trust and my goodness the results show. Sequels and remakes are present in Europeancinema but they are in the minority with new, original ideas given preference. There is no doubt, for me, that Europe is the winner of the contest. Not just because I believe their output to be better but, also because of a growing trend in American horror to remake European films.
Two of the best received films in the US were ‘Quarantine’ and ‘The Strangers’, remakes of Spanish chiller ‘Rec’ and French home invasion film‘Them’ respectively. Although ‘The Strangers’ is very liberal in the telling of the story and moved away from the original, the premise and plot isessentially the same. The worrying thing for Hollywood is that this trending looks set to continue with ‘Let Me In’ virtually lurking on our doorstep, it appears that Euro remakes may be the next big thing in American horror similar to the Asian influence we saw not too long ago. America needs something new and different to get itself back on its perch in horror terms and remakes are not the way forward. They need action quickly, before the gap between themselves and Europe widens further.