Space is no longer the final frontier. After all, how many horror franchises have left Earth's atmosphere? Jason Vorhees, Pinhead, and even the Leprechaun have done battle in the cosmos.
The latest trend continues to be haunting (Insidious, The Conjuring, the upcoming Annabelle) and exorcism films (The Last Exorcism, The Rite, The Devil Inside, The Last Exorcism Part II), all well-trodden ground. The past decade has also seen slasher franchises rebooted (Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and John Carpenter collecting royalty checks from remakes of his films (Halloween, The Fog, and The Thing prequel...no one seems to want to touch Prince of Darkness). Universal Studios has big plans to revamp their Universal Monster classics line, starting with The Mummy in 2016. But the point is, we've really seen it all before.
So where can horror go from here? Has it all been said and done? Stephen King alone has been publishing horror for decades and some say even he has run out of ideas.
It's a difficult question to ask. For many horror fans, they're happy with the same tropes and most interest is derived from who is wearing the mask next. The rest of us just sort of groan when a trailer rolls showing the new possessed little girl on campus or creepy hillbilly that runs a gas station in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas.
If horror is to break new ground or revitalize itself, it's best chance is to go back to the basics and explore the current political and social climate. Stoker's Dracula was an outcry of Victorian England's sexual repression and xenophobia. Shelley's Frankenstein an examination of the Enlightenment and the growing influence of medical science. Romero's Dawn of the Dead practically beats you over the head with the symbolism of the shopping mall and 'brain-dead' consumer. This all being said, when I saw a trailer for The Purge, I thought horror was turning the corner.
It was high concept, yes, but it was born out of our current socio-economical climate here at home. Unfortunately, the film didn't execute and instead devolved into your standard home invasion tirade. The Wright brothers didn't cross the Atlantic on their first flight, either, so we'll look at The Purge as a half-step in the right direction.
If that fails, how about a horror themed superhero movie?