Night of the Living Dead and the Day Before it

Classics are doing better than new horror movies.

Spencer Abrams, Journalist

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  Almost 50 years ago, zombies entered American culture through a 1968 independent horror film entitled Night of the Living Dead. This movie is well known, and is considered a cult classic.

  In 2017, few zombie movies were released and played in theaters. One of the more notable releases is The Cured, which came out in theaters September 24.

  Both movies follow an interesting concept. The former introduces zombies in the American context, and the latter follows what happens after a cure is found.

  Unfortunately, after you get past the fact that both are underfunded, zombie horror movies, the similarities stop. A 50 year gap can create a large divide between movies.

  Despite the the fact that they both introduce fresh concepts, Night of the Living Dead performed much better than the 2017 release. Why is this?


File:Night of the Living Dead (1968) theatrical poster.jpg

The original theatrical release poster of Night of the Living Dead, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

 When asked, two-thirds of high school students preferred movies before 2010, and that’s probably because of the fact that fresh ideas are hard to come by.

  Why would you watch The Scarehouse, a movie released in 2014, when you could watch Saw or Hostel, which came out in 2004 and 2005? Saw and Hostel are known for being good bloody fun, so there’s no reason to experiment with a movie that already has bad reviews.

  Critics do rate recent horror movies lower than their predecessors, and that’s because of the underfunded factor of movies. They see the success of Saw, a movie with a budget of just over one million dollars, and try to make underfunded movies like it.

  For example, the 2016 movie Happy Death Day had a budget of just under five million dollars, which is low for a modern film.

  Spiderman 2, which is about an average movie with an average budget, got 202 million dollars. It grossed $373,585,825, which does make for a very nice profit of about 171 million dollars.

  However, making a movie that big takes time, so the actual money earned is less over time. If you earn a million dollars in a week, it’s more profitable than 2 million dollars in a month.

  Hence, the Saw series are filmed in a very short time, but make decent profits in that time; the first Saw was filmed in just 18 days and made 55 million dollars which is a very good profit.

  Making movies is a very complicated business, but, because it is a business it’s all about making money. This lust for money is what has recently increased the amount of low-effort, crappy movies, which is why classics are solidified in our minds as the go-to horror pick.

  Movies that are considered classics include The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Halloween, 28 Days Later, The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Ring, and, for older movies you might not have heard of, Willard, Eraserhead, When a Stranger Calls, and Pieces.

File:The Exorcist TV series logo.png

Logo of the Exorcist, By Fox, 20th Century Fox Television, Morgan Creek Productions, New Neighborhood ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  Not all of these are well-known, but they all do something interesting enough to be worth watching, and some of these made horror movie history. Give them a try!

1 Comment

One Response to “Night of the Living Dead and the Day Before it”

  1. Nick K. on November 22nd, 2017 10:02 am

    Classic horror movies are better than modern horror movies only reason i say this is because of the fact that most horror movies in the modern age are either sequels or a remake to a classic. The Blair Witch Project as you stated was a “consider classic ” and was remade but in my opinion could never compare to the original so all in all yeah classics are superior to modern day.


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