A recent YouGov study revealed that one in three Americans have experienced some sort of supernatural phenomena and just over one in five have contacted a Psychic or Medium. These professionals can help you to “tap” into that psychic energy, providing you with information that may not be readily available to you within this plane.
The popularity of the mystery of these unseen forces is what has made the supernatural horror genre a massive hit, which really took off in the pop culture of the early 1980s, with iconic psychic characters such as Danny and Dick in the Stephen King horror classic, The Shining, still being relevant to today. However, with directors and screenwriters feeling the pressure to create something new and not just remake the classics, modern supernatural horrors often struggle to avoid supernatural cliches.
The Stephen King effect
It may not come as a surprise to learn that many of the best horror movies that star Psychics and focus on supernatural events are adapted from books by Stephen King. The horror writer has provided great source material for movies like Firestarter, which made more than $17 million at the domestic box office, as reported by Box Office Mojo. The film centers around a couple with psychic powers whose child, Charlie, played by a young Drew Barrymore, has pyrokinetic powers. While it does follow the cliche of the government conducting unruly and immoral testing to produce these results, it’s an entertaining thriller.
There have also been some brilliant TV shows adapted from Stephen King books or with the directorial help of the famous writer. In the 2002 mini-series, Rose Red, a group of people with psychic powers are invited to stay the night in a haunted house, uncovering its secrets and to see if the place really is haunted. In The Dead Zone, the psychic hero, Johnny, uses his powers to set right the future of mankind. These classics of the big and small screen remain as popular and acclaimed cult-classics – but where does modern cinema stand when it comes to adapting the supernatural genre for the 21st century?
Time for a new era
It’s been years since an all-round great supernatural horror was released, with many of what people used to classify as characters psychic abilities now being rebranded with a superhero-movie lens filter, such as Charles Xavier and Jean Grey. So many would argue now is a good a time as ever for a good re-brand of supernatural flicks.
In the real world, however, the use of Psychic and medium services is proving to be more popular than ever, as more people are using Psychics to find out more about their own lives. With sites like TheCircle, an online directory of highly rated Psychics, being easily accessible to those seeking to explore the spiritual and supernatural, these once niche services are becoming especially easy to access and understand.
What can filmmakers learn from the classics?
What made the classics so loved by fans is that they offered plots that few had seen before. Many may have read Stephen King’s books, but never really envisaged what their favorite characters might look like. It seems that today, the need for nostalgia has overpowered the need for originality.
This means that any filmmaker looking to make a supernatural horror will have to leave some of the classic tropes at the door to make the film a visionary success. Instead of regurgitating the same cliches about Psychics, for example, companies need to commission projects that take on the practice and illustrate it in a way it has never been seen before.
Some of the best movies and TV shows in the genre were arguably made more than a decade ago. However, it’s about time that these classics had some modern cinema rivals.
Categorised in: Horror Movies
This post was written by Nadia Vella