Darkest Before Dawn

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Darkest Before Dawn

September 1, 2012

“When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth (Romero, 1978). From shuffling corpses to gallons of fake blood, the 1978 "Dawn of the Dead" and its 2004 counterpart, demonstrate the vast difference in horror films of today and those of the 1970's. While the original was a catalyst for a paradigm shift in the world of horror cinema, the 2004 remake is a bold reminder of how far the genre has come. While sharing a title and an overall basic plotline, the similarities stop there. Separated by more than two decades, these two films are a prime example of the speed at which technology and society are advancing. If horror films have said anything about society, it is that society’s fascination with violence and gore transcends generations. When George Romero released his sequel to his classic “Night of the Living Dead” in 1978, it was considered extremely graphic and horrifying to audiences, to the point of controversy (Triggs, 2006-2012). Today, the original film does not have the same effect on viewers and is thought of as campy and almost funny. The 2004 film shows that as time moves on, the same techniques used in the original will no longer captivate the imaginations of audiences. With the rapid advancement of technology and how readily available it is, movie-goers expect more from films. Movies as a whole have become extremely violent and graphic. This shows a change in what society considers acceptable entertainment. The horror genre as a whole has shifted toward visually frightening audiences instead of inducing fear on a psychological level. During the time frame of the original, technology severely limited what could be put on the big screen. Blood was cornstarch and red dye. Explosions were elaborate special effects that were often...
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