i-D magazine spotted quite an interesting trend in the field of horror movie making. It seems that all the remarkable horror films of the last decade got villains that are old people.
The author of this British magazine dedicated to fashion and youth culture noticed the curious trend after watching ‘X’, new slasher film starring Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow and Kid Cudi that hit the cinemas this March. From this A24's new hit to the recent 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' sequel, slasher villains in Gen Z horror movies are all old people. Similarly, in M. Night Shyamalan’s movies ‘Old' (2021) and ‘The Visit’ (2015) a figure of an old person is shown in dark, disturbing ways. Other A24’s horror hits such as ‘Hereditary’ (2018) and ‘Midsommar’ (2019) are just full of creepy old people.
There is an opinion that the presence of old people in new horror films plays on our collective fear of ageing – especially after a pandemic that has made us all acutely aware of our own mortality.
While one can avoid becoming a vampire, zombie or being murdered, becoming old is inevitable.
A24, the company that produced multiple ‘old people horror’ movies, have an incredibly strong Gen Z following. So why have horror directors seemingly decided that old people are the creatures currently striking fear into the hearts of the young? Probably the horror comes from the power old people have and the lack of control young people are made to feel over their own lives and realities.