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Why do horror movies lack firearms?


Priory_of_Sion
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Are guns just not scary? Horror movies like to be unique in coming up with twisted ways to torture and kill people. However, there never seems to be any guns besides being useless props used by the protagonists. Does society feel that guns can't be used by twisted individuals to cause pain? I'm pretty sure they accept that they can, but are axes and knives really more frightening? It would also make more sense for a villain to use a gun in some situations as some horror movie weapons are just idiotic.  

 

 

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For a good idea as to why, go watch the house of wax remake.

Spoiler: one of the protagonists finds a crossbow and shoots the serial killer to death.

For another reason, bear in mind that prop guns are really fiddly and expensive compared to, say, a prop sword. Better to spend your pyro budget on squibs.

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There are plenty of horror movies where the antagonist has a gun.

 

They're sort of their own thing, but they're recognizably horror films.

 

1)  They have tons of sequels, and the sequels focus on the same antagonist each installment.

 

2)  There is an air of the supernatural about the killer.  Despite usually being armed only with a handgun, he can cut down swathes of victims who have automatic rifles.

 

3)  No matter how stupid or impractical the killer's actions, his panic-stricken victims always do something dumber and he always gets them.

 

There are some odd conventions though.  Rather than a faceless slasher, these films usually focus extensively on the killer's face.  He's usually quite handsome and portrayed as being impossible suave.  And he has weirdly specific tastes in mixed drinks.

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There are plenty of horror movies where the antagonist has a gun.

 

They're sort of their own thing, but they're recognizably horror films.

 

1)  They have tons of sequels, and the sequels focus on the same antagonist each installment.

 

2)  There is an air of the supernatural about the killer.  Despite usually being armed only with a handgun, he can cut down swathes of victims who have automatic rifles.

 

3)  No matter how stupid or impractical the killer's actions, his panic-stricken victims always do something dumber and he always gets them.

 

There are some odd conventions though.  Rather than a faceless slasher, these films usually focus extensively on the killer's face.  He's usually quite handsome and portrayed as being impossible suave.  And he has weirdly specific tastes in mixed drinks.

Up until the last paragraph I thought you were talking about Westerns.

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Horror movies - like a bad dream - focuses on the individual being powerless to stop the killer/evil. If it were as easy as calling 911 or having Jamie Lee Curtis empty a .357 Magnum into Michael Myers' face then it wouldn't be much of a movie.

The settings of the films also take place in areas generally bereft of practical weapons; gun free zones if you will. They're at summer camp. Or the killer chooses a couple of teenagers who have just had sex. Or it is an Alien on a space ship.

If the villain is supernatural in nature - vampire, werewolf, mummy, etc - the movie will ALWAYS feature a gun. Usually in the hands of a police officer, soldier or some authority figure where it will be emptied uselessly at the villain and then tossed futilely at the unstoppable horror. This is done in order to portray Mankind's futility in combating Nature or God/Satan with mere technology.

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I doubt Michael Myers could pass a background check...

I don't know. You can go the Freudian approach of it being more terrifying to die with something penetrating you. Knife = Phallus.

Or you can go with the cultural aspect of a blade just being scary. It takes a special kind of killer to enjoy killing that close.

Honestly, I think it's just Hollywood convention. The Badguy has a Special Weapon/Attack. Knife, chainsaw, knife glove, fangs. Even in Westerns, the Badguy is usually fast with a six-gun. And to win, the Goodguy must overcome the Badguy's Strengths to win.

*Shrug*

In Terminator, the cyborg does go to the gun store and acquires guns. But in that case the villain is technology itself.

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FWIW: Laurie shot Michael in the face at the end of H2 with no effect other than blinding him.

 

He also gets shot like 6 times at the end of the original and falls off a balcony, and disappears completely unharmed.

 

I guess the moral of the story here is, don't bother wasting ammunition on a being that's magically cursed to be Invulnerable and have superhuman strength and regeneration, ammo is expensive these days and it's rather wasteful.

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Godzilla. Five minutes in, he is killed by a single 120mm DU penetrator rod fired from an Abrams aimed at his eye which penetrates into his skull and fells the monster. The final 90 minutes is about finding good giant lizard recipes, canning the meat and the end of hunger in Africa.

...

...

I know, "Monster" movies =/= "Horror" movies.

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I think horror villains use edged weapons for much the same reason that bayonets will never become obsolete.

Also, guns are perceived as an equalizer, and your badass horror monster seems less powerful if he needs to use a gun.

Another thing is that with melee weapon, killing/hurting somebody is more "close and personal" than firing a gun from 10-20 meters. Screenspace is slightly better for melee than for firearms, because of visualization of space on limited screen have number of soft limitations.  

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