A few weeks back, I read an article about the effects the Internet has had on the music industry, and I was surprised. I knew that CD sales were down significantly, but the idea that they have almost gone the way of the dinosaur surprised me. What also surprised me was that concert sales have gone down as well, although with the way ticket prices have gone up that wasn’t a total shock. More and more creators are looking to the Internet to showcase their music. They can load it directly, and don’t have a bunch of suits in boardrooms telling them what to do. Not only is it more freeing for the musician, but now you can record directly onto a computer with the right equipment. People are doing so with amazing results.
That got me thinking about the problems the adult film industry had with the prevalence of adult films on the Internet. When your content can be downloaded and shared over an infinite amount of sites, it’s hard to find all of them and invoke copyright law. Even then, the millions of amateurs flooding the Internet have taken the business away from the professionals. Companies have even had to close their doors permanently because of the net’s influence. Think about it this way: When anyone with an iPhone and daddy issues can get as many views as movie you’ve paid actors and a crew to produce, you’re going to have problems marketing your product. The adult film business has had to change how it does things to remain viable just as the music industry is having to.
Now, how does horror figure into this? Cruise around and take a look. The adult film industry ins’t unique in having amateurs knocking on its doors. There are thousands of people shooting their own horror shorts and taking them directly to the Internet. You can cruise all night and find all sorts of genre shorts: monsters, slashers, supernatural, it’s all there. Web series have even found their way to Netflix. Some of these shorts have even been discovered by Hollywood producers, and their creators have since been hired to do movies based on those short films.
As a horror fan, one of the biggest complaints I hear is that we are subjected to the same thing over and over agin. And I cannot really argue with that. How many Paranormal Activity movies are we going to have to sit through before they stop making hundreds of millions at the box office?
All of this exposure on the Internet is bringing in what horror desperately needs: new blood. The more cheaply made shorts that are put out there, the closer we come to someone who may have a different enough take to make it to sites like Netflix, cable channels, or even the big screen. Sure there is a ton of crap online and there always will be, but there will also be some diamonds in the rough for the right person to see.
The Internet also stands to breath new life into the genre by allowing fans to see movies they might not have had a chance to, otherwise. I’ve encountered a few instances where I’ve read about an old horror movie, and the only place it was available was through a streaming service. There were countless low budget horror movies shot in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s that were thought to have been gone forever but have now re-emerged thanks to the Internet. This is great for the horror genre. A sense of history is good for any medium, if only to allow budding filmmakers to figure out what not to do. Some fans look down on the ultra obscure, low budget horror movies of years past, but you can’t have a good sense for something if you don’t understand it’s history, and the Internet is nothing if not a giant resource allowing fans and filmmakers access to nearly anything they could ever want or need.