The Quiet Ones trailer: are the 1970s inherently scary?

What is it with 1970s retro horror lately? I know the fashions were pretty terrifying back then, but that’s about it. Is it that that decade was when recording equipment got cheap enough and portable enough for ordinary people to goof around with, and so they started filming whatever they could, so there’s a record of what they did? Or is it just about lending a generic sense of history and hence — perhaps — authenticity?

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Fri, Jan 17, 2014 5:47pm

I was scared the entire ’70s, until STAR WARS changed the vibe.

Tonio Kruger
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 7:10pm

It was the age of Watergate, the ITT scandal, the Fall of Saigon, the Iranian Revolution, Mideast and European terrorism…

Why do so many people assume that the 1970s was a peaceful decade just because their kinfolk had no bad memories of it? It wasn’t all disco balls and glitter rock.

Anyway, on the pop culture front, it was also the era when horror films stopped relying so much on the Victorian trappings of the traditional Hammer films and started setting more stories in the modern day.

Plus it was the decade in which an obscure horror writer named Stephen King got started…

reply to  Tonio Kruger
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 7:56pm

You neglected to mention Richard Nixon.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  althea
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 8:23pm

I neglected to mention a lot of people including Idi Amin, Pol Pot, the Rev. Jim Jones and Brenda Spencer (aka the female sniper who inspired the Boomtown Rats song “I Don’t Like Mondays”).

But my rant was long enough as it was and I had to stop some place.

Besides, both my parents voted for Kennedy in 1960 and for McGovern in 1972 so I’m not exactly biast in favor of Richard Nixon.

Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 9:56pm

I was really only being facetious. :->

Tonio Kruger
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 8:15pm

I suspected as much.

But that particular trope is a pet peeve of mine so thank you for being so patient with my rants on this subject.

Fri, Jan 17, 2014 9:48pm

I thought the 80’s were scarier.

Sat, Jan 18, 2014 1:55pm

They used the “inspired by actual events” line. Even now in 2014 they thought that was worth using. There’s a hint of something original in the prurient sexual interest Young Male Protagonist is taking in the test subject, but apart from that it just looks like standard shock fare.

In my recollection of popular imagining, the 1970s were the decade of oil price shocks and eco-doom, as well as (post-Watergate) nobody even pretending to believe in the benevolence of government any more. (Unfortunately they fell for the people telling them about the benevolence of corporations.)

Tonio Kruger
reply to  RogerBW
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 8:31pm

Odd that you mention that last part about the benevolence of corporations given the large number of films made in the 1970s (Network, Rollerball, The Parallax View, Capricorn One, Alien, etc.) which did not exactly present corporations in a flattering light.

reply to  Tonio Kruger
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 9:11pm

I think it may just be that the corporate spin lasted into the 1980s when it found more fertile soil.