In the ever-changing landscape of Halloween, there is a newfound absence of iconic horror figures. Halloween’s recent evolution has taken a delightful twist. For members of the scaredy-cat club, it is safe to say that it brings a sense of relief that the creation of horror icons is not as prevalent as it once was for millennials and Gen X.
In the 80s and 90s, there were brand new Halloween movies like “Scream,” “Child’s Play” and “Friday the 13th,” that are now considered classics. Although they hold a special place in the hearts of horror fans, people tend to opt for decorations or costumes that are popular and recognizable and there haven’t been any new horror icons that people can dress up as or use for decorations.
Of course, due to the shortage of new horror figures, costume stores reflect that absence. The death of new horror icons was inevitable. Halloween costumes are about what is trendy and horror has not been trendy for a while, something people should welcome. This shift in popularity away from horror presents an opportunity for novelty and diversity in Halloween costume choices. It also gives a chance for new and different Halloween costumes to become popular.
The horror genre has failed to create new horror icons because, with every sequel to horror movies, the characters seem to lose their scariness. In turn, there is a decline in Hollywood producers’ motivation to make slasher-like films that could produce these scary Halloween icons. Instead, a more psychological approach to horror has been prevalent in the past two decades.
Psychological thriller films are becoming more common than slasher films. The dwindling popularity and creation of these icons allows more creative films to be produced, making it so there are more unique stories people can gravitate towards rather than the clique slasher horror. It also allows Halloween time to be fun and full of diverse pop culture beyond the typical Hollywood film.
Although the decline of new horror figures carries a bit of melancholy, it makes way for new Halloween figures. Halloween costume stores like Spirit Halloween, Party City and Halloween Express don’t stock costumes for new horror films because, every year, numerous scary movies are released, but they fail to generate significant demand. This shift reflects changing preferences and is a reminder that dressing up for Halloween should not be solely focused on scary costumes. Not only keeps the holiday fresh and exciting, but also ensures that everyone can find a costume that suits their style and interests.
Billboard’s top 20 costumes for Halloween 2023 sees horror characters absent from the list. It is preferable that there are not any new horror costumes because this encourages a fun shift in Halloween traditions, promoting creative and light-hearted costume choices for a wider and more inclusive audience.
While movies like “M3GAN” and “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” have been released, they don’t have a place in costume stores. The horror icon from “M3GAN” was a unique case last year, yet the media seems to have swiftly forgotten about the plastic doll because the costumes are no longer available in stores and her TikTok trend has faded into obscurity. The children’s character Winnie the Pooh was made into a horror character when it wasn’t one before. The attempt at reinventing Winnie the Pooh into a horror character is a cash grab of someone trying to profit off of an expired intellectual property.
With no new prevalent horror icons, it is crucial to note that horror as a genre has evolved. Today, there is a switch towards more psychologically driven horror, such as “Get Out” and “A Quiet Place,” creating memorable, albeit different, figures. With the death of new and iconic scary Halloween figures, the holiday isn’t as scary as it once was. While present and future generations will not get to experience the thrill of new horror icons, it is also good that present and future generations are not forced into a scary Halloween.