5 Things I Hate About Horror Movies
I love the horror genre and its something I have devoted almost 10 years of my life to as a blogger. I have had the pleasure of interviewing and meeting some of my genre heroes like Bruce Campbell but more importantly I have developed some great friendships along the way with fellow bloggers like Jamie Jenkins, Luke Franklin, Chris Save, Flay Otters and Frank Fiero to just name a few!
What other movie genre has fans as devoted as us and literally thousands of blogs devoted to covering it each and every day? Where are the hundreds of communities that discuss romantic comedies? The horror genre community is by far the strongest genre online and is filled with many people with encyclopedic knowledge of the industry. I love the horror genre and that will never change.
Unfortunately as with anything you love there are certain things I can not stand about horror movies and the horror genre and this article is devoted to 5 things that bother me the most about the horror genre and horror movies.
Boys vs Girls Mentality
The horror genre more so than any other genre seems to be fixated on the ‘boys vs girls’ mentality. Whenever I do a top list and do not specifically include a woman in some form or fashion I am guaranteed that somebody will vilify me and call me sexist. Case and point when I did my list of upcoming masters of horror and did not include the likes of the Soska twins I was immediately pegged a sexist and many other nasty things. When I wrote the article I had not seen American Mary or Dead Hooker in a Trunk so there was no way to include them but some decided to look at it as deliberate sexism on my part for excluding them and not including any women at all on my list of NEW masters of horror.
As much as I get that there are not very many female directors in our genre how is that my fault? I do not look at the genre by the sex of the filmmaker I look at it purely from the view of what I enjoy watching. I think that we are all doing the genre a disservice if we keep on making it a ‘boy vs girls’ mentality.
The guys in the industry who don’t think women can make good horror movies need to grow the hell up. Jennifer Lynch made one of the greatest horror thrillers of all time ( Surveillance ), Mary Harron still holds the crown for one of the greatest psychopaths ever put to film ( American Psycho ) and new comers like the Soska twins are adding new fresh ingredients to the genre with films like American Mary which I just saw a few months ago.
For the women who feel the need to throw people like me under the bus every time I write an article and do not include a woman on it, deep breaths! I get the frustration but some bloggers like myself don’t judge movies based off the sex of the director/producer/writer and I certainly don’t deliberately exclude women.
As much as I love the idea of groups that network and empower men, women and young filmmakers I think we need to be careful that we don’t make the problem more complex. Rather then empowering one group or another I think as horror fans we need to work to make our horror genre as inclusive as possible so that whether you are Asian, African american, male or female you will be judged on nothing but your films!
At the very least you should know if you make it onto one of my top lists you did it because of your talent and not your sex, skin color or appearance. I hope and assume everyone else who blogs about the horror genre does the same.
The Lowest Common Denominator
I am tired of films that appeal to the lowest common denominator applying jump scares, TNA and gratuitous gore to sell their films. Enough with the cats jumping out of the shadows, the boogeyman under the bed and the monster in the backseat! Lets find a new villain already.
Worse than the cliche scares is the TNA effect where filmmakers focus on pearly white teeth and great breasts to sell a movie. I appreciate a good-looking woman I am sure as much as you women like a good-looking male lead but it should not be the focus of the film. If the biggest draw to your movie is a model running around in short shorts with no bra on you are missing the point of what we love about horror movies.
Lastly I am annoyed by the mindless and gratuitous use of violence and gore. Now hear me out on this one because I am not saying I hate violent horror movies. Movies like Martyrs, Frontieres and the earlier mentioned Surveillance are some of the most brutal films I have ever seen but they also pack a powerful message and incredible emotion. The films I am talking about are the ones where the girl in the short shorts with great teeth goes into the hallway and the cat jumps out and scares her and they then do a slow motion blood bath and throw as much pigs blood and intestines as they can at you. Thanks but no thanks!
Classic Horror Remakes
Please, please, please can we have a few less horror movie remakes? Did you miss where we recapped the 50+ upcoming horror remakes? I get why studios do horror remakes they make them a ridiculous amount of money. Some of the most profitable horror movies are remakes and they come with a built-in audience which includes us haters. I may be the first one to groan at the announcement of a new remake like yesterdays announcement of The Audition remake but I am also the first to go and see them 90% of the time. Why? Because of the car crash effect I just cant help but slow down and have a look no matter how bad.
I for one would love to see an end to needless horror remakes, prequels and sequels and a focus on innovative genre films but in all honesty without these films what would people watch? Another Underworld sequel? A 6th Resident Evil movie? How do we get Hollywood to jump on board with more films like SAW, Wolfcop, American Mary, Surveillance or Steven C Millers Aggression Scale? Or is mainstream horror only about big names, big budgets and TNA?
Found Footage / Point of View Horror Movies
Blair Witch Project is one of the few films that scared the hell out of me and is not only one of the most profitable horror movies of all time it is also one of the scariest. Since its release and the box office hit of Paranormal Activity we have seen the point of view genre of horror films completely spiral out of control with low-budget, mid budget and big budget point of view horror films pouring out. How bad has it gotten? There is even plans for a Friday the 13th point of view remake. Yep wrap your brain around that one.
I am so over Found Footage / Point of view horror that I tune out the minute I hear it’s another found footage film. Is it fair? No but I have been burned by watching so many horrid found footage horror films I just cant stomach watching any more of them for a while.
Horrible Distribution of Horror Movies
I had to wait years before I could see All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and it was only by sheer luck that I was able to catch the fantastic british horror flick Attack the Block in theaters. The only reason I saw Toby Wilkins SPLINTER is because he sent it to me and the same can be said for Steven C Millers Aggression scale. All the movies I just mentioned are must see horror films for horror fans and yet it is near impossible to see them.
How is it that with the advent of streaming services like NETFLIX, Amazon Prime and good old video on demand that indie horror gems continue to be ignored? You would think that at some point somebody would have stepped up to build the greatest streaming movie service with a reasonable library of outstanding horror movie titles.
I would love to see a video on demand horror movie streaming service that offers all the films from the likes of Jennifer Lynch, Rob Zombie, George Romero, Eli Roth, Adam Green, James Wan, Steven C Miller, The Soska Twins, etc. The streaming service could charge a monthly fee or go à la carte but either way I know I am not alone in wanting this.
Whomever takes on this task would not have a hard time figuring out what horror movies to add to their collection all they need to do is checkout our twitter feed, read our Readers Choice Top lists and you have a winner in the making.
So there you have it my Sunday night rant on the genre. What do you love to hate about our genre?