Why Hollywood Hates Horror

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Sasha Kaiser, Staff Writer

When it comes to horror, a lot of people tend to think about Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, or maybe Ghostface. Maybe you’ve never watched these movies,  or maybe you even hate horror, but nonetheless the names are known by almost everyone. Horror movies have always been a big thing, no matter how controversial.

Throughout the many years of the Oscars, only six horror films have ever been nominated for best picture, Silence of the Lambs being the only one to ever actually win. Many people argue over this movie being wrongly labeled as a horror, and instead saying it should be classified as a thriller. Though it seems that if any horror movie gets awarded an Oscar, people seem to argue for it to be labeled as a thriller or, by a newer term, elevated horror. Elevated Horror is a newer term to refer to movies in which they are more dramatic and intelligent than most horrors.

Now, the term Elevated Horror caused a stir amongst horror fans, as most people have used it as a way to put down other types of horror. It’s an elitist term that people seem to use to make themselves feel better about liking horror. Intelligent horror movies have existed forever, but most people think of the typical 80’s/90’s slasher as the only form of horror cinema due to how big it was. This idea tends to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths as the slasher movement is known for its cheapness, which people may look down upon as a shame to cinema.

In an interview with BBC, director Simon Rumley states that, “I pitched a film to a UK executive, and she practically guffawed, somewhere between patronizing me and feeling sorry for me: ‘We don’t do horror!’” But why not? We know this genre can be profitable, and we see it in theaters all the time. The reasoning behind this, of course, is the negative connotations linked to horror. Many people think of horror as something that is so gorey that’ll make you sick, therefore many producers might turn these down because, even though these movies tend to be cheaper to make, it could still possibly cause them to lose money. Many directors will change the labels of their movies to thrillers or psychological films, as to avoid the label of horror and avoid being turned down by executives. 

In an interview with Fanfest, director Eli Roth states, “Comedy tends to get dated, it really has to be seen in the time in which it was made to be fully appreciated, dramas you can watch again but nobody’s really getting tattoos of them.” He explains, adding,  “I’m not knocking these other genres but a great horror movie can still be enjoyed 100 years from now.” 

I couldn’t agree more. Horror movies give a safe space for people to address their fears or get a sense of adrenaline, where they can address certain things going on in our society in a totally different and new way than other genres. There’s nothing bad about horror movies;, whether they’re cheesy or highly intelligent, they don’t have to have an excuse to exist. All cinema is a form of art, and art doesn’t need a reason.

“Everyone feels terror, but we’re not allowed to express it.  Horror gives us a safe forum to discuss the undiscussable,” says Eli Roth in the same interview with Fanfest.