The Two Sides of Horror

A common complaint every year is that movies are playing it too safe. Everything is a sequel or a reboot or gritty re-imagining. Just look to a previous blog to see just how much Hollywood cashes in on our nostalgia. But one genre that continually seems to be keeping creativity alive in tinsel-town is horror while also being a victim to the business-side. It seems only appropriate that as Halloween comes around, its time to talk horror movies.

Horror seems to both ride current trends and sway away from them at the same time. There are 12 Friday the 13th films, 9 Nightmare on Elm Street films, and 6 Paranormal Activity films. Horror, as a genre, is one of the worst offenders of sequelitis around. Yet in just 2016 alone, we have seen such inspired take on the genre from the likes of Lights Out and Don’t Breathe.

Lights Out gave some genuine scares, an interesting monster, and had an strong internal logic. It was made on a shoe-string budget of just under $5 million and brought home $148 million. That massive return of investment should be a testament that audiences want new original content. But almost assuredly movie producers will do the opposite and sequel the franchise to death.

Movie making is a delicate balance. On one hand, you have the creative endeavor to tell great stories. On the other, you have the business side which needs huge influxes of cash to keep the machine chugging along. Neither side can work without the other. The creatives need the money and the business types need creatives. Their forced union is perfectly summed up in the horror genre. Creatives can stretch their legs and test out new ideas while the business types can make money hand-over-fist with relatively little investment. Horror, as a brand, offers the chance for something new and something familiar. Its for this reason above any other that the horror genre continues to thrive. People want to be scared. People want originality. And sometimes people want to revisit the past. So, this Halloween go find a classic horror movie and a new one. Give them a chance to show you he two sides of the genre.

So what scary movie did you watch this Halloween? Comment below or tweet me @CBloodRojas.

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