Horror, the Hated Genre (At Least by Critics)

When it comes to critics, it is clear they have their favourites. We have all heard the term ‘Oscar bait’ ad nauseam. By the same token, we know what they hate. One of them happens to be horror movies.

So, why exactly is horror hated by critics?

Horror has a bit of a reputation for being lowbrow and uncouth. Of being nothing more than cheap scares and offensive material. It’s unfair that horror gets the short end of the stick, but it is somewhat understandable. Especially at this time of year, cheap and lazy horror movies are churned out. They are soulless, formulaic and predictable in the worst way.  

Some horrors that beat the stigma tend to be recategorised. Take The Thing and Alien as examples. Both are beloved by critics and audiences alike, but despite being horror films they are periodically called SciFi instead, a more ‘dignified’ genre according to them. Others like Psycho are sometimes referred to as Psychological Thrillers rather than horror. 

While yes, many horror films fit that profile, it is not a hard and fast rule. In fact, many that match that description have layers. Ones that make deeper statements on important themes such as race, mental health and yes, society at large. For every mindless slasher gorefest, there is a frighting yet thought-provoking plot. Dawn of the Dead being about consumerism is a famous example and one that holds up very well if you ask me. 

I think it is unfair that horror gets such a bad name. I wish I could make critics give horror a bit of slack, but I’m just one nerd ranting. Yes, there are naff ones, more than I could count. Yet even though some of the worst have redeeming elements, B-Horror films are a guilty pleasure of mine. Horror helps us tap into primal fears and can be cathartic as hell. A good horror movie will stay with you forever, for better or worse. They can impact viewers better than other genres, opening eyes to topics they were blind to before or just making them jumpy for a few days after viewing. 

That is the magic horror movies possess. Something that should be celebrated instead of overlooked by critics. 

4 thoughts on “Horror, the Hated Genre (At Least by Critics)

Add yours

  1. Is so true that horrors are always rated quite low, but tbh for me is more about the effects than the storyline as there is a limit to what you can do with Horror. That said there are some very good horrors with lower ratings, which is a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: