2014 has been a pretty lousy year for theatrical horror films. Is it merely a fluke of the calendar, or a sign of things to come?
Maybe a sign of things to come if things to come don’t improve, moviewise.
It’s been a bad year all around for films .. in general. Not just horror, but drama, action, family.. You know the genre and I’ll name the flop, or the film that underperformed at the box office. At least in the United States.
There are a few cultural things happening. China and other nations increasing in wealth are fast becoming the target audience for many movie companies. That’s why China’s censors get such ability in choosing what should be cut from certain films. Even more than that, independent films are just better lately. More imaginative and fresh, less confined and restricted by the red tape and bureaucracy that Hollywood offers filmmakers.
But .. as far as horror itself, Scott Mendelson is correct in his FORBES story.. Horror is taking a hit.
There may be one external factor causing that..
Over the past 12 or so years, movies have ramped up the blood and gore, almost making that the central point of a movie overtop of even the actors or dialogue. And with news headlines and real life events being a hell of a lot scarier than any fiction on the screen, people just aren’t buying it .. What does sell, though, are paranormal tales of demon possession, haunted houses and haunted dolls. The CONJURING did well. I think ANNABELLE will, too..
The audience is evolving, as it does every ten or so years.
This may have becoming a tired saying on my part, but I argue that horror movies and professional wrestling speak volumes about our pop culture at any given time you look at it. In this instance, our world is violent and bloody. So gore doesn’t scare people much more anymore, they frankly are tired of seeing it. What does scare them? The idea that someone dark and sinister is present in the world.
If movie makers can key in on that fear and create new and exciting movies, then it will be a hit.
Finally, I’d dare say that if some movie maker out there created a big studio version of SLENDERMAN, a new series would be born.
Until then… it’s no go for bad movies.