Can horror ever be a serious movie genre? | The Tylt
Can horror ever be a serious movie genre?
People who opine one genre’s superiority (or inferiority) over another’s are as close-minded as they claim not to be. They automatically assume horror movies are all about gratuitous nudity and serial killers that absolutely refuse to die when they are, in fact, a surefire way to bring particular cultural flaws to the front of the screen. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” reflected fear of communism in 1950’s America; “Night of the Living Dead” was all about Vietnam and domestic racism. Scary movies are a perfectly adequate (if not unilaterally brilliant) method in the flashlight society holds in the dark directly onto themselves.
That’s why it was such a satisfying moment when “Silence of the Lambs” absolutely swept the Oscars, or when “Get Out” hauled in all those award nominations and scored a historical Best Original Screenplay for Jordan Peele. Sure, you can have a longwinded historical drama with plenty of esoteric shots and editing to convey an ideology; but why not make people uncomfortable and then have them wonder what made them so scared in the first place?
There’s a reason why horror movies are rarely taken seriously—so very few of them are serious. For real, do you think booty shots suddenly doused in blood is a greater commentary on sexual exploitation or violence, or the purveyors of both? Before you answer that, think of it this way: is “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” an expression on elitism’s degradation on mores and grasp on reality, or is it basically fast food parading as entertainment? Exactly.
People who claim the Kardashians or horror or whatever are deeper than you think are simply trying to excuse their own guilty pleasures. And you know what, buddy, it’s okay to have those pleasures. Embrace them, accept them, love them as they are. But don’t mistake chicken fingers for caviar.