Horror has been viewed as a lot of things, but mostly it’s viewed as a one-dimensional object with very little to offer to anyone outside its fandom. Due to this, there’re a lot of misconceptions and myths about horror, which frankly are not true. I have always believed as a horror fan it is one of our jobs to dispel rumors, myths, and misconceptions of horror in order for people to see what the genre is truly about. So, why not run down a few that I keep encountering to help debunk them!
It’s all Slashers and Zombies!
I’m sure you have heard this statement before “I don’t like horror because I don’t like slashers and zombies”. Granted the reboots of slasher classics such as Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Friday the 13th could lead to statements such as this. Also with the success of The Walking Dead into pop culture, everything can be zombified. So, it’s easy to see the belief that these are the top style of film in horror. When in reality slashers and zombies are just one of the many sub-genres in horror they are just more promoted than others. I feel there is more of an explosion of the found footage sub-genre films than slashers or zombies. The sub-genre of Foreign Horror is really making it’s mark with The Babadook, Housebound and Dead Snow. Even Netflix has categorized their horror films into sub-genres, like Campy, Supernatural, and Creature Feature just to name a few. Shudder and Screambox are currently Netflix-style horror movie sites that cater to all sub-genres of horror. The truth is slashers and zombies will also be the main event areas of horror, but don’t discount what other areas of horror that are out there, even though they may not be the main contenders.
Women hold no value in horror
I hear this a lot that women are not represented well in horror films and they are only used for their nudity, to be the idiot that gets everyone killed or they are simply used as a violation tool. Most site examples like I Spit on Your Grave or Last House on the Left for its portrayal of women, which adds to the belief that women are not given a fair opportunity in horror. In all actuality, women play an important role in horror and not always as the damsel in distress. In fact, there are 5 horror franchise led by women, Neve Campbell in Scream, Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Kate Beckinsale in Underworld, Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil and Manuela Velasco in [REC], which are far from needing assistance from anyone to get the job done. There is also an explosion of women behind the camera like Jessica Cameron, Jill Sixx and Jen and Sylvia Soska, just to name a few. There is also the concept of “The Final Girl’, which pretty much explains itself you are the final girl standing to confront the killer in a horror film. Final Girls include Marilyn Burns in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween and Sharni Vison from You’re Next and the list continues to grow. There are also a lot of horror websites that are geared for women in horror like Graveyard Shift Sisters, Horror Honeys and Girls Guide to Horror. February is Women in Horror month, which has a Blood Drive in conjunction with it. Bottom line women play an ever changing and advancing role in horror, granted there will always be the horror films that do not show women in the best light, but those that do far outweigh the ones that don’t.
All horror movies have to scare you
I can understand the logic behind this statement, because yeah horror for all tense and purposes should have the ability to scare you. But, in reality, not all horror is set up this way, which leads to disappointment and negativity in the genre. The one thing to understand is that being scared is all relative to the person viewing it. Which one thing may scare you but may not scare another. Most horror needs to be taken as a case by case basis, which when you put a blanket statement such as “this had better be the scariest movie I have ever seen” then I can all but guarantee you will be disappointed. Only relying on a horror movie to scare you takes away from all the things a horror movie can give its viewer. There are many more elements in horror like character, subject matter, death scenes, kills, special effects and more and to just judge a horror film by one factor alone causes you to miss out on how great this genre can be.
Horror has nothing for me
This idea harkens back to the first myth I listed which is it’s not all slashers and zombies. Many feel that since they’re not keen to slashers and zombies that horror has nothing to offer them. But, I believe the horror genre has something to offer everyone, you just have to know what to look for. You can do this by taking some of the sub-genres listed above and try out a horror film. If blood and guts aren’t your thing then try some classic horror or found footage, which doesn’t rely on blood and guts to tell a story. Or if you’re feeling adventurous you can hit up a creature feature like Jaws, Alligator or Cujo. If you are still feeling on the fence about which sub-genre to give a try, why not try an anthology movie, such as Creepshow, Trick r Treat or A Christmas Horror Story. This will give you a little sample of the different horror that is out there. There is no right or wrong way to become a fan of the horror genre, you just have to pick what you feel would appeal to you the most and you can branch out from there because believe me there’s an abundance of great horror out there just waiting to be watched by you!
Looking to get into horror, but don’t know where to start? Do you have other myths about horror? Hit me up @horrorevilqueen