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Is the Horror Genre Dead?

As I reported yesterday, Hostel: Part II did rather poorly for its opening weekend at the box office, bringing in just $8.7 million and coming in 6th place. I knew this was bad (for the filmmakers, anyway), but the folks over at Popwatch have brought my attention to two different news articles that question whether Hostel's lack of success is an indication that the horror film genre is on the decline.

Yet, here on Buzz, when I asked you whether you were interested in Hostel: Part II, there was a resounding "NO" and many of you readers commented that you really enjoy horror movies, but that Hostel, with it's so-called "torture porn" elements, turned you off. Personally, I think there will always be a place for horror films — you know, scary movies like Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street. But at the moment it seems like Eli Roth and his filmmaker colleagues are in this gore competition, trying to one-up each other by making each new movie more and more gruesome until there's nothing entertaining about it. It's just gross.

Also, as many of you mentioned, there's something about women being trapped and tortured that isn't very entertaining because it is a much more real possibility for women than it is for men. Horrifying situations that seem plausible tend to lose their pleasurable aspect for many people. I simply don't think that Hostel: Part II is the best movie to use when measuring the success or failure of horror movies overall. A lot of people just don't want to see it.

What do you think? Is the horror genre on the decline?

Join The Conversation
ddene5713 ddene5713 10 years
I am definetly looking forward to the Halloween remake and Captivity.
Jinx Jinx 10 years
Oh, I loved The Others, it was creepy. Other than a couple of scenes, I did not like the Saws. :( I wanted to, but I didn't.
Calimie Calimie 10 years
I'm with Stacey, good horror films have a plot. The scariest film I've seen lately has been "Pan's Labyrinth" and there was no gore in it that wasn't specifically needed. That's how you do good films.
Hope5 Hope5 10 years
I heard about this. I won't be seeing it.
Stacey42906 Stacey42906 10 years
Oh and I forgot...I do like thriller/suspense type movies that have an actual plot and find them so much more intriguing, as others seem to. In fact I heard about one today that sounds freakin AWESOME. Here's the quote "Real life husband and wife, Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, have joined the cast of BORN, a psychological thriller featuring stop-motion animation from Chiodo Bros. Prods. (TEAM AMERICA, ELF), reports VARIETY. The story follows a clay animator who settles down in a quiet English town when his creations begin acting out his nightmares." First of all, the cast; second of all, Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), and Clive Barker (horror movies galore) involved; third, it involves claymation and he's a claymation animator! I'd see it for that alone. A suspense thriller with Claymation??? I'm there. Check out this page with the poster, it's creepy!
Stacey42906 Stacey42906 10 years
Although I have been lurking on this site since it was solely PopSugar (boy has it expanded, geez!) I joined solely to discuss this topic. I am so damn sick and tired of these disgusting torture movies. Every time I turn around there's another one. Who in their right minds would want to watch something that just shows people being gruesomely tortured? Seriously, who? And the implication is that people get pleasure out of this. That's a great idea to give people. It's a personal pet peeve of mine. In fact when reading a blog the other day, they quoted a review of Hostel 2 saying that the only reason it wasn't rated NC-17 is because the MPAA (ratings board) has been largely bought off by the studios. Really, think about it. Hostel 2 gets rated R, while something like Showgirls is NC-17? That's appalling. I was looking at MPAA's website to complain but they didn't have much of a forum to do so. I am really hoping these torture movies bomb and stop getting some funding. I feel better at least knowing some other people feel the same way.
JLew1982 JLew1982 10 years
Horror yes, but this type of movie is so sick and twisted I think it has no place being shone. I think it reflects much about the people who write and create such junk. There's a sick mind or minds behind Hostel, that's for sure.
craving_vintage craving_vintage 10 years
I don't think it's dead, but maybe the gory type is dead. As much as I love horror movies, I can go months without seeing one and then I just have this time when that's all I want to see, but now as I'm older, I draw the line at certain types. I do still like my slasher movies like Jason and Freddy, but I LOVE a good ghost/supernatural story. But I won't see Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes, ones like those.
Imabeliever Imabeliever 10 years
RCL.. I liked the Cell..(runs away) one of the only JLo movies that I can stomach.. can we still be friends :HUG: am I forgiven? LOL!! :)
pinkflats pinkflats 10 years
i like movies such as Silent Hill, The Others, The Ring, etc. those were good thriller/horror film. scared the crap out of me and they lacked the gory effects of Hostel/Saw. Granted I haven't seen any movies from the Hostel/Saw franchise because I can't stand their kind of horror/thriller movies. it's disgusting.
Nicadema Nicadema 10 years
I will NEVER watch complete crap like this. I enjoy the thriller or classic horror, but slasher/gore/torture films don't "entertain" me.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 10 years
I'd much rather see a movie that is suspensful as opposed to one that is full of gratuitous violence/torture. The last horror movie I saw was "The Cell" with Jennifer Lopez, and that was the end of horror movies for me. I really felt like it was more repulsive than porn b/c of the brutality towards women it featured. It objectified women in a way that I found to be completely irresponsible (especially since some sicko could totally have left the theater and acted out any number of scenarios featured in the movie) and disgusting. I remember the outcry over "Saving Private Ryan" - but there was no outcry over "The Cell"....and, in my opinion, it was exponentially more disturbing than "Saving Private Ryan." So I just don't even watch horror movies anymore. I think they're unhealthy and the people who make them are depraved.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
SUMNBOUTME....I still look out my window when there is fog and expect Danny friggin Glick to come out of it and tap on my window. Salems lot scared the bejesus out of me!
sumnboutme sumnboutme 10 years
A good horror movie does not need to be gory to make money. Take Salem's Lot and Rosemary's Baby for instance. These two are one of the better horror movies out there and not a lot of blood is spilled on screen for these two to be successful.
eaker eaker 10 years
Much like everyone else I think there should be a distinction between horror movies and gore fests. Movies like Hostel, Black Christmas, Dead Alive and the Saw franchise aren't scary, they're disgusting. It evokes a completely different reaction from the viewer. Unfortunately gore seems to be in. Scream caused a brief revival of the horror genre, and we have seen a lot of retreads of old classics since then, in addition to being inundated with Americanized Asian ghost stories. I am a huge fan of horror movies and the last one I saw that I actually liked was The Descent.
Jinx Jinx 10 years
I think there will always be an audience for the horror genre. People love to be scared. Personally I like a good suspense thriller over gore.
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
I think it will do well over time on DVD if it's well done (as well done as that kind of movie can be, anyway). There will always be a cult following for hardcore hack & slash movies, all genres. There are zombie movie lovers, cannibal lovers (don't get me started on how F'd up those movies are), torture, monsters, and straight up chainsaw weilding slice 'em and dice 'em movie lovers. Give it time, it'll make its money back.
nurdburd13 nurdburd13 10 years
i hope this genre is not dead. it's my favorite. i do think a genre for gore should be created. we could have thriller, horror and gore. movies like saw, hostel & others are just in for the gore factor i think. movies like the exorcists films are what scare the crap out of me. i don't necessarily need to see blood & guts to be scared; that's more of a "ooo, that was COOL" factor for me (talk about being desensitized). i want a mystery, things that go bump in the night, was that a ghost, who's the killer, kinda of thing. ghosts & demons & movies about freaky religious stuff freak me out the worst. (dark corner is a recent movie i saw that was pretty good: mystery, little bit of blood & for some reason it really got to was CREEPY) and i don't want anymore zombie movies. that one is just a personal preference. dawn of the dead scared the hell out of me. i had nightmares for three months & now i can't even look at the cover of a zombie flick w/o getting the shivers.
little-miss-x little-miss-x 10 years
I love being scared by any horror movie that is a departure from reality. Watching people be tortured for an hour and a half, especially women, is a different category altogether, because it could happen in real life. I won't pay money to watch it. Give me a good monster movie any day - I'll steer clear of the fetish horror, thankyouverymuch.
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
I still like good thrillers, but I decided two years ago that I've seen enough real-life death and I'm not going to choose to fill my soul with fake death by choice. If I want to see gore, all I have to do is check the news. I've never been a big fan of gore films, but could tolerate them. I don't even usually read/watch reviews/trailers for them (they generally tick me off anyway - like that damn Boogeyman movie that the commercial ALONE had my kids freaking out.)
jsleonardeml jsleonardeml 10 years
I think that things have become so much more about gore lately & less thriller. I have to say that I can still get scared at the old school thrillers like Nightmare on Elm Street & Halloween. Even if you know what is still makes you jump & i think for many people, that is what is scary! I am looking forward to some more psychological thrillers like Se7en. I love those kinds of movies & i think that is scarier than the bloody stuff that is out there now!
shini shini 10 years
I'm sure there are many people out there that think Halloween or movies like Nightmare on Elm's Strret is shallow in sense of horror... Gore is what makes you scared AND disturbed inside, and if horror movies are really meant to kind of make a difference then I guess the gore helps. I'm more of a gore person, yet Asian terror like the Ring or Grudge seems better in horror sense than movies like Halloween. (I personally thought halloween was total bs)
swwonder swwonder 10 years
I don't know. In my opinion they are, but I've actually only ever seen two horror films (seriously), so I'm probably not the best judge of that. I'm a big fraidy-cat.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
I don’t consider Piranha a copycat to Jaws , yes they are both taking place in the water and have to do with predatory fishies but their overall plotline and “feel” are different. Nor is the Grudge a copycat to The Ring; both were remakes of Japanese films Ringu and Ju-on. The “horror” films of today are blatant outright evil trickster clones that hold nothing back and in return give you nothing to go on. In the past 6 years or so we have been “re”introduced to Old horror icons like Leatherface and Freddy and all sorts of mutated people living in the hills. The torture movies have left us with quick filmed bloody mayhem galore, and plotlines so thin you could cut right through them like butter, pardon the pun. Horror isn’t dead, its just not getting the needed publicity or backing like these slash and crash films are. There is supposed to be blood, and some gore, there is supposed to be moments of sheer terror and triumph, but there isn’t supposed to be 90 minutes of veins and intestines and scalpels and blood droplets that are slowed down to see I for one am glad that people aren’t going to see them anymore, maybe the good horror will return.
Imabeliever Imabeliever 10 years
After 9/11.. horror films have to redefine themselve. People use to go to horror movies for the safe scare like a roller coaster ride.. since our daily American lives have for the most part become devoid of the fight or flight adrenaline rush we have to manufacture it and scare ourselves every once in awhile.. after 9/11 we had a real taste of fear and horror and paying $9 to see it on the big screen suddenly lost its appeal and seemed juvnile and tacky. For me at least. Children of Men is a great example of what I turn to now for my adrenaline rush.. a more realistic frightening portrait of where mankind could be heading to. I will take Children of Men over Hostel, Captured, Turistas, etc any day!
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