What Do Horror Fans Want?

We’re still having withdrawals from Texas Frightmare Weekend over here. However, it’s not all just aching feet and empty bank accounts – there are a few good things lingering over as well. One of them is an honest to goodness face to face acquaintance with someone who, until then, was just a collection of pixels on my Twitter feed. This week, we welcome to the bloody pulpit Scott Shoyer of Anything Horror.com.

It’s no revelation that the modern day horror landscape is filled with shitty remakes, unnecessary sequels and limp versions of graphic novels. Lately there hasn’t been a drought of horror releases, but the quality of recent new releases leaves something to be desired. Instead of shredding apart films like THE RITE, SEASON OF THE WITCH, and SCREAM 4, I’d rather just talk about what it is I think horror fans wanna see.

The first thing that comes to mind is, STOP TREATING HORROR FANS LIKE IDIOTS. Not all horror fans are teeny-bopper girls aged 16-18. Stop filling your films with the same vapid, cookie-cutter characters that are found in every horror film. Give us some intelligent, original characters who don’t trip in the woods while running away from the killer … who don’t say “I’ll be right back” and then die immediately … where the jocks only wear tank tops and the “smart girl” wears glasses. For fuck’s sake we’re sick of it!!

Originality is big on my list. All big Hollywood releases seem incapable of producing anything with even a shred of originality. Originality isn’t safe; Hollywood only wants to use formulas that have paid off in the past. The recent success of INSIDIOUS, which really wasn’t a risk considering it only cost $1.5mil to make and made $13.2mil it’s opening weekend and about $52mil to date, is destined to be copied to death in the upcoming months. INSIDIOUS’ success will be interpreted as “fans wanna see more ghost stories” instead of realizing that James Wan made a solid, scary, and very entertaining film. But hold on people; we’re about to be killed with shitty copies of this movie.

What horror fans want, or at least what I want outta horror films, can better be explained by why I turn to the indie horror scene. Indie horror filmmakers are on the right track. Now I’m not saying every indie horror film is great (far from it), but that more times than not I find indie horror films way more entertaining and effective than the mainstream shit coming out of Hollywood. Why? Again it goes back to originality. Indie filmmakers make the films they wanna make. They aren’t getting bombarded with the “notes” of 13 executive producers telling them what the public wants to see. They’re making a horror film out of their love for the horror genre. Indie filmmakers still care about plot and dialogue and creating a “heavy” atmosphere. They “get it” and get what makes an effective horror film. They’re making the kinds of horror films that they themselves wanna watch. Hollywood doesn’t care about what we wanna see; they care about making money.

Hollywood needs to take their heads out of their asses and get back to making some original films that don’t insult the viewer and offers something new to the canon. You, dear sirs, can take your sparkly vampires and suck it. I bet dollars to donuts that every Starbuck’s in L.A. you can find somewhere around 57 struggling writers with some original ideas. Take a chance and make something worthwhile!!