I’m getting ready for a nice dinner and the usual Saturday night horror movie (which is usually preceded by a drama or comedy, War Dogs in this case). Prosecco poured, table set, spicy chicken and rice, bring on an amazing Saturday night.
I was thinking again about why I love horror so much. My first love letter to horror emphasised how I enjoy seeing characters pushed to the extreme in a way only horror can accomplish.
Reason number two of five billion why I love horror is because it mixes with other genres so easily. Tonight we are watching The Twilight Zone Movie, on previous Saturdays we had watched Saw 5, Shaun of the Dead, The Final Girls, Tusk. Each one of these is solidly horror but have such vastly different impacts. Conversely, watching Die Hard, then Lethal Weapon, then The Last Stand all feel pretty much the same. A week of action movies sounds a pretty monotonous exercise to me. A week of horror movies? Sign me up.
Action is generally action. Drama is drama, romance is romance. I tend to find these genres more rigidly defined. Something that calls itself essentially a romance movie will have difficulty moving into other genres.
For example, attempts at some eye rolling humour in an action movie wouldn’t really push it into action/comedy. You can have a bit of romance in an action movie but it generally fails to land, being regarded as an annoying and unnecessary subplot. Kindergarten Cop is essentially a comedy with really out of place action scenes. You see the point I am making, other genres can have difficulty meshing but not horror.
Horror though has a fluid ability to mix with other genres and do so successfully. A horror film can still solidly be a horror film but with shades of other genres.
Horror and Comedy? Sure, Hot Fuzz, Evil Dead, The World’s End, all great movies.
Horror and science fiction? No problem, The Fly, Alien, Splice.
Horror and romance? Got you there, Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, Warm Bodies.
It goes on and on, horror can mix with films that have strong political or social messages if that is what you are interested in. I would say horror can often explore these topics more successfully than a straight up drama on that same topic.
So you can watch a horror movie every night for a week and run a full gauntlet of emotions. So whoever you have over, I’m willing to bet there is one horror movie they will like.
I don’t feel other genres can say that.