Are original horror films a dying breed?

The horror genre is awash with sequels and reboots at the minute. Where are the original films?

Adam Lovegrove
8th November 2022
Image Credit: IMDb
It’s not hard to understand why the horror industry, too, is becoming a franchise dominated market. A quick glance at the success of the MCU, DCEU, and the Star Wars films (to name a few) in the wider world of cinema is clear evidence that movie-goers enjoy the familiarity and continuity of a cinematic universe.

While The Conjuring films continue to succeed financially with every release, their critical reception isn’t nearly as positive, and yet these studios continue to pump out mediocre films to add on to the series, and it becomes harder and harder for new, innovative horror stories to be told.

A quick look at the top-grossing horror films of 2021 shows that the 9 top-grossing horror films of the year are all part of a pre-existing franchise of some sort, with 10th being based on a novel. 10 unoriginal ideas; 10 top-selling films. 10 films comprised mostly of cheap scares and forgettable characters that you’ll go watch once and think nothing of soon after.

Original horror films aren’t quite “dead”. Ari Aster’s next film is highly anticipated by fans and critics alike after the success of his psychological thrillers Hereditary and Midsommar. Comedian Jordan Peele has flipped the game on its head with the release of Get Out and Us, which have met just as much success critically as they have financially. And The Office star John Krasinski, too, has dipped his toes into the world of horror, responsible for directing A Quiet Place, a horror story originally written by two college students.

Creative minds that push the boundaries of the genre will hopefully always be around, but whether big-budget studios will continue to provide them with the resources to tell their stories to the masses is anyone’s guess.

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