The Case for Horror Films
As a filmmaker, I have consistently made nothing but short films in the horror genre. I have been asked by actors, directors, or those that just find it peculiar, "do you make only horror movies?" I say yes and they don't usually understand why. The answer, because horror is a genre that is not appreciated and often viewed as "cheap," it's expected to be simple entertainment that you take your significant other to on a Saturday night. This is true even with films like Hereditary, The Babadook, and The VVitch over the past ten years being released, all smart horror flicks that are not your typical Saturday night scare. That being said, horror is my favorite genre not because I like a good scare or monsters or ghosts (which I do) but because horror tells us more about humanity than any other genre, without even trying.
Good horror doesn't scare you by startling you or making you jump. A good horror makes you consider your own existence, it makes you think about your own mortality by triggering your basic instincts. It hits with odd music the kind produced by Goblin or Bobby Krlic which turns your stomach and taps those fearful instincts of something hunting you like prey. Horror provides stories that do not end well for the majority involved, people who randomly stumble into situations like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, are coerced like in The Wicker Man, or hunted by a monster. Situations that may or may not be realistic but approach as any real-life scenario can.
Horror is a basic way of helping you to face this realism you are unwilling to face it taps into a part of you that rarely does and there is not a better genre for manifesting sin into something tangible. This is why I love horror and why I may never stomp making horror, at least until a production company hands me a whole lot of money to make a superhero flick.