Horror movies are the best movies because of their creativity and enjoyability

Ben Wieland, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

In Hollywood, a market dominated by repetitive action sequels, poor Disney reboots and Oscar-bait dramas, only one genre is consistently entertaining and creative: horror. Between groundbreakingly creative films like “Us,” traditionally scary movies like “Insidious,” genre spoofs like “Shaun of the Dead” and entertainingly awful messes like “Santa’s Slay,” horror has never been so clearly the best genre. 

My love of horror comes first and foremost from movies that push the genre forward. Recently, as moviegoers grew tired of sequels, the genre underwent a bit of a renaissance. Some films have moved away from reliance on fear: “It” was a horror film in which scares came second to character development and quality writing. Others have doubled down on their use of fear, with “Hereditary” providing an unsettling and terrifying experience from the opening shot to the credits. Because the genre affords these films so much creative liberty, they’re able to provide truly unique and incredible viewing experiences. 

There are also enjoyable horror movies that follow all the rules to perfection; basically all of James Wan’s filmography is an excellent example of this. However, my personal favorites that follow the rules are those that don’t take themselves too seriously. “Scream” is my personal favorite example of this: the movie itself is a pretty straightforward slasher, but the self-awareness of the two villains and their penchant for referencing horror classics makes the film an absolute blast to watch. 

Even the absolute worst of the worst, like the aforementioned “Santa’s Slay” or more recent films like “ThanksKilling” or “Deadly Detention,” are entertaining watches. A bad drama or action movie just drags on and on without offering anything of value; the unintentional humor in a god-awful horror movie makes it instantly incredible. 

All of these different subgenres of horror, however, wouldn’t be as great as they are without my one personal favorite part of the genre: it’s fun in every situation. Alone, bored and in the mood for a good scare? Throw on a classic or traditional horror film. Hanging out with friends and want something to lighten the atmosphere? Watch a horror comedy or a so-bad-it’s-good movie. Down for something serious, but still want to stay interested? Check out a film that pushes the genre to its limits, or maybe breaks them entirely. 

With everything unique, creative and fun that horror brings to the table, the fact that it’s not universally recognized as the best part of Hollywood is, well, scary.

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