Why are horror films so successful?

Males especially love scary movies.

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Males especially love scary movies.

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Horror films are one of Hollywood’s biggest money makers. They don’t cost much to create, but often times earn a profit. According to Stephen Fellows, a Sony film producer, “Over 63% of horror films make money. This is a huge difference when compared to the profitability that other films earn; for example, action 38%, drama 32%, comedy 28%, and thriller only earning a 22% profit.”

Males in their late teens to early thirties are the primary target audience for horror movies, according to an independent study done by Columbia Film University. Over 47% of these men would enjoy a horror film over other genres. One reason they are so drawn to the horror genre is because of the actors, as they tend to be in the same age range. This makes the viewer feel as if they fit in, so the story tends to be more realistic for them. Also, men are more prone to enjoy the gore in horror films; as certain scenes will set off their fight or flight responses. With senses being activated, it creates a rush of adrenaline through the body.

South Mountain High School junior Richard Baca said his love for horror movies comes from, “the tension, and the edge of your seat feeling these types of movies provides (sic).”

“I enjoy the blood, and the creative ways written to kill the cast off. Take Happy Death Day for example,” said 18-year-old Christopher Hershey.

While males are the primary target audience, many females say they enjoy the elements that the horror genre has to offer, as well.

“Horror films is (sic) my favorite,” said junior Amy Marquez. “I grew up watching them, and fell in love with the mystery some films provide.”

During a youtube interview with film reviewer Mr. Nightmare (Cody Iron), a film critic for American Film Market said, “The most profitable films are budgeted under $5 million. With a budget so low there are no risk factors that come into play. If a film is budgeted at $4.5 million, and brings in $10 million domestically, the profit is nearly twice the budget.”

The budget of a horror film can often times set a limitation as to what type of film can be produced. This is where the screenwriters give us the same recycled, cliché scares that many of us crave. Both the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises have over ten movies with the same storyline each time. Poor marketing and poor box-office results might lead to a lower budget with each new film that is produced.

The type of horror film may also become a factor in its popularity. Is it an original story some viewers are dying to see like Get Out? Or is it a remake no one asked for like Childs Play?

With all of this being said, you may still wonder what makes a horror film so successful? The simple answer is you. You make a horror film successful. By purchasing a ticket, you contribute to the box office earnings that determine if a film will live on or die off.

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