Horror movies have always been the lesser cousins of mainstream cinema, and few critics take the time to give the genre the deep and thoughtful analysis that it deserves. Horror movies run the gamut of the human experience, using the lens of fear to explore issues as wide-ranging as race, class, and gender on one hand to social, economic, and political issues on the other. But because these deeper meanings are hidden behind a façade of terror, gore, and violence, critics tend to dismiss the horror genre as exploitation, movies made for lesser movie fans.
However, this has been changing in recent years as the criticism industry has democratized and expanded to take a broader view of what film criticism – and also the horror genre – can be.
If you are looking to enter into the field of horror movie reviewing, you should be aware of how horror movie reviews are similar to mainstream movie reviews, and what makes them different.
The most important thing to remember is that good criticism remains good criticism regardless of the genre being criticized. That means that a well-written movie review follows the same basic rules whether you are reviewing a rom-com, a superhero film, or a horror movie. You need to tell the audience what the movie was about, what it tried to accomplish, how well it achieved its goals, and whether you found it intellectually, emotionally, and aesthetically worthy to recommend that others spend their hard-earned money to see it.
These, of course, are the basics of film reviewing, but they aren’t the heart and soul of it. In any genre, the heart of film reviewing is entering into a conversation with the audience and with the filmmakers about what the film intended to do and how well it did it. A good review is not just a summary of the movie but a discussion of its themes, concepts, ideas, imagery, aesthetics, and so much more.
A horror movie review is a little different from a casino online since your readers already know and understand the genre and are typically familiar with many of the conventions as well as the aesthetic experience of attending a horror movie. Therefore, a horror review can typically assume a deeper level of knowledge on the part of the reader and doesn’t necessarily have to go into as much detail to explain these elements of the film to a specialized horror readership. Of course, this is different if you are writing a review of a horror movie for a mainstream audience instead of a horror movie readership.
When preparing to write a review of a horror movie, you’ll want to take notes throughout the film, particularly since the horror genre frequently plays with viewer expectations, making it difficult to keep track of some elements of the plot that are re-contextualized or transformed in meaning as the movie wears on. You’ll also want to keep in mind that many horror movie fans want to know about the amount of gore in the movie and how satisfying the violence is for the viewer to watch. While these are not the most ethereal and intellectual motives for watching movies, they are key elements of the horror experience, and discussing them can certainly help to improve the utility of a review.
Overall, writing a horror movie review isn’t much different from any other type of movie review, as long as you keep in mind whom you are writing for and what they want to know about the movies they see. As long as you are able to consider a horror movie from the perspective of the typically horror genre viewer – even if you disagree with that perspective – you should be able to produce reviews that are useful for the audience, even if the audience ultimately disagrees with your perspective. Remember, a review should give the audience enough information to make their own decisions about whether a film is right for them.
Categorised in: Horror Movie Reviews
This post was written by Nadia Vella