The Issue I Have With Horror Movies
But I don't see the industry changing anytime soon, so here I rant.
Whether it be gory, paranormal, psychological, or any other subcategory for horror movies, I love them. It is my favorite genre. With horror being my favorite, I have an issue with the content I’m being fed.
Many Hollywood horror movies seem to have a requirement: sex must be involved. I think I can think (off the top of my head) about a handful of horror movie titles that don’t inhibit any form of sexual acts or nudity. In Hollywood, sex has become a hard clutch, a lifesaver, a trump card, which seems to be the only critical thing:
1. Makes it “horror”
2. Makes it a “100%” on Rotten Tomatoes
3. Makes it one-of-a-kind
Of course, I am a bit overdramatic here, but I am only expressing how overdone this narrative is. The need for teenage sex in an abandoned asylum or lake house. Ridiculous.
I can harp how annoying Hollywood is by continuously watering down horror as a whole when it is us consumers that give Hollywood the okay to do this. Maybe, partly, it is not our fault. We see the trailer, see some impressive (but not new) jump scares, a new cinematic universe perhaps — let’s face it, it looks great! A vast majority of us love that feeling of getting goosebumps, getting grossed out, feeling our heart rate increase from seeing what is unfolding before us. Maybe even get a laugh out of it because, really, some horror movie plots are terrible. It is our entertainment. But my experience instantly gets ruined when I am waiting for a ghost to pop up, but instead, its a pair of women’s breasts!
It completely changes the entire mood and tone of the movie. It’s unnecessary. What is gained from knowing two main, or supporting, characters had sex during an exorcism? Absolutely nothing (and if you beg to differ, please enlighten me because I must be missing something… and it ain’t the breasts on the big screen).
My only understanding of why sex still appears in horror movies is the notion that sex sells. Which I understand, because it does, we see it occur daily. Maybe another possible explanation I can think of is a character is detrimentally affected by the act — if it is part of the plot. However, I still cannot understand a horror movie with unexplainable sexual acts. It does not compute.
As I dig deeper into my rant, let us isolate horror movie plots itself. The most popular plot that intertwines sex, to me, is “slasher” types. Freddie Krueger and Jason instantly come to mind. Freddie was a horribly disfigured man that haunts dreams; why am I watching teenagers wrestle around for a minute screen time when it is about Freddie? The same question goes towards Jason: he terrorized a campsite. He followed teenagers home to do what he did best, yet why am I watching a woman get undressed slowly and seductively?
To the horror writers: why do you add this? To the horror directors: how does it feel to conduct these scenes? To the horror production teams: why do you let this go on?
There is no value. Hollywood is forcing down women’s bodies down our throats whether we like it or not. These scenes also play a massive part in how women are viewed and treated. It is a direct link to our behaviors outside. When you were younger, after leaving the movies with your parents and you all saw a cute, children superhero movie — do you remember acting out what you saw during the walk back to the car in the parking lot?
Here’s a better example, have you ever seen an individual dress up as their favorite character and behaved like them? Have you ever felt they acted like this fictional character a little too well?
It is no different than watching sexual acts in movies. You leave the parking lot, and that image is now forever in your mind. At some point, what we see, we act upon — consciously or not. Reality can be a slippery slope when the content we consume is taken seriously.
Hollywood has tremendous power over our lives, and it would be rubbish to try and deny it. But it is also a notable mention that we consumers are signaling that these sex scenes make the whole movie in its entirety make sense.
This piece isn’t a “call to action”, to boycott Hollywood over its choices of horror movie products because this issue is not only present within this genre. This is only to bring slight awareness; many people know of this and feel the same as I do. I am only asking to be a bit more mindful of what you choose to watch because hey, maybe you enjoy these scenes, and you are allowed to have your own preferences! While you bask in the glory of being able to say, “Screw you Cassie, I want to watch sex scenes in horror movies”, you should equally be aware of its effects at the movie theater parking lot as well.