From It Comes at Night to A Ghost Story, a new breed of horror is creeping into the multiplex, replacing jump-scares with existential dread. We talk to the auteurs breaking all the rules to find “how post-horror movies are taking over cinema”.
‘Do not go see It Comes At Night, it’s not worth watching’. Twitter was filled with countless such posts after the US release of It Comes at Night last month. Mainstream moviegoers went in expecting a straight-up horror; they came out unsure about what they’d seen, and they didn’t like it. Critics, and a certain section of viewers, have loved the film, but its Cinemascore rating– determined by moviegoers’ opening-night reactions – is a D.
You can understand the confusion. The title alone strongly suggests It Comes at Night is a horror movie. As does the movie’s trailer, whose ingredients include a post-apocalyptic scenario, a cabin in the woods, gas masks, shotguns, prisoners, a stern patriarch (Joel Edgerton), and warnings never to leave doors unlocked or go out at night. Read more about how post-horror movies are taking over cinema at The Guardian.
Horror is a genre of fiction which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. Literary historian J. A. Cuddon has defined the horror story as “a piece of fiction in prose of variable length… which shocks or even frightens the reader, or perhaps induces a feeling of repulsion or loathing”. It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror is frequently supernatural, though it can be non-supernatural. Often the central menace of a work of horror fiction can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of a society. Read more at Wikipedia.
A horror film is a movie that seeks to elicit a physiological reaction, such as an elevated heartbeat, through the use of fear and shocking one’s audiences. Inspired by literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley, the horror genre has existed for more than a century. The macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror may also overlap with the fantasy, supernatural fiction and thriller genres. Read more at Wikipedia.