Everyone has their favorite horror movies, so it’s only natural that people have their least favorites as well. Sometimes it might not even come down to that. Sometimes it’s just the fact that a certain film may not have connected with you on the way it connected with someone else. Naturally, you bring this up on the Internet and everyone tears you to pieces. All in all, the negativity on the Internet is so huge that not even the generally humble and soft-spoken horror fans are safe. Looking through the comments section of popular sites and at Facebook groups, you’ll never go a day without seeing a “What’s your least favorite horror movie?” post. Then, all of the comments get torn apart, despite the fact that it was a question asked on a public forum.
I like a lot of movies that other people don’t and I spend a good chunk of my time defending them. But I am here to tell you that you don’t have to feel bad about not liking any film, from any genre, no matter what it is. It’s okay to not “get’ certain movies. Art is art. It is there for you to have a personal, emotional connection with it—and sometimes you don’t. That’s just the way it goes. You’re not going to like every horror film that comes out, nor should you. There’s a lot of bad out there, so much that it makes the really good stuff that much more special.Even if something is huge, that doesn’t mean it’s for you and it could even make it harder to like. I’ve written more than once about how I had to wait until the Saw craze was over before I could really give it a proper chance. Maybe you can’t stand the Friday the 13th franchise or even just hate slashers in general. You could even hate the Friday the 13th movies but love the Nightmare on Elm Street series. If you were alive when Freddy vs. Jason came out [Editor’s Note: You’re making me feel like a senior citizen, Nat. I was a junior in college when that came out.] then you’re definitely aware that they can often be two opposing camps. The point is that there are no absolutes. Nobody can define your tastes for you, except you.
It doesn’t do anyone any favors to try and force your favorites down the throats of others when they’ve shown no interest. I’ll admit that I like a lot more than I don’t like, perhaps because I tend not to think about the films I don’t like. This brings up a point that is definitely worth talking about here, which is the importance of civility. While I may not like to personally spread around hate for a film I didn’t care for, plenty of fans go online to only do that. You probably see them every day. If there are any horror flicks they actually love, they don’t care about them enough to talk about them. They’re not even thinking about them. Because they don’t like Halloween and apparently they just wake up every night in a cold sweat thinking that somebody out there might.
Don’t be that guy. It seems obvious but it’s easier said than done because while the majority of horror fans are good, even great people, we can all go off on occasion. There’s no shortage of places for fans to get together and share their passion for the genre, be it at conventions or screenings or countless online venues. Passionate discussions get heated, it’s natural. It’s just what happens. And it’s fine as long as people are civil about it.
But don’t let anyone tell you that you’re less of a fan because you don’t like a particular film. A lot of these classic opinions are changing, too, and maybe some of the hostility we’re seeing is because of that. The horror climate is always changing. We all have opinions that are unpopular and sometimes we have opinions that are too popular but both are fine.
I can’t stand Cabin Fever but I wish no ill will on people who do like it. In part because I’m happy they find enjoyment in something even if I didn’t, but also because making a film is such hard work that I don’t really want those involved to fail. I’m not cursing the production team just because they made something I didn’t like. Sure, it’s two hours of your life you’ll never get back, but if you only ever saw films that you loved it probably wouldn’t be long before you stopped loving them. That’s just how it goes.
Don’t let anyone dictate your own personal tastes. If you only like remakes, only watch remakes. If you can’t stand Rosemary’s Baby, try to avoid it on cable. By all means, use the Internet to your advantage for conversing with fans all over the world. But maybe try to structure it like, “Does anyone else find it hard to get into A Nightmare on Elm Street?” instead of “Everyone who likes Nightmare on Elm Street needs to get the hell off this site.”
We all love horror. But we also bring our own unique tastes, opinions and experiences to each new film that we watch or even make and that’s what ultimately makes the genre so special and so extraordinarily diverse.