At this year’s Overlook Film Festival, Amy Nicholson and Paul Scheer, hosts of the Unspooled podcast, wrestled with what defines a horror movie during a live taping of their show. For Scheer, horror means yelling at characters for making terrible life choices. For Nicholson, horror has to invoke a physiological reaction. For the audience, horror means or must do a number of different things.
Those things are outlined in my piece about Nightmare Cinema, which came out well over a week ago and which I’m just now remembering to share and gab about here. Nightmare Cinema does well on its own what many claim the recent spate of “great” horror films do collectively, namely show that horror has a huge range of modes and emotions and can be so much more than what most think of when they think of horror.
As a note: This line of thinking is true. But horror history shows that range, and honestly doesn’t need to be “more” than what it is, mostly because “more” rarely means “scary,” the thing horror has to be first and foremost. But that’s what my review is for!
You can read the full piece over at The Week.