So what’s happening? Are audiences such mule-fucking sociopaths they can’t go a minute without a blood-covered spectacle? Or are elite critics so far up their own asses that their next whitewashing complaint will be about the backs of their own bleached teeth?
Sorry to say – the answer might be neither. As I’ve noticed from purely anecdotal experience, none of these films are beloved or hated by the same group of people. Someone who loved It Follows might hate The Witch, and someone who loved The Witch might hate The Babadook, and et cetera. And some people (like me) might love all of these films, and have friends they respect and admire who don’t like any of them.
So I have a theory – one that doesn’t force me to repeatedly suplex all my friends. The reason these movies stand out as being polarizing isn’t just because they are slower and more atmospheric. It’s because they’re actually an entirely new genre of horror that works drastically differently on different types of people. Why? Because all of these films are extremely allegorical to some real-world problem or philosophy. And while critics and movie nerds are more likely to pick up on this, the casual horror-goer isn’t going to care unless it’s an analogy they are specifically attuned with. Nine times out of ten they just want a fear-induced rush to enjoy with their date.
I’m gonna call it “Parable Horror” and hope that it sticks. Or maybe “Alle-gore-y”? Wait. Let’s call it “Scarable.” That’s way better. Are we all cool with “Scarable”? I feel like I shouldn’t be the only person in charge of naming a new genre… but I also feel like I just hit it out of the park.