They’re All Dead: In Defense of Horror

Brian Jay and Sheldon Positive’s horror and science fiction spin off from their main wrestling podcast this past week includes a thoughtful discussion about the status of the horror genre in the wider world of film, sparked by the conversation ignited by Get Out, and it is definitely worth checking out.

Sheldon and Brian veer off into a discussion over whether Get Out is a horror movie 1 and I think they mostly get this wrong. Sheldon claims that Get Out is not in the same genre space as Evil Dead or Texas Chainsaw Massacre—which it is not—and that if Get Out is a horror movie, then it is treading in uncharted waters.

First, I think anyone who has seen Get Out will say that it is definitely a horror movie. And there have been plenty of horror movies that were direct influences on Get Out. Movies like Rosemary’s Baby, and now Get Out, are quite distant from slasher fare like Hostel, but they can still comfortably share space in the genre tent. One of the most compelling aspects of the horror genre is the wide space it has for different aesthetics, storytelling, and cultural views.

Horror is a feeling—a sinking feeling, an adrenaline rush, an urge to look away, a perverted desire not to—that connects us back to our shared humanity. We all understand fear, just in different ways, and that is what makes for such variety and experimentation in the genre.

  1. Without having seen it… ↩︎