As evidenced by the recent American box office success of The Last Exorcism, horror movies are more popular than ever, but is that popularity limited to the good old US of A? Absolutely not if a recent report by the UK’s Sky News is any indication. According to them horror films are increasing in popularity, and some experts claim it is because of the gloomy economic times.
Lucy McDonald, showbiz reporter for Sky News, recently chatted with The Last Exorcism producer Eli Roth and star Ashley Bell along with Simeon Halligan, director of the Grimm Up North film festival, which takes place over Halloween weekend in Manchester, England, and includes a zombie walk.
According to Roth, “Horror is always popular… People want a good smart, scary story.” A member of the Hollywood “splat pack” – a group of filmmakers renowned for their love of horror – Roth said films in the genre are increasingly sophisticated, often with a wider message. “Now there is a feeling that evil is on the rise. It is a faceless thing; you see it in Wall Street and you see it in terrorism, and the devil becomes the real focal point, [which has resulted in] a real rise in religions… There is this feeling that there is evil out there, and we have to do everything to fight it.”
Halligan takes it one step further: “One of the reasons horror and fantasy are very popular at the moment is because in a recession people throw themselves into escapism, when reality is hard work. Horror reflects a sense of anger and frustration at a society that is not doing so well.”
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