Do Critics Really Hate Horror?

Do Critics Really Hate Horror?

Horror Pits Fans Against Critics
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Horror movies are some of the only micro-budget films that routinely receive wide popularity and box office success, but conventional wisdom states that critics hate them. I assumed this to be the case, and set out to back it up with some facts.But, What I found surprised me.

I decided to compare IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, the primary online representatives of audience and critical reception, respectively. The IMDb Top 250 takes into account how many users have rated a movie, and the weighted average of these ratings. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the best available barometer for popular opinion on film. Currently, the list contains only six horror movies.

Rotten Tomatoes, on the other hand, has a list of the 100 best reviewed films according to a wide selection of critics. By my count, it contains 10 horror movies. Proportionally speaking, the Rotten Tomatoes list contains about four times as many horror movies as the IMDb list. There isn’t an exact science to genre classification, so the numbers could be one or two off depending on what qualifies as horror according to you. Bottom line, the critics actually seem to like horror movies more than general audiences.

However, critics don’t simply like more horror movies than moviegoers. Generally, they like different horror movies entirely. Take this year’s ‘The Witch,’ with a critical rating of 91%, and an audience rating of 55%, or 2014’s ‘Oculus’ (critical rating: 73%, audience rating: 53%). The basic trend here is that critics often appreciate unique, unconventional horror films, whereas a large portion of the audience finds them off-putting.

It seems many of the people that saw ‘The Witch’ in theaters were expecting a straightforward horror movie loaded with jump scares and constant stimulation. What they got instead was a well-researched period piece about the religion and family dynamics of 17th century America, that just so happened to be one of the most unsettling movies in recent memory. A large portion of the audience wants horror to meet their expectations, whereas critics prefer to have their expectations defied.

So where did we get the idea that critics hate horror movies? Well, in the past, that was often the case. Horror movies that are revered as classics and trend-setters today were savaged by critics when they were released. Back in 1968, The New York Times claimed that ‘Night of the Living Dead’ sounded like it “had been recorded in an empty swimming pool” and repeatedly called the actors “nonprofessional.” At the time, that was arguably one of the nicer reviews. In 2013, the same outlet published an article recognizing the film as “shocking,” “resonant,” and a “horror classic.”

The simple fact is that film criticism isn’t what it once was. The internet has opened it up to more people, not just the employees of major media outlets. Over the years, critics have grown less elitist, and less inclined to write off genre movies as cheap popcorn thrills (Roger Ebert, one of the few to defend ‘Night of the Living Dead’ on its release, probably deserves some credit for this as well). After all, we live in an age wherein ‘The Avengers,’ the live action equivalent of a Saturday morning cartoon (not that that's a bad thing), is a critically acclaimed movie. Being fun doesn’t necessarily count against a movie, so long as it’s well-made.

Over the years, critics have also become less inclined toward moralizing in their reviews. Half of Variety’s review for ‘Night of the Living Dead’ consisted of hand-wringing over the film’s violence, before it even addressed its quality. This attitude seems foreign today, when critics rarely address the content of a film. It would seem they’ve grown desensitized after decades of watching gore-fests for a living.

Genre bias certainly does exist in some elements of the media (how many horror movies have ever won an Oscar?), but our picture of the snobbish, self-righteous critic is painfully outdated. If anything, it’s time for general audiences to give original, risk-taking horror movies a shot.
Cover Image Credit: A24

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.

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17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

Warcraft 3 – Original vs. Reforged Trailer Graphics Comparison Youtube

However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:


Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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