Horror and Hollywood: Is IT getting better?

Audriana Tapia, Guest Writer

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Many people enjoy a good horror movie now and then. However, some fans do enjoy them much more. So, when Hollywood either pumps out reboots of past horror movies, such as 2009’s “Friday the 13th” and 2010’s “Nightmare on Elm Street,” or spits out horrendous movies like “The Bye Bye Man” and “Wish Upon,” the general audience will have a different opinion than critics and self-proclaimed horror aficionados and fans.

“IT” (2017) is an example of Hollywood pumping out a new reboot of an adaptation. Making $60 million in its first weekend alone, its budget of $35 million made a profit nearly twice as large.

English teacher Jeff Barry would not call himself a fan of horror, but he does mildly enjoy the genre. However, it’s not the gore or cheap scares he likes: He prefers psychological horror, how it toys with “human fears in a smart way.” Such a movie that does this is 2017’s “IT.”
Seeing the movie in its opening weekend, Barry said he enjoyed the beginning, especially the part where Pennywise, the antagonist of the film, leads the main character’s little brother to his death in the sewer. He said the movie built great tension, with Pennywise toying both Georgie and the audience.

“You knew something bad was going to happen,” said Barry, “[the beginning] so intense and so frightening.”

However, he said it definitely was not his all time favorite movie. While he can see why it’s already had major success, he claims the “pacing was off… [you] become… numb to it.”

When asked whether or not Hollywood is running out of ideas, Barry said that it’s “overall… undeniably a trend to focus on.”

The main reason that it’s a trend are ones that both Barry and critics agree on. Hollywood needs money, so they must do something that’s safe and lovable, but also something that will make them money. This is where reboots of classic movies come in, and how terrible Hollywood did the summer of 2017.

“They’re making movies people don’t want to see,” said Barry.

The first half of 2017 was a terrible time for the box office, and while both fans and audiences have high hopes that the rest of the year will help it out, the truth is that as long as they keep producing movies with bad ideas and concepts, the less profit they’ll get over time.

Barry brought up a recent movie that did incredible in the box office and in the eyes of critics: “Get Out.” “Get Out”, released in February of 2017, was, according to both audiences and critics, an original and wonderful concept and product.

The movie brings up issues on race in a clever way, which is something horror movies almost never cover. “It was so well done in a completely unique way,” said Barry.

Despite “Get Out” going against the grain and becoming successful, other horror movies that were “original” that came out in 2017 included “The Bye Bye Man” and “Wish Upon”, which both did terribly with critics and audiences, harming 2017’s box office revenue. Clearly, Hollywood should be able to recognize these patterns that original ideas always triumph over bad concepts.

Many online critics, such as those on Youtube, would agree with Barry’s viewpoint of “IT” (2017), how it plays with human fears. They also agree that its main topic is human fear, which resonates with audiences, since almost everyone has a fear.

“IT” (2017) is a whole new reimagination of Stephen King’s novel for the general audience, how these kids have to band together in order to fight their fears- what creature and the whole movie is based upon.

Critics and the people in Hollywood would also agree that 2017’s box office has done terribly so far. But while critics can face the music, Hollywood producers cannot, with its continuation of sequels and reboots as proof.

However, this cycle is only fed by audiences, which gives money to the same producers to make more. And so, the cycle will continue until one or both parties changes their tradition.

While “IT” (2017) may please the masses and the pockets of those who work in the industry of making movies, it is only a small step. Overall, Hollywood’s trend of not putting too much thought may be slowly coming to an end by means of other examples shining past the rest. Whether or not this will officially come to an end is only up to the audiences and Hollywood themselves.

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