Why Do Horror Movies Get Bad Reviews & Ratings? What’s Up With Critics?

There’s nothing worse than getting hyped for a new horror movie to hit the movie theater soon. Only to realize that it’s getting torn apart to pieces by almost every single movie critic out there.

To make things worse, this usually isn’t just an isolated incident either. I’ve been a horror fav for many years now, and have noticed the same pattern myself.

So let’s dig a little deeper when it comes to why horror movies seem to get such bad reviews.

So Why Do Horror Movies Get Bad Reviews?

why do horror movies get bad reviews

Many horror movies get bad reviews because plain and simple, many of them are just bad, to begin with. I’m sure that you’ve seen your fair share of bad horror movies too, right?

I’ve seen plenty of movies, whether it be horror, action, comedy (and many more), and you first have to understand that there are going to be bad movies within every genre.

However, it certainly does seem like critics have an ax to grind when it comes to horror movies. So there’s a much better question to ask instead of; why do horror movies get bad reviews?

Why Do Critics Hate Horror Movies?

There can be quite a few reasons why critics tend to hate horror movies. Despite the fact that horror movies have gotten more popular, there was always a time when that wasn’t the case.

I also feel like people are fearful of being judged for liking horror movies (as if it’s a bad thing). Aside from that, I’ve come up with a few key reasons as to why critics tend to flat-out horror movies. Here they are.

1) Most Critics Aren’t True Horror Fans

As a horror fan myself, I can’t help but cringe when non-horror critics review horror movies. It gets worse, as this is something that happens all the time.

For me, I’m personally not a fan of musicals. So not only do I not review them, I simply don’t want them at all. I believe that the same should go for any other type of movie critic out there.

Horror fans, like myself, get to watch horror movies from a different lens (or perspective). When you’ve seen hundreds (and even thousands) of horror movies, you better develop a standard for what horror movies should have.

This doesn’t mean that every critic who doesn’t like a specific horror movie isn’t a horror fan, but it certainly happens quite a lot. After all, it’s hard to like something if you’re not a true fan of it in the first place.

So why does it appear that critics hate horror movies so much from their reviews? It’s because they aren’t true fans in the first place.

2) The Horror Genre Tends To Have Shorter Movies

Once again, as a big horror fan myself, I’ve seen my fair share of horror movies. Something that I’ve noticed is that most of them tend to be on the shorter side of film length.

Why is this important? Well, the shorter the movie is, the less time that you have for the important character development aspect. This tends to be of the big downfalls of horror movies.

Think about it, how often have you heard about something such as:

  • The characters weren’t even important.
  • I didn’t care at all for any of the characters.
  • And most specifically, being happy about characters being offed.

Compare shorter horror movies to a much longer and drawn-out classic such as The Shining, and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

3) Horror Movies Can Be Both Scary And Violent

Aside from movie critics, there are a lot of people who will simply refuse to watch any horror movie. I remember someone talking in an interview and he stated that there is nothing worse than two things:

  1. His wife being angry.
  2. Horror movies.

He also joked around about how both of those things can be scary, but he certainly wasn’t joining around when he talked about he avoids scary movies at any cost. I guess he didn’t like the idea of not being able to sleep well from being too scared.

So you have the scary side of horror movies, and then you have the violent side. Jump scares and spooky environments is one thing, but many people aren’t also able to deal with all of the blood and violence.

Many horror films nowadays seem to be filled with only clever ways to showcase violence. As you might have already guessed, this isn’t exactly a great selling point when it comes to reviewing movies. This is really true if, once again, the critic doesn’t like horror to begin with.

4) Younger Slashers And Older Movie Critics

Some of the best movie critics tend to be older, and that’s a good thing. After all, you want a movie critic to have more years of watching films under their belt. It gives them a much better perspective of what’s good, and what’s garbage.

With that being said, many horror movies nowadays are looking to attract a much younger audience. I’m not referring to kids, but more so in the age ranges of 20-30.

Just think about all of the teen slashers that have come out in the past few decades:

  • Freaky.
  • Happy Death Day movies.
  • Scream (and many of its sequels).
  • Urban Legend (that had a couple of sequels too).
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer (and the other sequels).

That’s just a very small list, but I think you get the idea when it comes to a mismatch of audiences. Horror movies aren’t usually geared towards the older critics that end up reviewing them.

Horror Movies And Bad Reviews: Closing Words

At the end of the day, it’s very easy to see that horror movies are getting an unfair treatment when it comes to the reviews and ratings that they receive.

However, I’ve come up with a couple of solutions to this problem:

  • Ignore these types of general critics like the plague.
  • Only read reviews from those who are a part of the horror community.

You can even find a group of your favorite horror movie critics, that way you know that you’ll be getting a true review as well with real constructive criticism.

So while the negative reviews from non-horror movie critics may keep pouring in, sometimes ignoring them is the best solution 😛