There’s been a horror boom in the movie industry in recent years. Not only are the movies making studios a ton of money, but some of the most critically acclaimed films coming out are in the horror genre. The term “elevated horror” has been used to describe critical darlings like Get Out, Hereditary, The Witch, and many more. However, horror icon Bruce Campbell thinks labeling horror movies as anything other than a horror movie is pointless.
In an interview with Den of Geek, the Evil Dead star blasted the idea of horror films being referred to as “elevated horror.”
“I don’t care about their dumb terms,” Campbell said when hearing the term elevated horror. “But I’m glad to see horror mainstreamed, because in the Evil Dead era, horror was one rung above porno. The actors who were in horror movies were either starting out or on their way out. They were either young or old. You started in horror to get into the business or because you couldn’t get arrested. And it’s very nice to see now that it’s just another genre. It doesn’t have to have satanic implications; it’s not going to ruin the youth of America. It’s just another genre that happens to capture the imaginations of audiences.”
There are certainly different types of horror films. It’s hard to say that a film like Midsommar is in the same category as a film like Halloween Kills. Campbell is one of the most powerful voices in horror, due to his role as Ash Williams in the Evil Dead, so when he speaks, fans listen.
That said, the use of the term “elevated horror” is likely here to stay.
Campbell’s quote on “elevated horror” wasn’t the only good nugget from the interview. The actor revealed one of the unique things that make horror stand out compared to other genres.
“Horror and comedy are really the only two genres that will get a physical response out of an audience,” Campbell said. “And I think it’s really fun to sit and watch an audience with a good horror movie that makes them jump. It takes a lot of skill as a filmmaker to get them to do that.”
At the end of the day, horror films exist to scare audiences. Whether it’s “elevated” or not doesn’t matter much if the film isn’t scary. Campbell is acutely aware of that and it’s a big reason he’s had such a long career in the genre.