One of the worst things in online discussions is complaints that politics should stay out of entertainment. A particularly fertile ground for this is horror: a genre whose best works are inherently political. This grousing appears to have gotten too much for fans on r/horror, with user avocado1985 posting a thread titled “The most annoying trend around”.
This points to a spate of complaints about Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, with users saying they wanted to like the movie but thought it was “too woke”. Anyone who knows anything about horror will know that the original Candyman is purposefully political and that this new movie follows in its footsteps.
Replies reference other overtly political horror movies and TV shows, with nods to Dawn of the Dead, Get Out, They Live, The Stuff, The Twilight Zone, 28 Days Later, and Night of the Living Dead. All of these films succeed because their creators were trying to make a political point and it’s impossible to separate out the message from the action.
Horror cinema is largely political. And when I see people make these claims, I literally think they are so dense that they can’t look at a movie with an ounce of critical thought, or they have never seen a horror movie before.
So my ask is this. Can we stop the idiotic hot takes that aren’t based in reality? You don’t have to like a movie, or it’s message. But don’t go into a horror community and cry about political commentary.
That would be like me going into Starbucks and complaining about the coffee smell.
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What’s really going on in here is that a lot of people claim “politics is being shoved down their throat” simply when movies focus on characters that aren’t straight white men. Actual politics tends to fly over their heads: I’ve seen 1979’s Alien held up as an example of a movie without a political message, and that opens with a discussion of wage theft.
Are you as sick of this complaint as horror fans are? Let us know in the comments!