What makes a film into a horror movie? It used to be fairly easy to classify flicks, but the vast majority seem to blend genres now. That can make it difficult to distinguish between a horror film and a psychological thriller. How is anyone supposed to know the difference anymore?
Fortunately, SYFY WIRE's panel of experts have come together to find an answer. Join Jackie Jennings, Meghan R. Dineen, and Juan Cavdavid as they define a horror movie in terms anyone can understand. Basically, we're looking for three factors before we call it a horror film. First, there has to be an overall sense of dread throughout the flick. Then the movie should be more grotesque and physical than a traditional drama. Finally, the film should have some fantastical elements without venturing into fantasy territory.
To classify 11 modern and classic movies as either horror or "not horror," we're borrowing a page from the late Blockbuster Video and putting them up on shelves. One of our more contentious picks was Jaws, Steven Spielberg's breakout killer-shark flick. Although it was initially deemed "not horror" by our panel, they talked themselves into moving it back into horror. Something tells us they're gonna need a bigger boat!
Our panelists also raised some good points about studios choosing to market their films as horror even when they actually aren't. That's why Hereditary, It Comes At Night, and A Quiet Place were placed outside of horror by our rankings. There are certainly some scary moments in those movies, it's just not enough for them to add up to what we call horror.
How were the other movies placed? You'll have to watch the full video to find out!