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#5 Genre Grievances

Published: 09-06-2021

The following is an insight to my least favourite genres and why I dislike them so much.

Being a film critic, I have to sit through and watch a ton of films; while it sounds like a dream job, that is often a misconception. Yes, there are great movies out there, some to look forward to, and the best part for me personally is the film festivals and the hidden gems often found there. However, if we put it into statistics, only about 2 in 5 movies I get to watch are actually good, and perhaps one or even 0,5 are brilliant.

You get somewhat desensitised at a certain point of doing film criticism, and sitting through any standard drama or thriller becomes easier. Still, logically I’m a massive fan of cinema, so I very rarely have to turn anything off, even before I started as a film critic.

Nevertheless, let us get to the meat of this blog, though, as I already explored film criticism on its own in a previous blogging venture. While I love some genre’s more than others, there’s also those I dread to watch and typically loathe, they might not be that bad, but due to the number of them that are mediocre, I’d rather skip them altogether. Sadly I do not get that decision. The genres I’m discussing here are horror and comedy; they’re mostly bland without much substance over the years.

To break it down a little bit for those readers that don’t quite understand my judgement on the topic, my opinions are the following. Starting with horror, every year, there’s many of these films out there, with many sub-genres within. Wistfully the majority takes the cheap way out. Let us start with my most significant dispute: Jump Scares. Inserted in the tensest moments of the film, they pull me out of every film they’re in, as they’re simply meant to break the fourth wall a bit, having less of an effect in the film itself and more of an impact on the viewer directly. When creating a horror flick, there’s an opportunity to weave an intricate and mysterious scenario, whether it be a haunted location or a tale of a serial killer. My second point is where all the mystery and intrigue gets disregarded in the first place, that is when we have a group of individuals, teenagers most of the time, that are introduced to some secluded woodland or a scary mansion and in their stupidity, they decide to spend their time within said woods or mansion. We all know what’s going to happen, but, let me defend this point a little, there is a place for these set-ups in slasher flicks, on its own having a group and have them be murdered one by one is satisfying to a horror audience, most of the time, however, directors and writers can be a lot more creative regarding the topic.

Now it is time for the second genre, which might be slightly more complicated, that is comedy. I’d doubt the opinion that would say not everyone likes to laugh; laughing is one of the best things out there, and the comedy genre tries to exploit that. My choice of words is very definite, ‘’exploit’’, a pure comedy just chains jokes or ‘’funny’’ moments together. At some point, it’s simply too much as most of these films fail to deliver on value, and it becomes a quality over quantity issue. You could draw the comparison with cabaret or stand-up, where you go to a theatre and expect to be amused, but for some reason, that’s just different than a movie intending to be exclusively humorous.

In both cases, my position on these genres is clear, and my verdict can mostly be: Combine these genres with others. Romantic comedies are the most obvious, but action flicks also serve as an excellent platter to convey some humour in-between. And I would mention mystery and thriller films in the case of horror, and they might be the best, but who doesn’t love some sci-fi or action horror.

Rounding off, I’m not saying every horror or comedy movie is bad, and there’s plenty that are perfectly fine. And do not take this as a critic telling you they’re horrible and you shouldn’t watch them, but for a moment, I would ask you to look at these films more critically if you’re a fan, for once I’m not the person to just throw words, verdicts and opinions at you. Look for yourself, dive into the next horror or comedy a little deeper and come back to me with your findings.

Author: Mark de Graaf