Gone are the days of lending movies and giving recommendations... hello streaming. Ok, maybe that's not entirely true, but here's my method for helping new and potential fans get into the Horror movie genre. There's no tricks or elaborate processes involved. My plan here is simple, and I'd even bet my last Red Vine that it may even be similar to a process you already do yourself. But, just in case not, (bye-bye Red Vine) or for the fact it may prove inspirational for you, allow me to elaborate.
Let's be honest, helping a friend, family member or stranger get into Horror may seem like an excruciating process. Heck, perhaps it even was for you at one time or another. Likewise, it stings when someone we care about dislikes or even stomps on a flick we hold dear. Especially, when that said someone is a person that we are trying to groom into the genre. But with Horror being such an expansive genre, and there being a plethora of movies to choose from, where do you start? Because, let's face it, especially in a genre that no two fans seem to agree on when it comes to defining, it can become overbearing for the neophyte.
In addition, how do we keep a fledgling from drowning in a seemingly infinite, bloody pit of movies. With over a hundred years of films so much has come out, and many more movies are on the horizon. Originally, getting someone into Horror was an exhaustive process, at least for me. I would lend friends or co-workers movie after movie one or two at a time and try to judge their taste from there. But my stance has changed, now I let them get themselves into the genre at their own pace. I don't recommend movies, I let them pick it on their own, without so much as a nudge in any direction.
Wait, I know this may have your head tilting like Mike and you're probably thinking, 'dude, we clicked on your review for a bit more information than that.' So, allow me to elaborate. My method, well not mine, others have definitely thought of this strategy well before I did, is to recommend a streaming service. I'm not talking about Shudder or Screambox or anything like that. That's an eventual step, but I'm speaking more of the big three or four or what have you. Apps like Netflix, Hulu, Prime, HBO, and Peacock are ideal here. In an age of streaming, most newcomers to the genre are bound to have one or more of these apps. And you know what? If they don't have one of the big streaming apps? Then the hell with them! Just kidding! Fortunately, there are free apps like Tubi, PopcornFlix and Vudu just to name a few. Unfortunately, however, these free apps might have offerings that are a little bit more than the average newcomer may be able to chew. Nevertheless, if they don't have internet and living like they just landed on the Mayflower that unfortunately means we're back to the old days of lending them films from our coveted physical collections. And if you don't own any physical media, then you better beg, borrow or steal. Actually, Horrordork doesn't condone any kind of criminal activity, so please don't steal.
In accordance, with picking one of the big streamers, have them watch everything that looks interesting to them. Most importantly, follow through with them on a conversation for each movie they watched. I mostly just probe them with questions and let them do most of the talking. I really try not to impress any opinions on them at such a delicate step. It drives some newbies crazy when I won't let them in on what I thought about a film, but I really believe that the first dozen or so movies they watch is a crucial foundation that helps them formulate their own unique opinion on the genre. Also, try to keep them from steering away from a particular subgenre just because they didn't like a film. Unless of course it's a major aspect of that subgenre, like shaky-cam and found footage for example. By-the-way fuck the Blair Witch Project! I still feel like I wasted eight dollars and it's been damn near twenty years. But we'll save that rant for a different day.
Once, they've watched everything that seemed interesting to them in one app, send them to another, at least one more time before recommending Shudder or something of that sort. But that's just my opinion and theory, I'd love to hear your ways of getting your friends and acquaintances into Horror. Nevertheless, whether you're using some variation of this method or your own, I hope you're successful, because the more the merrier. And we, or at least I, like to think of all of us fans as Sawyers... err, I mean family.
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