How Horror Movies Became a Money Making Machine

I’ve had friends tell me to write a horror movie. I just can’t resonate with that genre as I have others, as I have been told times repeatedly, with less “commercial potential.” This video made me think about my favorite horror movies. Only two came to mind: The Silence of the Lambs, which, like David Fincher’s Seven, would more appropriately be categorized as a crime thriller, and John Carpenter’s The Thing, which is about as horror as horror gets. But it got me to thinking how much I loved Alien (broken down here). Alien was likely pitched as Star Wars meets a horror movie. It had one of the best tags of movie, perhaps, only second to “Stupid is as stupid does,” with, “In space no one can hear you scream.” Alien really isn’t any different from The Thing if you think about it. You have a small group of people trapped who must use their wits to defeat a hell-bent beast. Then there’s The Shining, Scream, and Psycho. The Lost Boys was a big movie from my childhood, and, as Alien was Star Wars to horror, it was The Goonies meets vampires. Stranger Things has recently took inspiration from that subset. That’s more than enough inspiration to do something, if I were so inclined. So that’s what I’m saying to all of you folks who are taking the time to read my thoughts: This is show business. You can be an artist or you can write what sells and then earn the privilege of being an artist. Sure, luck is involved, but understanding what makes people more lucky than others is a big part of the game. So good luck out there.

William Robert Rich
William Robert Rich

William Robert Rich is a story analyst, screenwriter, and co-author of Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan. He's currently based in Austin, Texas.

Articles: 120

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.