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Why Horror Movies Rarely Contend For Awards, According To Annabelle: Creation’s Director

Annabelle Creation Creepy Doll

The horror genre just keeps getting better and better as more and more talented filmmakers enter the sub genre to deliver skillfully made works of art. The latest in that successful line is David F. Sandberg's Annabelle: Creation, which opens in theaters this weekend and is already earning great critical buzz. I recently had the chance to ask Sandberg why more horror films don't get recognized during the fall awards season, and he admitted that he believes the abundance of bad horror films has sullied the genre's reputation, saying:

Partly because there's a lot of bad horror movies. But I also think there is still, even though they make so much money for Hollywood, I think there's still a little bit of that feeling of looking down on it a little bit, like 'oh, this is a horror movie.' In fact, it was one person at the studio who wasn't as directly involved with [Annabelle: Creation], she was asking me after she had seen Annabelle, she was saying 'so what do you call this? Because it's not horror. It's better than horror, right?' And I was like, 'no, it's still horror. It's just good horror.' So there is that, but at the same time New Line are very proud of their horror movies. I think they're one of the few studios that get it right and also, they're proud of making good horror.

Of course, horror movies have definitely won Oscars over the years. From The Exorcist to Misery and An American Werewolf in London, the genre certainly has its share of prestige. However, as David F. Sandberg pointed out in our conversation, the sheer amount of bad horror movies have caused many non-horror fans to turn their noses up at the genre. Even when a well-made horror film like Annabelle: Creation comes out, many people have trouble processing it because the negative connotation of horror has conditioned them to believe that a horror film cannot showcase such high quality. As fans of horror already know, that can become infuriating.

It is a tragedy that most people feel that way, because horror is actually one of the hardest genres to get right. Between their ability to sustain tension, tell a relatively complex story economically, and deliver thrills that feel earned, horror films generally require quite a bit of skill to pull off properly and exhibit some of the entertainment industry's best talent when they work well and hit all of the right notes. Awards ceremonies have historically looked down on the genre as a whole, but our hope remains high that films like It Follows, last year's Don't Breathe, and even Annabelle: Creation can start to change the tone of that conversation within the next few years.

Annabelle: Creation opens in theaters this weekend on August 11. Make sure to check it out and let us know what you think of the horror genre's current state in the comments section below!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.