It's a great time to be a fan of the horror genre. This year alone has seen some fantastic and creepy films debut, but few have become quite as polarizing as Ari Aster's Hereditary. Despite strong word of mouth and our own rave review of the film, Hereditary has gone on to receive a D+ CinemaScore now that it has screened for the public.
That's not great for Hereditary, which is currently sitting with a far more impressive 91% Rotten Tomatoes score, but it has happened in the horror genre before. On that note, we have compiled a list of other horror films that similarly hit with critics when they debuted, but failed to generate the same level of enthusiasm among audiences. With so many different points to get to, let's get started with one of the most recent releases.
It Comes At Night
Of all the films that debuted on the big screen in 2017, few received responses quite as polarizing as It Comes at Night. Early buzz around the movie was incredibly intense, bolstered by some seriously insane trailers that promised one of the scariest movies in recent memory. However, the film landed with a thud when it debuted to mainstream audiences, garnering a 44% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes compared to its stellar 88% critic score. It's hard to pin down what went wrong, but smart money would be to place partial blame on It Comes at Night's marketing campaign, which promised something more in the vein of the zombie genre than the dark and methodically-paced film that it actually was.
Oh, Mother! Much like It Comes at Night, Darren Aronofsky's Jennifer Lawrence-fronted, heady pseudo-horror film debuted to an incredibly mixed reaction when it premiered last year, with some hailing it as a masterclass piece of filmmaking, and others classifying it as an overly ambitious and self-indulgent piece of cinema. Critically-speaking, Mother! faired well for itself, earning a commendable 69% in the face of its intense subject matter and wild turns. That said, the film died when it went to mainstream audiences, ultimately finding itself slapped with an F CinemaScore when it hit the silver screen for its wide release. The film is obviously not for everyone, and its reception very much shows that in clear detail.