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Are Horror Movies Seasonal?

I watched the original Resident Evil a couple days ago. I brought a few horror movies up the last time I was home in case I needed something especially mindless to wind down from studying (a role that yoga usually occupies). While I enjoyed Resident Evil and its lack of any significant artistic merit, it did not succeed in its job of executing a successful shutdown of my brain. I then started thinking about whether or not horror movies qualify as seasonal to the Fall or more specifically, the month of October.

It’s hardly a surprise that some would classify horror movies as seasonal. October is when AMC and other channels air their horror marathons. The box office is dominated by horror movies, most of which are sequels that few people actually care about. It’s hardly a secret that October is the month when horror movies are most relevant.

But does that make them specifically seasonal?

The counterargument is that with most horror movies, there is nothing that inherently links them to the holiday Halloween (with series like the Halloween franchise serving as exceptions). There is nothing that says a horror movie must have anything to do with Halloween. Few people watch Christmas movies in March. But there’s no real reason not to watch a horror movie in March besides the lack of “festive spirit.”

Beyond that, horror is a much more mainstream genre that Christmas movies. While October is a very popular month for horror, it’s not the only one where they debut. Seeing as other genre films adhere to strict timelines to introduce new movies, I find it hard to label horror as seasonal.

The best comparison to horror movies as seasonal is the Oscar season. Most people accept that Oscar season occurs from mid November until around the end of January. The association between different horror movies is structurally stronger than Oscar movies, but based on genre and not by timeline.

I do not think that horror movies are seasonal. They may be more fun to watch in October, but that doesn’t make them specifically seasonal. It is not dissimilar from the way that romantic movies are more fun to watch in February. A horror movie does not need a pumpkin to be a horror movie. Try doing a Christmas movie without Santa or a tree.

One Comment

  1. Best horror movie of all time: The Exorcist. Great to watch anytime – but particularly frightening during the Halloween season!

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