or better yet why can't horror be funny and financially successful anymore?
I'm sure this has been mulled over ad nauseum on horror forums, but while watching a trailer for Zombieland on Youtube, the first comment was the following:
"This looks more funny than scary, but i'm still going to see it."
This seems to be the prevalent sediment amongst the younger mainstream moviegoer. Not so much the "see it" part but the negative connotation surrounding horror movies being funny. Why the stigma, people? The same feeling comes when assessing Drag Me to Hell's domestic box office performance. With a take just over nine million its production budget, Raimi's return is somewhat of a disappointment essentially nightcapping the production and advertising budgets. If there was any hope for a true Evil Dead 4, Drag's reception just snuffed it out and Raimi finally has a credible scapegoat for that constant question. To which I'm sure Mr. Spider-Man is quietly pleased. Of course, the fun Slither fared significantly worse in not breaking even with worldwide gross. Even the hugely popular Shaun of the Dead barely crossed the thirty mil mark worldwide, but granted the budget was an amazingly low four million(?!) according to the IMDB. Not to mention Warner royally fucking over Trick 'r Treat.
Horror seems to be more of a home video medium ever since the '80s rental boom. I'm sure these films and others like it have/will recoup and prove their longevity on the DVD racks. It's just a damn shame the majority of moviegoers have chosen the "horromedy" the red-headed stepchild of silver screen ticket sales.
Money isn't everything (in a broader sense, not in studio exec standards) and horror needn't be an episode of Laugh-In, but this trend further stymies the overall pursuit of fresh ideas delivered on a grand scale in the genre. At least on the lines of bullshit walks producers and investors. The foreseeable pinnacle will arrive when Christian Bale is cast in a Rob Zombie Halloween sequel. That level of glumness and hyper violence might just cause a rash of unexplainable suicides to sweep the nation upon release. Maybe then people will start giggling.
...buuuttttt this doesn't put a damper on how nifty Zombieland looks!