Why Aren’t More Horror Movies Released In Theaters Around Halloween?

10.31.16 1 month ago
halloween

Compass International Pictures

It’s not quite as well known as “in a world…” but “if you only see one movie this [season], make it…” is an equally disingenuous trailer quote. It means nothing, because it can mean anything. For instance, “If you only see one movie this January about your mom or dad’s filthy father, make it Dirty Grandpa,” or, “If you only see one movie this Halloween, make it Ouija: Origin of Evil.” Thing is, that second one is actually true. Despite being a sequel (and a prequel!) to a bad movie named after something bored teens in the 1970s played with during sleepovers, and despite having the most vague subtitle ever, and despite starring Edward’s mom from Twilight, the enjoyably corny Ouija: Origin of Evil isn’t half-bad! Most of the scares are earned. It’s a perfectly inoffensive pre-Halloween horror movie to see on a first date.

Not that you have many options. There are only two horror movies out this October: Ouija: Origin of Evil (I can’t get over that title; it might as well be Ouija: Dawn of Justice) and Boo! A Madea Halloween, which is horrifying for different reasons. That’s it. How did this happen? Have studios always bee this inexplicably stingy when it comes to spooks and scares this time of year, when we most want to be spooked and scared? I looked back at the release schedule for the past 20 years and noted every wide-release horror movie (or horror adjacent, which includes comedies like Scary Movie). It’s terrifying.

2016

Boo! A Madea Halloween
Ouija: Origin of Evil

2015

Crimson Peak
Goosebumps
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

2014

Dracula Untold
Ouija

2013

Carrie
The Devil’s Rapture

2012

Frankenweenie
Paranormal Activity 4
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Sinister

2011

Beneath the Darkness
Paranormal Activity 3
The Thing

2010

Case 39
I Spit on Your Grave
Let Me In
My Soul to Take
Paranormal Activity 2
Saw 3D

2009

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
The House of the Devil
Night of the Demons
Saw VI
The Stepfather
Zombieland

2008

The Haunting of Molly Hartley
Quarantine
Saw V

2007

30 Days of Night
Saw IV

2006

The Grudge 2
Saw III
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

2005

The Fog
Saw II
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

2004

The Grudge
Saw

2003

House of the Dead
Scary Movie 3
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

2002

Ghost Ship
The Ring

2001

From Hell
Thirteen Ghosts

2000

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
The Little Vampire
Lost Souls

1999

Bats
House on Haunted Hill

1998

Beloved
Bride of Chucky
Vampires

1997

I Know What You Did Last Summer

1996

Thinner

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