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Why The A24 Horror Trailer Aesthetic Is A Double-edged Sword

I can’t fault A24 for doing whatever it takes to get people to watch their horror movies in theaters, especially since they tend to be inspirational, weird, slow-burning, movie-driven thrillers filmmakers that the big studios wouldn’t make. t touch with a 10 foot pole. But at the same time, their approach often tricks casual moviegoers into thinking they’re going to get a more typical horror movie, only to leave them disappointed when it turns out they’re not. It’s also why A24 releases like “The Witch” and “It Comes at Night” earned C- and D CinemaScores, respectively (via Vulture) after their opening weekends, despite receiving critical acclaim left and right.

Financially, it’s hard to say whether A24’s approach helps its horror films more than it hurts them. According to Numbers, 2018’s “Hereditary” is the company’s highest-grossing film of all time with a worldwide box office of $81.3 million, with 2019’s “Midsommar” and 2016’s “The Witch” respectively holding the spots. No. 5 and No. 6. In comparison, A24’s most recent horror film, “Lamb”, is all the way down at No. 41 with $3 million. The problem is that the pandemic makes it impossible to tell to what extent (if any) the film’s low attendance is related to the general public starting to understand A24’s tricks and/or a lack of interest in it. specific folk horror subgenre.

Asked by ComicBook.com In 2018, “Hereditary” star Alex Wolff argued that the quality of the film (and, by extension, other A24 horror movies) would allow it to stand the test of time, long after people forgot his own D+ CinemaScore. As Wolff said:

“I think if you start watching a movie like ‘Hereditary’ in terms of scores and percentages, it’s going to drive you crazy because that’s really not what it’s about. If ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ probably had percentages and CinemaScore in the 70s, or ‘The Exorcist’, people would have given it an F- and any percentage.”

It’s a valid point, and for the same reason I hope (perhaps naively) that in the long run the masses won’t care too much that A24 constantly misleads them into checking out its movies. bolder and more inventive horror. At the same time, I wouldn’t be shocked if “Men” gets a bad CinemaScore from people upset that it has less in common with the “Conjuring” movies (which I usually enjoy, don’t get me wrong ) than the works of, say, “Stalker” and “Solaris” filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (as “Annihilation” did).

“Men” hits theaters on May 20, 2022.


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