James Wan doesn’t believe in the term “heightened horror”

In recent years, marketing departments and press release writers have tried hard to get the public to stick with the concept of “heightened horror”. This term has been heard so much lately that it was even mentioned last year Scream sequel, where a snooty character said she preferred “heightened horror” because “it’s scary, but with complex emotional
and thematic underpinnings.” But the term has had trouble catching on because many horror fans find it insulting to the overall genre. As Joe Bob Briggs said, “Elevated horror is a term used by people who hate horror to to describe horror movies that they like.” John Carpenter has no interest in it, saying, “I don’t know what that term means.” And now James Wan, who has directed and/or produced some of the past twenty years most popular horror film, said he doesn’t believe in the concept of “heightened horror”.

talking with SlashFilmsWan said, “I don’t believe in that term heightened horror, because I think any horror is heightened, as far as you ask me. So I love Robert Wise’s The ghost down to anything. For me there is none of this [elitism]. They are all on the same level.

To prove his point, Wan mentioned Shopping Mall and Night of the Creep as a few favourites he would love to remake.

I have to agree with both Wan and Joe Bob on this one. I hate the term “heightened horror”. Horror has always had its complex emotional films, its culturally relevant films, its jump scare films and its goofball films. Horror is many different things, and putting down the genre by calling a film “heightened” doesn’t make it any more special or important than any other horror film out there. It just makes it sound pretentious.

What are your thoughts on the concept of “heightened horror”? Do you think it is meaningful or meaningless? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Wan’s latest film is the sci-fi thriller M3GAN (read our review HERE), which he produced after coming up with the story idea. M3GAN is in the cinema now.

Related Posts