Obviously low-budget horror films make studios a lot of money because they’re easy to produce and there’s always a market for them. There’s also a lot to be said about the low-budget horror film, many of which have been extremely successful. However this mass-production of low-budget horror films has lead to a lot of poor quality horror films to infiltrate the market. I challenge that studios would be able to make a larger profit off higher-quality and high-profile horror films if the invested more into the project. Films like The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, Shutter Island and The Shining all benefited for larger budgets and in affect created some of the most successful horror films in the past decades.
It's wise to say what we mean by 'good' horror films. Most horror films follow a typical formula that makes them very easy to guess and insanely predictable. I remember one in particular called Cabin in the Woods Couldn't get through it. – Adnan Bey6 years ago
I made it through Cabin in the Woods, with anticipation that it would get better. I also watched because of Chris Hemsworth. So in addition to the quality over quantity in the low-budget horror films perhaps, you can also look at the cast. Which would probably fall into the category of the higher budget to pay an actor who has a following. So good writing, directing, acting and location would be some factors to examine in this article regarding quality and quantity. – Venus Echos6 years ago
It's certainly complicated. As you mentioned, in the short run, cheaper horror movies like ones filmed on a handheld (found footage films) tend to make A LOT compared to their meager budgets, no matter if they're actually competent. They attract audiences who seek potential thrills and make back what little they spend and then triple that profit, which encourages studios to produce them. It's less about the money to me and more of a) the intentions behind creating the film and b) where the money actually goes. Not going to name names, but a movie can have a lot of money poured into it and still have an incomprehensible script and an over-reliance on CGI. (Not going to name Gods of Egypt, which isn't a horror movie unless you consider that its director was the same director as The Crow and his current film work is horrific.) If I were to advise anyone who writes this topic, I would suggest addressing not just encouraging higher quality in terms of equipment and effects, but taking the time to consider the script and purpose of the film, as well as, like Venus Echos mentioned, casting the right people and not necessarily relying on facial/star recognition. – Emily Deibler6 years ago
The Blair Witch Project (1999) should be one of the films covered. This was a haunting film. Perhaps due to the psychological fear of the unknown, our own imagination can be better than a formulaic production. This example would fit with the categories of unknown actors, script, and director. This low budget film made by film students had an estimated budget of $60,000 with an opening weekend made $1,512.054 per IMDb. – Venus Echos6 years ago
I think that you make a good point! Horror films that are low budget, but still not good in quality are really not worth making! And if I were you, I'd probably get some advice from people who write, produce, or direct horror films. (Like Stephen King for instance.) If you e-mail him, he could probably give you some good advice as to why and how the horror film making industry works, and how it could work better! – autena6 years ago