Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

On the popularity of and backlash to elevated horror

Clockwise from top: Midsommar (Photo: Gabor Kotschy/A24); The Witch (Screenshot: A24); It Follows (Screenshot: RADiUS-TWC)
Clockwise from top: Midsommar (Photo: Gabor Kotschy/A24); The Witch (Screenshot: A24); It Follows (Screenshot: RADiUS-TWC)
Graphic: The A.V. Club

It’s tough to pinpoint the exact origins of the expression “elevated horror.” But it was sometime around the middle of last decade that someone coined the term to refer to a new renaissance of atmospheric, critically acclaimed scary movies like It Follows, The Babadook, and The Witch. Is it a useful distinction or just a condescending buzzword? On the first of four episodes Film Club is devoting to spooky Halloween fare this October, critics A.A. Dowd and Katie Rife discuss what qualifies as elevated horror, while also getting into both the popularity and the backlash to the label and movement.

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Because The A.V. Club office is closed for the time being, and everyone on staff is social distancing, we’ve recorded episode remotely. Listen to the podcast above, subscribe on iTunes, and give us a five-star rating to help other listeners find us. And while you’re there, check out The A.V. Club’s other podcast, Push The The Envelope.

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