Is Horror Getting Worse Over Time? What do our Stats Mean?
The graph below represents our investigations on the horror genre in a cute and artistic way, but maybe you want to know a little bit more about how we came to the conclusions that we did. We have reviewed over 200 horror films from a wide variety of decades. With these scores that we gave films, we wanted to compare them with the scores given by sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. We created a spreadsheet of not only our scores, but also the audience and critic scores for these two websites. When we started doing this, we immediately ran into some problems. Many films had very high scores, but that was simply due to a low number of reviews. Is a movie with 10 reviews that are all perfect as great as a film with 100 reviews that is just slightly less than perfect? It is possible, but it's also possible the 10 review film hasn't been seen by enough people. Ergo, we weighted our scores to reflect not only this, but also when the review came out and the source it was coming from. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, so we needed a way to combat reviews given 30 years later that was glistening with nostalgia, rather than objective facts. Once we had all of these weighted or "overall" averages, we could then chart them and see what we got. We used linear regression to develop a trend line. With this trend line, we could forecast the state of the horror genre years from now. We could also determine how statistically significant our numbers are. Our R^2 isn't incredibly strong, which means that these stats should be taken with a grain of salt. Is their a trend? Yes. Have enough horror films been reviewed and included in these stats? No. The trend line definitely has us worried, but we also understand that there has been a renaissance within the horror film genre. If this continues to develop, then this graph will look totally different in 5 years. In fact, we may be looking at a trend line that is going up, rather than down. So what can these stats tell us? For one, if we just look at critic scores, there is a serious trend downwards over time. Are critics too harsh on modern horror films? Why are so many critics stuck in the past? With these stats, we also can compare decades and even nationalities. Why was the 70's rated so highly? Was the 90's really that bad? All of these questions are wonderful ways to discuss the horror genre. Besides taking these stats with a grain of salt, you could also question the point. Are scores from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB true barometers of how great a horror film is? Can you measure art with numbers? These are all great questions, and while these stats will never be published (there are simply too many factors to weigh), they are wonderful for creating intelligent discourse about many of the questions brought up. If you look at the chart below, you will also see a breakdown of decades, and sub-genres. Are vampire movies killing it? What about zombie films? We also have a list of the top horror films out there. These are films that have the highest weighted average. Does this definitively mean that these movies are the greatest of all time? No, but it does mean that they are incredibly well respected by both us and other review sites. We hope you enjoy the stats, and if you have any questions about them, or want to learn more about the technical aspect of creating them, please let us know.