I recently stumbled across an article talking about several popular horror movies and the troubles they had during filming. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard horror stories about the filming of horror movies. Deaths, mysterious happenings, illness, etc. are all reported to be much more common during the filming of a horror movie. So, is this actually true? Or are they just counting the hits and ignoring the misses?
Confirmation bias and cherry-picking in the service of making a good story. No one really tracks if the third assistant grip on a romantic comedy gets in a car crash during filming, but have them be working with a ghost story and suddenly every stubbed toe becomes a manifestation of a curse.
I would imagine any movie with a ton of stunts has the highest accident rate. Action movies, for example.
Jason Statham was nearly killed recently during the filming of Expendables 3 and while it was kind of in the news, it was just a blip.
I think part of it is that horror seems to be the only genre where movies with shoestring budgets, sometimes made by semi-amateur filmmakers, regularly become enduring hits. Or at least cult classics. Most low-budget and independent movies have their share of disasters, large and small, but most are so ephemeral nobody ever really looks into the story of their production. But horror is the only genre that really seems to produce movies where people might be interested in a movie made 40 years ago by a bunch of guys with borrowed equipment and day jobs, or some quickie studio movie pushed out the door in a couple of weeks.
And it makes for a better story. A few couples meeting and getting married on the set of a Rom Com is nice, but someone dying, two car crashes and a the same set falling down every day for no reason while shooting a horror movie makes it seem a bit more real.
Scary thing are scarier then whatever the opposite of that is.
To respond to the implied question, if there are more accidents, deaths, etc. during horror shoots, it’s nothing to do with ghosts, magic or curses, of course.
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That would be my guess also. In addition to the stunts themselves, there’s the high expenses of making action thrillers which would prompt filmmakers to cut corners on safety issues.
I’ve also read that westerns used to be the most dangerous productions. They were working with a lot of animals like horses and cattle, which were unpredictable.
Bingo. Nailed it in one.
What are some examples of problems in horror movies? I can only think of Twilight Zone: The Movie off the top of my head, and if anything else, it’s nothing recent.
The Exorcist had mechanical problems. The Omen had weird lightning strikes and animal control issues.
Poltergeist, Exorcist, and The Omen had stories of “curses” surrounding the film because cast and crew members died unexpectedly or under strange circumstances.
I think just budgets are smaller and thus less care is taken and fewer stunt people and less special effects. Historically action films and horror are the cheapest films to make. Big budget sci fi started recently with Spielberg. Dramas were usually the most expensive because of the stars and directors involved.
One famous counter example is genghis khan from the 70s with John Wayne, virtually everybody got cancer and died from that movie because of radioactive sand from nuclear bomb tests, but you hear nothing about a curse.
Horror films like to publicize bad things to show how the evil in the film is all around us. The Omen used this as their ads campaigns (the plane carrying the crew was struck by lightning while in the air!!!).
I would not consider the Crow a horror movie in the least, personally. Doesn’t really work when you’re rooting for the undead.
Forgot about the Poltergeist. Here’s Snopes take on it. I will note that the little girl made 3 movies before tragically dying, so those are some lazy ghosts. But yeah, it’s easy to see patterns when you’re looking for them.
…but then there’s this!
My friend is the son of a very famous author whose best selling book was mde into a classic horror movie. Neither my friend or his dad gives any creedence to the spooky crap. I give them credit because perpetuating the myth would only guarantee more royalties.
What was probably the most “cursed” film in U.S. movie history wasn’t a horror movie at all, but a historical epic.
Or look at House of the Devil. Made in 1896, this is regarded as the first horror movie. Is it just a coincidence that every single member of the cast and crew has died since making this movie?