Netflix is a giant in the film industry. They spend millions of dollars on film and TV every year. Somehow, that budget can’t fit in actually promoting their horror movies and TV. Look at something like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was a sequel to one of the most beloved horror films ever—Tobe Hooper‘s seminal classic Texas Chain Saw Massacre. You’d think there would be plenty of fanfare, an October release, a big push, even getting the whole TCM franchise on the platform for people to sink their teeth into.
What we ended up getting was something that Netflix has done over and over again. They fumbled the bag. Take a look at other properties like Fear Street, We Have A Ghost, Bird Box, The Babysitter, and Cloverfield. They’ve all been fumbled when it comes to marketing and releasing the films. We already wrote last Fright-A-Thon about Fear Street taking over the world. Well, what has Netflix done with that since?
They’ve put some energy into the various Mike Flanagan series over the years, but realistically, once the series is out, what else do they do? That’s the business of streaming. Once something is out, it’s dead to them, on to the next thing. Most streaming services only really care about horror movies for the month of October. Even Netflix races to the bottom in that regard. Take a look at their selection right now. It’s pitiful.
When you really think about it, the only horror property that Netflix has celebrated and actually marketed in any way, is Stranger Things. The series that takes inspiration from your favorite horror movies of yesteryear like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Terminator, is their biggest original hit. They’ve been craving that same level, trying to make an IP that can be their big hit outside of that. It makes it even more pitiful that they still refuse to put these shows and movies out on physical media. Mike Flanagan had to fight tooth and nail to get The Haunting of Hill House on Blu-ray. When Netflix simply pumps and dumps its media on its platform without any fanfare, it leaves them destined for the dustbin of obscurity.
Take a look at the box office leaders for 2022 and 2023 and years before that. What is a thread that continues throughout, even before the comic-book/MCU boom? It’s horror movies. This isn’t news that horror movies are profitable as all hell. They get plenty of views from these streaming services. People want to be scared in movie theaters; they want to be scared in their own homes.
Through all of its infinite wisdom in marketing, has Netflix chosen to forego horror movies and the ones they release? They’re crapped out, then forgotten about as fast as possible. It’s a trend that doesn’t look like it’s changing any time soon. What’s better than getting a movie made for a fraction of the budget of the latest Red Notice and then getting tons of people to watch it? Horror movies do that. Maybe Netflix should take a look at the studios they’re trying so hard to emulate and conquer.
Horror movie fans deserve far better than what they’ve received from Netflix. When there are plenty of streamers that give horror fans what they want, like Shudder, Peacock, ScreamBox, and others, this kind of effort from someone as giant as Netflix needs work.
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