“Creep-out” versus “gross-out” : horror movies at the Australian Box Office

Ryan, Mark David (2014) “Creep-out” versus “gross-out” : horror movies at the Australian Box Office. Metro Magazine, Autumn(180), pp. 30-33.

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Australia is a difficult market for horror movies. Particularly in recent years, Australia has been regarded as a graveyard for many horror films released theatrically. This is not to say that Australians have not enjoyed the occasional scary movie on the big screen. But what types of horror films have been popular with Australian audiences at the box-office remains poorly understood.

Horror films revolve around monsters, the fear of death and the transgression of boundaries, and they aim to scare audiences through ‘gross-out’ or ‘creep-out’ factors (some combine both). The former refers to shocking and graphic portrayals of gore and violence – as seen in the sadistic torture of backpackers in Hostel (Eli Roth, 2005), which depicts limbs being hacked off and eyes being cut from nerve endings. The latter refers to the crafting of fear through mood and suspense without explicit bloodshed, achieved brilliantly in The Sixth Sense’s (M Night Shyamalan, 1999) chilling encounters with ‘dead people’. In creep-out films, it is often what viewers don’t see that is most disturbing.

Using an analysis of the top fifty films each year at the Australian box office from 1992 to 2012, this article identifies the most successful horror movies over this period to ascertain what types of horror movies – with reference to creep-out and gross-out factors – have been most popular with domestic audiences.

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ID Code: 70179
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Horror movies, Australian box-office, Audiences
ISSN: 1057-8196
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Cinema Studies (190201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Screen Education and Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Inc.
Deposited On: 15 Apr 2014 04:23
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2015 16:43

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