It was only a coupleof years ago that the horror genre seemed newly resurgent, like an undead killer digging himself out of the grave. “Fresh-faced” directors like Eli Roth, Rob Zombie, Darren Lynn Bousman and James Wan — many of whom were dubbed “The Splat Pack” — seemed poised to bring their new takes on terror to the masses in a big way. They succeeded, briefly.
But even as some of the movies continued to innovate this year […] box-office receipts plunged, sufficiently so that by the end of 2007, obvious horror titles were attempting to promote themselves as something else. When Rachel Belofsky, president of Screamfest L.A., tried to secure the film P2, about a young woman stalked through a parking garage, for the festival’s closing night, the distributors “kept saying they weren’t marketing it as a horror film… They ram a guy duct-taped to a chair into a wall repeatedly. The last time I looked, that’s a horror film!”
The rest of the article quotes the likes of Eli Roth (always eager to explain away box office failure, either his own or others’) and Courtney Solomon, both of whom blame release dates. Rachel Belofsky, of Screamfest horror film festival, points out that when a romantic comedy bombs, no one concludes that the whole genre is doomed. And Solomon winds up by suggesting that the “torture porn” trend is dried up and horror filmmakers will be turning toward “creature horror movies,” a la ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM.