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America’s Least Favorite Movie Genres

Movies are one of the best ways many people spend their time in America and beyond. A CBS poll found that 84% of Americans have watched more movies on a small screen at home, while only 4% have watched more movies on the big screen at the cinema. Movies have a powerful effect on audiences because the combined effects of music, images, dialogue, sound lighting, and special effects evoke deep feelings that help them experience unique emotions, depending on the genre. However, not all genres are the same, as evidenced by a 2018 Statista study which found that Americans weren’t too thrilled to watch certain categories of movies. Here are America’s least favorite movie genres.

It’s a little surprising to anyone that horror is the least-loved movie genre in the United States, with just 52% of respondents to the Statista survey saying they liked it. Yet, it remains the most polarizing genre as around half of Americans enjoy watching it. Many horror classics like IT (2017) and The Shining (1980) are deeply unsettling, so it’s easy to see why many people would rather not watch them. One theory that may explain why so many people dislike the horror genre is that it may not be worth it if one experiences high levels of dread despite the novelty it brings. Your brain’s amygdala stores negative emotions, which are much harder to clear than their positive counterparts.

Therefore, it’s not uncommon for people who watch horror movies to experience lingering emotional fallout if something in their immediate surroundings reminds them of a scene. For example, some very scared people stopped swimming in the ocean and even in lakes and pools after seeing Jaws (1975). Poltergeist (1982) may also partly explain why 42% of Americans are currently more afraid of clowns than of climate change. Nonetheless, horror classics like The Conjuring (2013) and Ghostbusters (1984) played a vital role in popularizing ghost hunting, a hobby you can explore with devices like the SB7 Spirit Box.

Fans of High School Musical (2006) and The Sound of Music (1965) will no doubt object to the fact that musicals are the second least favorite film genre. However, it’s easy to see why many people aren’t thrilled to be seated even during the best musical movies. Many individuals complain about their lack of realism. Indeed, musicals oscillate between two fundamental ideas that are difficult to reconcile.

For starters, viewers have to accept that people spontaneously breaking into song and dancing is completely normal. Then they must suspend that belief to seriously follow any drama or plot that unfolds when the singing and dancing ceases. It can be difficult to follow narratives with keen interest, only to be interrupted by jarring choreography. However, it seems that musicals are more acceptable in animated form, as evidenced by the immense popularity of The Lion King (1994 original), Frozen (2013), and Disney’s Encanto (2021).

The aversion to romance is probably deeply rooted in personality and personal experiences. Therefore, you might hate them if you were unlucky in love. Also, love stories are mostly monotonous and revolve around too many unrealistic ideas and expectations, which people may find off-putting due to their imperfections. Finally, many love stories seem to have more spontaneous affection than genuine love, which is part of why experts like Elyakim Kislev, Ph.D., have called the genre a social problem.


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