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Sexuality in Horror Films

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The films have steadily gotten more graphic over the years, whether it’s through scenes of violence, gore, or sex. Not surprisingly, there’s an arguable connection between how graphic a film is and how much attention it receives. And, of course, there’s one genre that is notorious for combining all three graphic categories to get as much attention as possible: horror films.

If you’re a fan of horror, you can probably agree that the best parts of these films—beside the mediocre acting and absurdity of the plots—are the slasher scenes and the ones where the clothes start coming off. Maybe you’re currently in your teens or maybe the last time you were in high school Halloween was just hitting theaters, but either way you have to admit: the gorier and sexier the movie, the better.

So what is it about this particular genre that makes steamy scenes a guarantee? When asked whether or not sex was even necessary for horror films to be successful, Rami UnGar the Writer explains that sex is sometimes used to relax the audience after they’ve seen something scary. They even site instances in everyday life where the same tactic is used. One example is how some funeral parlors contain lewd statues in order to distract guests from the emotional trauma that typically surrounds death. They also explain that sex in films can be used as “a way to ramp people up, show them a little nudity, and then when they’re excited, scare them silly with some blood and death.”

But as Cracked points out, most of the time sex is used by filmmakers to distract the audience when they know that their script isn’t too strong. And clearly it’s a ploy that many horror and thriller film creators take advantage of. Even the most seasoned directors used this strategy when they were first starting out. James Cameron did it in his directorial debut, Piranha II: The Spawning, and George Lucas did the same with his first feature film, THX 1138.

But it can be argued that the genre has gone a little overboard. In fact the amount of sex in these films has become so abundant that the adult industry has decided to further blur the line of explicit material by creating pornographic horror films. This skips the sham of hiding them as anything but porn while giving the audience the extended adult scenes that they enjoy from typical slasher flicks. Wet Dream On Elm Street is a perfect example of a mash up between the adult industry and horror films. A parody of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the movie has a full storyline about a man who was unjustly murdered by the townspeople. Like the real Freddy, he then haunts the people responsible in their dreams, though with a far more sexual vibe. And people seem to enjoy it. Wet Dream has positive reviews on Adam and Eve, earning 4/5 stars from the 10 users who have rated it.

Is this stronger influence from adult films the next step that we can expect from the horror film industry to attract audiences? If they stop making them more sexually explicit, they could be forced to go the other way and gain viewers simply by bettering their production and writing. Unfortunately—or fortunately depending how you look at it—it is probably just easier and cheaper to pay an actress to show off her breasts as opposed to writing a quality script.

At least it gives those actresses just starting out a chance to break into the industry, even if they can only do so by breaking out of their clothes.