Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Horror Snubbed by AFI's List of "America's Ten Greatest Films in Ten Classic Genres"

As if further proof were needed of just how poorly the genre is viewed, the American Film Institute chose not include horror in its line-up of America's 10 greatest films in 10 classic genres.

What's even more surprising is some of the genres AFI did include. Western. Sports. And three separate crime genres: Courtroom Drama, Gangster and Mystery. (Seems like a couple of these could have been combined to make way for a genre that's been around since the beginning of film, but apparently not.)

Judging from AFI's genre list, we are a country that loves cowboys, athletes and criminals.

The closest AFI got to horror is Sci Fi, and within that, only Alien, A Clockwork Orange and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version) would qualify as close to a horror film.

By ignoring horror in its entirety, AFI has overlooked classic films such as Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, Frankenstein, Halloween, Dracula, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Psycho, The Shining, and Jaws.

The oversight makes me want to write AFI a strongly worded letter. If you feel the same, drop them a line here.

Here's something to get you started:

I was very sorry to see the horror genre was not represented in AFI's recent "America's Ten Greatest Films in Ten Classic Genres."

By overlooking horror, AFI has chosen to ignore one of the oldest genres in filmmaking and such classic films as Frankenstein, Dracula, The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, The Shining, Psycho and Jaws.

Stranger still was the inclusion of three crime-related genres: courtroom drama, gangsters and mysteries. Surely two of these could have been combined into a "crime" genre to make room for horror.

I'm very disappointed in this latest list, and imagine you'll hear from many other horror fans about this snub.

I understand compiling lists like this one is difficult and many great films simply can't be included. But to overlook an entire genre seems especially short-sighted.

Thanks for your time.


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