Today I am going to give you all my thoughts and opinions on gatekeeping in the horror community. Believe it or not, it does exist! If you’re unfamiliar with the term, gatekeeping refers to people that enforce limits or “rules” about a particular thing. In this post, I will be referring to what makes a “true horror fan.” Without further ado, let’s get into it!
In 2020, I created my own horror-themed bookclub on Instagram (see here) and the moment I did, I technically entered the online community. My experiences over the last couple of years have been really positive but I did notice other spooky influencers (particularly females) being targeted based on what type of horror they liked to consume. Some were ridiculed for enjoying the early 2000’s horror, with people commenting that a “true horror fan” loves all genres. Others were chided for not singing the praises of Halloween and Friday The 13th. If that’s the case, I must be the worst horror fan in history! You would think horror existed under a big umbrella and that it wouldn’t matter what one preferred. Apparently it does. I’ve also noticed a lot of sexism. Some women have been told that this is a man’s genre and that they don’t know what they’re talking about. Whilst this genre does appear to be more male-dominated, I can confidently declare that women love it just as much and just as fiercely. Once again, why can’t we all just get along?
The term: “true horror fan”, is a myth. The wonderful thing about this genre, is that it contains a plethora of sub-genres for all of us to enjoy. If you’re not partial to haunted houses, there are hundreds of slashers to watch. Don’t like creature features? Try a paranormal story. What binds this community together is our love of horror, no matter the era, franchise, notoriety or even the gender (or non-binary classification). If somebody came up to me and said IT was the worst horror movie they had ever seen, I would probably cry a little (just joking) but I certainly wouldn’t tell them they were a disgrace to the community. We like what we like. I don’t judge anybody’s tastes. Nor should anybody else. If I choose not to watch a film because it’s too graphic, that doesn’t make me any less of a horror lover. It just means that I don’t want to subject myself to every single movie ever made. Remember that this genre can come with a lot of triggers. Be mindful of those with mental health issues and certain sensitivities.
There are no milestones you have to meet or franchises you have to tick off your list in order to be “accepted” into the club. If you enjoy reading, playing or watching horror, you’re a fan. Period! Thank you so much for reading. What do you think about this topic? Share all your thoughts below.
Peace & Love xoxo