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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is there a “best” storytelling genre, and if so, what is it?

science fiction bathroom sign

Stephen Leigh at WhatCulture! offers us “10 Reasons Why Horror Might Be The Best Film Genre”… but his first reason suggests that he’s less interested in film as a means of telling stories than he is in film as an experience:

They’re The Best Date Movies

Forget saggy, fluffy rom-coms like Friends with Benefits – which are designed to please both sexes to an inoffensively satisfactory degree. Couples looking to have a truly great time together at the cinema – or even at home – are best off with a terrifying horror movie.

It’s guaranteed that your loved one will look for comfort and reassurance, while the jumpy moments and building tension will have you both holding each other tight. Although be warned, picking the wrong kind of horror film can backfire – or worse – result in tears and sleepless nights. Going on a date to see a late night screening of Cannibal Holocaust is unlikely to go down well for you, your partner, or that poor turtle.

Another of his reasons is “Controversy!” which is more about marketing than it is about story.
What do you think? Is horror as a genre superior to everything else? Is there a “best” storytelling genre, and if so, what is it?

It seems obvious to me that science fiction is the best genre if telling intriguing and original stories is your primary concern. SF can incorporate any other genre — sci-fi romances, sci-fi horror, sci-fi comedy, and sci-fi drama are all possible — so storytelling options are almost endless. Choosing to tell a story within the genre doesn’t quite mean “anything goes,” because of course stories must still have their own internal logic. But the canvas upon which a story can happen is limited only by the creator’s imagination.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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