America’s Least Favorite Movie Genres

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Movies are one of the best ways many people pass their time in America and beyond. A CBS poll revealed that 84% of Americans watched more movies on a small screen in their homes, while just 4% watched more movies on the theater’s big screen. Movies have a powerful effect on the audience because the combined effects of music, images, dialogue, sound lighting, and special effects stir up deep feelings that help them experience unique emotions, depending on the genre. However, all genres are not the same, evident by a 2018 Statista study that revealed that Americans weren’t too thrilled about watching certain categories of movies. Here are America’s least favorite movie genres. 

  • Horror

It comes as a bit of a surprise to anyone that horror is America’s least beloved movie genre, with just 52% of respondents in the Statista survey saying they liked it. Still, it remains the most polarizing genre since about half of Americans enjoy watching it. Many horror classics like IT (2017) and The Shining (1980) are profoundly unsettling, so it is easy to understand 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 fright despite the novelty it brings. Your brain’s amygdala stores negative emotions, which are way harder to get rid of than their positive counterparts.

Therefore, it isn’t uncommon for people who see horror movies to experience a persistent emotional fallout if something in their immediate environment reminds them of a scene. For instance, some people with high levels of fright 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 climate change. Nevertheless, horror classics like The Conjuring (2013) and Ghostbusters (1984) have played an essential role in popularizing ghost hunting, a hobby you can explore with devices like the SB7 Spirit Box.

  • Musicals

High School Musical (2006) and The Sound of Music (1965) lovers will undoubtedly take exception to musicals being the second least favorite movie genre. However, it is easy to see why many people aren’t thrilled about sitting through even the best musical films. Several individuals complain about their lack of realism. Indeed, musicals oscillate between two fundamental ideas that are hard to reconcile. 

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

  • Romance

The dislike for romance is likely deeply rooted in personality and personal experiences. Therefore, you are likely to hate them if you have been unlucky with love. Also, romance storylines are mostly monotonous and revolve around too many ideas and unrealistic expectations, which people may find off-putting due to their imperfections. Finally, many romance storylines appear to have more spur-of-the-moment affection than genuine love, partly explaining why experts like Elyakim Kislev, Ph.D., labeled the genre a social problem.



Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

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