Last Night in Soho and Antlers fail to attract a niche audience

Last Night in Soho and Antlers – two original Horror films with middling to negative reviews, opened up to 3,000+ theaters and found their average tumble and show the public is still not ready to see every new release in theaters.

Edgar Wright’s films have ardent fans and their detractors, but his Dario Argento Giallo themed horror film, Last Night in Soho, didn’t get the reception it expected at the box-office. Even with a fairly strong marketing campaign and recognizable director attached, the film failed to attract fans.

The overly stylish look of the film and general art house persuasion was appealing to that crowd, but general audiences have a hard time with original horror in general and aren’t as familiar with the Giallo undertones presented in the marketing. It’s a film that had some buzz from the festival circuit but with average critic reception, it needed strong word-of-mouth but failed to garner that reaction with cinephiles.

It’s not so much the quality of the film, but the genre in general. Any film that’s not billed as a must-see in theaters will be relegated to “wait and see” mode for many of the film’s targeted audience and horror is one people need a specific reason to go see in theaters. On top of that, the films stars aren’t a huge selling point, even if Anya Taylor-Joy is starting to grow her fan base after the success of The Queen’s Gambjt.

Either way, it’s disappointing to see an Ed Wright film be overlooked. Directors don’t sell nowadays, but one would think “the creative mind behind Scott Pilgrim” would interest some millennial’s. He took a chance with something different in tone and while some of it pays off in terms of execution, other’s fall off but the lack of support for a fresh horror ideas might dissuade studios from greenlighting original pictures.

As for Scott Cooper’s new film, Antlers, it does share the same genre as Wright’s film but the two couldn’t be farther apart on the spectrum of horror. Antlers is a dreary, lifeless film that was hit with major delays back in 2020 due to COVID. It’s a self-serious tone with no smiles allowed.

In it’s two week run, it’s slightly outperformed Last Night in Soho but numbers are still disappointing. It played in less theaters and ended with a higher average, but there’s nothing to be overly excited. The lack of sales shows that two original horror concepts, done in almost contrasting styles, still can’t find a niche audience. Much of this can still be attributed to COVID, but the larger issue is present in the frame and not hiding.

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