But recently the genre seems to be seeing more success than ever before, both in terms of takings at the box office and at awards ceremonies.
Writer and director, Sergio G Sanchez, whose own horror-thriller The Secret Of Marrowbone is out this week, thinks it’s a reflection of the world we live in.
“The best fantasy and horror springs out of very troubled times so unfortunately I think we’re having all these great horror movies coming [out] because the real world is becoming a very difficult place,” he told Sky News.
“And also I think horror is becoming more sophisticated, it’s now mingling and mixing with other genres.”
In March we saw Get Out – Jordan Peele’s satirical horror about racism in the US – winning an Academy Award for best original screenplay, the first original horror to ever get that prize at the Oscars.
It was one of four awards the movie was nominated for – which also included best film, and best actor for British star Daniel Kaluuya – the number of nods another surprise to those that follow the genre.
The film had also been a huge box office success since its release, grossing $255m (£193m) worldwide.
It was made for just $4.5m (£3.4m) – so became one of the most profitable horrors of recent years.
And it’s not the only recent horror film to see such success.
The 2017 remake of Stephen King’s It set box office records with its release, taking $700m (£530m) worldwide – making it the highest grossing, and most profitable, horror of all time.
And earlier this year A Quiet Place, about a family trying to survive in a world where creatures attack if they hear noise, also became a box office smash and is continuing to receive awards buzz several months on.
Actor George MacKay plays the lead in The Secret of Marrowbone – a creepy tale about four siblings trying to avoid being taken in to care after the death of their mother.
He told Sky News he believes the genre’s recent success is down to economic reasons.
“Because they can be made cheaply and there’s a big audience for them, but I think people have then harnessed that to tell stories that people wouldn’t expect to be told via horror,” MacKay said.
“I think therefore, that’s a really positive resurgence.”
Sanchez, who also wrote the critically acclaimed Spanish horror The Orphanage, agrees genre films aren’t easily pigeon-holed these days.
“There’s drama and mystery and many other things [in horror],” Sanchez explained.
“I think this film is managing to break down the boundaries between genres because the real world is sort of building walls.
“So I think film is reacting to this real world where we’re becoming more separated and horror is leaking out of the genre to invade other genres.”
The Secret of Marrowbone is out in cinemas in the UK on 13 July.